Frances Nicolau Nightingale and Maya Stevens Bamford, both experienced teachers, recognized as soon as they met that their strengths were complementary. Joining Miss Nightingale's warmth and enthusiasm with Miss Bamford's rigor and intellectual ambition, they created a school for girls that educated the mind and heart together.

Although Miss Nightingale began teaching in New York City around 1906 in various locales, it wasn't until she met Miss Bamford that Miss Nightingale's School was founded in 1920; classes were held in two townhouses at 20 and 22 East 92nd Street. In 1929, the school became officially known as the Nightingale-Bamford School and that same year the board constructed a new building in place of the original townhouses.

Over the more than 95 years since our school was founded, we have graduated almost 3,000 alumnae, expanded our building four times, and adopted new disciplines and means of teaching. But throughout it all, we've retained the same guiding principles that Miss Nightingale and Miss Bamford instilled in those first students: truth, friendship, and loyalty.


Frances Nicolau Nightingale

Headmistress, 1920–1939

Maya Stevens Bamford

Headmistress, 1939–1947

Edna Hill Robillard

Headmistress, 1947–1958

Catherine Baldwin Woodbridge

Headmistress, 1958–1971

Joan Stitt McMenamin

Headmistress, 1971–1992

Dorothy A. Hutcheson

Head of School, 1992–2012

Paul A. Burke

Head of School, 2012–present