Meet learning center director

Sandy Sullivan, new director of Spring Ahead Learning Center and SALC Preschool.

By Marcie Klomp

Sandy Sullivan was recently hired as the new director at Spring Ahead Learning Center (SALC). Besides having 20 years of experience in the early childhood field, she and husband Scott get 24 hours a day/seven days a week experience as parents to three girls, Savannah 12, Sierra 10 and Saige eight-years old. Sullivan stated, “We enjoy camping, bike riding and music.” The family lives at rural Riceville.

She comes highly experienced to SALC with an extensive educational background and training in Early Childhood Education which includes a degree in Early Childhood Education, Business and National Administrative Credentials.

One of her biggest accomplishments, which probably tipped the scales in her favor for the job, is her success at the Elma Early Learning Center. “I worked there about four-and-a-half years. We started with seven kids and a baby,” she laughed.

When she resigned, there was a waiting list! The program has around 60 children enrolled. The ages are birth to age 12. Some of those enrolled are full-time and some are part-time. SALC will be run similar to Elma’s center. Both are associated with Howard-Winneshiek Community School District.

“I am very excited for this opportunity to be the director of the Spring Ahead Learning Center. I am looking forward to working with the Spring Ahead Learning Center governing board, Howard -Winn. Community School District, Lime Springs-Chester Elementary, community groups, parents and staff, who are all dedicated in providing a secure and nurturing environment that encourages the development of the whole child,” stated Sullivan.

She will also be director for the Spring Ahead Learning Center Preschool.

The three-year old preschool program will occupy a room in the Lime Springs-Chester Elementary for the September- May 2012/2013 program until the center is completed.

Sullivan noted, “I look forward to being a member of a qualified and experienced team.” Elaine Gassett is the teacher and Elaine DeVries is the teacher’s assistant. The program is held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8:15 to 11:15. The Spring Ahead Learning Center will offer HAWC Preschool Scholarships to those applicants who qualify.

“I am impressed by the Spring Ahead Learning Center committees and community members commitment to continue to meet the project fund-raising goals. I believe providing an educational, safe and nurturing one-stop location for any working parents/guardians is a benefit to the school and communities. The small communities need to address these issues to continue to sustain or grow.”

SALC is to be completed around the first of the year. The center will serve children from six weeks to 12-year olds. Pre-registration and enrollments for family/child participation will be available this fall for SALC.

Community members have already made their way to the northwest part of town to observe the progress of the center and storm shelter.

Over the coming weeks and months, Sullivan says she looks forward to meeting the children, parents and community members. “I am dedicated to ensuring the well-being of all children attending the Spring Ahead Learning Center. I enjoy children, and above all, I have an enthusiasm to provide an educational, positive environment with support to caregivers, children and their families.”

Sullivan is ready and willing to answer any questions perspective enrollees or community members have. Give her a call at 641-220-4361 or e-mail Or check out the website at


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