After 41 years as director of the Sunshine Nursery School on Prentiss Street in Arlington, Geraldine Pedrini is retiring.

“Gerry was instrumental in advancing the cause of early education in Arlington and throughout the state. Sunshine Nursery is now considered one of the best nursery programs operating in the state today,” said John Gardiner, former executive director of the Worcester Comprehensive Early Education and Care Agency.

“Gerry Pedrini knows more about children and how best to help them grow and thrive than almost anyone else I have ever had the pleasure to work and learn with,” said Lisa Dobberteen, former Sunshine parent of two, board member, pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School.

“Gerry has been a guiding light to many new directors in the greater Arlington area. So many of us owe her a huge thank you for sharing her knowledge, expertise and time as she answered our questions, offered solutions to problems and in general supported us as we grew into our role as directors,” said Chris Giguere, Lexington Playcare Center director.

“Gerry is an inspiration to myself and hundreds of other parents I know whose children attended Sunshine,” said Susan Vickers, a parent of two boys who attended the school. “Sunshine was the first place where I felt truly connected to a community of adults which placed the needs of children at the heart of their educational mission. I wish all schools could accomplish what Gerry did with Sunshine.”

The Sunshine Nursery School board of directors are establishing a Geraldine Pedrini Enrichment Fund at Sunshine Nursery School in Pedrini’s honor. Donations can be made at http://bit.ly/SunshineGPEFund.

After her retirement, Pedrini will be joining the Sunshine board of directors. She will leave Sunshine in the hands of Jenn Eisenheim, her longtime assistant director and fellow Arlington resident, to carry on the Sunshine Nursery School’s mission of educating inquisitive and well-rounded children to send to the Arlington public schools.