On Dec. 1, 1997 Anita “Mrs. Nita” Imm started her first day as the teacher of the Busy Bears (4-year-olds) at Crescenta-Canada Nursery School (CCNS). After 17 years, Mrs. Nita will be retiring in June as the Busy Bear teacher and director of CCNS. Though she will miss the giggles and smiles every morning at check-in, she is looking forward to taking time to travel with her husband, Bob.
On that day in 1997, she may have been excited for the new start, maybe even a little nervous. One thing she probably didn’t realize was how she eventually impacted the lives of hundreds of students and parents.
Prior to becoming the Busy Bear teacher and later the director of CCNS, Mrs. Nita worked for 17 years as a registered dental assistant. It wasn’t until her own children started school at Our Lady of Lourdes that she discovered that she loved being in the classroom.
One parent approached Mrs. Nita and said, “I would like you to teach my children and there is an opening for a teacher at a co-op in La Cañada.”
She applied for her first teaching position and soon learned that she loved being a part of a cooperative preschool because it allowed the parents to be directly involved with their child’s early education.
One thing she said she treasures is the friendships that she has built over the years and all that she has learned from the students and families.
Mrs. Nita has been able to stay in contact with some of her past Busy Bears through social media. She said she “loves finding out when past students have received student of the month awards or seeing prom and graduation photos.” One of her past students, Megan Reilly, was recently voted Miss La Cañada Flintridge 2015.
“I know a former student who was accepted to UCLA,” said Mrs. Nita. “I’m a USC fan but am still proud of her.”
There will be an opportunity to honor who many call a “modern day hero” to many students at a retirement open house on May 16 at CCNS from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mrs. Nita said that she hopes to see as many former students and parents as possible when they walk down memory lane.
Crescenta-Cañada Nursery School is located at 1700 Foothill Blvd. in La Cañada.