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ElMo Church School to Mark 50 Years With New Preschool-Only Program

El Montecito Presbyterian's Early School will celebrate with a grand reopening on Sept. 8.

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El Montecito Early School founding director Terry Rodenwald, left, with new director Suzy Dobreski. (El Montecito Early School photo)

After seeing its kindergarten-through-second-grade classes move out last school year, El Montecito Presbyterian Church is planning to fill its nest again with a preschool class, in time for the upcoming school year.

“We like to say that the (kindergarten-through-second-grade) class grew up and moved out,” said Annette Walters of El Montecito Early School, 1455 East Valley Road. Because of size and capacity restraints, the classes moved to the school’s upper campus, El Montecito at Canon Perdido in downtown Santa Barbara. The Canon Perdido campus and the East Valley Road campus, where the church is located, are now two separate entities, Walters said.

Meanwhile, the church is planning to start a preschool-only program, but before that, Walters said, a little refurbishing was in order.

“The changes are cosmetic,” she said. “A little repainting and recarpeting, that kind of thing.”

Three more people, including Walters and director Suzy Dobreski, have been hired by the church to become the preschool’s first faculty and administrative staff. The school, at full capacity, can take up to 50 children in five classrooms.

The grand reopening on Sept. 8 will mark the school’s 50th anniversary.

“This is 50 years of a great tradition in this area,” Walter said. “They’ve served this community for so long, and it’s a great way to be in ministry to people.”

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at [email protected]

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