February 2, 2023

Marion Karsina, MEd, BSN, RN, joined The New England Center for Children (NECC) as a teacher in 1990 and held a number of positions over her 21 years at NECC. Though Karsina left in 2011, she returned to NECC in 2021 and works as a primary care nurse. Karsina was nominated by a colleague because she “always brings her best self to work and gives 110% to her students and coworkers. You can’t help but smile and feel your mood lift when you’re around her. She treats the students she sees with incredible care and patience, whether they’re on one of her teams or she’s helping out another nurse, which she does without question. She is incredible at working through any problems that arise and is simply a joy to be around.”

How long have you worked for NECC?

I worked at NECC from 1990 through 2011, in many positions, including as a teacher (level 1 and 2), vocational teacher, residential coordinator, residential specialist, nursing assistant, and primary care nurse. I returned in 2021 as a primary care nurse.

You left NECC for a bit — where did you go and when/why did you decide to come back?

Yes, I did. I left when both of my boys were school age to better accommodate our family’s schedule, as both boys were no longer in NECC’s daycare and preschool. I worked as a public school nurse in our town’s elementary school. I returned because the community here at NECC is like no other.

Why did you pursue a career in nursing?

Working as a teacher, it was evident how education, learning, and health are intertwined and linked. It seemed like the next logical step in working with our students. It was the best decision I ever made.

Why did you choose to help children with autism?

Our students are honest and open, and their true selves. You always know where you stand with one of our students. It’s a privilege and honor to be part of their growth and learning.


My roommate worked here and used to talk nonstop about her students. I also had met her case student, and after that meeting was when I knew and understood why she worked here and why I should, too.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Well, of course, any and all interactions with my students.

You met your husband, Allen Karsina (former director of professional development at NECC) here. How did you meet?

We were both working with Westborough I at this time as program specialist (Allen) and primary care nurse (me). We had worked within the same DYAD (called HOUSE then) as teachers on different teams when we both started here at NECC. We have been married for 21 years.

What is something about you that your colleagues might be surprised to learn?

I have no talents, but I was on the track and field team in high school and college and was the captain of my high school track team all three seasons.

Who is someone you look up to?

My mother and father.

What is your life philosophy or a motto you like to live by?

“Hello” is so simple and can open you up to so many new worlds.