Yearbook adviser to attend nursing school

Katie Plotkin

Middle School Communications Department Head Jen Bladen will be leaving Harvard-Westlake after nine years of advising the Vox Populi yearbook to go to community college to satisfy her requirements for nursing school, which she plans to attend in the fall of 2016.

After seven trips to the emergency room last year and uncertainty over why she was becoming so sick, which she later discovered was pulmonary emboli, Bladen recalled an instance in which she had a conversation with one of the nurses.

Bladen’s friend was shocked that she had become so knowledgeable about the medical terms and medications.

“It reminded me that it was something I had been interested in for a long time,” Bladen said.

Bladen currently advises the seventh grade journalism club at the Middle School in addition to advising the yearbook.

“[Bladen] is hands-down the most compassionate person I have ever come across in my life,” student Gwynn Pollard ’15 said. “She has made the yearbook room like a second home to me, been like a second mother to me. She has been patient and kind, and she has made me more patient and kind. I can’t imagine what it will be like without her at the school, but I know she will be an amazing nurse because she makes people feel comfortable and safe.”

Bladen feels close to her students because she is the only teacher at Harvard-Westlake that is able to teach her students for all six years.

“I have always been the only teacher crying at graduation because I am the only one that has known [the students] that long, but I am seriously going to be bawling at graduation,” Bladen said.