Former Epworth Preschool director releases statement on her termination

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 2:29 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Jane Lyon, the former director of Epworth Preschool, has released a statement regarding her termination.

Lyon’s statement comes just days after she was abruptly fired.

Like preschool parents and teachers, I do not know why I was terminated. I am heartsick for the children and their families. I know I’m not supposed to comment, but when the church leadership slander me and the school, I must defend both.

First, for 40 years I have been a professional educator. I hold a permanent teaching certificate and a five year elementary principal license with the Ohio Department of Education. I have been fully licensed as the Administrator for the preschool with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. All of my teachers are fully licensed by ODJFS as well. I’m a Christian. I worship every Sunday. To maliciously attack my credentials and my faith is defamatory.

Second, Epworth Preschool is a jewel of Toledo. Thousands of students and their families over the last 40 years have made lifelong friendships, sharing snacks and playdates with friends, participating in preschool Olympics, zoo trips and grandparent’s days…all in a safe wholesome preschool. Epworth Preschool has been blessed with the best teachers and directors over those 40 years. Our students are exquisitely prepared for kindergarten.

Since the school’s long-standing governing board was disbanded by church leadership last August, the preschool has been given no guidance to correct any aspect of the school. The communication over the last year has centered on accounting of parents’ tuition deposits missing from the records of the church.

Jane Lyon

Lyon’s says the day before she was fired, she sent an email regarding discrepancies in the preschool’s January 2023 Financials. The email read:

Parents of the children who attend Epworth have also been demanding answers ever since Lyon’s termination and they say they haven’t received any information from the school.

“We want Mrs. Lyon there. We knew that she protected those kids. She loved those kids. She knew every single one of those kids by name. And not having her there has just turned our lives upside down honestly,” said Cherise Lukehart, a parent of an Epworth student.

A group of parents have also delivered a letter to Epworth Church staff regarding the issue.

“It sounded like there are things that need to be looked into more closely perhaps by the higher leadership in the United Methodist Church,” said Clare Stanton, a parent. “We had registered [our child] for next year and she will not be returning to Epworth next year.”

“I continue to pray for the children, their families, the teachers and for Epworth Church,” says Lyon.

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