Today’s Gazette.com from southern California features the 40-year anniversary of the school affiliated with the Los Altos Grace Brethren Church in Long Beach (Phil Helfer and Mike Jentes, pastors). Here is an excerpt — to read the entire article click here.
By Stephanie Minasian
It’s been 40 years since Los Altos Brethren Preschool opened its doors in Long Beach, and has maintained its mission of providing an education based on Christian values ever since.
Barbara Wille — a former kindergarten teacher — founded the preschool in 1972 after deciding that her place of worship, Los Altos Brethren Church, needed a place for youngsters to learn.
She teamed up with a group of supporters and Don Shoemaker, who was the pastor of the church during that time, to lay the groundwork to get the school started.
“The church had to give the ‘okay that they wanted to have a preschool,” Wille said. “We advertised, and set up two classes. By time school started, we had four classes.”
Wille continued to allow the school to grow, as she served as the director while teaching classes herself. By January 1973, another class was added, and the school became licensed.
“We added a kindergarten class, and maintained as just a preschool and kindergarten for a while,” she added.
The growth continued, and so did the school’s legacy, Wille said.