Jean Roberts IMG 3450 Cropped

Jean Roberts: The Right Attitude for the Job

Hidden away in LVCC’s Administration office is the Fiscal Department. Although the staff does not have direct contact with the children, they are an essential component in LVCC’s daily operations. A valuable member of this team until her retirement in late 2019 included Accounting Assistant Jean Roberts.

For nine years, Jean came to work with a smile. Her humorous, pleasant personality made her well liked in the office. Her co-workers respected her and found her very easy to work with.

“It’s nice coming to work every morning to people you enjoy working with. It’s important to like everyone. And sometimes there’s donuts in the kitchen,” she joked.

A large portion of Jean’s job consisted of gathering data and creating monthly financial reports. With these reports, LVCC kept track of how many children were enrolled. LVCC could have over 1,300 children attending on any given day.

One surprising aspect of Jean’s job responsibilities included bookkeeping, budgets and bill payments for Alliance Hall. Alliance Hall is a nonprofit cooperative on 6th and Chew Streets in Allentown. The building houses multiple nonprofit organizations, including LVCC’s Judith Chase Early Learning Center.

“I was glad that I went back to get my degree, even though I was in my forties,” Jean said. “The more education you have, the better in this particular part of the [accounting] field. Nowadays, I think you need a lot more [education].”

Jean advocated for taking notes and kept the notebook that she brought to the first day of work. For those first entering the workforce, she left some great advice.

“Work as a team and try to get along with everyone. Help each other out. Not everybody works the same,” Jean said. Give yourself time to acclimate. Try to learn all the aspects of your job. You can’t just come in and expect things to go smoothly right from the start.”

By the time Jean started working for LVCC, her children were grown and no longer living at home. Working part-time made work/life balance less difficult. She made sure that she would be off or home early enough on Fridays to see her grandchildren get off the bus.

“That’s one thing I’ll never regret—taking that time to be with my grandchildren,” Jean said.

After retirement, Jean looks forward to spending more time with her children and grandchildren. She wants to lounge at her daughter’s pool in the summer and vacation in the Poconos. On her bucket list of travels may be a visit to Europe once her husband of 44 years retires. Jean hopes to take a long, overdue road trip with her sisters to see more of the United States. She also plans to travel to Maui to visit her son more often. Can we stow away in Jean’s suitcase?

Makani 'olu'olu e kai malie on your journey, Jean Roberts!

Pat Crowley IMG 2896 Cropped

Pat Crowley: 50 Years of Dedication to Children

When Pat Crowley, center director of LVCC at Spring Garden Early Learning Center in Easton, first began her career with the former Spring Garden Children’s Center in 1970, the early education and childcare field looked much different.

Caring for children in a group setting went by names like nursery school and daycare. A typical nursery school experience lasted only two or three hours per day. Prior to the days of smaller teacher-child ratios, a classroom size could be as large as 30 children led by two teachers.

In the 1970’s, more women entered or re-entered the workforce. They needed a safe place to bring their children while they worked. Subsidized childcare became available and Spring Garden was at capacity.

“Spring Garden was one of only a handful of nursery schools in the town of Easton in 1970,” Pat said.

Pat’s career blossomed as Spring Garden grew and opened new branches. She took on new roles as center director of the different sites. She received a promotion to program consultant, where she conducted in-house training and observations to enhance the early education program.

“So many stories, so many kids that I interacted with. I want to think that I’ve been a little part of everybody,” Pat said. “We’ve had some good success stories.”

Pat spent many years educating herself, as well as the children in her classrooms. She holds a Master of Science degree in early childhood education from Marywood University and a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from East Stroudsburg University. She came from an educated family—professors/college-level teachers and dentists.

“The expectation was you’re going to school,” Pat explained.

What’s Pat’s next adventure? She plans to do what she enjoys most—read novels, cook, go to yard sales, and spend more time with friends.

“Whatever life brings,” Pat responded. “Take it day to day and relax a little bit. The main thing is to maintain good health.”

For those starting out in early childhood education, Pat left us with 50 years of lessons that she learned along the way.

  1. Each child is unique. Enjoy their personalities.
  2. Focus on letting the children know you value them.
  3. Build relationships. Parents are our partners.
  4. Embrace diversity. Families need to feel comfortable to build trust.
  5. Each day is day is a new day. Be flexible.
  6. Books don’t always prepare us for the realities of teaching child care. Some days are very challenging; but it’s always rewarding at the end of the day.

Congratulations on your retirement, Pat Crowley! We will surely miss you.