Having worked in preschools for almost forty years I’ve learned to appreciate the familiar rhythm of ending one year and beginning another. I’ve become adept at letting go as children and families move on to kindergarten. Each fall as the new school year begins I enjoy the tradition of welcoming children, parents and teachers to Pacific Oaks.
I feel so fortunate to be a part of this exceptional community where teachers strive to perfect their craft and parents participate fully and enthusiastically in the lives of their children. In 1945 our founding families had an inspiring vision and today it’s our mission to keep this vision alive.
As we launch into a new school year our campus buzzes with the promise of new beginnings. Many of our returning children proudly prance down Shady Lane as they participate in this annual rite of passage. They burst with pride as they move into a new Yard like a teenager receiving their first set of car keys. Some children are a bit more apprehensive as they learn the lay of the land; but eventually everyone relaxes and enjoys the magic of a cherished childhood at Pacific Oaks. The pattern continues as the year unfolds. Following our winter break the children typically return with a sense of newfound mastery. They are taller, more confident and take full ownership of their Yard. Most adults feel overwhelmed by this sudden growth spurt yet the children seem to take it all in stride. By the end of the year the children have outgrown their space and are bursting at the seams. Most of the children are ready to move on while the adults mourn the loss of each stage of innocence. I’ve watched this cycle repeat itself for four decades; yet the thrill of each new year never diminishes.
This year we’re welcoming four new teachers to the Children’s School. Meredith Delmuro will be joining the teaching team in our Infant/Toddler Yard. Meredith has been a substitute teacher at the Children’s School since November 2011 and has a bachelors’ degree in child development from California State University Los Angeles. Eileen Malyszko Lee will begin her new assignment in Adventure Yard this fall. Eileen is a former Children’s School parent and a current student in the Marriage, Family, and Therapy department at Pacific Oaks College. Jessica Schulte and Maya Haywood will join the lineup in La Tierra Yard. Jessica recently completed her masters’ degree in child development from the Erikson Institute in Chicago. Maya has a bachelors’ degree from the University of California Santa Cruz and over 15 years of teaching experience in both public and private schools. I am proud of our stellar faculty and hold high expectations for their work with children and families in the months ahead.
I’m looking forward to the cycle of a new school year. The journey is always exciting and the friendships are beyond compare. In closing, it’s my pleasure and honor to welcome you to Pacific Oaks Children’s School.