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Stark retires at First Baptist Child Development Center

MADISON – Lynn Stark started working at the Child Development Center at First Baptist Church of Madison because of her love of children. “I thought I could make a difference in the lives of children and their families,” she said.

Stark accepted the position in August 1984. She will retire as the center’s Curriculum Coordinator on April 5 after compiling almost 34 years at the job.

When Stark accepted the job, she had just resigned from working with federal civil service and was transitioning as a stay-at-home mom. “A friend of mine became the director at First Baptist Child Development Center. She called me and asked me if I would like to come to work for her to make a little extra money.”

“I said, ‘Yes,’ and I have enjoyed it,” Stark said.

“Lynn has been such a blessing to the Madison community,” Sonja Pedersen said. Pedersen is Director of the Child Development Center. “We have some parents at the center that used to be some of her students. They are very excited to see Ms. Lynn.”

Compared to working in the center in the 1980s, “we didn’t have the technology that we have today,” Stark said. She has been a Madison resident for 43 years.

Stark originally moved to the Madison area to take a job with civil service on Redstone Arsenal. “I went to Florence State University (University of North Alabama) for two years. I have taken numerous early child development classes over the years,” Stark said.

“As an employee of a licensed center, we are required to take 12 hours of training each year,” Stark said.

Her husband Theodore ‘Ted’ Stark retired from civil service on Redstone Arsenal. Currently, he is working part time for Hertz Rental Car.

Their children are Theodore ‘Trey’ O. Stark III of Clarksville, Tenn.; Kimberly Dawn Howell of Montgomery; and Elizabeth Irby of Harvest. Lynn and Ted Stark have three grandchildren: Isabelle Stark, Brady Howell and Emmett Stark.

Lynn is a member at The Church of the Highlands. Ted is a member at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

During retirement, Lynn plans “on visiting my grandchildren more often and gardening. I plan on getting involved in helping abused women, children and the elderly.”

Pedersen said the center is planning a reception to honor Stark. They will invite current and past students and families to attend.

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