Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, M.S. SpEd
Sue Beaty has been a presence at Fulton Preschool Association in Fulton, Missouri since 1991. After more than two decades, the dedicated preschool teacher decided it was time to retire.
Beaty was a graduate of the University of Missouri. After college, she moved to New York with her husband where she taught third grade for four years before the couple started a family. They moved to Fulton in 1983 and Beaty enrolled her children at Fulton Preschool at that time. The school was founded in 1938 and followed the parent cooperative model, which meant that the school was basically maintained by the parents of its students.
Beaty took her responsibility to the school seriously and joined the board of directors. In 1991 she began to teach the four-year-old class, enjoying the truthfulness she found in the young. “They’ll tell you the way it is,” she said.
Beaty’s college sorority sister, longtime friend and fellow Fulton staff member Sandy McDaniel called Beaty a natural teacher who always kept calm. Jonna Neterer, Fulton Preschool’s administrator, said that Beaty was an animated teacher who knew how to keep the kid’s attention without overwhelming them.
Some of Beaty’s students have grown up and brought their own children to the school to be taught by Beaty. Even though the education system has changed a lot since 1991, Beaty said that kids haven’t. “Kids are still just little kids,” she said.
Beaty plans on stepping up her volunteer effort during her retirement. In the past she had been involved with soup kitchens, the church and Meals on Wheels. She has a bucket list that she wants to start working on which includes organizing a closet full of photos. She also looks forward to spending more time with her children and grandchildren.