OUR TEACHERS

Paige Smothers

Director, Teacher

Paige was born and raised in Carlisle, graduating from CHS at the top of her class. Once she graduated high school, she attended Simpson College before transferring to the University of Northern Iowa. She graduated from UNI in 2012 with degrees in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Literacy and Special Education endorsements. Paige married her high school sweetheart, Taylor, shortly after graduating, and they moved back to Carlisle after college, where they planted their roots. Paige found her niche while teaching preschool for almost ten years at Carlisle Elementary School and this experience began her dream of owning her own school. After staying at home for two years to raise her two children, Kinsley and Piper, she decided to make her dream a reality, and Sprouts Early Learning Academy was born.

As both a teacher and a life-long resident of the community, Paige knew the desperate need Carlisle has for quality, education-based child care. Her passion for teaching and her heart for child development allows Sprouts to offer a wide range of programs and opportunities for all family types. The full-day programs provide working families the opportunity to give their young children a solid educational foundation before they even start elementary school. Simultaneously, the preschool-only option offers shorter programming for families with a little more flexibility in their schedules. Sprouts Early Learning Academy has gained the Carlisle School District’s support by providing programs that promote school readiness.

Paige’s formal education and years of experience in classrooms have taught her that learning has to be hands-on, age-appropriate, and FUN, which is precisely the type of education that she offers. Sprouts’ mission is to instill a lifelong love of learning in every one of her students. The best way to do that is by creating a positive first experience at school. Sprouts Early Learning Academy truly is the perfect place to grow!

In addition to being the director and lead teacher at Sprouts, Paige also tutors students in the community and is a Carlisle Chamber of Commerce member. In addition to teaching, Paige and her family are big fans of traveling. If they’re not working on projects at home on their acreage in Carlisle or spending time outside with their pets (2 dogs and 4 outside cats), then they’re probably finding new adventures while camping or traveling the world.



Jamie

Kitchen Manager

Jamie was born and raised in Minnesota. She moved to Iowa 30 years ago. She raised 3 kids in Carlisle and has been married for 25 years to Andy. They have 2 beautiful grandchildren that keep them busy. She loves to cook for family and friends whenever she can. Her background is in restaurants and running kitchens. Recently she chose a new career path in childcare kitchen management and loves it! Seeing the kids every day and making them nutritional meals that they actually eat is a rewarding feeling. She loves camping and gardening, spending time with her grandchildren, and football! Jamie loves the mountains and traveling to new places.

 


Angie

Teacher

Angie is so excited to be here! Originally from Minnesota, she is the oldest of five (three sisters and one brother). Born in Austin, she moved often before settling in Rochester. From Rochester, she moved to Iowa her freshman year of high school. She graduated from Norwalk. After graduating from high school, Angie attended Simpson College. She graduated in 1998, magna cum laude with honors in the humanities and language arts. She studied education, psychology, and English. Her practicum experience was in fourth and fifth grade. She also had the opportunity to work in a mental, behavioral, and psychiatric facility for a summer. It forever solidified the importance of recognizing mental health issues in education and early access for children. Angie has seen a rise in mental health needs in schools every year. Psychology, mental health, and education are inexplicably intertwined. Understanding where our children have been and meeting them where they are now is essential to getting them to where they uniquely need to be. Angie and her husband, also in education, met at Simpson College. They moved to Easter Lake and then Carlisle where Marty teaches second grade. The Mitchells have two sons, Max and Griffyn. Angie has been involved in preschool education for twenty years. She taught preschool at downtown Methodist for twelve years. After her second son was born, Angie found a job with school hours. She became a preschool para at CES for nine years. Searching for a teaching environment conducive to play-based learning and with an encouraging and supportive work-based culture, Angie is incredibly excited to have found this in her Sprouts family. It has also always been a dream of Angie’s to work with Paige. Children learn the most through play, and we all grow where we are loved. The social/emotional growth and development gained in play becomes the foundation of all learning. One of these fundamental building blocks is processing and defining feelings. She is passionate about teaching children how to feel through big emotions, discover they have control over their choices, model choices, teach communication with their peers, and how to respectfully respond to undesirable behaviors. She is also passionate about teaching how to identify and de-escalate emotions and physical responses when making choices that may be unsafe. Children need a safe space to feel feelings. The classroom can be that community. Angie is enthusiastic about collectively teaching these skills and when we teach our children these self-help skills, we can reduce behaviors. This foundation prepares them to be the best versions of themselves in all areas of physical, mental, cognitive, and social/emotional growth. It sets the whole child up for success, and that’s pretty exciting. Aside from nurturing littles, Angie enjoys nature, trails, hiking, trees, planting things, and sunshine. Her hobbies include reading, learning new things, watching college basketball, gluten-free baking, trying new foods, going on adventures, doing kind things for others, and spending time with her family.



Augusta

Teacher

Augusta has lived in Carlisle her whole life alongside her family and friends. She is currently a senior at Carlisle High School and is even taking some classes at DMACC!! In the future, Augusta aspires to further her education to eventually become a Pediatric Oncologist! While working at Sprout’s she hopes to not only teach new things to others but to also learn herself. Augusta is very passionate about helping people in need and discovering new things!! She is currently trying to learn how to embroider! Augusta is also very passionate about providing a voice for those who don’t have one. Her many hobbies include baking, writing, and creating music! Augusta has two younger siblings alongside her amazing mom and dad. They have tons of pets!! Including dogs, cats, birds, and more! Her own personal pets are a dog named Cow and a bird called Sky! Augusta is extremely eager to build new relationships and gain many more experiences with the families at Sprouts!



Haley

Teacher

Haley grew up in Ankeny and went to Ankeny High School. After graduation she went to DMACC and then Iowa State University. Upon graduating from Iowa State in 2018, she received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology. In 2020 during the height of the Covid19 pandemic she got married to her husband Nate, then in late 2021 they moved to Carlisle. Haley and her husband recently adopted a dog named Isabelle, she enjoys taking her for walks and playing fetch with her. One of Haley’s favorite past-times is sitting outside with her husband and listening to music. She is very passionate about helping people and that is what made her come to Sprouts! She is hoping to have many positive experiences with the kids!



Jan

Teacher

Jan lives in Pleasantville with her husband Mike. They live on a farm raising cattle and keeping busy with this. She graduated from Knoxville Schools in 1977. She began with child care in her home until her children were both of school age. She began working in the Knoxville School system in an elementary setting. Over the years, she worked as a para educator following the direction of the classroom teacher. She learned many things from the teachers and the children. She also had a position in Home Health Care. She moved to the Carlisle School System and worked in the elementary school. Most of her years there were in the Preschool setting. She always treasured those years. She left in 2014 and went to the Pella Regional Hospital as a diet clerk. She learned a lot about diets and the ins and outs of the kitchen. In 2018 she became a Nutrition Supervisor, adding to the daily responsibilities of taking care of the patients to ordering the supplies necessary to feed patients and staff. She also prepared the schedule for 16 employees and completed yearly evaluations. She also learned where her strengths were and how to improve. In the late fall of 2021 she saw the chance to return to her dream job. She is again hoping to touch many hearts and remain a positive influence. She enjoys working on her flower beds and looking around for special antiques to add to her ever growing collection. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

 


Kara

Teacher

Kara Williams is one of the preschool teachers here at Sprouts. She is so excited to teach preschool, as she loves spending time with little ones! She came to work at Sprouts because she loves the philosophy they have here of a work-family where everyone is valued and appreciated, and she loves the energy, creativity, and curiosity of children. Kara finds it very rewarding to see that little spark when a child learns something new, makes a new friend, is proud to show something to their parents, and is excited to be at school! She has enjoyed working with preschoolers for over 5 years and some of her favorite activities to do with the kids in preschool are putting together puzzles, making artwork, and singing and dancing. Kara grew up near Pleasantville and graduated from Pleasantville High School and went on to graduate from Simpson College. She lives with her husband and three children just outside of Carlisle. They have two cats and a dog that they adore and she loves to read, take walks, and spend time with her family. 



Madison

Teacher

Madison has lived in Carlisle her whole life. She attended and recently graduated from Carlisle High School in 2021. She plans to attend college and become an elementary school teacher. Madison chose Sprouts because she loves seeing children learn new things, grow, and wants to be a great role model for children in her classroom. She believes that it is very important for children to learn from play and interacting with other children. She also believes that 1 on 1 time is super important for a child’s growth. Here at Sprouts, Madison loves how everyone is valued and has a voice. In Madison’s free time she loves to be outdoors, watch Netflix and spend time with her friends. She is the youngest of 4 children and has amazing parents who are her biggest supporters. She has a dog named Blacky that is very energetic and loves to go on car rides. Madison is so glad to be apart of Sprouts amazing team!

 


Mary

Teacher

Mary grew up in Carlisle and has lived here for over 70 years. She went to Carlisle schools and graduated from Carlisle High. She has been married to her husband for 59 years they have 2 grown children, who also graduated from Carlisle. Mary has four grown grandchildren (two of them also graduated from Carlisle) and one great-grandson. Mary has been teaching preschool for 13 years with Wee Wisdom Preschool. After Wee Wisdom Preschool retired, she still wanted to continue teaching little ones, so that’s what brought her to Sprouts. Mary also loves baking and decorating.



Missy

Teacher

Missy was born and raised in Carlisle. After graduating from CHS in 1999, she pursued an education in Radiology at Methodist Hospital. Upon completion of her Radiology certification, Missy began working at Lutheran Hospital and remained there until 2011. At that time, she chose to stay at home and raise her four children. All of her children are now attending Carlisle Schools and she is excited to embark on the next chapter. She is joining Sprouts to continue filling her days with the fun and excitement that comes with being around young children! Missy loves spending time (especially outdoors) with her husband, Jason, and their children. She also enjoys camping, boating, and gardening.



Paige

Teacher

Paige grew up here in Carlisle and has lived here for the majority of her life. She attended Carlisle High School and graduated in 2018. She is currently attending her senior year of college at Grand View University. At GVU, she is majoring in Nursing with a minor in Psychology. Paige made the decision to come to Sprouts for many reasons but one of them being because she feels like it will best suit her for the specialty that she hopes to one day work in, Pediatrics. By working alongside children and providing care, she feels that this job will provide her with great learning experiences. She’s also excited to work in her hometown and be a part of something new. Back in high school, she played softball and was a part of the cheerleading squad. She did continue to cheer for two years in college as well! She spends most of my free time watching Netflix, Hulu, or any other streaming apps. She also loves to travel and has been to Florida twice this past summer. She currently lives in downtown Des Moines with her fiancé, Devin. Sadly, they do not have any pets yet but she is hopeful that they can get one soon. Paige’s family has lived in Carlisle for decades and have attended and still are attending the schools here as well. She is the oldest of seven children. A fun fact about her family is that all of our names start with the letter P. Paige is also part of a huge blended family, so she truly has seven sisters and three brothers. It was nothing but chaos growing up in a household with that many children; however, she would not trade it for the world. Paige is excited to see where this journey leads



Piper

Teacher

Piper has lived in Carlisle her whole life and is a junior at Carlisle High School. She made the choice to come to Sprouts for many reasons, one of them being her plans to attend college to become a speech pathologist or a pediatric nurse. By working at Sprouts, she will gain great experience working with children, which is something she loves. Piper is excited to work in her hometown and be a part of our amazing program. She used to play softball but ever since starting high school, cheerleading has caught her interest and is something she enjoys. Piper spends most of her downtime watching Netflix, Hulu, etc. She also enjoys traveling with friends and family! This last summer she spent 3 weeks in Florida! Piper lives just outside of Carlisle with her very large family of seven sisters and three brothers. Her big family has given her lots of experiences with children and she is excited to create great experiences for her students at Sprouts!