I had toured multiple pre-school locations, but I felt right at home with Heritage Lutheran School for MANY reasons. The staff alone is remarkable! You won’t find any better! They all have such amazing talents and interact well with each child! They are all equally amazing, and I’m so excited when each of my kids gets the chance to start with the next teacher. I will share a few of my favorite, more personal qualities each teacher holds that stood out personally for me. I am a stay at home mom and I think they could all see my anxiety and fear a mile away when I dropped off my babies, mainly for the first day of preschool with Mrs. Lehne and that big step to kindergarten with Mrs. Smith. Mrs. Lehne (preschool teacher) did an AMAZING job at seeing my fear and allowing me to do what I needed to do as a momma, to let go and say good bye. Yet she ever so gracefully knew when and how to sneak in to distract and let me sneak away. It was never forced/rushed and I never felt like I couldn’t be there if I needed to be. She has the patience of a saint and is so sweet with every single child! She encourages an environment of play and has great fun with her sensory bins, always has something fun to explore- like dinosaurs frozen in an ice block to melt!! Mrs. Kiecker (preschool teacher) has creativity like I have never seen!! The obstacle course she creates in the gym makes me want to be a kid again! She spends so much time making sure all the kids have so much fun with her unique creativity! She also runs an Art and Science/Engineering camp in the summer which my kids count down the days for. My oldest can’t wait to go and be a helper at the camps when he is old enough! They take apart and look at broken things, to understand how they work. Something my boys LOVE! The canvases from art camp decorate my kitchen walls; she too is a treasure! Mrs. Smith is the kindergarten teacher at Heritage Lutheran School. At first we hadn’t considered sending our oldest, as he would be going to public school anyway. Once we started chatting with her it was obvious that this was a no brainer! The fact that he could do half days was a big perk for us. Being a stay at home parent, it was an easier transition for us. She too, was so welcoming in her classroom. Stating that her door is always open, and you’re welcome to come in and visit. A perfect example of this is when she has eggs in the incubator. The kids are so excited to see the transition and show Mom and Dad the eggs and then the chicks. They learned so much from the process and hands on learning. I always felt like I could come in to say hello and observe. She is so easy to talk to. The small class size and focused reading in the afternoon (one to one time) will always be a benefit in our eyes. She also has a piano in her room that the children sing along with while she plays! I love being able to drop them off at the front door while a volunteer greeter makes sure they get to their classroom, and being able to keep my younger kids in their car seats, buckled in, nice and warm. Or I could choose to walk them in, to check in with their teacher whenever I felt the need. They are all ALWAYS so genuine and truly care about your family and their well-being. Before even meeting and interacting with the amazing staff, I fell in love with the gym that is available for the kids to play in multiple times a day! Priority is always given to outside play, but Minnesota weather doesn’t always allow that. If the children can’t play outside on the swings, slides, sand box or sledding hill, the gym provides endless entertainment. Often teachers set up obstacle courses, or the small slide/climbing center, play creative games, jump rope, hula hoops, basketball, scooters, bikes and DOUBLE BIKE (my kids favorite-they get to ride their friends or little sister around) to release all that energy! The teachers bring the kids outside to explore bugs and nature with the pond in the back of church, along with hunting for footprints from different animals! The library that is available to them is also a HUGE benefit! They get to listen to stories (a great volunteer opportunity) and check out books to bring home weekly. Everyone is so organized and easy to chat with. Our family even joined the church soon after our oldest started attending, and it has made our love of Heritage even stronger! (Although that is not a requirement in any way). I can’t imagine not having this school and church for our kids. I honestly would be so lost without them. My kids always ask if it is a school day because they love being there! ~ Christina Talbot