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Dedicated & Certified


Natasha Mendes

Owner/Director/Pre-K 4 Teacher

Bio coming soon.


Nadiya Leipold-Ford

Assistant Director

Hello, I am Ms.Nadiya. I have been teaching at The Smart Start since February 2019.  I studied Early Childhood Education to obtain my Head Teacher's certification in 2021. I work at The Smart Start because I love working with children and having a positive impact on their growth and development. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my son, shopping and going on hikes. I look forward to continuing to love and provide the best care for each and every one of your little ones!


Samantha Bailey

Lead Pre-K 3 Teacher

Hello, I am Ms.Samantha. I have been teaching at The Smart Start since October 2019. Molding and shaping the young minds of the future has always been my passion. I thrive on new challenges and constantly set goals for myself as a teacher, so I have something to strive toward. I do not believe in settling for less because there's always room to grow and improve. I am always looking for an opportunity to do better, achieve my goals and be an example for my students.


Brittany Haigler

Lead Toddler 1 Teacher

Hello, my name is Ms.Brittany. I've been working at The Smart Start since 2021. I love working here because I enjoy teaching the children how to cognitively, and socially grow. In my free time, I'm creative. I love to write poetry, and practice art. I love bringing my creativity to the school, and allowing the kids to learn to express themselves.


Kathellen Conceicao

Lead Infant Teacher

Bio coming soon.


Sayma Chakchouk

Assistant Teacher

Hi, I am Ms.Sayma. I've been working at The Smart Start since 2020. When I'm not at The Smart Start, I teach French at Southern Connecticut State University. I'm a full-time mother who likes to cook, travel and spend time with my family. I work at The Smart Start because the staff is amazing and my daughter thrives here. Working with kids makes me a better mother. I am grateful for The Smart Start!

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