Imagine spending your summer thinking about a horse. One horse and only one horse. And, not a horse that gallops, neighs or eats oats. This horse is referred to as “Number 28,” and is part of a collection of carousel horses owned by the Shelbourne Museum in Vermont.
Number 28 needs some work and it’s the job of Lauren Bradley, Wilmington Montessori School graduate, to restore with meticulous detail the appearance of this antique collectible. It not only takes patience for a job like this one; it takes a passion and the kind of training Lauren is getting in her summer internship in Vermont.
A 2008 graduate with Honors from the University of Delaware, Lauren double majored in Art Conservation and Art History, with two minors in Studio Art and Ancient Greek and Roman Studies. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies and was given the Outstanding Senior Award in Art History. No wonder she’s one of only 10 students selected for a three-year Master of Science Program in Art Conservation through the University of Delaware, in cooperation with Winterthur Museum.
Her academic abilities and her love of art were both nurtured during her nine years at WMS.
According to Lauren’s mother, WMS Kindergarten teacher Trish Bradley, Lauren’s academic training prepared her to be an independent learner. She understood a “work cycle,” i.e., getting the work out, doing it, and putting it back. She and Lauren credit Wilmington Montessori with teaching her time management as well. Through the Montessori method, Lauren became a daughter who never had to be told to do her homework. Trish also feels Montessori gave her daughter tools for her future academic work, including study skills and the mechanics of writing papers.
Lest you think that solid academic training was the only take-away for Lauren, just ask her proud mom. “First and foremost,” Trish says, “was the character development, drive, sense of self and social/emotional focus that WMS offered. She was known by her teachers such that they understood her nature and her challenges. Plus the teachers knew what they were doing.” As a parent who only started teaching at Montessori once her children, Lauren and her sister Lena, attended, Trish appreciated the lessons in parenting that she learned – how to give choices, solve problems and teach compromise, among many others.
Known for her love of art even as a young child, Lauren is grateful to WMS Art Teacher, Laurie Muhlbauer, for nurturing her passion. She worked on many art projects with Laurie, including a mold of her own face that she still owns.
Lauren confides that she still thinks of math in colors and parts of speech in shapes. What a perfect way for a young girl with a love of art to learn the math and language skills that have served her so well in her chosen career!