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Preschool director retires

Esther Kloth to be honored for her long career as the director of the Little Shepherd’s Preschool

Posted: May 18, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 18, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Esther Kloth stands near a wall exhibit which commemorates former students of Little Shepherd's Preschool. Kloth retires this year after 43 years of service to the preschool.

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On Sunday, parents, teachers, administrators and parishioners will come together at The First Presbyterian Church of Newhall to honor Esther Kloth’s long career as the director of the Little Shepherd’s Preschool.

Little Shepherd’s was opened in Santa Clarita in 1969. It is one of the oldest preschools in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Shortly after the preschool opened it doors, Kloth came aboard as a teacher’s aide in 1970. She enjoyed working with the children so much she began working to become state certified as a full-time teacher.

She continued her diligent work at the preschool and became the director in 1978. Under her direction the preschool has instituted many programs, including the Daddy and Me Day, which offers working fathers a chance to visit with their children on a Saturday, and added moral based puppet shows to many of the holiday programs.

Over the years she has tirelessly taught the young minds at Little Shepherd’s. She remained steadfast to a style of education focusing on art and music in a faith-based, non-denominational setting. Now, after nearly 43 years of service she will leave the preschool for retirement.

“It is very hard to leave,” she said, reminiscing about the many years she spent at Little Shepherd’s. “It is a wonderful place and a wonderful staff, but I will miss the children the most.”

Honoring Kloth’s commitment
Little Shepherd’s sits on the grounds of the First Presbyterian Church of Newhall. As such, the church is giving Kloth a special program during church service Sunday, followed by a retirement celebration from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The celebration will include refreshments and will feature former preschool students who will honor Kloth for her service. Cameron Smyth, also a former Little Shepherd’s student, will act as emcee of the program.

“We are saddened by her leaving,” said Bill Barnes, Pastor of First Presbyterian of Newhall. “She has done a terrific job and we can only celebrate all the lives that she has changed.”

Ask anyone and they will tell you, Kloth works hard, loves the kids and made Little Shepherd’s a unique and wonderful learning environment. This is a duty she takes seriously.

“It is very important that we prepare children to enter the world of formal education,” Kloth said.

Parents agree, Kloth has done exactly that. Drew McCreery has continued to send his children to Little Shepherd’s over the past five years. He cites the “old-generation” style of teaching and the focus on a faith-based education as some of the best features of the school.

He also commends Kloth’s commitment to helping develop children to move on to Kindergarten as the reason so many parents continue to choose the preschool.

“She has a real gentleness and strong love for all the kids,” he said. “I thank her for having a positive effect on my children, one that will last forever.”




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