February 2024

Davidson resident Pat Shaw was recently presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the most prestigious award for community service in North Carolina. The award, presented on behalf of Gov. Roy Cooper, is for her more than 30 years of service to the community in general and more specifically, for leading La Escuelita Bilingual Preschool-Davidson to excellence.
During Shaw's tenure as Director of the school, more than 300 at-risk Hispanic preschool children have entered kindergarten bilingual and prepared for academic success, integrating well into the classroom and on par with their peers. Past recipients of the award include Maya Angelou, Billy Graham, and Shirley Chisholm.
The school's mission is to provide affordable bilingual nursery school education to at-risk Hispanic children, establishing a love of learning and a base for future academic success. The unique science-based program is offered five mornings weekly to thirty 3- and 4-year-olds. In addition, monthly parent meetings with outside speakers, assist families in preparing their children to enter elementary school in an unfamiliar system. Quoting Shaw, "I am a founding board member of La Escuelita Bilingual Preschool. After fifteen years directing the Pathology Department at Presbyterian Hospital, I chose to share my love of hands-on science with eager children. My "second career" in early childhood education includes a year on a charter committee and 17 years in preschool roles. My fascination with the nascent preschool brain and how children learn led me to develop our science curriculum". This past Fall the school celebrated its ten-year anniversary with a family-centric free public event on the Davidson Town Green, underwritten by Ingersoll Rand Corporation. It is financially supported only by private personal and corporate donors including Ingersoll Rand and Metrolina Greenhouses.