Dear Preschool Families,
On January 5, Cheri Lindsley submitted her letter of resignation as Director of First Presbyterian Church’s Preschool. Cheri’s tenure here has been marked by excellence, and this program has been a blessing to countless children and families over the years of her time. Following the notice of Cheri’s resignation, the Session (governing board) of First Presbyterian engaged in a strategic review of the Preschool in light of the overall ministry and mission of FPC. Many churches across the country have been engaged in careful discernment of ministry and mission in the past two years as the pandemic has created the need for focused review of resources of time, energy, and finances.
While the FPC Preschool has a long history, unique Reggio program, and dedicated, loving teachers, there were also a number of challenges. With Cheri’s resignation in January, no Assistant Director on staff, and the challenge of finding a new Director for a Reggio program in a short timeframe, the future of the leadership for the Preschool was very uncertain. At the same time, enrollment for the next year was getting ready to open. In addition, other challenges for the church regarding the preschool are limitations on how the church is able to use the preschool space for other ministries (which is needed as the church has outgrown other available space), issues with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, ongoing financial concerns, and the cleaning and accounting services provided by the church. These challenges contributed to the decision of the Session and we wanted to give staff and families as much notice as possible.
After careful and prayerful study and deliberation, the Session voted on Thursday evening, January 27, to close the preschool at the conclusion of the current term, effective at the end of the school day on May 13, 2022. Although it was a difficult decision, given the long history of the preschool and the excellence of its staff and curriculum, it is one the Session feels is best aligned with the ministry and mission of the church at this time in its history.
The Session felt it was imperative for all the families in the program to hear this news as soon as possible as you make your plans for the fall of 2022.
We want to reiterate that the FPC Preschool has been a wonderful school with a rich history, and Cheri has led the program with excellence. We will all grieve this closing, as is appropriate. But we also believe that every ending contains the seeds of a new beginning. Know that we will be praying for you and we ask for your prayers for the Preschool staff in this ending, that God will help us all to see the new things God will bring to pass.
Chris Joiner, on behalf of the Session of First Presbyterian Church