(Mrs. Owens knighting Grade 4 students during their final Medieval Banquet.)
From a Beloved PSS Teacher and New PSS Mom …
It was September 8, my son Liam’s first day of Pre-K and his first day attending Park Street School. At 3:00 PM, I parked outside of the Preschool, eager to hear all about his first day! To my dismay, when he got in the car, he began to sob! His tears continued to fall as we drove home. After a lot of questioning and cajoling, Liam finally let out an exasperated cry… “Mama, WHY did you have to come and get me!? Why couldn’t I stay!! And did you know that some kids go to school on Fridays!? Why can’t I go on Fridays, too!?”
I shouldn’t be surprised at all that his tears were all because he had such a WONDERFUL day, and he didn’t want to leave!
I was in my early twenties in 2010 when I started working at Park Street School. I left my family and home in rural Connecticut and moved to a city where I barely knew anyone to work at Park Street School. While it was an exciting adventure to embark on, I was terrified.
He is part of a community where he feels seen, loved, cared for, known, included, valued, and challenged.
What I didn’t expect was to find a home and a family at Park Street School. I didn’t expect to find a community that embraced me and loved me like family. I found a community that would come to the hospital with me when there was a family emergency. A community that made meals for me in hard times. A community who prayed for me. And a community that cared for me deeply, as both a teacher and a person. And the staff, parents, students, and families at Park Street became an extended family. It’s this community that has kept me working at Park Street for 13 years, even returning after having two of my own children.
But during those 13 years, I longed for when I might have my own child to send to Park Street School. I couldn’t think of a better place for my children to grow and learn! And this year, it finally happened. I finally got to experience Park Street School as a parent as my son Liam started in Pre-K. And you know what? His experience has been just like mine. He is part of a community where he feels seen, loved, cared for, known, included, valued, and challenged.
(Liam with Ms. Tracy Bradley during his Pre-K visit to the Elementary School.)
In the first few weeks of school, I would bump into my colleagues who teach him and hear little anecdotes about Liam’s day. I could tell from what they shared that he was fully known and deeply loved, just as I have been for 13 years. He comes home every day bursting with stories of all he did. Whether it’s a story about a silly dance his teacher did, details of the Van Gogh painting he got to paint, a Science experiment he got to do, or his special job as the prayer leader, he never ceases to talk about his day with a huge smile.
Park Street School is family. It’s a place you are known, you are loved, and you are valued. It’s a community my whole family is honored to be a part of. I couldn’t be happier that my own child has found his second family, just as I have.
— Naomi Owens, mom of Liam, PSS Pre-K (PSS Class of 2030)