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SUE BROCK DOLINGER

An accomplished educator and entrepreneur, Sue Brock Dolinger holds considerable expertise in childcare and early childhood education. First earning a bachelor’s degree in education from Fairmont State University in 1974, she didn’t start her work in childcare until after she began babysitting for a friend of hers. Finding that she enjoyed the work, she also helped her friend look for daycare services when the child was older and was shocked at how poorly some of them were operated. Ms. Dolinger decided then and there that she could do better and, when her own children were old enough, she went to her pastor to ask about starting a daycare for the church.

Feeling that working in childcare was her calling, Ms. Dolinger was prepared to offer her services on an entirely volunteer basis prior to achieving her first paid position in the field. She spent four years with Baptist Temple Preschool and then two years with the First Baptist Child Development Center before becoming the director of the Meadowview Methodist Preschool, a role she held for four years. Attributing much of her success to God and her faith, Ms. Dolinger established Kids Are Special Christian Daycare in 2002, where she serves as owner and director.

At Kids Are Special Christian Daycare, Ms. Dolinger emphasizes preschool education through guided play that allows children to develop various skills, such as spelling and speaking, as well as a strong focus on Christian values. In addition to her childcare duties, she is also responsible for much of the behind the scenes work, including record keeping, activity planning, crafting lesson plans, administrative work and overseeing their staff of five employees. While there have been struggles due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she continues to strive to find new ways of teaching and interacting with her students. Throughout her career, Ms. Dolinger has been motivated by her love of children and the joy she gets from working with them, noting that she needs them as much as they need her.

As a devout born-again Christian, Ms. Dolinger is incredibly active within her local church in addition to her primary career responsibilities. She volunteers regularly to help people in need and gives time to people who are grieving as well. Furthermore, she has utilized her skills as an educator to teach in her local Sunday school and she previously volunteered to serve free church breakfasts on Saturday mornings. To further her own spiritual fulfillment, Ms. Dolinger has also participated in the Emmaus Ministries’ “Walk to Emmaus,” a three-day spiritual walk and prayer experience.

Having accomplished much over the course of her career, Ms. Dolinger cites the absolute highlight of her career to be the opportunities she has had to impact other people’s lives through her Christian faith. This has tied in seamlessly with her love of caring for and educating young children, as she notes that early childhood development is a crucial period for children. She receives no small amount of joy as she helps her students learn how to explore the world and come into their own, particularly since her students come from a diverse range of backgrounds and nationalities. Ms. Dolinger recalls an interesting cultural learning moment when she spoke to the mother of a Japanese boy in her class and learned that children telling their parents “I love you,” wasn’t common in Japan when the student’s mother had been growing up and she had been shocked the first time her son had said it to her unprompted.

Looking toward the future, Ms. Dolinger intends to continue running Kids Are Special Christian Daycare for as long as she is able, while also looking toward retirement and getting to travel her husband, who recently retired after serving in the military for over 20 years. The mother of two child, Elizabeth and Benjamin, the latter of whom has sadly passed, she is also stepmother to her husband’s two daughters and grandmother to five grandchildren. Ms. Dolinger is incredibly grateful for the role that God has played in her life, particularly as she dealt with the death of her first husband and her son.

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