Hope Nursery School celebrates 50 years
Hope Nursery School is celebrating their 50th anniversary of operation this year.
The nursery school is located at Hope Church on Flexer Avenue in Salisbury Township. The preschool has been running in the township since 1962 and holds classes for children ages two through four. Originally having only around 10 children in the school, they have now grown to having over 150 students enrolled each year.
Hope Church Nursery School helps educate young children, preparing them for kindergarten and grade school. The curriculum includes outdoor activities, field trips, and a focus on art, music and movement.
During the first years of the school the director was Ruth Holben, who was also a teacher.
Holben's husband, Donald, was also very active with the nursery school.
The 50th anniversary bulletin was even designed by Holben in 1968, who was affectionately known as Grandma Holden.
Teachers during the first years were Roberta Howard Keiser, Barbara Somers and Hope Geary. Somers, who was with Hope over 33 years, loved to teach the students about nature.
Jean Fehnel was in charge of the finance and registration department.
Holben continued her presence in the nursery school even after her retirement by bringing books and stories to the preschool for the children.
Meg Olejak served as director for one year before the current director, Holly Martin. Martin came to the school in 1984 and became director in 1990.
Past teachers within Hope Nursery School include Pat Walters, Jae Roney, Bev Kistler, Ann Ferrera, Rosemary Holden, Mary Birkhead, Karen Kennedy, Denise Warth, Maureen Kunz, Nell Sokalski, Linda Davis, Meg Olejak, Kathy Jennings, Donita Marze, Kathy Brewster and Ann Ruhl.
Ruhl currently is still involved with Hope through computer work and substituting.
Current teachers include Linda Bagzis, Lorraine Bradley, Rose Newcomer, Regina Lewullis, Nina Pauloski, Marie Hagan-Pettijohn, Ingrid Klicker, Ellen Switzer, Melissa Stahley and Stephanie Dill. The assistant director is Mary Jane Brochu and Sharon Billington is the office assistant.
Cara Steidel, one of the first preschoolers of the school, is involved as the financial advisor.
A 50th year celebration was recognized during the church service held this past April. Past and present teachers were recognized and the preschoolers of Hope sang three songs during the service.
Teacher Education Coordinator from Lehigh Carbon Community College, Melanie Wursta, presented the nursery school with a certificate in recognition of Hope's dedication and academic excellence over the past 50 years.
Hope Church Nursery School is very proud of their continued success throughout Salisbury.