Sitting down to write about the end of this journey, knowing that it's really just the beginning! Besides the birth of my two children and the exhaustingly beautiful reality of parenthood, I can say with absolute certainty, I've never worked so hard in my life! At times, I found myself learning about things that I had little interest in (the legal size of compact parking spaces, how to install a garbage disposal...). But for the most part, I've been having an incredible journey.

I've had this vision, for a long time. Close friends used to patiently listen to my ramblings of opening schools with outdoor programs, project based learning, and a dedication to excellent teaching quality. My dreams were huge and I've met many of them. For that I am humbled and inspired by what can come out of dedication, passion and connecting with the right people.

The right people: It started with Sandor Kovaks and Joy Smith, the Owners of Santa Cruz Dance Company giving us a moment of their time to hear how we'd love to use their building. I didn't realize at the time what an asset the relationship with our landlords would become! They introduced me to Ellice Apostolos, one of our Site Supervisors. Ellice has been nothing less than an incredible partner in this adventure. Her work with families and teachers is more than admirable. She introduced me to Michele Chaney, our other site supervisor. Michele's work ethic and dedication to extraordinary staff, physical space, and families is astounding. And, despite the many road blocks created by our County, many folks there were very strong advocates for our project, Travis Rieber, Laura Brinson, and Tony Falcone! Lastly, and most importantly, my family showed me exactly what it means to be unconditionally supportive. My husband, Gus, works as a full time third grade teacher and would come home to give support wherever it was needed, dinner, building sandboxes, taking the children to swim lessons, and so much more. My in-laws, Bob and Sarah Balla, after ten years in their family, this last year showed me that we are so truly loved. My parents, John and Kay Bargmann, have the faith and dedication to my ideas that was often put to the test. I can only hope that I am as confident in my own children's choices as they grow. And finally, the support of the families enrolled in our home-based preschool; you're children felt like part of our family, we will always honor the days you chose us as your baby's childcare. I am a stronger woman, mother, and wife because of the beautiful relationships built here in our community. Thank you!