Making Connections Monday: Meet Marley, First Grade Welder from Alton Elementary! #IChooseBrenham #AESwired

Photo credit Ashley Jones Lonsert
When Marley Lonsert, first grader at Alton Elementary School, came home with a big idea for a STEM Night recycling project, her mother Ashley was not too keen on the plan. With a little help from her father Benjamin, Marley was able to convince her mother that she was ready to don a welding hood and strike an arc.

A Safety Representative for Valmont and an experienced welder, Benjamin spent time going over safety guidelines with Marley before beginning the project. “She picked up welding immediately,” he said. After rolling and duct taping the sleeves of her protective shirt and fitting her with a welding cap, Benjamin let Marley get to work constructing her recycled flower. “It was one of my proudest days. Seeing the light bulb. Seeing the joy on her face in creating,” he said.

Marley has not always been this excited to participate in school, however. Having recently transferred from another school, Marley and her parents are discovering that Alton Elementary School is the perfect fit. Her mother shared, “On the first day, everyone was so welcoming and so nice. She is so happy. We love this school.” Benjamin added, “I found that the acceptance at Alton is overwhelming. You can be happy here. You don’t have to fit into the everyday social constructs to have friends.”

Marley loves art and this project was not the first sign of her talent. Katie Elledge, Marley’s first grade teacher, said, “She’s creative in every aspect. Her writing is always her own and I can’t keep her out of the library!”

Thanks to creative and supportive parents and the perfect school environment, the sky is the limit for Marley Lonsert. When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Marley replied, “a teacher, like Miss Elledge.”