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Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer

Brooke Pauley

Brooke assists in overseeing the operations of the center, specifically focusing on student billing, operational accounting, administration and compliance for subsidy and food programs. She also provides necessary support to the Director, Assistant Director and staff. Brooke is passionate about creating an environment where each child can thrive.

Your child’s growth, development, and safety is our top priority.  We welcome each family here with open arms as we would our own family. Brooke is married and a mother to four children. In her free time, she enjoys movies, live theater, and dancing.

Chief Operating Officer/Director

Vanessa Johnson

As Director of Smart Start, Ms. Johnson oversees all systems and daily operations at the school level.  She ensures the systems developed for Smart Start are being implemented correctly.

Ms. Johnson previously taught as a Special Education Teacher at Fullerton Elementary for 2 years, owned and operated Lexis Lambs Learning Center for 20 years, Contract Administrator and Executive Administrator of Property Management for Omaha Housing Authority for 3 years, and Center Director of Operations for Cherry Hills Learning Academy. 

She is originally from Houston, Texas and moved to the Midwest almost 35 years ago. She has 5 adult children, 4 boys and 1 daughter.

Ms. Johnson obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Theology from Grace University. She started her Master of Divinity September 2021 at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary 


Assistant Director

Apulinar Hernandez

As Assistant Director, Ms. Lina will support the Director and staff in the operations of the center. Her mission at Smart Start is to help guide and ensure that all the families are receiving the best care possible.

Ms. Lina has been teaching for over 5 years. Before coming to Smart Start, she worked at an Early Head Start center. She also worked as a case worker on the enforcement side.

She is eager to create an early learning environment where all children can learn, grow and be supported in becoming their very best selves. Ms. Lina graduated from Central High School and holds her child development associate credentials.

Our Experienced Teachers

Team Members

Miss Teena, Professional Lead PreK Classroom Teacher

Ms. Teena

Professional Lead PreK Classroom Teacher

Ms. Toni

Professional PreK Classroom Teacher
Miss JJ -Smart-Start-Staff

Ms. JJ

Professional PreK Classroom Teacher

Miss Stephanie

Professional Toddler 2 Classroom Teacher
Staff-Ms. Noora

Mrs. Noora

Professional Infant Classroom Teacher

Ms. Sonnya

Professional Preschool Classroom Teacher

Miss LaNaja

Professional Infant Classroom Teacher

Miss Delilia

Professional Infant Classroom Teacher

Ms. Shawn

Professional Infant Classroom Teacher
staff Stevonna

Mrs. Stevonna

Professional Lead Toddle 2 Classroom Teacher
Ms. Teaira - Custodial Engineer

Ms. Teaira

Custodial Engineer

Ms. Avangeline

Our Chef
Staff member-Susanna

Ms. Susana

Full Time Custodial Engineer