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D E PA RT I N G FAC U LT Y b y Ly n d a D u g a s , L o w e r S c h o o l l i b ra r i a n

My friend and colleague, Maria Lindberg, began teaching at BB&N twenty-eight years ago. I first met Maria in a parent/teacher conference when I was teaching her son Matt ’01 in fourth grade. Her daughter Kate ’02 was in my homeroom the following year. I knew that Maria taught in the building across the playground—the one with the “little kids” in it. Our paths rarely crossed, and it was not until years later, when I became the Morse Building Librarian, that Maria and I became true colleagues. My eyes were also opened to the wonder of early childhood education and the skill, hard work, and little bit of magic it takes to work with our very young ones.

I was so lucky to find time to learn from Maria as her student, discovering how to set up eye-catching displays and add more real art to the library walls. Maria was the first “Artist of the Month” highlighted in the Morse Library gallery in which a collection of her beautiful work, some titled Secret Garden, Tidepool, and Birches, was displayed last year. Even though Maria is retiring, Birches will have a permanent home in the library. This is a fitting remembrance of her legacy, since Maria and I worked together with our students to assemble and decorate the Community Tree display, connecting art and literature in the Morse Building. Maria worked in the Beginners and Kindergarten classrooms and with the After School program for a number of years. In 2005, she created and taught an art class for Beginners. Lower School Director Shera Selzer, herself a former Beginners teacher, described Maria’s “creation station” as a place of guided discovery, where the projects were as much about the process as the end result. Clad in her paint-splattered denim apron, Maria was “gentle and kind in her instruction,” remarked Shera. “She insisted on using materials that artists would use,” as well as letting the children discover the wonder of “shaving cream, salad spinners, and rocks in socks.” Frequently the experiences culminated with an “ah ha” or a literal gasp of surprise by the children as they completed their masterpieces. Maria Durant, BB&N parent of Ben ’18, Sydney, and Cole Blackburn ’26, describes how Maria “slowed the pace and taught our children to find peace through art—peace in both the process of creating art and in drawing connections with others through art. Maria’s students tapped their creativity and imagination and became proud, confident, happy, and successful artists. Her students understand that every human being has his or her own unique perspective and that two students observing the same object can focus on different elements and create very different works of art. Maria taught our children that all perspectives in art and in life are to be respected and valued.”

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BB&N Bulletin Summer 2016