After a career in education that includes 11 years as preschool director for Aiken’s First Baptist Church, Kathy Samaha is retiring to spend more time with family and to travel.
“It is bittersweet leaving this job. It has been the most rewarding part of my education career. Our program has grown so much, and I am so proud of that,” Samaha said. “I am excited to see what Kim Mitchell does with this program. It is certainly easier to leave knowing I will be leaving FBC Preschool in such experienced and capable hands.”
A native of Raleigh, N.C., Samaha grew up in Athens, Ga. She graduated from Mercer University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and earned her master’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Georgia.
Samaha taught elementary school in Bethlehem, Ga., for three years and at Aiken Elementary School for 16 years. She taught third, fourth and fifth grades, gifted and talented classes and kindergarten reading intervention.
Samaha said the preschool has grown from 35 children to more than 100, and she is very proud of that growth.
“We started with seven or eight on staff and now have 20," she said. "In 2012, we used six classrooms; now we are in 10.
Samaha is married to Ahmed Samaha, and they have 2 sons, Drew and Tucker. When she’s not at the church, Kathy likes traveling, reading and shopping. She also enjoys spending time at the animal shelter with rescue dogs.
“The future is so bright for Aiken’s FBC Preschool,” Samaha said. “I am glad to have been a part of the magic and can’t wait to see what happens next."