Rooted in the FishHawk Community Since 2000

From the very beginning, the founders knew that the key to success was creating a warm and welcoming environment that would make the children and their families feel at home. So they carefully selected a team of educators who shared their passion and dedication for early childhood education and were committed to creating meaningful relationships with every child in their care.

Over the years, the preschool has grown and evolved, and when founder and director, Beverly Gonzalez retired in 2022, Karri Hasty took on the role of owner. Hasty previously served for many years as the school’s director under Gonzalez and has continued the legacy of learning at FishHawk Early Learning Center. 

Today, FHELC is a thriving community of educators, parents, and children, all united in the pursuit of providing the best possible start in life to our youngest FishHawk community members—a place where every child shines! 

In 2000, as FishHawk grew into a flourishing community, two women—a passionate educator and a seasoned preschool center owner, created FishHawk Early Learning Center (FHELC) as a nurturing environment for young children to thrive in their early years. The original founders have since retired, but their planted seeds have bloomed into a center where children have come to grow and learn for many years.

Discover the FishHawk Early Learning Center Difference!

We are a community-driven, private school learning environment devoted to the ideals of wonder, creativity, curiosity, and safety.
It is our goal to see each child reach their sky-high potential! 

We recognize each child is a unique learner, and our supports serve the individual child.

Provides differentiated curriculum

We offer a learning environment that:

learn more about our programs

Our school is a place where children learn through adult models, how to be kind, responsible, and respectful citizens.

Fosters caring citizens

We believe that in an emotionally safe environment, children can develop their abilities and learn with continued efforts and perseverance.

Embraces a growth mindset

A lower student-to-teacher ratio typically means that students can receive more individualized attention and support, which can lead to better academic outcomes and a more personalized learning experience.

Offers a low student-to-teacher

Beyond our program’s daily activities, our children and families enjoy many extra seasonal and special activities, such as:

  • Annual seasonal festivals
  • Spirit weeks and thematic unit dress-up days 
  • Fall and spring photos 
  • Outdoor green spaces for gross motor play
  • Holiday events and parent programs
  • VPK graduation and celebration

Additionally, we offer extracurricular activities that are conveniently provided within our center such as:

  • Soccer Shots®
  • Dance
  • Local theater plays
  • Speech-language therapy (based on evaluation and recommendation)

Hi, I’m Karri!

Meet the Director and Owner of FishHawk Early Learning Center

I’ve been so blessed to be a part of this preschool, starting as a part-time VPK teacher in 2006, then becoming a curriculum coordinator, promoting to the director, and finally taking ownership in 2022. What a journey it has been! 

The FishHawk neighborhoods are special places for families and children alike. A supportive community of various family backgrounds—military, international, and long-time area residents all call FishHawk home. And, our preschool is a micro-community of the vibrant and diverse families that make up our neighborhood. 

I come from a family where education was of high priority. My father was a principal, and his educational leadership inspired my path. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Education with certification in grades K-9 from the University of Illinois. Additionally, I have a VPK advanced director credential. 

It’s a great honor to work alongside and lead FishHawk Early Learning Center’s dedicated staff and serve every child who comes through our doors with passion and dedication. I love seeing how each child grows physically and cognitively and the differences that make each child so unique. It’s a joy to know that together as staff, we profoundly impact their love of learning and future success. 

I look forward to meeting your family and welcoming your child into our family at FishHawk Early Learning Center!

Karri Hasty
Director & Owner

Dedicated to Serving Families in the FishHawk Community of Lithia, Florida Since 2000

If you’ve been looking for an environment that is growing minds and nurturing hearts, we’d invite you to call us at (813)662-5978 or contact us to book a tour, register, or join our waitlist!

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