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Surprise Christian Preschool-Sue Shultz

Southwest Life Podcast
Surprise Christian Preschool-Sue Shultz

Surprise Christian Preschool.

Speaker 0 00:03 Welcome to the Southwest life podcast. With your host, me Vicki, to lose you where we will talk about things to boost your health, improve your relationships, find new things to do with your family and talk with business owners in the area and more. Thanks for being here and enjoy the show.
Speaker 1 00:28 Hi guys today I have Sue Schultz with surprise Christian preschool. Um, Sue Sue has, um, a little space in my heart because she had my youngest dimples in her preschool, uh, when I had just gotten out of the hospital. So miss Sue, uh, also as she’s known to, uh, dimples, uh, is also, uh, good friends with one of my friends, Kristen, who is one of the teachers at surprise Christian preschool, which is how I actually found out about the preschool. So, Sue, would you be able to tell me a little bit about your background and family?
Speaker 2 01:07 Yeah, absolutely. Well, first of all, thank you for having me on. I really appreciate it. Um, we moved here, my family, I moved here probably almost. I think we’re at almost 15 years ago. Yeah, maybe 15 years ago from New Jersey. I’m married. I have my husband, we just celebrated 23 years. The other day. He was 20 years old and my daughter is 14 years old. She just finished eighth grade and now she’s going to be a freshman in high school next year.
Speaker 1 01:36 Oh my goodness. You are embarking on another one in high school.
Speaker 2 01:43 I know it’s a lot when it’s the youngest one. I only have two, but still it’s my baby.
Speaker 1 01:50 It is, it is. So you, you don’t have any kids in preschool, but you felt like you wanted to be in the preschool environment. So how did you, um, enter into the preschool market?
Speaker 2 02:04 I actually started when my daughter was in preschool. Um, she was in her second year of preschool and she was four and she had the class she was in at the time, had an aide that would be in there. Then after a couple of days of dropping her off for picking her up, I noticed the aide wasn’t there anymore. So on my way, I’m going to just stop and ask the director. I’ve heard, you know, office doors and glad I haven’t seen miss whatever her name was. And she said, Oh, she’s no longer here with us. Would you like a job? And I was kind of taken it back and because it was totally unexpected, I was just being curious. And uh, I think that’s how I started. Sure. She said you’d only have to work the hours that my daughter was there. That’s the only time that they needed her. So I would come with her and I’d go home. And that was 10 years ago.
Speaker 1 02:55 Oh, wow. And did your daughter adjust well to having you in the classroom or she follow you around?
Speaker 2 03:01 No, she was fine with it. It wasn’t at the point where no, it’s not my it’s my classroom. You’re not coming in mom. No, leave me alone. You’re embarrassing me. She wasn’t at that point, but she also wasn’t at the point where she just claimed to my leg. So she was really good with a lot of it. And, you know, she was kind of confused on what’s call me she, which is pretty funny, but she, she did really well on there. And that’s where I started out as the aide in her classroom when she was four years old.
Speaker 1 03:30 And how did you start a surprise Christian preschool?
Speaker 2 03:34 That started three years ago. We just finished our third year and we had gone and met. But as you mentioned, Nancy, Kristin, and then Nancy and I had met them through the other school that we were at and we roll up teaching there and we kind of, the wheel went in different directions one year. And through that year, we definitely kept in touch with each other and decided we didn’t like being home and not doing anything. So the three of us decided to open our own preschool.
Speaker 1 04:09 Oh wow. It, I, and I remember when Kristen said I’m going back to work and I’m starting as a preschool teacher. And I was like, Oh, okay. Cause I had known her for a few years. Um, she was in my mops club and my mom’s club. And so I was like, Oh wow. Okay. And I mean, I had known her with her preschooler and so I was like, wow, you can’t get away from preschoolers kids
Speaker 2 04:35 Because her youngest, I think had just graduated preschool a year in between the year that we were planning. It, I think is when her youngest was in kindergarten, she was finally free preschool. And now she’s rubbed her back in.
Speaker 1 04:56 Yeah. And she does great with that age too.
Speaker 2 04:59 She is amazing. And it’s a lot of times it’s very difficult. You, you kind of know where you need to be because some teachers know that three year old there that’s their jam. Other ones said, no, I need the four year olds, the older kids get them ready for kindergarten, as opposed to three year old teachers, which are the ones who are introducing them, introducing the kiddos to preschool, you know, the socialization to groups with other students that they don’t know who, you know, very quickly become their best friend ever. Definitely different. And Kristin definitely knows how to handle this for you very well.
Speaker 1 05:36 Yes. Um, so being around preschoolers is very fun. Uh, but it can be tiring too. How do you prepare for a year of preschool?
Speaker 2 05:47 Oh, it’s, it’s a good thing. I think for any teacher, the any age group to have, you know, the summer off to kind of mentally prepare yourself yourself, hand from one year for the next year, and you never know what you’re going to get in your classroom as a teacher, what type of personalities you’re going to have, what kind of behaviors you’re going to have, what your boy, girl splits going to be. You just have no idea of what you’re walking into that year. But aside from just, you know, the regular things that I have to do as far as, you know, the, the roster, the class sizes, the ratios, making sure we don’t go over this and making sure that if we do go over this number and we have an aide dedicated in there and you know, the eight things and the state guidelines that we have to follow, you know, I just like to make sure that the teachers have everything they need and that they know that, you know, they have everything there and they don’t have to scramble last minute as well. It was all the things cause we supply everything. So the kids don’t come in, you know, with, you know, four boxes of tissues and crayons and markers and reams of paper and all those supply lists. We’d like to provide that for our family. So it’s making sure that we have everything ready to go first, full year.
Speaker 1 07:01 Yeah. That, that sounds like a lot of work. That’s not just a one day during the summer job. That’s uh, all, all summer long.
Speaker 2 07:09 Oh, it isn’t all summer long. And that’s what I just told are the newest teacher. Sarah, I just told her today. I said, just keep your list going. And I didn’t just keep texting me items that you think you want for your classroom as far as finders or notebooks or markers or anything, because we provide all of that. And I want them, I want our family to know that it will be there for the med school. And I wanted the teachers to know that they will have what they want for their classrooms and what they need to accomplish, what they wanted, where they want to go.
Speaker 1 07:37 And I believe I had overheard you and ms. Nancy and ms. Krista and even planning a trip once to Ikea together, is that correct?
Speaker 2 07:47 Yes. That’s so much fun. We’ve done. We do one every year. So, and I just was on Ikea’s website to do our summer run this year and it’s not open yet. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed. We’ll be able to make, or Ikea run this summer before school starts. Cause we do need some items. So it’s much more fun to go than sort of just buy it online and have it shipped to me. But our first trip to Ikea was something that we should have taken a picture of, but the amount of flatbeds and shopping cart that we had, we just, we gave the cashier a heads up at the end. And I said, you know, with four flat beds and three shopping carts, Nancy and Kristen have both brought some of their kids with them. So we were all pushing something around. So,
Speaker 1 08:31 So you definitely didn’t carpool on that trip
Speaker 2 08:37 Vehicle on fun.
Speaker 1 08:39 You need walkie talkies for that, that trip over. Um, so what is the biggest thing you have struggled with when leading a preschool, other than your Ikea trips with too many cards,
Speaker 2 08:53 Too many cards and credit Carterville
Speaker 1 08:56 Yeah.
Speaker 2 08:57 Coming to credit card bill I here?
Speaker 2 09:02 Um, no, I it’s just, you know, a lot of aside from the state regulations that we have to go through and make sure that, you know, the paperwork behind the scenes that nobody really thinks about making sure that’s all taken care of the insurance, the, you know, everybody’s card, their birth certificate, you know, all the records that we need, all of, you know, making sure the teachers have everything. And you know, even the first aid kits are filled and there’s right. Signs or posting where they’re supposed to be in the kids each have a class, a mirror hung in your class, your height, you know, just those types of reservations. So we have to make sure we have it for a year then, you know, just making sure we have the, the necessary inspections. We have to have a fire inspection and a building inspection before we open every year. So getting those scheduled with the local department, things like that, just making sure that I kind of touched on before the teachers are happy and our incoming families are happy when they come to the back to school night and they finally see everything set up with your kiddos name, you know, and they’re not their kids cut and they can see that, you know, they know that we’re ready to go. So just trying to do what behind the scenes work so that it looks seamless to the parents.
Speaker 1 10:13 Yeah. It’s definitely almost a production that you’re putting on
Speaker 2 10:17 It is it’s trying to get everything ready in order. And you know, you can’t do this before you do this and we have to make sure, you know, we go around and we check all the lights, the exit emergency exit lights and the smoke detectors. We check all of them before we have the fire inspector come in so that we’re not thrown for a loop and he can just come in check, everything’s good to go. And then, you know, just signs off on the inspection day. So you don’t have to have repeat coming in and, you know, trying to reschedule things, you know, just trying to handle things as quickly and, you know, in the best manner that we can to make everything go as easily as it can.
Speaker 1 10:55 Yeah. And especially now, at this time, this, this point in the game, what has been your biggest wins?
Speaker 2 11:04 Uh, definitely the growth that we’ve had and not so much as you know, Oh, when now we have more kids, it’s just the families that we’re able to serve. And the families that we’ve met and our families are truly, truly amazing. Um, when we opened our first day of school, I think we had maybe seven or eight kids total enrolled, you know, by the end of that first school year, I think we were up around 17 kids, maybe total. And we haven’t had a complete school year. This year. We had a total total enrollment of, I think we were right at 72 40 that are graduating and going to kindergarten. I see littles that I’ve had in the past, you know, getting and getting recognized in wave ways. And it’s just, we love doing that. And you know, our staff being able to build our staff the way we have, even with the growth, we’ve had to add a couple of staff members since we’ve opened and we’ve been able to do that and they’ve jumped right in and they’ve meshed with us perfectly. And it’s just it’s then when huge blessing for us.
Speaker 1 12:14 Yeah. I felt so weird being at, um, the surprise Christian preschool. Cause I didn’t have a younger sibling to bring in after dimples. I felt like the old mom, because I had my youngest going in and I saw all these moms toting in their babies or the pregnant valleys. And I’m like, I remember being that I’m an old mom now and I’m like, huh,
Speaker 2 12:40 So many pregnant moms last year too.
Speaker 1 12:43 Were there were, you had quite the baby boom. So you’re going to hear it,
Speaker 2 12:47 Baby. Boom, 73 years. We’re going to, you know, we know where our enrollment’s coming in three years, we know where that’s coming from.
Speaker 1 12:54 You. Absolutely do you absolutely. Do. I just watch it? Well, I was watching the baby boom and I was like, Oh, I remember those days. It was so cute.
Speaker 2 13:05 I remember picking up my son at preschool being pregnant with my daughter. So I remember definitely way out of that window. I just watch everybody come in, but they’re a little bit, I’m good to go.
Speaker 1 13:18 Yeah, exactly. I was like, I, I feel old, but I am blessed that this is my last one too. Cause I’m tired. I like you guys enjoy it
Speaker 2 13:28 And being around them, like you said, it very tiring, but if there’s you way, everybody says a little more, they keep you younger. And there’s so much fun because obviously I’m not in the classrooms every day, all the time with all these kids. But I go in there and I’ll just go to the teacher and I’ll spend so much time in there just because I get so distracted and find track and you know, putting things on, you know, dressed up or helping them, you know, with a ladder or, you know, the older kids, you know, helping him write something. Cause I like to write little notes and then, you know, the four year olds like to do their role, their friends and coloring pictures and finding puzzles and doing things with cars and trains just, I have so much time with them.
Speaker 1 14:12 Yeah. Yeah. And the energy will keep you going too.
Speaker 2 14:16 Absolutely. Absolutely. I wish I had that to say, I wish I had just a sliver of the energy that their preschoolers have
Speaker 1 14:22 A little, just a little,
Speaker 2 14:24 I don’t want to have a lot of it.
Speaker 1 14:27 Um, but this year, um, uh, with COVID, um, it kind of put a kink in the preschool. Um, and I know you had to drive by with the teachers while they were driving their cars. That is, um, can you talk about your teachers who were participating in this? Um, I know you have Nancy, you have Kristen and you have, um, Sarah and you also have some assistance too.
Speaker 2 14:51 Yeah. We had so much fun this. I mean, we, we did this at the very beginning to the end of March, the very beginning of April, but April 1st or April 2nd, we were done. And I mean, it had only been two weeks since we saw that. Cause we closed for spring break and then we just never opened again, which in two weeks later we were missing that like crazy. So I sent an email to all of our families and I said, you know, we miss you guys and we’d want to come see you so eat, please respond with your address. Then you know, we’re, we’re coming to see you. So we did and we visited, I’d say probably I have the number somewhere, but I think we visited probably close to 50 of our family.
Speaker 2 15:38 We were all over all over the West Valley. We were up in sun city area all the way down to this field park and Goodyear. We were in all over surprised and we just had a ball doing that. We decorated our cars, we had noisemakers, we had kids, some of us had kids with us and we would just drive past them. And like you said, I was there, Kristen, Nancy, miss Sarah, and then ms. Shannon and ms. Natalie were able to come with us as well. So we had a good four, five, five, six cars. I’m not sure how many that is there. You know, honking our home in our forms and waving things now is out the window, you know, little flappers and noisemakers, our cars decorated. And we, we had a ball doing it. We had so much fun.
Speaker 1 16:33 That’s awesome. I’m sure it brought a lot of smiles to the kids’ faces because you know, their whole schedule was turned like completely off and they probably thought I’m going back and then what what’s going on.
Speaker 2 16:48 Exactly. And it was good, so good to see them. And they were so excited. And then of course they were always the couple that, you know, stood there and didn’t know what to make of it. You know, why might teachers stand? You know, why she honked her horn at me, from her from, you know, why am I driving Fe and why am I not at school? So we’ve had some that were definitely perplexed, but then other ones who just didn’t miss a beat and just started, you know, in the middle of the story that they left off three weeks before. So, you know, just like it was just a regular day that we were out visiting, not equate, you know, drive by chit chat, you know, cause we didn’t destroy. We all stopped. We all yelled at our windows. We were talking to them. Some of them were taking pictures of us videos and things. So we hung out at each Casper a minute or two before we all left. So I mean the kids didn’t quite variety of different different actions.
Speaker 1 17:38 Yeah. Yeah. I’m sure like maybe the littler ones were kind of a little bit unsure or maybe they were just very excited that there’s a bunch of cars driving by their house. Cause I mean, no, no one drives by my house. So it’s very exciting when anyone jumps, Oh, that kids are always out there waving. It’s very interesting to see who’s driving by.
Speaker 2 17:58 We had a bunch of neighbors come out of their doors, you know, kind of like what’s going on out here, you know what, that’s all the honking and you know, so we had some neighbors and they were all waving at us too. So we just picked whoever, but now they get calmed down and waved at
Speaker 1 18:13 As long as they’re not whistled at too much. Right. Cause from the preschool teachers,
Speaker 2 18:19 No, no calling the police on us please.
Speaker 1 18:21 Yeah. Just a bunch of rowdy preschool teachers up to no good
Speaker 2 18:27 Teachers out without their kids.
Speaker 1 18:31 Well, is there anything else you’d like to let us know about?
Speaker 2 18:36 Um, I don’t know. I mean, we just, it’s definitely being, you know, in, and that whole preschool element, you know, being the director of a school or a teacher in the school, either school. I mean, we all definitely do what we do because we love it. And then you have to have a lot of energy. You have to be maybe, you know, a little, you know, I don’t know what the right word is to describe, you know, somebody who’s, you know, who loves teaching preschool, you know, like that, you know, the teachers, the staff that we have do it because we want to do it. This is what we want to do. Nobody’s there, you know, you hear like typical jobs that, you know, call centers or something that people just take a job because I need the money, everybody in our school, we do it because we want to be there.
Speaker 2 19:23 We want to do it so that I know means that means a lot to me as the director, who’s kind of mostly in charge of this, you know, but it’s definitely everything we do is a team effort to Fred Christian preschool and just being able to offer a family, you know, the flexibility that we can, you know, with us, with teachers trying to make, you know, flexible, random, cause we all have our own families. And then also being able to be flexible for our families, you know, alternating schedule different days, moving kids from one class to another one scheduled to another schedule thing. You know, we like being able to be responsible for ourselves and take ownership of it that way and do as much as we can to help everybody out, you know, our staff, our families, our kiddos, you know, whoever we need, you know, whatever, whatever we can do.
Speaker 1 20:13 That’s awesome. Well, uh, you know, we had an excellent time, um, when we were part of a surprise Christian preschool. And so if you’re considering your preschool and the surprise area, I highly recommend it. Uh, I know dimples, uh, misses it still to this day. So, uh, you know, for a little kid to remember his preschool experience, even almost, you know, a year and a half, two years down the line, he’s like, Oh, can I go back there? That’s fun. We actually did a drive by of it. The other, um, like, uh, about a month ago he’s like, Oh, can we drive by and see what they’ve done to the parking lot? And so he saw the new place skate too, that you guys and the shade.
Speaker 2 20:55 Yeah. We have new playground put in like a little shade structures and we actually have a new toy. That’s actually still sitting in my garage that we’re going to put up new place fracture out there too, for them, a lot of groups this past year in a new playground with part of it, with the new classroom. And then now with the new playground as well.
Speaker 1 21:13 Yeah. He was very excited to see that and he wanted to go play and I’m like, well it was during the lockdown. So we were just kinda driving anywhere to go for a drive. And he’s like, I want to go drive by my old preschool. So we did so
Speaker 2 21:27 Visits from our graduated kiddos. So anytime you want to bring him by, we would love to see,
Speaker 1 21:35 Unfortunately you wouldn’t have loved to see him then because no one was there.
Speaker 2 21:39 Yeah. Nobody was there and nobody was allowed to come within six feet of each other. See it from the car is again part of our dry bye.
Speaker 1 21:46 Yes, exactly. I am. Yeah. And no one was even close to the parking lot. I don’t think even anyone was walking at that point because no one was going anywhere. We were just going for a drive because we had nothing else to do.
Speaker 2 21:59 Can do something. So the car will go for a ride.
Speaker 1 22:02 Yeah, exactly. So this is also their new playground looks amazing as well. So if that’s, what, if that’s what your kid wants to decide on where to go to preschool. That is also a great thing there. Playgrounds is, is dimples approved.
Speaker 2 22:18 Well, the proof playground is perfect. The only recommendation we need.
Speaker 1 22:23 Exactly. Well, thank you so much. Um, and uh, if you, uh, put every, uh, thing that you might need to, uh, connect with surprise Christian preschool in the show notes. So thanks again, Sue.
Speaker 2 22:36 No problem. Thank you so much for having me.

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