Friday Feature: MaryBeth Brown, Kid Zone Director

MaryBeth Brown discovered her immense passion for before and after school childcare when she first began working in the field in 1999.   

“I was lucky to find my professional mention, Rodger Schmidt, whom I worked for in the early years of my career at the YMCA Kids Network program. Through his leadership and dedication, I learned the importance and necessity of out-of-school care and play in a child’s life.”  

A lifelong resident of Edwardsville who has three of her own children in District #7 schools, Brown has been with Kid Zone since 2012, working as a program coordinator and assistant director before taking on the role of director in 2017.   

As Kid Zone Director, she oversees the planning and operations of the eight Kid Zone elementary school sites. Along with her wonderful and dedicated team of counselors, site coordinators, program coordinator and assistant directors, they have made the program what it is today.   

“I enjoy working for a school district that knows the benefit of offering a program that focuses on play and social interactions for children while also serving the childcare needs of families.” 

Brown also enjoys seeing the children grown through their elementary-aged years at Kid Zone.  

“It is also wonderful to see former Kid Zone kids return to work with us as counselors. I am fortunate to not only see the kiddos grow into themselves through the years, but also witness our counselors’ growth as they move into their professional careers.” 

Brown takes much pride in the District #7 community and is passionate about her role.  

“Working for the Edwardsville School District feels like home to me; I could never imagine not being a Tiger! I am dedicated and passionate about helping families’ childcare needs in the community I love.” 

Brown has undergrad degrees in psychology and social work and recently completed a master’s degree in family and human development with a specialization in child development. Her initial interest was in the study of biology, which eventually led her to the social science field.

“I enjoy learning, researching, and the statistical analyses of human behaviors and relationships. Currently, I am working with a team of researchers on the critical role of play in child development. I enjoy bringing this knowledge to the Kid Zone program to help it evolve and develop to best serve the kids and our community.”