By Charles Gorrivan ’21
School Nurse Reflects on his First Year, Looks Forward to the Next
Tyler Troppmann has become an integral part of the community in his first year as School Nurse, stewarding the School through yet another year of pandemic protocols and working long hours to coordinate safety measures with administrators. Often adapting to the ongoing guidance set by public health officials on the fly, he has helped bring daily operations back to their most functional levels since the pandemic began in March 2020. “We wanted to try to return to as much normalcy as possible, but we also wanted to make sure everyone was safe,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tyler has forged deep connections to the students and colleagues he works with, grounding his work in the School’s Quaker mission and living out his core values on a day-to-day basis. “I got into nursing to be involved in my community, to treat people as people and not just the names on a clipboard,” he said. “Being in a Quaker school has really allowed me to be my true self—and to live every day, go to work, with a smile.”
Tyler likens the six Quaker values, which Friends students know as “SPICES” – simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship – to the six core nursing values: care, compassion, competence, communication, courage, and commitment. “I think that Quaker ideals go hand in hand with the foundations of nursing,” he said. “There’s a focus on the community, treating people as equals, and striving to be the best self you can to benefit your community.”
Among his most notable achievements this year, Tyler was part of an administrative team which created an updated version of ‘Friends Forward’ – a comprehensive document outlining the most robust programming that the School can provide under the latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Health. He has also kept the School in line with the latest recommendations for masking and in-school safety requirements, as well as helping to organize out-of-school events, overnight trips, and the Friends Summer Camp.
Tyler said that he is especially proud of the administration’s ability to collaborate with each other throughout the year in a fast-paced working environment, especially given that it was the first time many of them had ever worked together. “I think it was a pretty unique thing that we all were able to come together so quickly,” he said.
As the summer winds down, Tyler is preparing to continue working closely with community members to address the ongoing impact of the pandemic, which he says will continue to affect school life. He adds that it will be critical to assess new risks like monkeypox, which will involve not only keeping community members safe but having conversations about the illnesses’ stigmatization in the LGBTQ+ community. “I envision another busy year, and another big interdisciplinary, collaborative year,” he said. “We’re all going to need to work together to make sure that things function smoothly.”
As Tyler’s position brings him into conversation with a range of students, faculty members, and students in the community, he is also looking forward to forging new relationships. “I would have to say this is one of my favorite aspects of the job,” he said.
He added that he looks forward to witnessing the joy that students, and particularly those in the Lower School that he works with the most, bring to school in its first weeks. “I look forward to seeing the little kids—the smiles on their faces, the excitement for the first week of school,'' he said. “I don't think that that feeling will ever get old.”