The young students at Incredible Years Preschool are already reaping the benefits of having Treva Paden as their new teacher, said Cathy Estes, preschool coordinator. Paden has returned to her hometown and recently joined the team as a full-time instructor.
Sunflower Diversified Services owns the preschool at 1312 Patton, Great Bend. It is open to any child.
“Treva has quite a few years of experience working with children in special education,” Estes said. “She has this calm and happy demeanor, and the ability to engage young children. The fringe benefit is her exceptional art talent, which is a real plus in teaching youngsters.”
Paden, a 1982 Great Bend High School graduate, joins Jolene Hindman, Shari Schneider and Jessica Kraisinger, program directors and teachers, in the classroom.
“These exceptional teachers are providing a safe, active and loving environment for our little ones,” Estes said. “We needed another teacher of this caliber because our enrollment is growing substantially.”
Last fall, the preschool had 23 children; this fall it started with 34 enrolled and nine on the waiting list.
“Our preschool has developed a great reputation as a result of what our students have accomplished,” Estes said, noting there are several reasons for this success. “We accept children as young as 2-and-a-half, while paying particular attention to early childhood development and specific developmental concerns. Special education is provided in the preschool as needed.”
In addition, Estes noted, the 3-and-a-half to 5 year olds are divided into two groups, with the older ones getting more accelerated pre-kindergarten instruction.
Other reasons for the success of the preschool, which opened almost three years ago, include offering scholarships on a limited basis to help families in at-risk situations, using the well-respected Itty Bitty Bookworm curriculum and providing transportation when possible.
“We can give one-on-one attention in many situations, which the kids enjoy,” Estes added. “They are offered many options for learning and play as they develop early childhood skills.”
Paden’s experience includes positions in a Texas school district, Lakewood (Ks.) Middle School and Kanopolis Middle School. She has earned several certificates from Lamar College.
“I am thrilled to be at Incredible Years,” Paden said. “It is great to work with my caring and professional colleagues and these sweet children. I am very happy to be a part of teaching children, and enjoy what I learn from them.
“My goal is to make a difference in children’s lives,” she added. “This is a great place to do that.”
Paden and the late Jerry Paden have seven children and two grandchildren; her parents are Glen and Joyce Burress of Ellinwood.