Bob (’69) and Annette (nee Zamborsky, ’70) Fitzsimmons found more than love at the College—they also developed a lifelong passion for education.
In June 2011, the two alums and their daughter, Mara Lamond ’97, opened the Ewing Community Preschool on Pennington Road, across from TCNJ’s main entrance. During the past year, enrollment at the three-classroom school, which serves children ages 2 ½ to 6, has grown from 3 to 25 students.
“Ewing was in need of a quality [preschool] program at an affordable rate,” said Mara. “We just want to offer the best we can.”
Bob, Annette, and Mara developed their school’s philosophy of “learn through play” from their experiences and education at the College, they said. As Mara explained: “Through play, children will learn everything they need to know to go to kindergarten and be successful. You think playing with blocks is just playing with blocks, but the skills that children learn from that play is unbelievable—from eye-hand coordination, to problem solving, sharing, to getting along in a group setting.”
The children who attend Ewing Community Preschool are more than just students—they’re part of an extended family, said Annette (or “Netta,” as her students call her; they call Bob “Poppy”). It’s this family aspect that makes the school different, she added.
“We love being with the kids,” Annette continued. “We talk about them all night, and tell stories of who said or did funny things.”