Banaszynski reflects on 40 years as park district early childhood teacher

Parents invited to learn about programs at March 4-8 preview week

Mrs. B celebrates 40 years
Cindy Banaszynski (third from left) celebrated 40 years at the Bensenville Park District in fall 2023.

Bensenville, Ill. (February 14, 2024)— Ever since joining the Bensenville Park District as a ‘Mom and Tot’ supervisor in 1983, Cindy Banaszynski—known by most in the community as “Mrs. B”—has both inspired and cherished the aha moments of the children enrolled in the district’s early childhood programs. And in those 40-plus years, she has seen a lot of them as she progressed from substitute to lead preschool teacher.

“I always love that ‘Mrs. B, I can do this by myself’ moment when a child realizes they can do something all by themselves, eyes-lighting up, with a big smile on their face,” Banaszynski says, noting activities such as zipping up a coat, writing a name or even figuring out how to use a soap dispenser. “Those are the best moments!”

Although actual records aren’t readily available, it is estimated that Mrs. B has taught more than a thousand preschool children, preparing them for the social, emotional and academic rigors of elementary school and beyond. The tiny tot curriculum she developed is based on Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards, emphasizing self-discovery, teamwork and independent thinking. Children are introduced to language arts, literacy, math, social studies, science and nature exploration through a variety of learning centers and hands-on activities in a nurturing environment that addresses the individual needs of each child. The program includes local field trips, guest speakers, nature exploration and special activities such as raising baby chicks, spring planting and a graduation ceremony.

“I have been a member of NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) for many years. This nationally-recognized program provides me with workshops, classes, mentors and other forms of information and literature to help me stay current with what is happening in the field of early childhood,” which she has supplemented with coursework at College of DuPage, Oakton College and Harper College to provide children what they need to succeed, she says.

Former students and parents love her. A photo celebrating Banaszynski’s milestone was recently posted on the Bensenville Park District’s Facebook page, @BvilleParks, and the community showed how they feel about her.

Lisa DeSimone says, “Congratulations Mrs. B! You’re awesome at what you do, and my kids loved having you as their teacher.”

“Thank you for all the young minds you have guided and touched,” Cindy Collins says, calling her the “best teacher ever and one of the most patient with preschoolers.”

Karen Richardson echoes those sentiments, calling Banaszynski a treasure, touching “the lives of so many kiddos, getting them started to the joys of learning and self-confidence.”

Wood Dale Alderman Randy Messina says Banaszynski is a legend in his ward.

Banaszynski says much has changed since she has started, most notably the technology. Personal computing became more prominent in the 1980s, and today that technology is increasingly portable, fitting in the palm of a hand in the form of a smartphone or tablet. However, advanced the technology, there is still a need for children to learn life skills.

Tiny Tot Preview Week March 4-8“Children need technology, but they still need to learn to play with someone and how to use other school and play tools such as paint, playdough, scissors, pencils and crayons. They still need to learn how to complete a task, get the items they need to make a project, share them with others, wait their turn to use them and then, when finished, put everything back where it belongs,” she explains.

The Bensenville Park District offers three distinct early childhood programs, with a preview week March 4-8 for parents to check out the programs for themselves: Play with me for toddlers 18-30 months, Little Sprouts for ages 2-3 and Tiny Tot Preschool for those ages 3-4 and 4-5. Contact Banaszynski at 630-766-7015 ext. 117 or email to schedule a visit.

“I love working for the Bensenville Park District. I get to interact with so many amazing people that inspire me to do my best for the families we serve,” Banaszynski concludes. “I hope I can help the families we serve realize what an asset the Bensenville Park District and staff are to our community and that we need to continue to help modernize and grow the district.”

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