Lindsay Golden, a pre-K teacher, painted most of the classrooms with Harlan and even helped with painting parking lines in the driveway. Parents organized painting parties, worked weekends and still asked Harlan what else could be done to help.
Otis, the former Trinity center parent, was given a big pair of scissors for Friday's ribbon-cutting to show how large a role she played in the school's development, Harlan said.
"The more we talked about it, the more we realized it would come to fruition," Otis said.
Parents in attendance Friday were thrilled with the result.
Raechelle Norton, whose 3-year-old daughter, Kiera, is starting at Davenport this year, said she "didn't even give it a second thought" when it came to enrolling her this year.
"The five years we were (at Trinity center) with Liz was the best experience for us," Norton said. "The teachers are wonderful. It's just a safe environment, very comfortable and warm."
Many of the 109 students enrolled are familiar with staff, but others, like 4-year-old Sofia Theoharidis, are newcomers.
Sofia's parents, Thomas and Elena, enrolled her Thursday after an extensive search.
Thomas Theoharidis said he enjoyed the sprawling indoor and outdoor space, as "all the other pre-ks were in basements."
"I took a risk, but I like the overall look and atmosphere," Elena Theoharidis said.
On Friday, Harlan's roles were manifold. She frantically searched for Brannock's watering can, her own camera and greeted parents and children as they walked through the halls. It was a touch of the familiar in a year where she said she woke up every day and didn't know what her job would be.
But when the school opens Monday, a set of familiar circumstances will jar her back to the role she worked all year toward.
"I'm going to be holding some crying children," she said. "I guarantee it."