Ilo with her preschool children enjoying a picnic at the park after a field trip to the local post office.

Ilo Shubert retires after 28 years

Local preschool on uncertain grounds

  • Jun. 4, 2015 10:00 a.m.

Chris Stedile

Rossland News

“I heard somewhere that every time you smile it improves your sense of well-being, and I thought, they make me smile a hundred times a day.”

These are the words of Ilo Shubert, several days before she hands out certificates of graduation to her 40 plus preschoolers for the final time.

Shubert has run Ilo’s Preschool for over 28 years now and believes it’s time to pack it in, but not before she’s certain after it’s been sold and the school will continue to operate as it has for so long.

Shubert is asking the city for a letter of assurance that whoever buys her business can continue to run the preschool in the same room and pay rent at a reasonable cost.

Located in the Lodge Room, downstairs in the Miners Hall, her children have all the space they could need for anything a growing, learning kid needs.

“It has big high ceilings, lots of natural light, lots of space so the kids have room to move,” she said.

Shubert has stations set up all over the room for various activites including painting, reading and more.

“We run a flexible but consistent schedule every day. They learn what’s coming next and that’s their preparation for Kindergarten; following a schedule and learning to work in a group.”

From humble beginnings when the school was supposed to host one group twice a week Ilo’s has grown to have 75 kids at times. Over the years, Shubert has cut back but still tends to cover several groups, four days a week, mornings and evenings.

The Miners’ Hall is owned by the city and Shubert contracts with them to run the preschool.

“Different people over the years have thought the room should be used for different things. I want to make sure that space is available for the preschoolers.”

Shubert believes there is no other place quite like the Lodge Room.

“Some are concerned about having to cross the road [to get to the Miners’ Hall] but I say it’s just another opportunity for learning the rules involved with crossing.

“I find it hard to believe ­— of course I’m biased — that anything else is more important.”

Shubert said that various councils over the years have agreed that it is in the city’s best interest to keep this preschool around. Especially with the recent closure of the high school, parents want to keep their kids in their community.

“I have 40 families that want preschool in September and they’re all so panicked not knowing what they’re going to do.”

As it stands now, there is interest from people who want to continue on with Shubert’s work, but at the same time, she said she’s seen a drop in interest because of the uncertainty.

“It’s actually bittersweet this week. I’m feeling it’s time for someone younger with a little more energy to take over but I’m going to miss them so much. I have kids of kids now. Those who came before are now bringing their little ones and that’s so cool.”

During last week’s council meeting, several concerned citizens, parents, and friends of Shubert came out to voice their support.

“Going to Ilo’s, has provided my kids with the opportunity to play, to learn, to meet other children and discover what school is,” said one mother, Janet Brooks.

“It’s such an amazing and positive way to introduce school and learning and things outside of the home, to kids.”

Next to address council, Jill Knight, shared her fond memories of Ilo’s.

“I have five children and they’ve all gone through Ilo’s program. Just the other day my eighteen year old quoted ‘You get what you get and you don’t get upset.’ I’m pretty sure every child in Rossland knows that line. Ilo has been an iconic figure in this community. Everyone always says it takes a community to raise a child and Ilo gives the opportunity to create that community.”

Ilo Shubert retired last Thursday after many fun-filled years, educating and inspiring the youth of Rossland.


Just Posted

Rescued snowmobilers ill-prepared for emergency, Castlegar RCMP say

Two men rescued Wednesday night were not ready for overnight in back country

Senior curling provincials setting up for exciting finish

Standings tight as Senior curling teams push for provincial playoffs

Police share more details on occupants and suspicious van in Fruitvale

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school on Feb. 19

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Man wanted for sex trafficking, confinement may be heading to B.C.

Kevin Myrthil, 26, is also accused of assault on a 19-year-old woman at an Edmonton hotel

Most Read