Preschool adapts to new environment


Emily Steffey

Missy Armstrong’s class does a fun activity for Halloween in the new classroom.

Emily Steffey, staff

Recently this year, the old Excel TECC wing was constructed into a new and improved preschool. The teachers say they’re slowly but surely adapting to the conditions.

Not only is the preschool renovated, the preschoolers are within a doorway from high schoolers. This has not been seen from Mayfield ever.

Missy Armstrong is a long-time Millridge Elementary School teacher, who has accepted the challenge to adapt to this new academic area.

Armstrong said, “I think we’ve adapted well. It’s definitely different from when we used to see little kindergarteners in the hallway and now we see the big high schoolers. But, the staff at the high school has been fantastic with welcoming us and making us feel a part of the high school as a whole. We really appreciated that.”

Assisting Armstrong in this change is Mary Jo LaMarca. LaMarca has also been used to a typical elementary school.

LaMarca said, “It’s always nice to be in a brand new classroom. I really do love our preschool being here. The high school being so welcoming to us has been really nice.”

With all of the new faces, the teacher and administrators seem to be learning their way around the school by assisting each other.

Armstrong said, “Our preschool is a strong team. We rely on each other a lot and I feel

like we are helping each other through the kinks and the new ideas. I would say our strong team and communication is [good]l and helps us get through everything.”

Armstrong acknowledges when coming into a unfamiliar place, everybody needs a helping hand.The teachers are not letting anyone fall alone.

LaMarca said, “We have each other’s backs. If we see someone that needs a helping hand nobody is afraid to jump in and help them out. It is nice having our school be such a tight-knit group.”

Sylke Castellarin is a former high school secretary who is now a secretary at the preschool.

Castellarin said, “It is a big difference from coming from an elementary based environment to having high schoolers in the school. We are truly on our own. It is going well but just like everything it takes time.”

The school as a whole is looking forward to seeing what the high school students can do to collaborate with the younger students, according to Castellarin.

Armstrong said, “We don’t have much interaction with them. We have some interaction with the Excel TECC education kids. Maybe in the future it will develop more.”

With all the adapting the teachers have successfully done, they’ve noticed a positive change.

Armstrong said, “I’ve heard that they’ve like the new space. The academics have been positive and increasing as well. I think that they appreciate the things that they were concerned about are being addressed.”

LaMarca said, “I think the parents are now enjoying the experience more. They are starting to get comfortable with how things go on down in the school. It is scary having their little ones down here but they are adapting well.”

The parents have gotten comfortable with the idea of having the high schoolers and preschoolers be in reach. The teachers also enjoy the new adjustment alongside the parents.

Castellarin said, “I’ve heard a lot of good things. some of which are that it’s nice to have our own space. Everything is preschool oriented and all of that is within our school.”