Hildegard Solzbacher was a charismatic speaker, a true believer in the child-centered Montessori way of teaching. She founded Milwaukee Montessori School and New World Montessori, and trained others in the Montessori method, in which children learn at their own rate.
Despite her inspiring lectures, there was a point where students became frustrated with her.
“What do you do about discipline?” they would ask. “How do you handle a misbehaving child?”
“She would say, ‘Well, that really never happened to me,'” said Priscilla Bovee, head of New World Montessori in River Hills.
Her students could see why that was the case
“She had a beautiful way with people,” Bovee said. “And children, of course, are just smaller people.”
Solzbacher, who introduced the Montessori way to Milwaukee and trained teachers worldwide, died Jan. 25 of natural causes at Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls. She was 83.
Solzbacher grew up in Bad Honnef, a small town in Germany, the youngest of 13 children.