It's a calling for those with a big heart and the patience to work with little minds.
"I still have children from out of town, out of state, that still contact me," says Angelia Dean, Estes Elementary Childcare Director.
Dean has spent more than 20 years working with children, but her career started as a volunteer every day for three straight years.
"Someone looked at me one day and said why don't you get paid?"
Dean applied for the position, despite having little to no experience with kids until one special moment.
"When I had my son, it changed everything in my life," says Dean.
Throughout the years, Dean learning where her calling truly was.
"I will always look at a child differently since I worked here," says Dean.
The students she cared for embedded in her memory.
"Everything about the kids makes me smile."
But for Dean the time has come for the next chapter of her life. On June 30th she will retire from Estes.
"It's time, I wish it wasn't, but it is," Dean.
A protector, provider, and caretaker for dozens of children.
Angelia Dean is this week's hometown hero.
"They are so special. So very special to me. I love them all."