When Courtney Bost was 18, she began working part-time at the St. John’s Child Development Center. In April, she was named its new director. “This place just means a lot to me,” says Courtney, now 33. “Being here almost half my life, it’s a big part of my life. It’s part of me.” She and her husband, Ron, have three children: Chanse, 8, Courtlyn, 4, and Cade, 4 months. All three started at the CDC as infants, and her two younger children are still there, while her son comes to the afterschool program. “This is their school,” she says proudly.
Courtney graduated from West Rowan High School in 2002 and enrolled that fall at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. She continued to work at the CDC. Near the end of her time at RCCC, she switched to full-time and took classes in the evening. At the CDC, she started out as a floater in the classrooms, then taught, then became program coordinator. Joanna Smith became director in 2010, and promoted Courtney to assistant director. Courtney enrolled at Catawba College in 2012, earning her bachelor’s degree two years later.
“When I started at Catawba, I was pregnant with my daughter,” she remembers. “I had her during my summer break and continued on. By the time she was a year old, I was graduating. Looking back, it was God who brought me through all that, and I believed I could do it.” Courtney said she was nervous leaving her husband with their son and newborn daughter at night, but he did a fine job. Ron is a job coach and girls’ varsity basketball coach at North Rowan High School.
Courtney says she was taken by surprise when Joanna put in her notice. “She had planned to teach part-time, but it was just the perfect set-up for her,” Courtney says. Then Joanna talked with Courtney about taking over as director. “It was time to say, ‘OK Courtney, it’s time for you to step it up.’ I have the self-confidence that I could do it. I am proud and nervous at the same time. This is a busy place, and it’s a big responsibility. It really takes all of us to make the St. John’s Child Development Center what it is.” Because of her long tenure, she knows every job in the building, and what it takes to do each one. “I won’t ask someone to do something I wouldn’t do. I try my best to be a servant leader.”
“Courtney brings a wealth of experience, faithfulness, and passion to the job,” Pastor Rhodes Woolly says. “We couldn’t have asked for a person of better character and love for the Lord. That’s why the students, parents and staff love her so much.
“The CDC is widely known as a leader in early childhood education. Courtney is well -prepared to lead this flagship program into the future.”
The CDC has 39 full-time and part-time employees, and with 183 children is five away from its licensed limit. “We prayed for Courtney to receive this position,” says Lana Richardson, program coordinator. “She brings focus and organization to the center, and her dedication adds stability. She will put the children first. Her heart’s desire is to have a ministry here. She has already met with our administrative team to set goals for the future. We are ready for what the future brings. It is such a blessing to work in a Christian environment.”
“You can see how calm, steady and focused Courtney is,” says Judy Childress, a member of the Rainbow Makers team, a support team for the CDC and its teachers. “She’s a learner. She’s a team player. Nobody could be more invested in the child development center, and more caring. I think she will rise to the occasion.”
Courtney also had the chance to work with the late Shirley Ritchie, who founded the CDC. “She had a natural love for people,” Courtney says. “She was here every step of the way.” Like Shirley, Courtney likes to be behind the scenes. “But sometimes,” she says, “you have to stand up. You have to stand up for children, because they do not have a voice. I want to be their voice and advocate.”
Welcome aboard, Courtney!