About Us

Vision

Smart Start of New Hanover County envisions every child entering school with the health, family support and early education necessary to thrive.

Mission

Smart Start of New Hanover County seeks to build bridges to develop, sustain and enhance health, family support and early education services for all children, ages birth to five.

What Is Smart Start?

Smart Start of New Hanover County shares with the other citizens of New Hanover County a common concern for and commitment to the welfare and future success of our youngest children. As part of a statewide early childhood Initiative, Smart Start of New Hanover County serves as a local leader in developing a comprehensive, collaborative approach to serve the needs of all children, birth to 5, in New Hanover County.

The first 2000 days are critical. A child has about 2,000 days between birth and the start of kindergarten. We know that during this time in a child’s life, the brain grows to 90% of its adult size and children are eager and ready to learn; therefore, their access to high quality health care and learning environments matters greatly. We collaborate with our statewide and local network of community services on behalf of children and their families in order to ensure that every child has the opportunity to enter school prepared for success.

Smart Start of New Hanover County …

  • Is a community-based, comprehensive approach serving all children ages 0-5 and their families.
  • Funds services in three major areas: health, family support, and early care and education.
  • Creates changes in service delivery through innovation and collaboration, building bridges in our community to answer the unmet needs of children and families.

Our Beliefs

  • The well being and success of every child is critical regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or developmental and learning disabilities.
  • The quality of life for young children is basic to adult well-being and the future economic vitality of our community.
  • Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher.
  • A broad community-based partnership committed to young children should be available to assist parents in their role as primary caregivers.
  • The community has the responsibility to provide effective strategies and services to support early education, as well as the development of mentally and physically healthy children.

Our Staff

Administrative Team

Jane Morrow

Jane Morrow

Executive Director
ext. 1002

Kim Boyce

Kim Boyce

Program Director
ext. 1006

Tina Hughes

Tina Hughes

Financial Director
ext. 1014

Alanna Holmes

Alanna Holmes

Finance Associate
ext. 1000

Diane Salamoni

Diane Salamoni

Administrative Assistant
ext. 1021

Community Outreach & Education Team

Jennifer Gallo

Jennifer Gallo

Community Outreach and Engagement Coordinator
ext. 1028

Rachel Williamson

Rachel Williamson

Early Literacy and Outreach Specialist
ext. 1027

Early Care & Education Team

Mindy Davis

Mindy Davis

Early Care and Education Director
ext. 1010

Natalie Pond

Natalie Pond

Child Care Resource and Referral Consultant
ext. 1008

Kelly Puzon

Kelly Puzon

Behavior and Inclusion Support Consultant
ext. 1017

Nicolette Campisano

Nicolette Campisano

Behavior and Inclusion Support Consultant
ext. 1007

Ciara Montgomery

Ciara Montgomery

Child Care Resource & Referral Specialist
ext. 1015

Rita Albrecht

Rita Albrecht

Child Care Resource and Referral Consultant
ext. 1011

Krista Smith

Krista Smith

Child Care Resource and Referral Consultant
ext. 1023

Family Services Team

Melanie Nelson

Melanie Nelson

Family Services Manager
ext. 1003

Janel Washington

Janel Washington

Positive Parenting Coordinator
ext. 1024

Ana Kane

Ana Kane

Parent Educator

Winny Jimenez

Winny Jimenez

Parent Educator

Tracy McCormick

Tracy McCormick

Parent Educator
ext. 1005

Board of Directors

Officers

Justin Lewis

President

Charlrean Mapson

Vice President

Ginny Morris

Treasurer

Sarah Flaherty

Secretary

Board Members

  • Anna Cook, Parent of young child
  • Carla Turner, Appointed Designee for Health Director, New Hanover County Health and Human Services
  • Cheryl Aguilar, Family Childcare Home Provider
  • Charlrean Mapson, Faith Community, Price Cathedral AME Zion
  • Clayton Roberts, Municipal Representative, City of Wilmington
  • Ginny Morris, Community Member
  • Josh Smith, Appointed Designee for New Hanover County
  • Justin Lewis, Community Member
  • Kim Perry, Business Representative GE Hitachi
  • Lisa Wurtzbacher, Appointed Designee for New Hanover County Manager
  • Marie Bergh-Cook, Community Member
  • Morgan King, Appointed Designee for Cooperative Extension Director
  • Rob Zapple, Board of County Commissioners
  • Sheree Darian, Business Representative, REV Federal Credit Union
  • Sarah Flaherty, Childcare Center Director
  • Sarah Goins, Community Member
  • Shannon Smiles, Head Start Representative
  • Susan DeMarco, Appointed Designee for the Public Library Director, New Hanover County Library
  • Tameka Ardrey, Appointed Designee for Cape Fear Community College
  • Vanell Walker, Appointed Designee for Social Services Director, New Hanover County Health and Human Services
Board of Directors Meeting Dates
Meetings are at 6:00 p.m. – location to be determined. All board and committee meetings are open to the public.

 

Tuesday September 24, 2024
Board Retreat- To Be Determined
Tuesday January 28, 2025
Tuesday March 25, 2025
Tuesday June 24, 2025

Executive Committee Meeting Dates

Meetings are the 3rd Wednesday at 1:00 via Zoom. By 8am the day of the meeting, please email Jane Morrow for the link.

 

No July Meeting
Aug 21, 2024
Sept 18, 2024
Oct 16, 2024
Nov 20, 2024
Dec 18, 2024
Jan 15, 2025
Feb 19, 2025
Mar 19, 2025
Apr 16, 2025
May 21, 2025
Jun 18, 2025

Annual Reports and Certifications

Racial Equity Statement

The staff and board of Smart Start of New Hanover County have the honor of working with and for families, caregivers, and early educators as they shape the hearts and minds of children in their critical first few years of life. With that honor comes the responsibility to work to ensure not only that we serve all children in every community but also that we actively seek to promote racial justice, stand firmly against racism, and work diligently to eliminate racial disparities. To do this well, we will work in partnership with the community. We welcome the thoughts, insights, and feedback that can help us improve and grow. Only as a learning organization can we do better, and we can learn first by listening.

Smart Start of New Hanover County has a strong history of ongoing organizational excellence. This foundation sets the very highest standards of accountability through strong internal controls and constant programmatic monitoring, allowing optimal use of all funding provided for the children and families of our community.