Goddard School Celebrates 6 years in Hawthorn Woods
Play-based preschool is located in Hawthorn Commons, near Midlothian and Old McHenry Roads.
The Goddard School in Hawthorn Woods celebrated its sixth birthday on Aug. 11.
Owner Karen Palmer, whose background is in human resources, said running the business side of the school has proved to be a very rewarding career.
“I love it. We have children that were in our infant room six years ago. Watching them develop is just incredible. We’re seeing improvements every day in their vocabulary,” Palmer said.
Karen and Dennis Palmer both have business backgrounds. “My husband always moved from city to city with his job. We moved eight times in nine years and my daughter went to eight different schools,” Palmer said. “When we got back to Illinois, we were tired of the corporate world and my husband wanted his own business.”
The Palmers learned about a franchise opportunity from David Raye who brought Goddard School to the area with the school in Third Lake. The Goddard School was founded in 1988 in Pennsylvania and only came to the Midwest in recent years.
“Goddard is a great company and an excellent franchise,” Palmer said.
While the Palmer’s take care of the business side of running a preschool, they have a director with a master’s degree, Jennie McWilliams, who oversees the educational side.
Goddard School follows play-based, Piaget, learning philosophy and offers a fun learning environment, Palmer said.
“Teachers create their own lesson plans based on Goddard developmental guidelines. The curriculum is structured around the individual needs of the child,” she said.
Palmer said in their six years, all of their pre-K graduates have met or exceeded standards for Kindergarten readiness.
The school is in a state-of-the art, custom designed building and has two separate playgrounds.
Goddard School is accredited by Children’s Progress Academic Assessment (CPAA) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)