PIERCETON — Although moving to Pierceton was not originally a part of her plan, Connie Anderson moved to the small town when she got married 34 years ago and has since become a highly respected member of the community. She even won Pierceton’s Citizen of the Year award this year.
Anderson grew up in Warsaw and graduated from Warsaw Community High School. She then went on to graduate from Grace College, working at various position at libraries throughout her high school and college education. From a young age she knew she wanted to be a teacher and has since combined her two aspirations.
Anderson is currently the assistant library director at Pierceton Public Library. This position involves doing anything that needs to be done around the library including shelving books, checking out books, organizing and cleaning. She is in charge of ordering new books for the library and then processing them once they come in. She also assists with the summer reading program. Sometimes, Anderson mentioned, part of the job is simply listening to the library patrons who come in and just need to talk.
When she moved to Pierceton Anderson took a position as an elementary school teacher. Before long a job at Pierceton Presbyterian Church opened up for a preschool teacher. Although she originally had some reservations, others convinced her she would be great at it. She has now been the preschool director and teacher for the last 16 years and admitted it finally “feels like I found my niche.” While the programs have evolved quite a bit since she has been there, she has enjoyed her job since day one. There are now two programs at the church: preschool and a 3-year-old program.
This year Anderson has 22 children in her preschool class, a bit more than normal, and 14 children in her 3-year-old class. Each class reads Bible stories each day, does various crafts, works on recognizing numbers, shapes, colors and helps to work on decision making skills by choosing juice or water. One of the students’ favorite days is their annual pirate day in the spring. However, currently, they are busy working on crafts making gingerbread men, angels, Christmas trees and Santa Claus. The kids will even put on a Christmas program as part of a family night.
Commenting on all 16 years of students, Anderson stated “they are my kids.” She enjoys watching them as they grow in the community and when they stop by to visit long after their preschool days are over.
Since the preschool and 3-year-old class only runs from September through May, Anderson enjoys yearly month-long visits from her grandchildren who live in California and sharing time with them with the other grandparents in the area. Although she has little free time to relax she appreciates the simple things in life such as reading, watching television, spending time with family, going out to dinner with her husband and using Facetime to see her family even when they are across the country.