Merrick County Child Development Center - Home Away From Home
Meet our Staff
Our teachers all have a true love for children and are constantly finding new and unique ways for the children to reach their full intellectual potential.
Ms Amy Kucera
Ms Amy Kucera
Ms Amy is the Executive Director of MCCDC. Amy was born and raised in Aurora. She attended UNL and earned her bachelors degree in Human Resources. She is married and has two sons, Dylan and Jacob. Amy has a passion for MCCDC and its success at continuing to enrich the lives of the children in our community!
Ms Michelle Heins
Ms Michelle Heins
Ms Michelle is the Assistant Director of MCCDC. Michelle was born in Grand Island, at the age of 12 moved to Eduador, South America. She came back to Central City her senior year and graduated from CCHS. Michelle married her high school sweetheart and they have been blessed with 4 children. Michelle came to MCCDC in 2011 and was the Toddler Room teacher, she then taught preschool for year before becoming the Assistant Director. Michelle loves watching kids grow and learn, she says that there is nothing better than getting to be a part of a "lighbulb" moment. Working at MCCDC has allowed Michelle to be a part of many of these special moments! MCCDC is so very blessed to have Michelle's caring and giving heart as a part of our team!
Ms Lori Fowler
Ms Lori Fowler
Ms. Lori is the Food Manager for MCCDC. Lori is a 30 year veteran in the food service industry. She grew up in St Paul, NE and has been married to her husband for 37 years. Lori has 3 daughters and 6 grand babies. As the only "original" of the MCCDC staff, she has had the joy of seeing many children grow up and graduate from high school. One of her favorite things is when they come up to her and say "Remember me?" or "You made the BEST food!". Lori cannot imagine working anywhere else because she loves her job and they many little faces she gets to see each day! We are so thankful to have Ms. Lori @ MCCDC!
Ms Kathy Goerl
Ms Kathy Goerl
Ms Kathy works with both the school agers and 3 year olds at MCCDC. Ms Kathy grew up in Chicago. She met her husband there while he was in the Coast Guard. They lived mostly on the east coast, her husband was originally from Palmer and so they eventually settled back in Nebraska. Ms Kathy has 2 children, 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grand children. We have been blessed to have Kathy and her giving heart at MCCDC for 15 years. She enjoys working with children because they are so eager to learn. Ms Kathy says that the unconditional love the children have for their teachers keeps her young!
Ms Danica Carroll
Ms Danica Carroll
You will find Ms. Danica in our Infant room making sure everyone is feed, changed, and happy! Danica was born and raised in Central City and is a graduate of Central City High School. She attended Xenon International Academy where she got a diploma in cosmetology. After finishing cosmetology school she went to CCC in Grand Island to pursue a degree in Human Services. While there, she obtained her Med Aide license and CNA. On the weekends you might find Danica working at Long Term, but on the weekdays, you will find her at MCCDC full time. She is married and has a 7 year old son and another baby on the way! Danica's love for babies is something she was born with. She got lots of experience as a little girl helping her grandma in her in-home daycare. When she is not working, you will find Danica spending time with her family and doing hair! Dancia is such a wonderful addition to the MCCDC team!!!
Ms Desi VanPelt
Ms Desi VanPelt
Ms Desi is our Walker Room teacher. She was born and raised in Central City. Ms Desi married her high school sweetheart, Bobby, in 2015. They have 3 beautiful children together, Josie, Blakeley and Treyson. Ms Desi loves spending time with family and reading. She has been at MCCDC since 2013 and started as floater, was the Toddler Room teacher for about a year and now the Walker Room teacher. Ms Desi loves working with kids, watching them learn new things and seeing the smiles on their faces every day! She also loves the special bond she makes with every child in her room! Ms Desi is a perfect fit for all of the littles at the center with her incredibly caring and loving heart!
Ms Marlene Rodysill
Ms Marlene Rodysill
Ms Marlene is a sub in various classrooms around MCCDC. Marlene loves children and watching them learn and grow! Ms Marlene has been married to her husband Kerry for 45 years. She worked at Litzenberg Hospital for over 40 years. In 2012, after retirement she started working at MCCDC. Ms Marlene enjoys the kids very much, they are like her extended grandchildren. She has 2 sons, Mick and Kris, and 3 grandchildren, Lydia, Quinn and Blake whom all live out of town. Children of all ages love Ms Marlene and her infamous itty bitty mouse trick!
Ms Sierra Sheeks
Ms Sierra Sheeks
Ms Sierra is one of our Toddler Room teachers. Sierra's natural gift of loving and nurturing children is a blessing to the center!
Ms Carolynn Luce
Ms Carolynn Luce
Ms Carolynn works in both our Toddler and Walker Room. Ms Carolynn is originally from New Hampshire and after college moved to Connecticut for a job at the Children's Residential Home. Carolynn worked there for 5 years in direct care and then 15 years as a Director of 70 children that lived at the home. In July of 2010 she moved to Nebraska to be closer to her 2 sisters and 94 year old dad. Ms Carolynn's adopted daughter lives in Connecticut. Ms Carolynn enjoys children and has a heart for foster children. Carolynn has a special gift of loving all children and we are so blessed to have her at MCCDC!
Ms Simone Kennedy
Ms Simone Kennedy
Ms Ashley Jividen
Ms Ashley Jividen
Ms Ashley Jividen was born and raised in Central City. Ashley has been at MCCDC for a little over 2 years and works in all of our classrooms. Ms Ashley loves working with kids because they are so fun and sweet. Ashley loves to snuggle and play with all of the kids. Ashley loves doing make up and is fabulous at doing the toddlers hair. Ashley has a servants heart and is always willing to pitch in wherever needed…whether it be mopping a floor, dancing with a toddler or rocking a baby. Ashley is a fabulous addition to our MCCDC team!
Ms Ann Paup
Ms Ann Paup
Ms Ann wears many hats around the center! She is a retired nurse of 30 years. Ann grew up in Worms but spent her high school years in Central City. She has 3 children and 7 grandchildren. Ann loves all children! MCCDC is blessed to have Ann as a part of our 'family'!
Ms Melanie Medinger
Ms Melanie Medinger
Ms Melanie is a 4/5 year old preschool teacher at MCCDC. She has worked at MCCDC for 14 years and has made a difference and changed a lot of little lives during that time! Ms Melanies soft spoken personality is such a blessing to these little lives! Ms Melanie loves watching the children learn and grow and listening to all of the wonderful things they tell you every day! Melanie is married to her husband Mike and they have 2 boys, Easton (preschool) and Gavin (2nd grade). Ms Melanie lives on a farm outside of Palmer and enjoys gardening, sewing and collecting antiques!
Ms Shawna Lampshire
Ms Shawna Lampshire
Ms. Shawna joined the MCCDC staff in June of last year as one of our 4&5 year old preschool teachers. Before coming to MCCDC, Shawna was a Special Education teacher for 25 years. She grew up on a farm near Hordville. Two of her greatest loves are working with kids and raising rabbits! We are so blessed to have Shawna's big heart and kind spirit here at MCCDC!
Ms Renae Lesiak
Ms Renae Lesiak
Ms. Renae grew up on a small farm near Bellwood, NE. She currently lives in Clarks, NE with her husband Tim and their 3 adorable children, Jacob, Blake, and Paisley and their dog Freddy. Ms Renae joined the MCCDC staff in 2011. She has worn many different "hats" during her time here from a support staff to preschool teacher. She currently is working in one of our 4 and 5 year preschool classrooms. In her free time, she love to do crafts and spending time with her family. Ms Renae loves working with kids because they bring out the "silly kid" in her! The best part of her day is seeing all of the kiddos excited, happy faces when she walks into the room each morning! We are so blessed to have Renae's creative and fun loving spirit at MCCDC!
Ms Danae Perry
Ms Danae Perry
Ms Danae is one of our preschool teachers at MCCDC. She is originally from Ewing, Nebraska. Danae and her husband have 2 kids, Harper and Hudson. This is her first year teaching at MCCDC. Danae grew up in an in-home daycare, her mom had her own daycare for 36 years and retired when she was 17 years old. Danae also worked at a preschool for 3 years in Wisner before staying home with her own kids. She has always been around kids and loves working with them! Danae's natural gift of teaching children is a blessing to have at the center!
Ms Rachel Anderson
Ms Rachel Anderson
Ms Rachel is our afternoon 3 year old teacher. Ms Rachel is a California girl born in Petaluma California (which is near San Francisco). Ms Rachel married a military man so she traveled to different places in the first 6 years of marriage, she has now been married 18 years. Central City is the first small town she has lived in. Ms Rachel has worked at MCCDC now for 5 years. She loves seeing the smiles, hugs and growing the children have done since working here. We are so thankful for Ms Rachel and her soft spoken, kind, loving personality to help nurture our children!
 : Ms. Becky is one of our amazing 3 year old preschool teachers in the morning and is willing to work wherever there is a need when not in preschool.  She grew up in Central City  and has lived here most of her life.  Becky has a 9 year old son, named Tristan.  They like to spend time outside. taking long drives, and playing video games.  They also enjoy spending time with family and  friends.  Becky has been been on staff @ MCCDC for 6 years and has worked with every age group.  She really admires the pure happiness that children have for the simplest things in life.  Ms. Becky's helpful heart and organizational skills are a wonderful addition to the MCCDC staff!
Ms. Becky is one of our amazing 3 year old preschool teachers in the morning and is willing to work wherever there is a need when not in preschool. She grew up in Central City and has lived here most of her life. Becky has a 9 year old son, named Tristan. They like to spend time outside. taking long drives, and playing video games. They also enjoy spending time with family and friends. Becky has been been on staff @ MCCDC for 6 years and has worked with every age group. She really admires the pure happiness that children have for the simplest things in life. Ms. Becky's helpful heart and organizational skills are a wonderful addition to the MCCDC staff!
Ms Diane Poppe
Ms Diane Poppe
Ms Diane is a preschool teacher at MCCDC. Diane is married to Dan, who is part of the Archer Credit Union here in Central City. They have 4 kids, their youngest is currently a senior at Nebraska Christian. Ms Diane's last name is unusual, not said as it is spelled. They say it "pup" as like a yound dog. Speaking of dogs, Diane has 2! Stella and Lucy, a standard poodle and a miniature schnauzer both are brown and white. They help her get her walking in! Diane has been at MCCDC since 2012. Diane was putting time in several rooms at first and eventually settled into the 3/4 year old preschool room. Diane graduated from Albion high school, attended college to get a human resources degree and then started doing daycare in her home and loved being with the kids. Diane enjoys the people she gets to work with. She would like to thank everyone for allowing us all to work and play with your children. Your trust is not overlooked! What a privilege and joy!! Ms Diane's love for children and her true passion for making each and everyone of them succeed is very much appreciated at MCCDC!
 : Grandma Candy comes to MCCDC from the Foster Grandparent program.  She spends her days rocking, feeding, and cuddling babies!  A 1966 graduate of   Doniphan High School, she is a mother of two and has two grandchildren.  In her younger years, she and her late husband owned and operated a mink ranch for over 40 years.  Candy worked several different jobs before coming to MCCDC  6 years ago which she says is the "best choice she made!" .  She loves being retired and having the opportunity to volunteer and love children and spend time with young adults.  Her favorite things about working at MCCDC are working with special people and children!
Grandma Candy comes to MCCDC from the Foster Grandparent program. She spends her days rocking, feeding, and cuddling babies! A 1966 graduate of Doniphan High School, she is a mother of two and has two grandchildren. In her younger years, she and her late husband owned and operated a mink ranch for over 40 years. Candy worked several different jobs before coming to MCCDC 6 years ago which she says is the "best choice she made!" . She loves being retired and having the opportunity to volunteer and love children and spend time with young adults. Her favorite things about working at MCCDC are working with special people and children!
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