Our early childhood educators are carefully screened and evaluated by their professional credentials as well as by their warmth and sensitivity to the individual needs of young children and families. Most classes have team-teachers who have degrees in early child development or a related field. Administrators have degrees in child development as well as experience teaching young children. Staff members are active in professional organizations locally and nationally. Many present workshops and training for other professionals. All are involved in a continuing program of in-service training.
MEET OUR FOUNDER
Judy’s professional life began in 1960 (yes, before you were born!). She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education at 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!
Wendy has been in the Early Childhood Education field since 1998. She came to us in 2016 with four years of administrative experience. She has a Degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbus State Community College. She can be seen throughout the school being Mrs. Fixit with her tools. She loves working with the teachers, parents and children at Smoky Row and loves being a member of the Smoky Row Family.
INFANT ROOM STAFF
Bobbie has been working in the Infant Room since 1994! She grew up in Worthington with two sisters who are still her best friends. She also enjoys hanging out with her daughter, Carly who attended Smoky Row as a preschooler. She likes movies, reading, and camping in her old camper near Michigan. She thinks of Smoky Row as her second family and loves her co-workers and the relationships she builds with the infants and their families. She also babysits for Smoky Row families.
Tunde has been at Smoky Row since 2005. She has a Bachelor of Education from Hungary where she grew up. Her daughter attended through kindergarten here at Smoky Row. In her free time, Tunde enjoys baking and trying out new recipes. She also enjoys watching British comedies.
Enaas came to us in 2018 with teaching experience in Iraq, Egypt, New York and Ohio. She has an Associate Degree in Elementary Education from the Baghdad Institute and a Human Services Certificate from Erie Community College. When she is not at work she enjoys music, cooking and most especially reading.
TODDLER ROOM STAFF
Becky has worked in child care since 1999. She graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Her son, Tyler attends Smoky Row. Her favorite things are going to Ohio State Football games, reading and playing volleyball every chance she gets.
Amanda has been at Smoky Row since 2005. She brings lots of energy and great ideas to the Toddler Room. She loves to attend concerts, read books and watch movies.
Margie joined our Smoky Row family in 2016. She came to us with over ten years of experience working with children of all age groups. She has four children of her own and one grandson. She loves doing outdoor activities and spending time with her family and pets.
SUPER STAR ROOM STAFF
Kim has been teaching at Smoky Row since 1990! She has her Child Development Certificate and has attended many workshops and conferences and worked on a training video with Action For Children. She lives in Grove City with her husband, Bill. She is very proud of her son Gregg who is a paramedic. She enjoys beach vacations, snorkeling and snow skiing. She also loves to cook and do fun science projects in the Super Star Room.
MONKEY ROOM STAFF
Carrie came to us in 2016 with seven years of teaching experience. She has a Music Education Degree from Ohio State. She has two daughters, Riley and Grace. She enjoys spending time traveling with her daughters and husband, Tom, to their favorite beach (Emerald Isle, NC) and to Disney.
Rica came to us in 2017 with four years of childcare experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University and has her Child Development Associate Degree. Rica spent her early years living in Mexico City where she learned to be fluent in both English and Spanish. She and her family returned to Columbus when she was in the 4th grade. She is married to Luke and they have a daughter, Natassia. She loves working with young children and impacting their lives in the most positive ways that she can!
TEDDY BEAR ROOM STAFF
Kristin has been at Smoky Row since 2017. She is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Elementary Education and Child Development. She taught preschool, pre-k, and first and second grades before taking a break to raise her family. She lives in Dublin with her husband, Mike. They have two children Katie and Michael and a cat named Roxy. In her free time, Kristin likes to read, take walks, photography and going on adventures with her family.
Divine came to Smoky Row as a part-time preschool parent. Then in 2013, she joined our teaching staff as a super sub. She became a team teacher in 2018. Divine was born in the Philippines and grew up in New York City. She graduated from The City University of New York at Baruch College with a B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She earned her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry New York. She taught 4th and 5th grades and several years of preschool before coming to Smoky Row. She lives in Powell with her husband, Jason and their two daughters Bella and Toni. In her free time she likes to cook, exercise, read, garden, travel, go to the beach, and spend time with her family.
TREE HOUSE CLUB STAFF
Mandy joined the Smoky Row Family in 2016. She has a Master’s of Education and has many years teaching a variety of ages in a variety of settings. She and her husband are from Chicago and their son, Ronin, attended Smoky Row through kindergarten. When she’s not teaching she loves working on arts and crafts projects, being outside, and spending time with her wonderful family.
Cara has worked at Smoky Row since 2016. She worked as an afternoon teacher while taking classes and also worked at the front desk greeting and touring families and providing support for our teachers. She became a team teacher in 2019. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Psychology. In her free time she likes spending time with her husband exploring the outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends, family and their dog, Marty.
SUNSHINE ROOM STAFF
Kelsey studied Early Childhood Development at The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) and graduated in 2013. In 2017, she attended Ashland University and obtained her Ohio teaching license. She joined the Smoky Row family as a parent in 2018 and as a teacher in 2019. Her family is made up of four people and one dog: her husband, Erik, their children, Julius and Evelyn and their dog, Ripley. They love playing, reading books, and going on adventures to explore new things. A few other things she enjoys doing are yoga, reading and eating ice cream!
Katiy joined Smoky Row in 2016. She grew up in Worthington and graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has been in professional child care since 2000 in various positions including her own in-home child care. She and her husband, Nolan, have three children, Braedyn, Carrick, and Molly. When she is not working or with her children, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends, and just taking time to enjoy the little moments.
RAINBOW ROOM STAFF
Taryn has been teaching since 2006 and at Smoky Row since 2008. She has a degree in Human Ecology focusing on Early Childhood Education from Ohio State University. She is a huge Ohio State football fan. She also loves spending time with her sons, Quintin and Landon, at the park and taking her dog, Archie, on walks.