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Benita Tunstill, center, accepts her winnings as 2021 “Staff Member of the Year” at Liberty Middle School. Dr. Ed Nichols, left, Superintendent of Madison City Schools, and Liberty Principal Shannon Brown congratulate Tunstill. CONTRIBUTED

Tunstill gives first-person care as Liberty’s ‘Staff Member of the Year’

MADISON – Benita Tunstill “loves watching all my babies (students) grow into adulthood. I love to hear from my babies as they move out into the work world.” Tunstill is the 2021 “Staff Member of the Year” at Liberty Middle School.

Currently, Tunstill works with three former Liberty students, has one alumnus in South Carolina working as a chemical engineer, one attending medical school and one working in Huntsville Hospital Emergency Room. “I really have too many to mention, but it makes for a wonderful day when I hear from one of my former Liberty babies, and they are enjoying working in their chosen field,” she said.

Tunstill just finished her fourteenth year as School Nurse at Liberty. “Prior to coming to Liberty, I worked as a hospice nurse for 10 years in Limestone County,” Tunstill said.

In her day-to-day duties at Liberty, Tunstill is responsible for managing the nurse health clinic. She assists with monitoring eight diabetics, administers daily medication to students and deals with any emergency that arises.

“This year was very challenging for all school nurses as we managed the everchanging COVID19 procedures, did contact tracing, notified parents and reported COVID-19 cases and ensured that parents understood the quarantine rules,” Tunstill said.

Shannon Brown, who is Principal at Liberty, said, “Nurse Tunstill has done an exceptional job with all that she has had to deal with. Not only does she take care of our babies, but she helps out constantly wherever she can. It is people like Nurse Tunstill that make Liberty Middle School so wonderful.”

Benita’s husband, Daren Tunstill, works as an inspector at In’Tech Medical in Athens. “We live on a farm in Limestone County with our fur babies — Millie, Tater, Josey and our cattle,” Benita said.

“We have one daughter, Avery, who teaches and lives in Mississippi with her husband Ethan. They have one child, Asher, who makes the world a brighter place for this ‘GoGo,’” Benita said.

Benita’s favorite pastime is any activity that includes spending time with members of her family. “My hobbies include reading … and living on the farm, as there is always something to do,” she said.

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