Ms. Tessler brings light and laughter to the nurse’s office


Michaela Towfighi

“The most difficult part of my job is knowing I cannot fix everyone,” says school nurse Ms. Tessler.

Memori Valentin, Staff

It’s quiet in the morning at Pembroke Academy, the sun just coming up, the lights turning on. Ms. Tessler makes her way to her office as she greets the passing students and fellow coworkers. She reclines in her cozy desk chair as she sips a freshly brewed coffee, taking in a deep breath as she awaits what the day will bring. 

Quite the change from a surgical floor where she previously worked, Ms. Tessler enjoys the unpredictable-yet-organized chaos of helping teens both mentally and physically (and the drama of high school is always a plus). For the first few minutes of the school day, she sits and chats with her assistant Katie Russel, catching up from the weekend, gossiping and anticipating the day. Eventually, by 10 a.m., the first student comes in, and Ms. Tessler rises from her chair to eagerly heal her first patient. 

Ms. Tessler has been healing students and staff members since joining PA this school year. From curing headaches to heartbreaks, Ms. Tessler brings light and laughter to the nurse’s office. 

Ms. Tessler  made the spontaneous change from working on an orthopedic surgical floor on a post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurse for over 20 years. She now assists and guides teens through some of their toughest years and experiences. “[Working with adolescents] can sometimes prove to be challenging, but overall very rewarding,” she said. “I have always been drawn to areas in which I can help others.” 

Ms. Tessler received an associate’s degree in nursing from the New Hampshire Technical Institute, then went on to earn her Bachelors of Science degree in nursing from Capella University, and is currently finishing up her master’s program for nurse leadership and management online at Capella as well. 

She said that working in the nursing field is hard, and it is important  to have a strong support system and colleagues who are understanding.  Her most memorable moments as a nurse tend to be the most challenging. 

“I have held someone’s hand as they passed away and I’ve watched new life come into the world,” she said. “The most difficult thing about my job is knowing that I cannot fix everyone. We are healers, and we want to heal. Some people cannot be helped or healed. We can merely just be a presence for some.”  

Ms. Tessler also believes working in the medical field is “incredibly humbling.”  

“It is an honor to be with someone and witness their rawest emotions, holding their hand and being there to hug them and let them grieve,” she said. 

However, Ms. Tessler also  believes that there is time for a life outside of work and  spends her spare time taking her dog on trail walks, horseback riding, and spending time  with family. “I spend every moment I can with my daughter,” she said. 

While some people may view nurses as hardened or unapproachable depending on how they present themselves,  Ms. Tessler hopes to change that. “Never judge a book by its cover,” she said.  “Some of the most caring and compassionate people don’t always present themselves as such.”