A visitor to the Montessori School of Westminster (MSW) might notice a bike parked under the canopy at the front of the school. Nell Boley, a graduating senior at McDaniel College and Montessori intern, uses it as her main source of transportation between the two schools, a distance of about four miles.
Nell is a resident of Kittery Point, a small coastal town in southeastern Maine characterized by a few independent seafood restaurants, a post office, fishing pier, and nearby shipyard. She discovered McDaniel College when touring post-secondary schools with her older brother. Nell is an Exercise Science major with a minor in education, her true calling.
Nell’s interest in the Montessori method of education grew from experiences doing summertime nanny work for families whose children attended Montessori schools. She herself is the product of homeschooling through grade eight, attending public schools afterwards. Nell will return to Maine following graduation from McDaniel to enroll in the “Northeast Montessori Program” to become a Montessori-trained educator.
Nell’s interest in commuting via bicycle results from exposure to her mother’s choice to do the same while traveling to her job as childcare director for a non-profit agency serving low-income families. Here in Westminster, Nell rode to MSW two times a week. The trip takes 25 minutes, according to Nell, and one interesting thing she’s seen up close are turkey vultures along the roadway.
Nell has one other form of transportation available. The active intern brought with her to Maryland all the way from Maine her horse named “Sprite,” a 17-year-old Appaloosa-cross gelding she uses for eventing and trail riding. He’s boarded at a farm on Bachman’s Valley Road.
At the Montessori School of Westminster, Nell likes the challenges working with 2- and 3-year-olds in the “Beginnings” program offers. She enjoys the children’s songs and exercises when they’re gathered around their “ellipse,” an oval rug used for group activities. The school’s littlest students use colorful shapes to match up with words like “sunny” and “cloudy,” and this future teacher has fun observing their active imaginations at work as they provide a daily weather report for the classroom.
MSW has benefitted from Nell’s contributions as an intern, and she has gained direct knowledge of the hands-on, individualized approach key to Montessori method, a proven education alternative for more than 100 years.