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When the new executive director of the Dorman Preschool Center started July 1, it wasn't a new face the children, parents and staff had to get used to.
Instead, it was Dana Marlin, who had worked at the center in various roles for five and a half years.
“I've been here for a while, so a lot of them have known me,” Marlin said.
Marlin, a Shelby County native, said she is a little nervous but also excited about her newest position at the preschool center, which cares for special-needs and at-risk children as well as helps their families.
When Mary Simmons, who had directed the center for more than a decade, retired in November, Marlin said she saw the position as an opportunity to do even more for the children at the center.
She said she has big shoes to fill though.
“Nobody can ever be Miss Mary,” Marlin said. “She's one of a kind.”
But Marlin said she has enjoyed the job so far and learning all that it entails.
“Right now, I'm just getting a feel for all the new stuff,” she said.
Before starting at the Dorman Center, Marlin graduated from Kentucky State University and got a master's degree in interdisciplinary early childhood education from the University of Louisville.
She said that her education, along with her years at the center, help her understand the children's needs. Now she just has to learn the business side of the job.
Marlin said she doesn't have any big changes in mind for the center, but she hopes to make more people aware of the center and what it does.
“It's such a wonderful place for these kids and their families,” she said. “We want to get back out there and become a bigger part of the community.”
Marlin said she'd love to direct the center for a long time.
“Hopefully, if I'm lucky, until I retire,” she said.