Community loses longtime childcare provider

The Country Knolls Nursery School will close its doors in June, after 35 years of service to the town of Clifton Park, when director and founder Barbara Scanlon retires.

In 1972, while working as a pre-kindergaretn teacher in Schenectady, Scanlon purchased the school and home in the Country Knolls development in Clifton Park.

I fell in love with the setup, she said.

She knew it would be great to raise her children in the home with the nursery school, although she did not yet have children.

She will miss the children and parents most when she retires, she said. Scanlon said no matter how bad of a day she is having she can walk into the school and see the children's enthusiasm and forget about her worries.

"They really do brighten up your day," she said of the children. "Everything is exciting to them."

Scanlon worked with children ages 3 to 5 throughout her years at the nursery school.

A typical day at the school begins with circle time and a talk about their plans for the day. This is followed by free play and an art project, then cleanup time, where a cleanup song is played on the piano.

After cleanup, students participate in story time and then prepare for a snack. They end their day with game or playing outside, Scanlon said.

"It goes by quite fast," she said.

The most difficult part of her day is setting up and preparing for the students, she said, but even in light of this she said the job is mostly rewarding.

More than 2,100 students attended Country Knolls throughout its 35 years of operation.

Several of Scanlon's current students are the children of former students, she said.

"It has been wonderful," she said of seeing some of her nursery school children grown to adulthood.

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