Letter: Kay Wiedemer made Kids Kabin such a special place

It was 1982 when I came out from college to do an internship and month of study with Kay Wiedemer at Kids Kabin Preschool. Little did I know then what a profound effect both she and the school would have on my life.

I wanted to teach preschool and Kay offered me a job after I graduated. I ended up teaching at Kids Kabin for seven years, and in the years after, I taught a weekly dance class for them and subbed when needed.

For all my years in early childhood education, Kay has been a mentor to me. I remember when I was teaching in Fort Collins calling Kay and lamenting there was nothing like Kids Kabin. Over the years I visited and observed in many preschools around the state. Afterwards I told her I seriously believed she had one of the best preschools in Colorado. “Oh Wendy,” she brushed that off, ever the humble unassuming person she is.

Kay has been running Kids Kabin for 45 years now, and on Sept. 2, she will be closing the door after a goodbye party for alumni. It truly will be the end of an era. Hundreds and hundreds of children have been nurtured and taught by Kay. Kids Kabin families know what a special place it is. It is because of her.

Over the years, Kay has followed the lives of many “Kids Kabin kids” and watched who they have become as adults. It has been a testament to see as some remain or return here, they come back with their own children to learn and grow with Kay.

While it is recognized that early childhood education is vital to a young child’s development, it remains an underpaid and often not as respected vocation. It was interesting to witness how crucial and valued it became during the pandemic and in these years of teacher and school openings shortages. Through it all, Kay and Kids Kabin have made it, persevered and flourished.

Now we must say goodbye to a school that has been a labor of love and a joy to behold. It is not an easy profession and I’ve watched many burn out. But not Kay. She just has a way with young children and they know it. It has been the most special thing to witness over all these many years.

Kids Kabin will live on in the hearts of so many in this community — the hundreds of kids and families and all of the teachers she also has mentored throughout the years.

A thousand thanks, Kay. You truly have raised us all.

Wendy Smith Mikelsons
Oak Creek

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