A Vision Becomes Reality
The establishment of Wesley Grove Pre-Kindergarten is the result of the dedication of one person who always had the best interest of children in mind — Meredith Connar. Meredith (Mari) is married to Dr. Thomas N. Connar, a Baltimore-Washington Conference United Methodist minister. While Mari and Pastor Tom were at Wesley Grove from 1976 to 1980, Mari realized that there was a need in our area for a pre-kindergarten, which would also serve as an outreach program from the church to the community.
The trustees and administrative council of the Church voted to allow her to begin the Maryland State Department of Education licensing process. The Wesley Grove Pre-Kindergarten opened its doors in September 1977 with 14 children in the 4-year-old class, 12 children in the 3-year-old class, two teachers, two aides, and the director, Mari Connar. As the director, she donated her salary for the purchase of supplies and equipment. The school continues to support the community, and has the capacity to accommodate 120 pre-k students.
Mari earned her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Towson University, and her master’s degree in Education from Hood College. After leaving Wesley Grove, she was employed by the Frederick County Public Schools for 25 years. She taught kindergarten for four years, and spent the remainder of her career teaching gifted children in that county’s Elementary Gifted and Talented Program. As a magnet teacher, she taught first and third grades. In addition, as Team Leader at Urbana Elementary School (a magnet school site), Mari served as a mentor teacher and wrote curriculum.
Mari and Pastor Tom have both retired and live in Bridgeville, Delaware. Both are very involved in community and church activities while pursuing their love of travel, reading, writing, golf (Mari) and tennis (Tom).
We at Wesley Grove thank Mari for how much she has done for this church, community, and most of all, the children.