One recent morning, Grandview City Schools' new child care director smiled as she listened to the sound of students singing in the music room next door to her office at Stevenson Elementary.

One recent morning, Grandview City Schools' new child care director smiled as she listened to the sound of students singing in the music room next door to her office at Stevenson Elementary.

"We're being serenaded by them," Courtney Price said. "It's one of the perks of this job."

Price is settling in after beginning her new position on March 30. She replaced former child care director Dee Turner, who retired.

Before coming to Grandview, Price worked at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, where she led environmental education programs for children, including "My House at Habitat Hollow."

"I think children and animals have the same draw for me," Price said. "They are both so innocent and so honest. They'll always reveal just what they're feeling. They don't hide it."

Although she has spent her career working as an educator, Price actually majored in wildlife biology in college.

"I knew I always wanted to work with animals," she said.

She took a number of education classes in college and found the idea of teaching children about nature and animals appealed to her.

"Looking back, I always enjoyed tutoring classmates and babysitting when I was younger," Price said.

In addition to leading programs at the zoo, Price also visited local schools to teach youngsters about the animal kingdom.

"It's always fun to help children learn and grow," she said.

Price said she is enjoying the opportunity to get to know the children enrolled in Grandview's child care program on a daily basis.

"We had some children who regularly attended programs at the zoo, but you might only see them once a month or maybe once a week," she said. "A lot of the kids here will stop by my office and say hello and tell me about their day. It really is such a pleasure to get to know them."

The transition into her new job has been easy because of the quality of Grandview's child care program and staff, Price said.

"I'm really fortunate, because I'm not coming into a broken situation," she said. "It's just a matter of adding a few touches of my own to the program.

"Everyone has been so helpful. It's a great staff," Price said.

The staff has selected an "animals" theme for the upcoming summer child care program.

"That's right up my alley," she said. "We're going to bring in some educators from the zoo to train our staff and we'll be able to have some animals visit the school over the summer.

"I'm just enjoying the experience of being with the kids on a daily basis and getting to hear all the funny, smart, crazy things they say," Price said. "We have a great group of kids here."

afroman@thisweeknews.com