Little Tigers celebrates 20 years
Businesses come and go, but one local business has been caring for children for the past 20 years.
Owner Rhonda Miller started with four employees and 20 children when she opened Little Tigers Preschool on Lawrence Street East in Russellville in August 1996, aided by Commissioner Chris Wallace and Kenny Hearst. “And it went from just a little thought to lots of hard work and prayers and love from the community.”
Miller was working toward her teaching degree at the time, age 22, at Northwest-Shoals Community College. But she decided the preschool would enable to spend more time with her children, when they came along.
“It’s always been about what would benefit these kids in this community,” she said.
Miller said she and her staff aim to reach each child’s needs and teach in a way that recognizes that each child will learn and achieve differently. She gets emotional when she thinks about all the children who have passed through Little Tigers’ doors in the past 20 years and all the memories she has made – how her business has grown and thrived, including achieving an OSR Pre-K grant in the last year.
“It’s all surreal,” she said. But in a way, she said she knew it would be a lasting business effort. “Once I set my mind to a goal, it’s going to happen … It’s a dream that’s realized. I’m just proud of it.”
Miller credited employees past and present as well as community support for much of the success of Little Tigers Preschool. Current and former employees celebrated the 20th anniversary with Miller Friday, and children enjoyed the day with a bouncy house, McDonald’s Happy Meals and special guest Marshall from Paw Patrol.
Miller grew up in Littleville. She is married to Brian Miller, who works at United Launch Alliance, and they have two children, ages 13 and 12.