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Lynn Nagel

Caring by Nature


“Lynn is a natural caregiver, someone who takes to helping people the way birds take to the air.”

Lynn Nagel is a one-on-one paraprofessional at Waverly. She’s been here for six years and currently works with a single student. The importance of this type of care cannot be overstated. It’s exceedingly rare. The relationship that’s fostered by that type of attention and focus is something lacking in our world. But Lynn is a natural caregiver, someone who takes to helping people the way birds take to the air. It’s her calling. And the student she works with has surely profited from her time and efforts.

“He’s close to my heart,” she says of her student. It’s surely the case. To work with someone so closely, so dedicatedly, must inspire true concern and care. When asked what this work means to her student, Lynn says, “He feels safe.” Making the people around her feel safe might seem simple, but it’s not. It takes a lifetime and a genuine desire to make them feel secure. It might even take practice, a concept well-known to Nagel. She’s had a lot of practice.

Lynn worked in daycare for sixteen years, and making kids feel safe has always been Lynn’s gift. She did that until her own children were now adults with lives of their own. Luckily, a position opened up at Waverly, a place fortunate to have Nagel at its side. She’s been here for six years, but has lived in Waverly since 1982 when she began the eighth grade. She’s connected to this place and its people. She met her husband here, and they raised kids together.

Even though their two children are now adults with lives of their own, Lynn is still caring for those around her. And ever since her own children were born, she’s always kept a child-friendly home. Lynn’s own mother babysat, raised kids of her own, and worked with the Girl Scouts. Caring is a family tradition, one that continues through Lynn’s work and life.

Many folks reasonably think that institutions or people do not have time to give one-on-one care anymore. We might see society as a take-a-number-and-wait scenario playing out. To know that there are people like Lynn with caregiving in their nature, as it were, is a blessing. And to realize that this care is focused on a few people (or maybe even one) is another thing to celebrate.

Nagel’s attention to and care toward a single person flies in the face of what we often experience when we encounter the day-to-day. Teachers, nurses, doctors, and many others are often rushed and understandably do not have the capacity or time to make us “feel safe.” But Lynn Nagel does, and she gets to make those around her feel that way too. For this one-on-one paraprofessional, caretaking is her vocation, her gift. And let’s be honest. In a ‘hurry-up-and-wait’ world filled with worries, it’s comforting to know that there are people like Lynn and places like Waverly that prioritize individualized, focused, and high-quality caregiving. Waverly is better off for folks like Lynn Nagel. Though she is often reserved, Lynn doesn’t need to boast about her gifts; her actions speak for themselves.

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