Mothers’ Day Out Preschool
Celebrates 25 Years
Mothers’ Day Out Preschool of Immanuel Lutheran Church began in September of 1983 as a one-day-a-week early childhood program for 2 to 4 year olds. Immanuel member Dorian Atwood decided there was enough interest in the church and in the community to at least look at the possibility of starting a Christian preschool program. Dorian worked closely with other church members and Pastor John Sattler, the pastor of Immanuel at the time. The congregation gave its approval to open a preschool and after many donations of money and toys, Dorian spent many hours researching and speaking with state education officials, the state fire marshal, and DHS personnel. It was then time to hire staff. That proved to be the easy part.
The first teacher was Becky Orr. Becky was a member of Immanuel and had just moved to Fairfield with husband Steve, and her two small children, Jonathan & Hannah. Becky, a state-certified teacher, brought several years of teaching experience with her as well as a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Her teaching assistants were Cindy (Adam) Scearcy, Charlotte Peck and Marcia Holst, all members of Immanuel Lutheran.
Since that first year, the preschool program has gone through some changes. After the first year (1983-84) two-year olds were no longer accepted into the program. It became a program for threes, fours, and fives only. In 1985, the program expanded to an afternoon class.
In 1987, teacher Becky Orr moved out of the area and the search was on for a new teacher. Vicki Eastburn, husband David, and sons Benjamin, Samuel, and Timothy were brand new members of Immanuel. Vicki had already agreed to be a teacher assistant for the upcoming year; but with Becky moving, the need changed. Vicki, also a state certified elementary teacher, was asked to step in as the lead teacher of Mothers Day Out Preschool, which had now grown to four classes. Although hesitant at first, Vicki agreed to teach. New teacher assistants were also needed so Sue Kientz and Grace Bogaards joined Marcia Holst as preschool staff members.
In 1989, Pam Engbrecht joined the staff as a teacher assistant when Grace stepped down. The years that followed saw a few more changes as Karen Schewe, Christe Lamansky, Julia Hafner and Peggy Mottet (all members of Immanuel) joined the staff at various times. The position of “enrollment chairman” has been filled by Marcia Holst, Karen Swanson, Laura Kaska & Elisa Kretz at different times throughout MDO’s history. One non-member of Immanuel was hired for one year, Mrs. Teresa Richard, when MDO had a need for a temporary teacher’s aide.
In 1998, a new need came to be realized. Parents of our preschoolers were voicing their desire for a program geared for children with later birthdays; something a little more academic than a typical preschool curriculum. Parents also appreciated the quality Christian environment in which their children were learning & growing. So Immanuel Lutheran Pre-Kindergarten was born. The Pre-K serves children who turn 5 years old by November 1. Vicki Eastburn & Pam Engbrecht teach this class each afternoon using the Abeka Curriculum. Peggy Mottet is the computer resource teacher and Pastor Brase serves as spiritual advisor and has worship time with the children each week.
What started as a big dream 25 years ago, has become a huge reality for this small church and for the Fairfield community. We believe God has enabled us to grow, change, and continue by placing the right people at the right time where they need to be. We give Him all the credit!
The MDO staff would like to take this opportunity to also say “THANK YOU” to Immanuel for your support throughout our first 25 years! What a blessing YOU have been to us!
Current staff members include:
Grace Bogaards - Administrator
Peggy Mottet - Treasurer
Corinne Brase - Secretary/Substitute
Vicki Eastburn - Lead teacher/Director
Pam Engbrecht - Assistant Teacher
Peggy Mottet - Assistant Teacher
Elisa Kretz - Enrollment Chairman
Jen McLain - Records/Files Manager
Pastor Mark Brase - Spiritual Advisor