OUR TEAM

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Terri Shapland

Terri is Co-Owner, President, and has been the Director or Executive Director at Millard Children's Academy since its inception in January 2000. She has been in the child development field since 1985. After finding a lack of quality, loving, safe, and educational care available for her first child, she opened her own in-home childcare business. She wanted to create an environment where the children would feel safe, secure, loved, and like they were in their home away from home throughout each day. She wanted the parents to know and trust that their children would be loved and cared for like they would for their own children. These remain Terri's main goals to this day.

Terri's background also includes employment at various sized childcare centers and preschools. Her experience is comprised of working with every age-group of children, from infants and toddlers to preschool and school age, and 5 years as Assistant Director at a large childcare and preschool facility. Terri is responsible for overseeing the entire childcare and preschool operation at Millard Children's Academy.

Terri is well-loved by the children, staff, and parents alike, and it's obvious she has a genuine love for children! Many children seek out Miss Terri if they arrive in a bad mood, had a difficult morning, or just want a hug to start their day. She always laughs when people say, "How can you work around so many children?" Her reply is, "They are the best part of my job! They are the main reason I go to work each day. No matter what mood I'm in, the kids will always find a way to brighten my day by just being themselves!"

Terri has been happily married to her high school sweetheart, Mike, for over 32 years. Terri and Mike have lived in the Omaha area their entire lives. They have three sons: Josh, Justin, and Taylor. All three have worked at MCA at various points, with Justin still here after starting in 2002, and all share our love of children.

CO-OWNER: Mike Shapland

Mike is Co-Owner, Senior Vice-President/Secretary/Treasurer, and is involved with Millard Children's Academy on a full-time basis. Mike's background includes construction, handy-man, glass work, customer service, business, and eight years of computer programming. Mike's main focus is more on running the business side of the Academy, along with being responsible for the maintenance of the facility. Mike is quite handy and can fix most anything, but we use licensed professionals for the big stuff (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, fire safety and security, etc.).

When MCA was started, Mike and Terri's intent was to have Mike work part-time at the Academy and keep his programming job. After being around the children for only a few months, he fully understood why Terri loved it so much. The children truly brighten each and every day with their smiles, laughter, never-ending curiosity, and constant energy. He quit his "day" job and hasn't looked back. We feel Mike brings a much needed male presence to our Academy, and one of his favorite sayings is, "Can we keep it professional for five minutes?!" It is such a fun atmosphere to work in that he sometimes tries to "re-focus" the management team on the work at hand, if they are having too much fun ;-).

DIRECTOR: Jennifer Hufford

Jennifer has worked at Millard Children's Academy since March of 2000, shortly after we opened. She has been in child development since 1997. Her background includes experience in Nursing (BSN), starting an in-home childcare business, and working in two childcare centers with every age-group of children. She has worked her way up from being a Teacher in our Toddler and Preschool areas, Supervisor of our Infant & Toddler areas, Assistant Director, Senior Assistant Director, and was promoted to Director in September of 2011.

Jennifer is responsible for the day-to-day operations of our center and is fully in charge in Terri's absence. She has earned our complete trust and we have the utmost confidence in her abilities to make any and all decisions since she knows exactly how Terri and Mike want the Academy run. She has the unique ability to handle the most delicate or difficult of situations with poise and professionalism. She has the talent to do everything and anything within our Academy, and do it well and with great pride.

Jennifer started in center-based childcare because she wanted her then three year-old son to be in preschool. Since he had Type 1 Diabetes, she had difficulty finding a place to accept him. She applied at MCA but was unsure of her long commute. On the way home from her interview and tour with her son, he said, "I like my new school mommy!" So she took the job and fell in love with it. Now he's a high school graduate and she's "...had the privilege of caring for other people's children at MCA ever since!"

Jennifer was born and raised in Omaha and has lived here almost her entire life. She has 2 children: Jessica and Aaron. Both attended the Academy as younger children. Jessica worked in our Toddler area over several summers as a teen, and came back to work full-time for several years starting in 2012.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Jenni Buscher

Jenni has also worked at Millard Children's Academy since March of 2000, shortly after we opened. She has been in child development since 1993. Her background includes experience with Infants, Preschool, and School Age children. She has worked her way up from being a Teacher in our Preschool and Schooler areas, Supervisor of our Preschool and Schooler areas, and was promoted to Assistant Director in May of 2005.

Jenni is in charge in both Terri and Jennifer's absence and is fully capable of it. She is one of the most energetic employees we've ever had and will help out and take charge of any situation that comes up. She is well connected to the community with the multitude of sports and activities she and her children have been involved with. She started working in childcare because "I wanted to be with my kids and watch them grow up. Now, I love watching all of 'our' kids grow up."

Jenni was born and raised in the Elkhorn area of Omaha and has lived in Nebraska her entire life. She has been married for over 26 years and has five children: Kelsey, Kyle, Taylor, Ryan, and Peyton. All have attended the Academy as youngsters and both Kelsey and Taylor have worked at MCA. Taylor still works in our Infant area.

SUPERVISOR: Diane Borsh

Diane has worked at Millard Children's Academy since its inception in January of 2000. She has been in child development since 1992. Her background includes experience in starting an in-home childcare business, working in childcare centers with every age-group of children, and was a manager at a previous childcare center. She has worked her way up from being a Teacher in our Infant, Toddler, and Preschool areas, and was promoted to Supervisor in May of 2005.

Diane started in childcare when her oldest daughter entered Kindergarten. She thinks "...working with kids keeps me young. I love watching how the children grow and develop." Diane was born in Nebraska City and has lived in Omaha most of her life. She has been married for over 33 years and has two children: Mandi and Lori. They have both worked at MCA, with Lori having worked here since 2005.

SUPERVISOR - Infants & Toddlers: Johanna Chappell

Johanna has worked at Millard Children's Academy since August of 2005. Her background includes experience in retail, being an Assistant Manager at a fast-food restaurant, and she completed Cosmetology School. She has worked her way from being a Teacher in our Toddler and Preschool areas, and was promoted to Supervisor in August of 2008.

Johanna started in childcare to allow her to be near her kids. She has "...found working at MCA to be very rewarding. The kids are amazing. They have so much to offer and they get so excited when they see you. It's very exciting to see the kids learn new things and to watch them grow." Johanna has lived in Omaha since 2005, has been married for over 16 years, and has three children: McKenzie, Zander, and Landri. Her children all attended the Academy until they started school.

SUPERVISOR - Preschool & Schoolers: Maria Rangel

Maria has worked at Millard Children's Academy since January of 2003. Her background includes experience in retail, and restaurant management. She has worked her way from being a Teacher in our Toddler and Preschool areas, was our initial Spanish teacher, and was promoted to Supervisor in July of 2010.

Maria started in childcare to be together with her kids when they were out of school. She had always wanted to be a teacher and this gave her an opportunity to do both. Maria has lived in Omaha since 2002, has been married for over 18 years, and has three children: Julia, Clara, and Werner. Her two youngest have attended the Academy, and Julia worked at MCA for several years.

TEACHERS & SUPPORT STAFF:

We have been blessed to have a group of dedicated, loving, and creative teachers stay with us for a number of years. Most of our full-time Preschool Teachers were hired between 2002 and 2005. The majority of them have had their own children attend the Academy, many still do. A few of our teachers were parents of children attending the Academy while they worked elsewhere, but decided they wanted to be around for their kids more. They have fallen in love with working with children and have become some of our best teachers. Our staff takes great pride in providing the quality of care and preschool activities they'd expect to have for their own children.

It has been endearing to watch as many of our younger afternoon support staff have also fallen in love with working with children. They have often stayed with us throughout high school and even while attending college, or they come back during their summer breaks. Many have gone on to choose a career in teaching or education. Some will leave to work at jobs where they can get more hours, but they almost always come back to visit the children they miss being around. The children definitely have a way of finding their way into your heart, and, once there, they never leave!

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