Trinity UM Preschool celebrating 25 years

Trinity Preschool teacher Penny Allen leads students in an art project. Students are (clockwise beginning left of Allen) Corbyn Bonbrake, Ethan Sieberns, Aiden Stallsmith, Dalton Newcomb, Makayla Elzey, Jacey Stephens, Andrew Lopshire and Skyler Miller. Photo provided.

Trinity United Methodist Preschool is celebrating 25 years of serving young minds in Huntington.

In celebration of the milestone, the preschool staff will host an open house on Sunday, April 28, at 10 a.m.

The classroom will be open and pictures and scrapbooks from past years will be on display. Refreshments will be served in the church's Ball Lounge.

The preschool was the brainchild of Rev. Lamar Imes, then the pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church, who believed that unfinished space on the church's first floor could be used to serve the young families of the congregation. He had served at churches in Goshen and South Bend that operated preschools, and found widespread support among Trinity's membership to offer a preschool in Huntington.

Church trustees worked with congregation member Jan Perkins, who had operated a nursery school in her home, to help plan the renovation of the space - previously used to store pickles sold by the church's youth group - as a preschool.

The 1,250-square foot space had been built as part of a 1981 addition but left unfinished.

Perkins acted as the preschool's first teacher, curriculum director and construction consultant.

Dick Mann and Jack Oberholtzer led a task force charged with overseeing the project, depending on volunteer labor and donations to construct the preschool space.

A major gift, in the amount of $10,000, came from church member Dr. R.D. "Doc" Hafner in memory of his late wife, Wanda.

As the preschool opened in August of 1988 and enrollment exceeded the 12 students initially expected, Cheryl Greene joined Perkins on the teaching staff.

The current staff has a combined total of 36 years teaching at the Trinity preschool. Linda Grossman began teaching in 1998 and took over the director's role when Greene retired in 1998. Becky Fisher joined the staff in 2000, with Penny Allen following in 2005.

Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 530 Guilford St., Huntington.