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OUR

Story

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Ettie Zaklos – Founder & Director

In 2011, Ettie Zaklos, a mom of four and experienced educator set out in search of a stellar early childhood center for her children. She sought a school that would

 

  • View children as competent individuals 
     

  • Empower children and encourage them to be independent thinkers
     

  • A school that would enrich the character as well as the mind
     

  • A school that would seamlessly integrate the joys of Jewish customs and values into its curriculum
     

  • A school that would offer its students the tools to successfully navigate a rapidly changing world.

When her search proved unsuccessful, she committed to start a school that would reflect this exact vision. And so, Preschool of the Arts was born.

In the first year of its inception, the preschool enrolled two students: Ettie’s own young daughters. Soon, others joined, excited about the vision of a progressive, holistic early childhood experience for their own children. 

The school developed its own in-house curriculum that seamlessly weaves together the acquisition of social, emotional, and academic skills. Inspired by the highly acclaimed Reggio philosophy, our educational approach emphasizes hands on play-based, experiential learning. POTA’s focus on the arts supports our educational goals and inspires and nurtures children’s imaginations. 


Preschool of the Arts began to develop a reputation for excellence in education as well as a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Each year, our programming grew, as we invested in quality Specials for educational enrichment, expanded our campus with cutting-edge facilities, and developed a team of loving, professional educators to guide children to success.  
 

Under Ettie’s innovative leadership, the school quickly became known as a preeminent early childhood institution and has won the prestigious Naples Champion Choice Award nine years in a row. Ettie was honored by Florida Governor Rick Scott with the esteemed Shine Award, which honors Florida educators who have impacted the lives of students with exceptional love, care, and devotion. With over a decade of experience and commitment to providing a top-notch early childhood education, we are proud of the community that we have built in Naples. Today, Preschool of the Arts serves over 125 children every year, impacting generations to come.