Lily Solomon, class of 2006, who is currently a 3rd - 4th grade loop teacher, has brought her love for education back to The Willows. Before The Willows as a teacher, Lily worked in New York City at The Village Voice and an education not-for-profit.
What do you remember about the school’s early days? I remember so much from the early days, it's hard to even sum it up. I remember each and every one of my teachers like it was yesterday and each grade’s culminating project. I remember hot lunch and field trips. I don't think I could ever forget book buddies and getting close to, what I thought, was the biggest kid ever.
How has the school changed? Overall the school feels exactly the same to me. It has the same community, same closeness, and same excitement. However, the school's technology and resources have definitely evolved. The Tinker Make Innovate Room is an entirely new addition that seems to fit the school perfectly.
What are your fondest Willows memories? My fondest Willows memories are culminations, signing year books, and retreats. I look back at my yearbooks to find signatures of students 5 years older than me or 5 years younger. That just speaks to the community here. I will never forget making that tipi in 3rd grade and singing that song.
How has the school shaped you? The school has definitely shaped me to be curious and ask questions. Because of the first name basis that students have with faculty and parents, I think the school helped me to be personable with adults through my childhood.
After Willows, what schools did you go to? After The Willows, I went to the music academy at Hamilton High. I then went off to CU Boulder and then transferred to Eugene Lang at The New School University. It's funny, Hamilton and Boulder were both large public schools, and I ended up at a progressive college that fit a very similar mold to The Willows.
What did you do before working at The Willows? I was studying Psychology at Eugene Lang, working for the Village Voice Newspaper, and working with a nonprofit focused on education reform. I also worked at Iverbe Sports Camp every summer.
What’s inspired you to come back and work at here? I knew I wanted to be involved in education. Well, honestly I felt like I had never left The Willows. I remember the positive effect each teacher had on me, even my DK teachers, and I only hope to have the same effect on the Willows students now.
What do you teach? How is it going? I float between Blue Kindergarten and Green Kindergarten, just adding more support and helping out. I also help on the yard and in after-school care. It's going great! I am having such a great time and cherish the friendships I am making with the faculty and kids. I am also learning so much from the kids and my peers.