Creative Children’s Learning Center Director Karin Russo’s favorite thing about her position is spending time with the children.
“They make me laugh and smile every day,” Russo told SW Illinois News. “I have watched a lot of these kids start off in our baby room and now some of them are driving. They spend a lot of time with us, sometimes more than what they spend at home. I love seeing them grow and learn.”
Russo become director of the center, located in Smithton, in 2010. Her responsibilities include staff scheduling, billing, filling in as a teacher in classrooms and cooking when needed.
Creative Children’s Learning Center Director Karin Russo
“This job keeps me very busy, but in a good way,” Russo said. “It has been a great experience. I have met a lot of new people and made a lot of friends.”
Russo was born and raised in Hazelwood, Missouri. She has her child development associate credential and has been in daycare for almost 30 years.
“I love teaching,” Russo said. “I would like for more people to understand that teaching preschool is more than just being a glorified baby sitter. We have a lot of qualifications and training that we must meet to do this profession.”
In addition to being director of Creative Children’s Learning Center, Russo is an active community member. She participates in numerous parades including the fireman’s picnic parade and the Smithton homecoming parade. She also sets up a booth for decorating children’s bikes for a bike parade as part of a town event called Moonlight Madness.
“I enjoy doing things like that,” Russo said. “Helping others is very important. The people are what makes a town great.”
Besides helping the community, Russo also loves camping, swimming and boating.