arrie-fletcherArrie Fletcher knows a thing or two about children.

A mother of her own educated and successful five, Fletcher is now at the helm of The Privette School of Broadmeadow United Methodist Church in Fondren.

Founded in 2003 and named for the church’s first kindergarten teacher, Carl Privette, Fletcher says the school enrolls 70 children from eight weeks to ten years-old in their preschool and after school programming.

Now serving as director, Fletcher is no stranger to Privette, having been on staff since 2006. She was promoted in early March of this year and talks about her experiences and her plans.

What is your experience with children?

I love working with children. I’ve worked with children since I was 13, starting with babysitting. Then I kept my brother’s kids and later had five of my own. I enjoy teaching them, playing with them, and watching them grow.

I’ve always wanted to be a preschool teacher. But when I had kids, I became a hairstylist. I did that for twenty years, long enough to raise my own kids. I had four in band, then there’s basketball, track, choir… anything they wanted to do, I wanted them to do it. Here at Privette, I’m trying to do the same for these children, to let them know they’re loved and that they can do whatever they want to do.

What are the rewards of a job like this?

The children are the reward. And it’s all of the children I have taught. Some people think they can’t deal with the bad children…the really active ones. But those are the ones I really like. There’s never a dull moment! With an active child, you see what they’re into and can enhance that. Essentially, you’re playing to their strengths and helping them to be who they can be, not some conformed model of what they should be.

Are there challenges in your job as director?

One word: change. My goal is to bring the standards of this school even higher. We have a staff of fifteen and often, people get in a rut. As time goes on, we’ll all adjust. (Laughing) I’m just looking for less stress in the next year!

Did I read that you are also a pastor?

Yes! I pastor a church, Warren Hill, in Puckett, MS.

Is that anything like running a preschool?

In some ways. Pastoring takes patience and understanding and that helps with the job. You learn to deal with people differently because not everyone is the same.

To learn more about Privette and their Reggio Emilia approach to learning, visit On the site, you can fill out an application and schedule a tour.