Public education received a nice shot in the arm this week as we tallied the results of the . Mary Morrisson Elmentary School came out on top with 125 votes and many great comments.
It was a close race after , with Bright Horizons receiving strong early support. A surge from Mary Morrisson supporters put that school on top by the time voting ended Friday at 9 a.m.
On Friday, Mary Morrisson preschool teacher Susan Chmielewski and her two paraprofessionals (Mrs. Purcell and Mrs. Grills) were outside playing with the afternoon class when Patch stopped by for some photos.
Chmielewski is one of two preschool teachers at Mary Morrisson, and she has been teaching that class there for 19 years (she has been teaching for 27 years). There are six integrated preschools in Groton, which are made up of half special-needs students, and half "typical peers."
"All the teachers are wonderful," she said. "We have a phenomenal program. We have all the technology (that the elementary schools have), the children get gym, art, music and library." Students also receive extra services like speech therapy if needed.
"When they go to kindergarten they have every skill they need to be successful."
The class for 3- and 4-year-olds meets half-days, Monday through Friday. There are two sessions per day.
Chmielewski became emotional when she talked about the support that her students' families (current and past) showed for her and the school in the Patch poll and comments section.
"I am honored," she said. "Just that they care for us as much as we care for them. We really do love these kids. We are a military, and these parents are young, and they are serving their country. I have so much respect for these parents, I'm so honored to work with military families."
The schools that were included in the poll based on reader nominations were:
Final results were: Mary Morrisson, 125 votes; Bright Horizons, 67 votes; Stepping Stones, 39 votes; St. Andrew's, 11; and Happy Time, 9.
Check Patch Monday for the next Readers' Choice - where do you go in town for the best corned beef and cabbage?