“She’s been such a blessing.”

That’s what Tammy Ace, director of the Beach Lake United Methodist Christian Preschool, has to say about recently retired teacher’s assistant Audrey Schmitt.


“She’s been such a blessing.”
That’s what Tammy Ace, director of the Beach Lake United Methodist Christian Preschool, has to say about recently retired teacher’s assistant Audrey Schmitt.

“She’s a strong, steady, gentle, Christian example. The kids love her like a grandmother. She always has a kid in her lap or in her arms,” Ace said.
Though Schmitt retired in May, she’s promised to fill in at the Christian preschool whenever needed.

“So, she’ll still be in our presence,” said Ace.
Well known in the community, Schmitt worked 18 years at the Shoe Fair on Main Street in Honesdale before hiring on as a teacher’s assistant.
When asked her about her retirement after 16 years at BLUM, here’s what she had to say:

Q. Where does your story begin?
A. “As long as I can remember, I’ve loved children. At 10 years old, I was thrilled to baby-sit my neighbor’s baby girl. Fast-forwarding 10 more years, I married and began having children of my own, three boys and two girls,” Schmitt said.
“As my children grew up, I took care of several other children, as well as my own. Once they were all in school, I worked at a friend’s boarding house during the summer and cooked and waitressed at a local diner. After that, I decided to go into retail. I worked at the Shoe Fair in Honesdale for 18 years. The children were always my favorite. I love their sense of humor, their spontaneity, their energy, their willingness to forgive, but most of all their loving nature.”

Q. What were those 16 years at BLUM like?
A. “I was looking for a job when I heard there was an opening at the preschool at the Beach Lake United Methodist Church. I applied, interviewed and was hired for the 1994-95 school year. The position was working with small children, in a Christian setting…PERFECT! From the beginning, I realized what a great program BLUM has. The three year olds learn that playing involves getting along with others, sharing, self-discipline and lots of fun. The four year olds learn the same thing as well as prepare for kindergarten. They learn letters, numbers and colors. They do projects, go on field trips and so many other things it would take a book to include it all. One of the most important parts was being allowed and encouraged to nurture, love, comfort when needed, and share my love for Jesus and Jesus’ love for each of them. I’ve loved interacting with the children, their parents and their caregivers. The teachers, including assistants and aides, have been great. I’ve worked with at least a dozen, two of them for over 10 years, and have loved, appreciated and learned from each of them. They were all different, but the common bond was always the love for children. Behind the scenes were the dedicated director and preschool board.”

Q. What’s next?
A. “I will surely miss BLUM. I will probably visit, volunteer, or perhaps substitute, but I will certainly not be bored. I have a large family, 5 children, 17 grandchildren, and great-grandchildren…many and counting, that I look forward to spending more time with, whether it be in person or by telephone,” Schmitt said.
“You will, however, not find me texting or tweeting. I will also continue to teach Sunday school at the Beach Lake Free Methodist Church which has been a rewarding part of my life for 37 years. There are books to read, gardening to do, pictures and recipes to organize and friends to see. For entertainment, I have my husband Bill and our two cats. So as you can see I will miss BLUM, but there’s a lot to do, so as I said, I won’t be bored.”