October 01, 2023

20 years of Christian education

Joy Brown has been a preschool teacher at Trinity Lutheran School for 21 years. She recently was awarded by the National Lutheran School Association for over 20 years of service. Her service started in 2002.

“They had advertised in our church,” Brown said. “I slid it [to my husband] because we had a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old, and I circled it because I was an at home licensed home daycare provider. He smiled at me like, ‘ohhhh.’ So then I interviewed and started that fall.”

Brown is very proud of the work she does at Trinity Lutheran, explaining the variety of activities the preschool has.

“We are outdoor nature certified,” Brown said. “We are about God and Jesus. No computers in our classroom, a lot of hands on. We do a lot with the kids.”

Brown and the other preschool teachers also work with the kids to publish an annual book.

“The kids do pictures and ours is being recognized by the state level for that,” Brown said. “The children do their own design. This year was dinosaurs, so they drew pictures and talked about it, and then I sent it off to Studentreasures and they published it.”

Brown said she works hard to teach the children self-sufficiency.

“I like to teach them the basics and let them do it for themselves. You’re not going to see me doing any for them they can’t do for themselves,” Brown said.

Trinity Lutheran is licensed for up to 52 children between their three programs, starting with their program for 2.5 year olds.

Brown received her award last August during a Lutheran schools kick-off for southern Iowa.

“The first weekend of August, we have our fall kickoff,” Brown said. “It’s where everyone in the southern Iowa district get together and we have all-day training and just catching up with our colleagues.”

Brown said she’s very grateful to have the job that she has.

“We’re blessed because I get to talk about God and Jesus and the religious aspect of it. Yes, we’re getting them ready for kindergarten, but that’s my focus,” Brown said. “I don’t have to tell the children, they say we pray before we eat. And we go upstairs every Thursday for pastor time, so we go upstairs in the church so they get familiar with that.”

Brown hopes to continue in this career as long as possible.

“I’m there as long as God decides that’s the right path and career choice that I need to keep with,” Brown said. “I don’t see any ending unless it’s His choice and it’s by death. I plan on sticking around.”

Throughout the years, she has appreciated her interactions with the next generation.

“Kids are so honest,” Brown said. “The excitement that they have and we as adults, if we could only bottle that up and retain that. Their happiness, their excitement, their willingness to share and do...”

Brown said she’s very thankful for the families at Trinity Lutheran.

“We’re blessed that we have the parents and families that back us and support us, and our church family. They’ll come through if we need anything that I see is lacking,” Brown said. “We’ve been able to share concerns back and forth, whether it’s parents, whether it’s kids, and working off of that. Trying to help them with situations that maybe they’re not familiar with. Bridge that gap so they don’t have to struggle.”

Erin Henze

Originally from Wisconsin, Erin is a recent graduate from UW-Stevens Point. Outside of writing, she loves to read and travel.