Beloved preschool closes

Published 11:09 pm Friday, August 28, 2015

Maxann Morrison with five of her students, Mavi Myers, Autumn Kerston Olson, Carter Ferguson, Will Rockey and Abby Rockey.

Maxann Morrison with five of her students, Mavi Myers, Autumn Kerston Olson, Carter Ferguson, Will Rockey and Abby Rockey.

By Alyssa Esposito

Staff Writer


Future generations of Suffolk children will have one fewer preschool option.

Suffolk Day School, located in the home of Maxann Kerr Morrison on Pinner Street, has been in operation for the past 48 years. It closed its doors for the last time Friday due to Morrison’s health issues.

“Ninety percent of the time, I had the best job in town,” Morrison said playfully. She said it was a successful day when a child looked forward to returning the next day.

“One of the greatest compliments I have received is when an ex-student enrolls their child in my school,” Morrison said. “I think the home atmosphere was the key to that.”

Morrison stressed the importance of responsibility, self-esteem, control of emotions, caring about people, learning how to play fairly and especially helping children grow and learn at their own pace.

Heather Ferguson, who attended the school as a child, sent her children to the same school. Her three oldest children attended the preschool a few years ago, and the fourth was enrolled when it closed. Ferguson also had other family members attend the school.

“It’s not like other preschools, because it’s very old-school,” Ferguson said. She spoke about the many activities, such as field trips, in which students participated.

Morrison’s program included plenty of free play, as well as tea parties, group play, outside time and more.

Other activities that went on at the school included a Christmas and spring program where children would occasionally sing solos. They would recite poems and sing lots of songs in school, including “God Bless America.”

Morrison tells a story of a 3-year-old student who sang at the veteran’s hospital and ended up being played on the intercom system.

Another student came back to visit one day and thanked her for “straightening him out.”

Yet another student was very shy, particularly due to his stutter, but was able to speak without stuttering when he used a hand puppet. At one point he used the puppet to recite a poem, and by kindergarten, the majority of his stutter was gone.

Morrison said she will miss the children.

“It wasn’t your children, or my children, it was always our children,” Morrison said about the staff at Suffolk Day School. They worked as a team when taking care of the kids.

She recognized one staff member in particular, Audrey Clark, who has worked at the school since 1971.

“Thanks to my family and the staff that have helped make this a rewarding situation for me,” Morrison said.