Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Port Richey preschool first to receive five-star honor from Early Learning Coalition

Deidra, from left, Hank and Betty Jowers display the inaugural five-star banner awarded by the Early Learning Coalition.

Courtesy of Audrey Stasko

Deidra, from left, Hank and Betty Jowers display the inaugural five-star banner awarded by the Early Learning Coalition.

PORT RICHEY — People often tell Betty Jowers she is "a natural" when it comes to caring for and educating children. She began her career in child care about 40 years ago, at one point even opening her own home as a day care.

"I started caring for children in my home because I wanted my daughter to have a playmate," Jowers said.

Twenty years ago, Jowers started Miss Betty's Childcare & Preschool in Port Richey. And on Nov. 24, the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties bestowed its first five-star rating for an early learning center on the school, at 6926 Ridge Road.

Coalition representatives Jim Farrelly, executive director; Joe Mascaro, program manager; June Franco, provider specialist, and Audrey Stasko, communications specialist, visited the school to present Jowers, her husband and co-owner Hank Jowers and daughter and school director Deidra Jowers with the inaugural five-star banner, part of the agency's Sunshine Stars program.

"We wanted to let parents know the best place to enroll their children," said Farrelly. "Miss Betty's is the best."

Miss Betty's is a licensed child care provider for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years and also offers a Voluntary Prekindergarten program. About 60 children are enrolled at the center.

"We didn't get into this for the money," said Hank Jowers, who celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with Betty on Nov. 27. "We just wanted to provide the best care possible."

And the best education possible, according to Deidra Jowers.

"We provide students with a well-rounded education based on a creative curriculum. Children learn through play," said Deidra Jowers. "We teach them literary, math, art, social/emotional and motor skills, real-life lessons. We want them to want to keep learning throughout their lives."

And the kids aren't the only ones learning at Miss Betty's. At the Nov. 24 presentation, Farrelly praised Betty Jowers for her frequent attendance at educational workshops and conferences and for encouraging her staff to seek higher education degrees. Teachers Megan Blaise, Tammy Hodge and Lela Jackson are among the Miss Betty's instructors who credit Jowers with encouraging them to advance their education.

"You're never too old to learn," Betty Jowers said.

Jowers also is credited with providing employees with a pleasant, nurturing place to work.

"I wake up every day so happy to come to work," said teacher Sullynet Montanez.

"We're like family here," teacher Heather Williams said.

And at the coalition's presentation, Betty Jowers insisted that her teaching staff — which includes Beth Mason, Cory Jowers, Alan Baumann, Tammy Hodge and Lilith Jowers — pose for photos with their honorary banner.

The formula has worked well for the school, Hank Jowers said.

"We don't have to do much advertising," he said. "We get our students through word of mouth."

In the eyes of Betty Jowers, the success of Miss Betty's comes down to a single simple theory:

"It's all for the children," she says.

Port Richey preschool first to receive five-star honor from Early Learning Coalition 12/03/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 3, 2015 9:50am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Passing motorists pull three from burning home in Tampa

    News

    TAMPA — Two men in a passing car rescued two children and a woman from a burning home late Sunday morning.

  2. Bucs-Bills: Social media reactions to the Bucs' 30-27 loss

    Bucs

    Here's a sampling of reactions from the media and fans to the Bucs' 30-27 loss Sunday at Buffalo:

    Buffalo Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka (4) is mobbed by teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Buccaneers-Bills: A by-the-numbers look at Tampa Bay's 30-27 loss

    Bucs

    Here's a by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo on Sunday:

    173

    Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) screams in jubilation after running for a first down late in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. T.J. Ward 'at wits' end' about being part-time player

    Blogs

    Three-time Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward said he is at his "wit's end" about being used as a part-time player for the Bucs.

    Buffalo Bills tight end Logan Thomas (82) makes a touchdown catch over Bucs defensive back T.J. Ward (43) during the second half.
  5. Bucs-Bills roundtable: Deonte Thompson's late catch spelled 'instant disaster' for Bucs

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Adam Humphries' fumble led to the Bills' game-winning field goal in Tampa Bay's 30-27 loss Sunday at Buffalo. But the Bills' first play after the Bucs finally took the lead was almost as deadly.

    The Buffalo Bills' Deonte Thompson (10) catches a pass in front of Bucs cornerback Brent Grimes (24) during the first half. [AP photo]