Our History

Our History | School Age Program | Smoky Row Children Center


Judy | Our History | School Age Program | Smoky Row Children Center

Meet Judy, the founder of Smoky Row Children’s Center.
Judy’s professional life began in 1960 (yes, before you were born!).  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Omaha and a Master’s Degree in Child Development at Ohio State University.  She taught in the Omaha public schools before joining the HEADSTART program, which included teaching Child Development at Columbus State Community College.  Then she realized and fulfilled her goal of creating a high-quality early childhood center when she founded Smoky Row Children’s Center in 1983.  Judy says, “The favorite part of my day at SRCC is getting out of the office and spending time in the classrooms.  As I walk around seeing children happily involved in developmentally appropriate activities, I feel proud of our teachers and the work they are doing and the wonderful service we offer.  I deeply appreciate their passion and dedication to the mission of the center.”  She and husband Bob, who is a retired OB-GYN, love to travel.  They also delight in spending time with family, especially their three grandchildren.  Being a Grandparent is the dessert of life!
The home is the most important factor in a child’s development.Our History | School Age Program | Smoky Row Children Center
-We will always strive to support and complement the family in order to promote the healthy development of children and parents. As teachers of young children, that we should try to discover and work with each child’s own uniqueness.
-Accepting all children where they are; accepting their limitations as well as recognizing their potential. Play is the work of young children and they learn best through direct experience. Children are naturally curious, open, energetic, trusting and happy.
-It is our privilege and duty to be sure these qualities are nurtured and channeled in constructive ways. Social awareness and understanding are developed through modeling, guided conflict resolutions, and forming friendships that are active and caring.


  • To provide each child with a secure home-like atmosphere not as a substitute for, but as an enrichment of, family life.
  • To encourage independence and self-direction by helping children learn to make their own choices and decisions.
  • To provide children a chance to have fun, to be happy, to be safe.


  • Frequent, positive, warm interactions among adults and children
  • Ongoing assessments of each child’s learning and development with progress being communicated to the child’s family
  • Planned learning activities and materials appropriate to the children’s ages, development, and interests
  • Specially trained teachers
  • Enough adults to respond to individual children
  • A healthy and safe environment for children
  • Regular communication with parents, who are welcome visitors at all times