FUMC preschool room named for longtime director

Patty Tate’s name now graces the resource room at the First United Methodist Learning Center in Winter Garden.

Patty Tate spent 23 years as the first director of The Learning Center preschool.
Patty Tate spent 23 years as the first director of The Learning Center preschool.
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A small room at the FUMC Learning Center preschool that once served as an office and the resource room has been dedicated to the first director, Patty Tate. She used the space as her office from 1992, when the preschool opened, until 2015, when she retired.

A ceremony was held Thursday, Dec. 13, to officially dedicate the space to Tate, and a plaque has been placed beside the door. It reads: “Patty Tate, Teacher Resource Room, TLC Director, 1992-2015.”

The dedication coincided with the preschool’s annual Christmas program. Tate wore her bright yellow preschool T-shirt from 1992 to mark the occasion.

She reminisced about her days as director and becoming friends with parents through the years. She sat with parents who needed a listening ear and offered advice when asked, and she got to interact with their children on a daily basis. She loved hearing the quick footsteps as the preschoolers found their classroom each morning and the conversations that took place when they were picked up in the afternoons.

“If the walls on this Resource Room could talk they would tell funny stories about a family of mice, a black snake under my desk … or a feral cat,” Tate said. “I will remember a place where a teacher could be inspired in planning her day, chat with me, check her mailbox, gather supplies, … find a favorite book for story time, set up water tables, … find ideas in resource books, get a Band-Aid from the first-aid box for a boo-boo, … get a piece of chocolate candy, share a funny story about a child with another teacher or look to a teacher friend for support on a bad day. I am imagining these happenings and more are still taking place every day in this Resource Room.”

Tate praised the teachers and staff at the preschool for loving the children and sharing God with them.

“I can guarantee the Holy Spirit is in that resource room, so call on him when you need inspiration or an idea or a calm hand on your shoulder,” she said during the ceremony. “He was always there for me.”



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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