New owners for Creative Teaching Aids
By Scott Jenkins
A group of partners with more than a century of combined educational experience has bought Creative Teaching Aids at 310 S. Main St.
The business closed Dec. 19 when Ken and Margarete Crysel retired after more than 30 years. Dr. Alan King, one of the new partners and a retired Rowan-Salisbury School System administrator, said the store will reopen Jan. 4.
Three couples form the new ownership group. Along with King and his wife, Joy, partners in the business are Steve and Mary Lynn Misenheimer and Pam and Daryl Honeycutt.
Joy King teaches at Millbridge Elementary School; Pam Honeycutt recently retired from Enochville Elementary; and Mary Lynn Misenheimer is a teacher assistant at Rockwell. Steve Misenheimer and Daryl Honeycutt work in business.
“It’ll be those of us that are retired educators that will be carrying the load and running the business to begin with,” said King, who still works part time at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. “Among all of us, we have over 100 years of educational experience that we’re proud of.”
King said the new owners “don’t want this just to be a store; we want to help impact student achievement.”
“I think that what we really want to be is a partner with parents, teachers and schools,” he said. “As former educators, we want to make life easier for teachers and provide teachers with all the instructional materials that are on the cutting edge to help students with learning.”
To help the new owners realize that goal and make a smooth transition, he said, the Crysels ó who built a store that attracted educators from all around the region ó have agreed to work with them. He said the new owners “hope we can learn a lot about what they were doing and how the operation worked and we want to come into contact with as many of their customers as we can.”
King said he doesn’t foresee drastic changes at the business initially and, when change does come, it won’t be sudden. But starting with a grand opening in February, he said, the new owners plan to introduce materials that teachers may not have had the opportunity to use.
In the long run, the new owners want Creative Teaching Aids “to be that educational resource for anybody in the community that’s interested in helping students learn,” King said.
“We’re just so appreciative to Ken and Margarete for giving us this opportunity,” he said. “They built an excellent business and we want to continue to build on their legacy.”