We’re all on this journey together! Our staff is there every step of the way.
Our educators are passionate about your child’s happiness and growth. They’re dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing environment that cultivates self-esteem.
Meet Our Management Team
Vickie Brandenburg, Owner
Vickie Brandenburg holds a Master of Education Degree with an emphasis in early childhood and special education. She also holds a National Administrator Credential and is a member of the National Association of the Education of Young Children and the Association of Early Learning Leaders. In 2015, Vickie was invited to become a validator for the National Accreditation Commission. Vickie has over 25 years of early childhood management experience.
Haili Smith, Executive Director
Haili Smith, Lionheart’s Executive Director, has worked with Vickie since beginning her career in 2011. Haili holds a Child Development Associate Certificate and the Aim 4 Excellence National Director Credential. She continues her education with annual continuing education. Haili and her husband Colton, live in Iowa City with their daughter, Mylie and their dog CJ. In their free time they enjoy traveling and watching the Cubs. Haili’s specialty is infants and toddlers but enjoys children of all ages.
Emily Brandenburg, Director
Emily Brandenburg, Director of Lionheart Early Learning, has worked in childcare since 2011. Emily has her Bachelor of Science degree In Early Childhood Leadership and is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She continues her education through early childhood trainings in the community. Her and her husband Mike live in North Liberty with their daughter Elouise and her dog, Nova. In her free time, she enjoys biking, traveling and hiking.
Alex Daniels, Assistant Director
Alex Daniels, has been with Lionheart since 2015 and in early childhood for over 10 years. Alex began her early childhood education by obtaining her Child Development Associate Credential then continued on to complete an Associate Degree. Recently, Alex began her journey toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Prek and Special Education. When not at Lionheart or school, you can find Alex spending time with her daughter Vivi and husband, Michael, hanging out watching Netflix, or crafting.
Are you interested in a career
At Lionheart, we’re proud to support our educators so they can be effective in sharing our research-based curriculum. That’s why we work tirelessly to help them develop their skills and further their careers.
We’ve partner with T.E.A.C.H. to enable teachers to pursue a Child Development Associate Credential, Associates, or Bachelor of Arts degree.
Take on a role that changes the lives of children everyday. We offer competitive benefits such as health insurance, 401K, PTO, child care discount, and a gym membership.