Our Leadership

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Denise Kempnich

Program Director
What do you love about working with Children?

Watching children grow and learn is thrilling! Over the years some of my happiest professional memories are when I was a classroom teacher. Watching a child take some of their first steps, say new words, ask you to read their favorite book over and over again, sing a song the hundredth time, getting those welcoming greetings along with hugs, helping them to discover new things and eventually be ready to go off to kindergarten are precious times. Their love of learning, energy and excitement is contagious! I love talking with children and spending time with them to get to know their personalities. Developing trusting relationships with each of the children in the Hearts & Minds program is one of my top priorities and I look forward to being a part of this wonderful ministry for many years.

What are you most looking foward to at Hearts & Minds?

I am looking forward to getting to know the families, children and staff at Hearts & Minds. I already feel a sense of community and positive energy from my interactions with the search team, leadership team and staff! I am looking forward to serving the families and staff by being a servant leader in all areas. I look forward to developing trusting relationships with each of the children in the Hearts & Minds program. It is one of my top priorities and I look forward to being a part of this wonderful ministry for many years.

Tell us about your family!

I am married to my husband Steve and we have three grown children. Our son Edward lives in Elkhorn, MaKayla and her husband Matt live in Lincoln and Megan lives in Papillion. We are proud grandparents to a 15 month old little boy named Ellis. Being a grandparent is wonderful and we enjoy every minute we get to spend with him! Last May, Steve and I were able to welcome into our home a Shih Tzu puppy that we named Baylee. We  are enjoying our time with him! We enjoy spending time with our children. We enjoy playing games, watching football and spending time in our backyard.

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Jayme McShannon

Assistant Program Director
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I like to read, hang out with my family, and do home improvement projects inside and outside of the house. 

What do you look forward to each time you come to work at Hearts & Minds?

I love coming into work and seeing all of the families and kids! There is such energy in our building and classrooms that really makes my day energized. It makes coming into work so much fun!

How would your best friend describe you?

Loyal, caring, good listener, funny.

Tell us about your family!

I am married to my Husband Nick and we have 2 children, Zoey and Parker. We also have 3 dogs, Winston, Lexi, Sal and a guinea pig named Shadow. We enjoy family time together, especially family game night!

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Jodi Packett

Front Desk Manager
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Spending time with my family, doing crafts, and watching the Hallmark channel.

What do you look forward to each time you come to work at Hearts & Minds?

I love getting to see the sweet kiddos and their parents every morning! It always puts a smile on my face.

How would your best friend describe you?

I am good listener, and always up for a good time!

Tell us about your family!

My husband Zach and I have two daughters, Anna and Ellie. We also have a dog (Baxter), a cat (Beef), and a hamster (Chubby). We enjoy spending time as a family, watching sports together, and enjoying time outdoors.

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