Wellington is thrilled to announce that Shelley Brown P ’32 ’33 ’37 will serve as the new head of Early Childhood and Lower School (ECLS). Equipped with a breadth of independent school teaching and administrative experience, Brown is uniquely positioned for success at Wellington. Brown has been a classroom teacher in a variety of independent schools, including Wellington, and has served as the director of the Wellington Summer Program, assistant division head of ECLS, and most recently as the head of our Early Childhood program.
A graduate of Miami University and DePaul University, where she earned an M.A. in school administration and supervision, Brown developed a passion for education as a child. “I would often pretend to be a teacher at home, and I had an entire school set up in my bedroom,” Brown said. “My twin sister endured many hours of being my student and practicing her handwriting and math facts.” After 20 years of early childhood and lower school experience, including 10 years at a progressive independent school outside Chicago, Brown was drawn to Wellington because it celebrates individuality and inspires excellence.
Brown is enthused to lead a combined Early Childhood and Lower School. While a three-year-old and fourth grade student are different, Brown sees value in one division that shares a guiding philosophy: student-centered, hands-on learning, with a focus on building a strong foundation for academic success. Not only will this benefit ECLS students and families, but it will also create well-rounded learners who are socially and academically ready for middle and upper school.
Brown embodies the Wellington spirit of community, facilitating community-building moments for students and fostering parent involvement in students’ educational journeys. She places utmost importance on opportunities to get to know students and families, from weekly town hall meetings to celebrate birthdays and enable division-wide conversations about shared values to phone calls to families to share special moments in the dining room or inviting a family to school to chat more about what a child may need to be successful in the classroom. “I truly believe that everything else stands on a strong relationship and learning happens in a place where all stakeholders feel seen and heard,” Brown said.
As an administrator, Brown is always focused on the student experience. For her first year as head of ECLS, she has big plans – introducing LEAP days in the Lower School, restructuring special areas to ensure students and faculty have time to complete larger, more in-depth projects, and reimagining some of the programming elements that were changed due to the pandemic.
Under Brown’s guidance Wellington faculty, students, and families will have invaluable support and encouragement as they find their purpose and realize their potential.