Women of BB&N

Meet the women behind the scenes...

These women, and many more, are the reason hundreds of children are able to pursue a world-class education at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, a private high school located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. From transporting to cooking to cleaning to fixing, their jobs are some of the most important at this school.

  • Laila Shadid

Kindness Matters to Joanna Yandle

Walking down the hallway of the Middle School Carriage House, you will pass a door covered in colorful, curly-font quotes.

“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody,” one blue sheet of paper reads next to a mug with the words, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”

Nurse Joanna Yandle loves hearing students read the quotes from outside her room. The inside of her office is decorated just as optimistically.

“Kindness matters.”

“Today is a new day.”

“Breathe, darling. This is just a chapter, not your whole story.”

Ms. Yandle looked around the room and smiled. “I like the positivity of quotes,” she said. “They help you get through the day.”

And positive she is! Ms. Yandle loves the students she cares for, they are her absolute favorite part of the job, she said.

“I love helping people, and to be able to give back to people when they need it the most,” Ms. Yandle said. “Having students come in and leave with a smile is the best thing—then I know I’ve done my job.”

Ms. Yandle always knew she wanted to be a nurse, but thought she would pursue maternity nursing. Soon after completing nursing school at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2006, she moved with her husband and first child to Atlanta, Georgia. There, a friend told her about a school nursing job at Pine Crest Academy. Ms. Yandle hadn’t practiced school nursing since a community health rotation in nursing school, but decided to give it a try.

She loved it.

This year marks her third year as a full-time nurse at BB&N. Here, she handles everything from the day-to-day cough drops, bloody noses, and stomach aches, to concussions, on-campus sports injuries, and the flu. Ms. Yandle also has her hands full with allergy and policy management, as well as record keeping. Most days, around 10 to 12 students come to her office, but on the busier days, she could have as many as 20 kids.

She is also a full-time mother. Ms. Yandle lives in her hometown of Dorchester with her three boys, Brian, Colin, and Liam, and husband, Brian.

While Ms. Yandle isn’t caring for kids at school or at home, she loves to run about three or four times per week, preferably outdoors.

In 2015, she ran the Boston Marathon. Crossing the finish line and sharing that moment with her husband and kids made it the happiest day of her life.

“Being able to do that after having my three boys and working full-time meant a lot to me,” she said. “It was also important to take time for myself which is not something we do a lot as working mothers.”

Ms. Yandle hopes she is seen as the kind Middle School nurse.

“I think everyone needs to be kind,” she said. “I want to be welcoming; I want students to feel like they want to come in my office, even chat with me. It’s an open door, and I really would like them to know that.”

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