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To describe LVCC teacher Loree Kuhns in three words, a good choice would be “in perpetual motion.” One moment she’s playing ball in the gym with the toddlers, the next she’s corralling them for a bathroom break and to sit down for their lunch. For anyone who has spent time with the abundant energy of a two-year-old, you understand this is similar to herding cats. As soon as one child quietly sits at the lunch table, another decides to express her independence by high-tailing it to the dramatic play area. After 32 years working in early childhood education (27 consecutively with LVCC), Loree makes teaching look easy with her classroom always under control.

Dedicated staff like Loree have been the heart of LVCC.

On July 22, 2016, Loree will start a new chapter of her life. In honor of her retirement, we asked her a few questions about her long career with LVCC and what her future holds.

How did you begin your career with LVCC?
I first began as a substitute teacher for LVCC from 1974 until 1979 when we had a location at St. John’s Infant Center. When I returned in 1989, I worked at four different centers in Allentown and Bethlehem before being placed at LVCC’s Judith Chase Early Learning Center in Allentown.

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Which age group is your favorite and why?
I worked with all age groups from infants up to elementary school age, but my favorite is older toddlers [2 years old]. At this age, I feel like I’m molding them. I enjoy teaching them the basics - please and thank you, toilet training. I currently have one child that requires a lot of patience and low-key voices. I love seeing the changes and progress we have made with him.

What has surprised you most about working with the children?
They are geniuses! They surprise me with what they come up with, their reasoning. And they know how to push buttons really well.

What is your favorite memory at LVCC?
Years ago, I decided to transfer to another center and the only person I wanted to work with was Karen [Nichols, center director at LVCC’s Judith Chase Early Learning Center]. Luckily for me, she had an opening in the toddler classroom.

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What will you miss most?
Definitely the kids. I bonded with many children, even those in our school-age classroom because I once changed their diapers. And I will miss the staff; I work with a good bunch of women. Everyone has each other’s back.

Who has been your biggest inspiration during your years at LVCC?
The different people I have met within child care have inspired me – teachers and center directors with whom I’ve worked, along with teachers that I met through workshops.

What do you wish the public knew about LVCC?
How intensely the teachers plan and work with the kids, day in and day out. They go above and beyond. Everyone does a phenomenal job. The public’s misconception is that we are babysitting, but if they shadowed us, they couldn’t keep up! Since working in child care, I know I can do anything. I have done and seen everything.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
My husband and I have a camper and enjoy camping in Shartlesville. I like hanging with my grandkids and doing counted cross stitch.

What new hobbies are you planning once you retire?
I want to do some room repairs in my house. I also have new grandbabies on the way – one in October and a set of twins in January.

What words of wisdom would you like to leave for LVCC?
I hope LVCC continues to “do good” by the kids and continues recruiting quality staff. Our largest asset is the staff.

Thank you to Loree Kuhns for her many years of service to the children and families of the Lehigh Valley. Best wishes for a happy retirement!