Diane Bower – nurse, mother of six LFHS grads, music lover – to retire


Diane Bower and five of her daughters. Each is an LFHS grad.

Tegan Heswall, Staff Writer

The Red Cross Club held a blood drive in 2019. As a member of the Red Cross Club, I helped with advertising the blood drive, and I felt as if it only made sense if I donated. That morning, I walked into the Fieldhouse and saw different stations. One would ask me questions and verify that I was a healthy donor, one would be where I donate the blood, and one would have us wait 15 minutes before we headed back to class to make sure we didn’t faint. 

The intimidating setup made me anxious. I hate needles, and I’m not not the biggest fan of blood either. But saving three lives with my donation was more important a my few minutes of discomfort. 

After I donated blood, I surprisingly felt fine, so I got ready to return to class. Unfortunately, I did not have enough food that morning, so I quickly felt dizzy. I was directed to Nurse Diane Bower’s office. 

Bower made sure to check up with me multiple times while I was with her. With some snacks (thank you!) and time, we talked for a bit. Usually, when I am in a nurse’s office, I want to get out of there to go home or leave with an ice pack. This time was different.

I ended up staying in her office for the lunch period.

When I think of the kind of person that makes Lake Forest feel more like a family than a typical school, she is the first one who comes to mind.”

— Dan Maigler, social worker

Bower, the friendly face in the health office and mother of six LFHS graduates, is retiring this month after 25 years. Jim Warfield, the former director of Student Services, hired her, and she is still grateful for the opportunity.

I made Jim and myself a promise 25 years ago that I would treat my students with the same care and love I do for my children. I believe I have lived up to that promise. I want all of my LFHS Scouts to be the best version of themselves someday,” she said.

Physical health is her niche, but this didn’t stop her from making friends in different departments of the school. 

One of my favorite things about her is how despite our highly divergent political views, we were always willing to see past that and communicate with the colleague we knew was doing their best to care for kids,” said social worker Dan Maigler. “It is hard to imagine life at Lake Forest without Diane. She is part of the fabric of the building and the community.  When I think of the kind of person that makes Lake Forest feel more like a family than a typical school, she is the first one who comes to mind.”

The Birthday Buddies” Bower (right) with Donna Lovitsch (left) and Jim Sullivan. They share September 25 as their birthday.

Being a  school nurse is not a one-person job. The Health Office consists of Ms. Jo Kudla and Ms. Julie Robbins. “[They] have made any successes I have had possible.  Their professionalism, insights, and generosity are without measure,” said Bower. 

A big music fan, Bower went with Band and Orchestra to Europe six times as their nurse. 

“Some of my favorite memories have been listening to the music that Janene Kessler, Robert Bassill, and Tim Haskett would provide at the Senior Star around the Holidays. Pep Rallies and the ELS basketball games are great too!” she said.

During her career here, Bower’s husband passed away. She said she witnessed firsthand the never-ending support that the staff  offers. Multiple faculty members delivered dinners to her house for months.

“It is a debt that can never be repaid,” she said.

Bower’s plans for retirement include residing in a second home in Tampa, Florida. While she is in Florida, she plans to spend her time with her 14 grandchildren (and counting!). Two more daughters in the Bower family will be getting married. 

“I will miss the spirit, camaraderie, and compassion that defines LFHS, but wherever I go and whatever I do, LFHS will always be in my heart.”