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Kids' Stuff Preschool sold, owner Cathy Peckett of Land O'Lakes to retire after 37 years

LAND O'LAKES — Kids' Stuff Preschool, which has cared for two generations of children and whose float was a fixture in many Flapjack Festival parades since it opened 27 years ago, has been sold to a Texas couple.

Cathy Peckett, an elementary school teacher who started the school on Lake Floyd Drive with her father, Irv, said she plans to retire this fall after 37 years of working in education.

"It is with mixed emotions that I write this to you today," Peckett said in an e-mail to parents after telling staffers on Friday evening. "You and your child have been a huge part of my life, and I will miss all of you."

She said Kids' Stuff, which holds state and national accreditation, will continue to offer the same child care, preschool and kindergarten programs as it has in the past.

New owners Liz and Chad Elias operate several child care centers in Texas. Kids' Stuff was one of three they bought in Florida. They will be at the school in the coming weeks to learn the ropes. Peckett will be around through the opening of school in August to familiarize them with the operation.

Peckett said the school will hire a director to run daily operations. Longtime assistant director Jackie Genovese is a likely candidate for that job. Other staffers plan to remain.

Kids' Stuff Preschool sold, owner Cathy Peckett of Land O'Lakes to retire after 37 years 06/17/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2011 9:44pm]
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