To The Albrook School,
Over the years, I have often thought about The Albrook School and the amazing teachers who have touched our lives. When Audrey started in the Stepping Stones program fifteen years ago, we were simply looking for a good preschool and relied on reputation and the little information we could find on-line. We didn’t know anyone personally who had experience with the school. My husband and I were so nervous for the interview, and when our two year old Audrey started to carry a real teacup we both started to get up and were stopped by Ms. Albers telling us that it was o.k. and that she can handle it. If it did break, it would be o.k. too. Ms. Albers’ words stayed with us and guided us over the years.
Audrey was always a creative child. There was always a fort of some kind somewhere in our house. She was always leading an adventure or acting out a story. She enjoyed using her hands to make things. So writing out letters with beans and using art to learn was the perfect way to start learning for her. In upper class, when the students had to make gifts for secret Santa, she made this cute miniature Yankee head for this boy whose favorite team was the Yankees. She was given the space and opportunity and encouragement to be thoughtful and use her strengths. This important foundation laid the groundwork and she has continued to use her creative skills to give, speak and express herself. More recently, her 3D art sculptures on human consumption and environmental harm have won regional and national awards. She made hundreds of face masks during the early pandemic months when masks were in short supply and gave them to local health care workers and a hospital.
Academically, Albrook allowed her to see her full potential.
When she spent a few years in the local public school, she was bored. Her last year in that school, she wanted to write in cursive because she thought cursive was beautiful. She was told no and that it was not age appropriate. When she returned to Albrook, she was given the space to do cursive and much more. While she had gotten good grades in her last school, she had not learned at her full potential. When she returned to Albrook, she was behind in math. That first year back, she received one on one attention to get her up to speed. Her standardized test scores clearly demonstrated the Montessori Method worked. Her math scores at the beginning of her first year back and the last year before she left were night and day. When we left because of a family move out of state, we quickly saw that there was no school like Albrook. While her new school provided a supportive environment for character education, math and science instruction was clearly lacking. Her math scores on standardized tests fell very low again. In fact, I contacted Ms. Vazaios for guidance around this time. Going into middle school, Audrey considered herself “not a math person” as she put it. We spoke to Audrey about the Albrook evidence that showed otherwise. She simply was not given the right instruction, and with good instruction we know she could do very well in math.
The strong academic foundation you provided her, coupled with the encouragement and opportunities to see her full potential, were instrumental in Audrey becoming who she is today. She has excelled academically, and chose to pursue the most difficult math and sciences whenever possible in high school. I am certain this self-motivation and confidence in STEM subjects would not have been possible without the Albrook evidence. I am very happy to share with you that Audrey has intentions of studying engineering and art at Harvard College. We are so grateful to you The Albrook School. What you do makes a huge difference. Thank you!
We miss you.