Our Child Care Staff in Columbia, MO

Mary Lee Johnston Community Learning Center has been awarded Missouri Accreditation (www.moaccreditation.org). To receive Accreditation, a child care center must exceed the minimum state requirements.  All classroom staff at MLJCLC have taken at least one college-level class in child development.  At a minimum, lead teachers at MLJCLC have obtained their Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate, and most have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood education or a related field.

At MLJCLC, professional development is a priority.  All classroom staff attend at least 18 hours of training programs and seminars each year.  Every staff member has passed a criminal background check by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and a Child Abuse/Neglect Screening by the Missouri Division of Family Services. Building strong, positive relationships between the staff, children, and families is one of the most important things we do at MLJCLC. 


Hi Everyone! My name is Miranda Clines. I have been serving the children of our community since 2014. I began my journey as a teacher's assistant and have spent years in the classroom helping kiddos learn and grow. I finished my English undergraduate degree in 2018 before returning for my Masters of Early Childhood Education and Trauma Studies. Over the years I have spent time not only as an educator but a child advocate; social justice is one of my passions and a just and more equitable world is what I hope to create through my career. In my spare time I enjoy traveling with my husband and 2 doggos or enjoying a quiet evening at home reading a good non-fiction book. 

Miranda Clines
Executive Director
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My name is Megan Geiger. I started my Early Childhood career at Mary Lee Johnston Community Learning Center. I was a teacher in the preschool classroom here. I took a position at Youth Empowerment Zone as the Director. I am very excited to be back at MLJ as the Program Director. I am currently working towards my bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education at CMU. I have lived in Columbia my whole life. I love working with the children and all the staff here. 

Megan Geiger
Program Director

Introducing Ms. Theresa. Some of you may recognize her.

She is a teacher in the Tigers Classroom!

We had some questions for Ms. Theresa so we could get to know her better!

Spotlight Employee
Theresa Campbell
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Tell me about you:

I am 22, from Columbia Missouri. I graduated from Mizzou last May with a degree in sociology and two minors.

In my free time I love to spend time with friends and family but most of all I love to travel!

Over the past year I have been to Mexico, Dominican Republic, Vegas, Puerto Rico.

My favorite food is steak and I love the color purple. 

How long have you worked at MLJ?

I have been working at MLJ since August 2021

What is your favorite thing about MLJ?

My favorite thing about MLJ is I get to work with my best friends everyday (Megan, Jessica & SAMMY) 

What are three things about you most people don't know? 

  1. I can shake my eyes back and forth really fast

  2. I have 6 younger siblings

  3. I want to become a flight attendant or get a remote job so I can travel the world! 

What have you learned while working here? 

I have learned how to work with a larger staff.

At my old center there was like 7 teachers so its was a little different coming here.