The school will be housed in a collection of rooms in Powell Butte Community Church

Photo Credit: KEVIN SPERL - Aubrie Murray (left) and her mom Tammy Verdusco-Adams are getting ready for the fall opening of their new preschool at the Powell Butte Christian Church.

Aubrie Murray and Tammy Verdusco-Adams are bringing pre-school education to Powell Butte.

This fall, the mother-daughter pair will be opening the Powell Butte Community Preschool, located in a collection of rooms at the Powell Butte Christian Church.

“We decided to start a school here in Powell Butte because there is a huge need,” said Murray. “Most families are driving their kids into Prineville or Redmond or not sending them at all. We felt it would be a huge service to the community to bring preschool here.”

Murray, with a degree in Human Development and Education, has a history of teaching in Central Oregon, having taught second grade for three years at the Powell Butte Community Charter School, and for three years in the Redmond school district.

Adams has been involved with education for 14 years, including four years at the High Desert Education Service District and 10 years at the Crook County Christian School.

The pair recognizes the growing importance of preschool, agreeing with the Oregon Department of Education that connecting young children with the education process is an early key to high school graduation success.

“Kindergarten standards are a lot higher now with the things kids are expected to know,” she said. “Now students are expected to write their names, recognize letters, and produce letter sounds.”

The Powell Butte Kindergarten staff has published a list of expectations for entering students that includes counting to 10, writing the numbers zero through five, drawing pictures and talking about them, and recognizing basic colors.

Murray is determined that her new school will address these issues.

“We are looking to make the first educational experience for our students a very positive one,” she said. “We want them to learn to love school.”

The pair is grateful to the church for making space available to them for the school.

“We wanted a place centrally located and this is a beautiful facility,” said Adams. “We just asked and they were very receptive and welcoming and did whatever they could to make it happen.”

Murray added that the convenience of having their school adjacent to the Charter School makes it convenient for parents who may have children attending both schools.

The two were also the recipients of the generosity of a local resident who had recently moved to Powell Butte from California and had previously run a preschool.

“She had a lot of school supplies and furniture and decided to not open a school here,” explained Murray. “She happened to contact the church about anyone who might need the supplies and the church connected her with us.”

Capacity at the school has been set at 20 students and Murray wants the community to know that there are still a few openings.

“The community is very excited and receptive and we have sent out a lot of information,” she said. “We have enough students to open in the fall, but are still accepting applications.”

The two have planned a day for their students that includes free time, singing, activity centers, and outside play.

“We both believe kids learn the best when they move around and are active with an element of play and fun,” explained Murray. “We will get them exercising and healthy.”

Adams wants to ensure residents that they are a school and looking to become a long-term integral part of the local school community.

“We will be using curriculum I have used in the past that is very academic and it will be our focus,” she said. “We will also work with ESD for speech and hearing, and whatever else the community brings to us.”

The Powell Butte Community Preschool will open on Sept. 8 and run through May 29, for students aged 3 through 5. Class will be held from 7:45 a.m. until 11 at the Powell Butte Christian Church, located at 13720 S.W. Highway 126 in Powell Butte. For more information call Aubrie Murray or Tammy Verdusco-Adams at 541-350-6141, or 541-410-6298. You may also email the school at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit their web site at

Tuition is set at $300 per month for five days per week, $200 for three days, and $125 for two. Initial plans are to be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

An open house is planned for Saturday, Sept. 6 at 10 a.m.

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