A Developing Member in the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America
Serving Children From Early Childhood Through Eighth Grade
Getting to Know Our New Administrative Director, Shelby Strickland
by Laura Duke
Laura: How did you hear about Linden Waldorf School?
Shelby: I learned about LWS through a few different avenues. I have been a soloist up the street at Woodmont Christian for about 10 years and passed by the school when it was Linden Corner all the time. When I worked with the Symphony, LWS would visit our programs pretty often. In addition, I heard about Waldorf Education through Isabel Bartles (Julia Emahiser's sister) who plays with the Symphony. I was always impressed with how arts intensive the Waldorf curriculum is. However, the more I learn the more I see that music is just one of many layers that make up a Waldorf education. The children here are very lucky.
Laura: What about Waldorf education has inspired you?
Shelby: So many things. The first thing that popped into my mind though was something I observed during my first week here. I was visiting in a classroom and one of the students was obviously having a rough day, something to do with a disagreement at recess. The student was sitting off from the rest of the class and I remember seeing another student approach him. They just sat there and talked a bit, quietly. Then another student approached, and before I knew it there were four of them chatting and they were laughing and seemed to bring the sad student out of his bad mood. I remember thinking how remarkable it was to see a young child reach out like that. There was an obvious respect, care and concern the students had for each other. That said A LOT about what this education is teaching our children... it isn't only about the "book" learning, it was about the importance of being a good person as well.
Laura: How does this position meld with your former work?
Shelby: My background is a hodgepodge of several things. Arts educator, human resource professional, operations manager, teacher, grocery bag girl.... ok, so maybe that one doesn't tie in directly. Still, my position as School Administrator pulls from all these areas everyday.
Laura: As a fellow singer, tell me about your musical background.
Shelby: I can't remember a time that music wasn't part of my life. I started singing with my grandmother in church when I was just a couple years old. Then, in elementary school I was allowed to sing with the 5th grade chorus when I was only in 2nd grade. Boy, did I think I was hot stuff! That did it. I got bit by the performance bug. I stayed in music all through middle and high school, so it was an obvious choice for me in college. I started out as a music education major, but in my sophomore year, I saw my first opera: Gounod's Faust. It amazed me!! Art, dance, music, voice, costumes, all in one single event. I changed my major to vocal performance the next day. I completed my Bachelors in Music in vocal performance and went on to get my Masters as well. I moved to Nashville 2 weeks after graduation. Since then I have done a lot of session work, have sung with various groups around town, a couple of regional symphonies, taught private voice and currently have a position down the street at Woodmont Christian. Singing will always be a major part of my life. It keeps me sane.
Laura: And, the eternal favorite question...what is your favorite paleta flavor?
Shelby: Paleta?? I Googled it and I think I would like a Paleta and coconut would be my favorite flavor!
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