By ROBBIE EDWARDS email@example.com
---- — MT. VERNON —Nanette Ruwe, the long time owner/director of Future Kids Developmental Preschool, will be retiring at the end of the month.
"Teaching preschool has been rewarding in countless ways, but to know that parents have chosen me to be their child's first learning experience away from home is quite rewarding," said Ruwe.
The doors of the preschool have been open since January 1980, and it will continue to be a learning environment for area preschoolers even after Nan retires.
"I have been blessed to work with such wonderful children and such wonderful teachers over the past 24 1/2 years," Ruwe said.
Ruwe decided to retire from the child care business and pass the torch on to Ryann Markus, a first grade teacher at the Mt.Vernon Primary Center and Paige Miller, the sister of Markus. The two women will be the new owners/directors of the center when they officially take over at Future Kids on June 1.
"I heard about the business being for sale through my best friend because her daughter attends there," Markus said. "I immediately wanted to buy it and I called my sister and we began to talk about the possibility," Markus continued. "I didn't know how my husband would feel about it because I have been working for District 80 for over 10 years. He was very supportive. I called Ms. Nan the next morning and told her I was interested."
Ruwe feels that Markus and Miller will be a perfect fit for the preschool and says she couldn’t have picked two better people to take over.
"One of the reasons Ryann and Paige will be so wonderful is because they wear on their face the joy and anticipation of taking over Future Kids and their hearts are there," Ruwe said.
During the end of the school year family picnic at the park Ruwe was surprised with a retirement party in her honor.
Several area residents as well as past students of Ruwe's were at the celebration. Ruwe was presented with a book of memories filled with pictures and artwork made by the children.
"There has been so many people show up and even some faces I haven't seen in so long," Ruwe said.
The day was filled with laughter, stories and even some tears.
"Retirement will keep me teaching as I will be caring for my grandchild, assisting in the care of a parent and finding that place where I will volunteer some of my time to work with children," Ruwe continued .
Fender Redman, a four year old preschooler from Future Kids, said he is going to miss Ms. Nan and one of his favorite things she taught him was about planting flowers and about sharks.
"I will miss those beautiful faces coming through the door as we say our hellos, the smiles I get from something I have said or sang and the daily laughter that comes from learning and working together as a school family," Ruwe said.