What Ms. Bradley Does and How She Cares for Bromfield


Always ready to help, Mrs. Bradley smiles wide while helping clean up the cafeteria.

People wonder—what exactly is Ms. Lisa Bradley’s job? Ask her yourself and you’ll get a myriad of answers.

Before she became a mother, Bradley started out as a kindergarten teacher’s assistant, working at a private school on the North Shore for five years. She became a stay-at-home mom when her kids were born, though she kept busy with lots of things including becoming a part-time Zumba instructor for two years.

During Bromfield’s Hoffman administration, Bradley started working part-time. She was looking for a way to get involved in the school, and there was a need for breakfast and lunch monitors that fit into her schedule. Her first duty was to ensure high schoolers were two seats apart in the auditorium during COVID lunches.

A couple of months later, students from Afghanistan arrived in Harvard, and the school needed help integrating them into the district. Bradley was asked to teach them English, and even though she had no previous experience teaching English as a second language, she enjoyed it. She reflected that she was probably put into the role partly because of her experience fostering about 30 children, which had given her experience with children who had been through difficult times. She loved teaching the Afghan students about American culture and learning about their culture. In time, she said the students and their parents “felt like family to me,” and it was an “unexpected gift.”

Because no one was sure if the Afghan students would stay in Harvard, what Bradley’s role would be for this year was unclear as 2022 ended. After reading Bromfield’s School Climate Survey, Bradley noted that although most students (84.1%) feel like they belong at least somewhat, her heart goes out to those who feel like they do not connect. Because she felt like she herself didn’t fit in when she was in school, now Bradley is able to empathize with those students better. She said that while teachers care, they “can’t always be there.”  She transitioned to become a substitute teacher and maybe the role she had in mind could develop more formally over time.

Ms. Bradley has accrued a number of nicknames over the course of her time at Bromfield. (Naomi Linde)

One day in October, while at home with COVID, Bradley got a phone call from the school, who felt that the job Bradley had described was becoming a necessity, and asked her to step away from substitute teaching for a while.

Bradley came back to Bromfield with the focus of creating an accepting atmosphere. Currently, some of her roles are to say hi to everyone, remember important events in people’s lives, ask people how they are doing, get excited about sports games, get an extra chair for students at lunch, tighten screws on tables, and clean up spills. She also takes items off of the table near the front office that holds forgotten objects and gives them to their rightful owners. She considers herself to be “everyone’s mom.” 

Bradley now looks after the bathrooms to help enforce politeness and rules prohibiting vaping. That is so important to her because she wants to connect with students and make their lives better. She also saw that students were not often greeted when they entered through Door 14, the door closest to the J-lot, so she greets students there.

Bradley enjoys the students’ reactions to her presence, including when she salutes people, and they salute back. She also likes humor and students who are funny, or when the seniors call her the “hall mom-itor.” On the flip side, she also is sensitive to instances of vulnerability. One of the ways this shows itself is when people give a real answer to how it is going. In other words, they share the messy and painful parts of their lives to her that they would not share to others.

One of Bradley’s dreams is to build a children’s home. As someone who has fostered many children who often bounce around to many homes before they find a permanent one, she sees the importance for this home. She wants a place where children can go when they do not have a place to sleep, and they can stay there until they find a new place. For now, she is intent on making school feel like home for students.