When Debby Ludington and Phyllis Tresselt first paired up as teachers at First United Church Nursery School in Oak Park, Ronald Reagan was president, big hair was all the rage and the world hadn’t even heard of Tom Cruise. It was 1982 and both women were back in the workforce after sending their youngest children off to school. They barely knew each other when they were placed together in rooms one and two, but 24 years later they admit to sharing the same thoughts and finishing each other’s sentences. Both say it’s been quite a ride.

Ludington and Tresselt are retiring at the end of this month, ending a combined 51 years of teaching nursery school. They always said they’d leave together when the time came to retire and after the recent arrival of grandchildren, both decided this year would be their last.

Ludington arrived at First United 27 years ago with a background in biology. She’d worked in the field of cancer research before leaving to stay home with her three children. When her youngest was in preschool at Carroll Center, Ludington began teaching and completed a master’s in Early Childhood Education. Tresselt followed three years later. She taught physical education in Evanston before having her four children, all alumni of First United Church Nursery School.

A retirement reception for Debby Ludington and Phyllis Tresselt was held May 20 at First United Church.

Joan White
First United Church Nursery School

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