Starting a voluntary pre-k program for 20 youngsters may seem a daunting task to most. Not so for Ms. Peggy Totten, who readily accepted the challenge and now ten months later watched as 20 youngsters dressed in little caps and gowns came down the aisle. Assisting Ms. Peggy with the class was Ms. Monica Fernandez. Monica is from Spain and has taught Spanish for six years. The children sang songs and hugged Ms. Peggy and Ms. Monica as they received their graduation certificates.
The graduating students: Jereslyn Andrade Lerma, Vania Antonio Carrillo, Noelani Diaz Gutierrez, Stephanie Escobedo, Eli Fernandez, Mateo Fernandez Nadler, Angelin Gomez-Benitiz, Elizabeth Hobbs, Autumn Leithauser, Ryan Leithauser, Ixel Lucero-Marines, Alex Macko, Alexis Popick, Yuraima Sanchez,Jose Raul Quijada Santos, Andrew Rodriguez, Ginger Roloff, Jackson Rose, Helen Totten and Jacob Watt.
Ms. Monica spoke in Spanish to the parents, thanking them for sharing their children. Peggy translated and echoed their appreciation adding, “Ms. Monica and I are going to miss our beautiful students! They showed so much growth over the year and are most definitely ready for kindergarten.”
Peggy also recognized the volunteers that made this monumental first year program a success. Special thanks to the volunteers: Karin, Debbie and Susan. Everyone at St. Mark’s who made the year possible; also Shirley Woolaway, Linda Freund and Wendy Happney. Tuesday readers, Father Kyle and Captain Jack (Patterson); and the women who made the gowns for the graduates: Lorraine Corr, MarianRisch, Linda Freund, Barbara De Bauge, Janet Moll, Rosellen Warner, and Cheryl Mueller.
Peggy commented on the evening. “We had a spectacular first year! I was prepared for a lot of bumps in the road but it was very smooth. We’ve had a lot of support from the parents of our children. They were very hands-on with their children’s learning and continued to work with them at home with any concepts that were taught at school. The members of St. Mark’s were also very supportive and we had some dedicated volunteers. The local Kiwanis Club recently donated money to purchase a new listening station and other equipment for the classroom.”
Next year’s enrollment is full and a waiting list has been started. They hope to expand in 2013.