Our Staff

Meet our staff, from the teachers who are with your kiddos each day to our Director! 

Kim Lanford

Assistant Director & Lead Teacher

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Hello, I'm Kim.

I am very excited to be a part of the new Smart Start Preschool & Daycare! I have been the Kids Club Manager at the Golds Gym Montrose for over two years and have also spent the last three years as a substitute teacher in the Montrose County School District. I love kids of all ages and enjoy watching them grow and develop. To be a part of that exploration and growth in their younger years will be a real privilege and joy for me. We look forward to developing a strong community with our families at our new center!

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife with a minor in Biology and enjoyed working in the biological sciences field for over a decade. In my second chapter, I have enjoyed working with children in different ways such as: 

  • Leading mom’s with babies and toddlers on hikes

  • Leading a kid’s outdoor summer program 

  • Assistant teaching and school secretary positions

  • Working with and caring for children 3 months to 11 years in the Gold's Gym Kids Club.

I have volunteered in the classrooms of my children for the past 12 years and love developing relationships with children and learning about their uniqueness and special qualities.


When I am not working I enjoy spending time with my husband and two kids, Tobin (17) and Avila (11). We enjoy camping, hiking, kayaking, visiting the ocean, and playing with our dog Reya. My kids enjoy playing music, which I feel is an important component to child development, as well is a healthy lifestyle and exercise. Here at Smart Start, we look forward to developing special bonds with your children and your family to help foster an exceptional educational and loving experience for your child’s precious growing minds and bodies.

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Mary Ann Buan


Hi there, my name is Mary!


I have taught 10 years in the Philippines. Resilient and Flexible working on both children and adult. Instructional Leadership Specialization. I believe that children learn best with a wholistic approach, and we can accomplish that with our high-scope-based learning domains curriculum.


I have a Graduate Masters Degree in Educational Management. Montrose has been my home for about 3 years. I love swimming and badminton. 

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Sandra Bush


Hi there, my name is Sandra Bush!


I am married and have a 21 year old son. I have worked with first and second grade students for 15 years as an assistant teacher. I have such a love for children and getting to help them learn and grow! I think every child has the right to learn as much as they possibly can, and be in an environment where they believe in themselves!


My hobbies are reading, yard work and just being outside. I am so excited to be a part of this team and can't wait to work with your kiddos!

Karla Fulton


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Hello All!

I’m Karla. I am incredibly excited to be working with your preschooler. I am a retired elementary teacher with over 25 years of experience that includes kindergarten through fourth grade students. I spent 18 years as a first grade teacher before obtaining my second masters which certified me as a Reading Specialist. Before teaching in the public schools, I worked several years as a lead teacher in the daycare and preschool at my local YWCA.


I am thrilled to be getting back to my roots by being part of the Smart Start Preschool and Daycare! I am always amazed at how quickly children learn. It is my belief that preschoolers learn best through play and hands-on interactions. Allowing students to develop independence with gentle guidance and positive role-modeling is something I believe allows children to flourish.

Since moving to Montrose, my husband and I have discovered the many incredible gems that surround it. We love to visit any and all the parks in the nearby area. Enjoying Colorado’s outdoors and beautiful sunshine always makes for the best days when not

I look forward to building a relationship with your child that is filled with fun, exploration,
and lots of learning!