WESTERLY — Lauren Sposato’s students, colleagues, friends, family and “eat.playluxe” Instagram followers can happily attest that she broke a fashion record last week.

It was the day after Valentine’s Day, and Sposato, principal and homeroom teacher at Westerly Central Nursery, had achieved her goal: For the 100 days since school started in September, she has worn something different each day. It’s her way of honoring Barbara Higgins, one of the kindergarten’s founders.

“I really like dresses,” Sposato said with a smile, as the children in her care paired up to play. “It’s a great way to pay tribute to Barbara.”

Higgins worked at the school from 1970 to 2004, lived in Pocatuck and was a Central Kindergarten legend.

Known for her stylish wardrobe, Higgins is said to have worn skirts to work every day while teaching at the nursery, which has been a westerly institution for more than half a century.

“We call it the Barbara Higgins dress challenge,” says Tia Burgess, Sposato’s colleague at the nursery. “Lauren has always looked up to her… [and was impressed by the fact] She wore skirts to work every day until she retired. “

“I do look up to her and aspire to be like her,” Sposato said with a laugh. “She’s so sweet and humble and in all her pictures she’s smiling in a dress.

“She’s so cute,” she added. “I love her.”

Sposato, a married mother of two sons, Luca, 15, and Rocco, 13, said the parents of many of her students attend daycare themselves, and asked about Shea, who retired in 2004. Kings.

“They’d say things like, ‘I came here as a kid and I have such fond memories of her,'” Sposato said. “I just wish I could be remembered the same way.”

Higgins, one of the school’s original teachers, joined Karen Skelton, Linda Tompkin, Kay Perrone and Marilyn Gardner in October 1970 for the Central Baptist The first 13 children of the first phase of Xinhui Kindergarten attend classes for three mornings a week.

Higgins told The Sun in a 2010 interview: “We love what we do, especially with the kids and with each other. We really have fun.” “It’s very rewarding, especially watching the kids To progress and mature throughout the school year.”

Sposato, 42, a native New Yorker, graduated from Iona College. She earned a master’s degree from Mercy College and began her local teaching career at Westerly Public Schools.

When there was an open position at Central Baptist 13 years ago—the school was directed by Laura Beverly at the time—she was hired with Rebecca Turano ) with Joan Pagliuso.

“I love it,” said Sposato, who wore a blue and white dress. “I believe I will stay.”

Sposato, whose wife is Valenti Toyota sales manager Rocky Sposato, said the dress challenge started as a fun way to start the school year, especially after all the chaos and disruption caused by the pandemic.

Sposato documents her attire by posting selfies on her Instagram page, along with memes such as “Life is too short to wear nice clothes” and “I hope something beautiful happens today.”

At first, she said, she wasn’t sure she’d be able to last a few days, but she consulted with her encouraging best friend to see how long she could last.

As she approaches 50 dress codes, she lets her Instagram followers weigh in.

She said she wore a number of holiday-themed dresses at Christmas, which her elementary school students noticed and loved. A few days before Valentine’s Day, she found a dress with a heart pattern on it.

One day, Sposato recalls with a laugh, the mother of one of her kindergarten students put on a dress and her daughter approved.

“Her daughter said, ‘Mom, you look like Miss Lauren,'” Sposato said.

As much as she loves dresses, she loves finding them.

“I love shopping,” she laughs, “and I love shopping locally.”

Sposato said she frequents stores like Woodees Boutique in downtown Westerly, Loving Life Boutique in downtown Pocatuck, Rochelle’s in Watch Hill and local consignment stores like Deja Vu, as well as some online stores, to find her skirt.

“Overall, I can’t say enough good things about her,” Burgess said, noting that “it’s a good story.” [what] All the bad things in the world are happening. …I think she deserves recognition for all the hard work she puts in here. Work hard and wear interesting clothes. “

“I don’t know how I can stop now,” Spozato said with a laugh. “It’s fun, and who knows, maybe I’ll spark someone else’s brain.”

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