Tu Lynn Sommerfeld

CROOKSTON, Minn. - The University of Minnesota Crookston announced that Tu Lynn Sommerfeld has returned as director of the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC). Sommerfeld previously served as the director for 11 years, before leaving last fall to take a position at Sacred Heart School in East Grand Forks, Minn.

"We welcome Tu Lynn Sommerfeld back to the Early Childhood Development Center -- her expertise and experience are invaluable to the ECDC students, community, and institution," said Interim Division Head Mark Huglen.

Katlyn Janssen was the interim director of the ECDC for the 2021-22 academic year.

"I want to point out that Katlyn Janssen did great work with general operations in the interim director role, and particularly noteworthy her great work during the unpredictable environment associated with COVID,” stated Huglen.

Sommerfeld will commence her second stint as director of the ECDC June 1, 2022.

“Simply put, I missed it,” Sommerfeld stated when describing what brought her back to her position at the ECDC. “I am returning because I have missed seeing those littles who come through our doors, who are so happy to be at the ECDC. I have missed working with families to support their child's overall healthy development, that includes working with the ECDC staff, in building nurturing relationships when a parent is away/working. I've missed the student staff and the future educators who look for guidance and use their education and knowledge in being amazing, intentional teachers one day.”

Sommerfeld also described how she missed being on the UMN Crookston campus. “I've missed the faculty and staff, across the campus, who collaborate with me, have supported the ECDC's mission, or just know how passionate I am about the importance of a high quality education and care program for our youngest learners. I've been with UMC for over 20 years, from student, to staff, to being a director (again) of a teacher training laboratory. I am so proud to be an alumni of our early childhood education program and happy to be back full-time with the UMC community. I'll be back to doing what I love, working with others to support the holistic development of a child's social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs and providing them with a strong social-emotional foundation for lifelong learning and overall well being, which every child deserves.”

Story Contact: Shawn Smith