Hobson School Turns 50

Hard to believe that just 50 years ago Naperville didn’t even have one preschool. That all changed when a group of parents dedicated to their children’s education banned together to form Hobson School.

When Helen Haugsnes and family moved to Naperville in 1963, it wasn’t an easy task finding a preschool for her son, Eric.

“His older brother and sister had already gone to a preschool in York Center and it was excellent, and so I wanted that for him. When we moved here and there were no preschools. So, Ruth Turner, whose husband was head of the school board at that time suggested we look at this site as a possibility,” said Haugsnes, Co-Founder of Hobson School.

That site was an old red brick building on Hobson Road, in between Naper Boulevard and Washington Street. The building had previously been used as an elementary school but was currently vacant, making it the perfect spot for a new preschool.

Helen enlisted the help of other parents who pitched in to get the school ready for that first day.

“We worked hard to start this school, for you, and then I found out on the first day, he cried! And I thought oh no,” said Helen Haugsnes.

Hobson School has been a co-op learning environment since day one. Parents are highly involved in the development of their child, rotating schedules so that a parent is in the classroom each day.

That parent teacher team is something Eric Haugsnes valued, so much so, that he wanted it for his daughter as well.

“You’re really learning how to handle that adult attention you get which is a really good experience. I really appreciated it and I think my daughter, as an only child, has really been able to grow and learn from this as well,” said Eric Haugsnes.
The hands on experience was a big draw for new director, Beth Wilson, and her family.

“The fact that families for 50 years have been involved in running this school and owning this school and working on behalf of their children is a really stand out piece of Hobson


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