Committee submits five names to board for new early childhood center

Five names for the Mehlville School District’s new early childhood center were submitted to the Board of Edu-cation by a district-level screening committee.

Board members last week decided to name the new build-ing the John Cary Early Childhood Center.

The committee, under the direction of Kathie Fuchs, early childhood director, met Nov. 10 to select the five names. The names and background information submitted to the board were:

The Mehlville Early Childhood Center

“Simplicity is best.” The name represents the district in which the new center will be housed. It was suggested that it is best to associate the name of the building with the district.

The John Cary Early Childhood Center

It is appropriate to name the center where small children begin their exciting educational journey after a man whose tenure in the Mehlville School District always put kids first.

When asked about a retirement gift, John Cary requested not a personal item for himself but something for the district. The committee chose a bronze sculpture of children sitting on a bench reading to small children. The bench is to be placed at the new Early Childhood Center.

This statue, like the picture in his office showing him on one knee presenting a diploma to a special needs preschooler, demonstrated his love for all students early child-hood through high school. “Those who know him will remember his great pride in the district, its employees, parents and citizens who make it work, his understanding and sympathetic ears, his honesty and fairness to everyone, his tactfulness in difficult situations, his wise but never overbearing demeanor and his deep respect with which he is held by all.”

The Gladine Liner Early Childhood Center

The name Gladine Liner is synonymous with Mehlville early childhood. Gladine served as the first elementary counselor for five years, a kindergarten teacher for 16 years and as the director of the Early Childhood Center for nine years. Highlights of Gladine’s career include: co-facilitating the “Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten” packet program; working diligently at the state department as a forerunner to the now International Parents and Teachers Program; lobbying for state funds to establish the first early childhood special education classrooms in Mehlville.

Gladine has always been a champion of the young child. She was instrumental in promoting educators and legislators to recognize and acknowledge the importance of early childhood education. At the age of 82, Gladine remains active in our community, volunteers at Feed My People, teaches training classes for nannies at a local community college and serves as a mentor to all she meets. “People like Gladine are born, not trained. They work to improve their corner of the world, possess the courage to do the right thing, have strength to persevere, and those around them are enriched.”

The Jackie Reese Early Childhood Center

Jackie Reese was a hard-working diagnostician and early childhood counselor who “worked tirelessly for Mehl-ville’s little students right up to her retirement and her hard fought battle with cancer.”

The Jim Schibig Early Childhood Center

Jim Schibig worked in the Mehlville School District for 25 years, his last 15 years as principal at Beasley Elemen-tary. Because the Early Childhood Center will be housed on the Beasley property, it is logical that his name be attached to the building He is respected in the community as an educator by parents, staff and students “He is the kind of man that you can look up to and you hope that you can emulate.”