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Monika Garner-Smith, M.Ed.

Director of Early Childhood, Co-Founder

Monika Garner-Smith, M.Ed. is responsible for all aspects of the early childhood curriculum and managing the ACCESS Early Childhood Program team.

Monika began her career as a special educator in 1988 before co-founding the ACCESS preschool in 1995. A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, she earned her bachelor’s degree in special education. Monika then went on to pursue master’s degree in early childhood special education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is certified in The DuBard Association Method®, as well as early childhood education (birth to grade 3), elementary education (grades K-6) and special education (grades K-12). Monika holds a special love for the Pre-K 4 classrooms as this was the inaugural class at ACCESS which she taught before stepping into full time administrative duties.

Monika has served as a guest speaker at the annual national Division for Early Childhood conference, the Arkansas Department of Education Special Show biennial conference, and at several parent and professional training workshops.

Monika’s favorite part of the ACCESS mission is developing long-term relationships with families. Watching our students grow at ACCESS and then continuing to watch them achieve their goals throughout their journey is so rewarding! She also enjoys the collaboration efforts with her education team and seeing the mission continue with the next generation of educators.

When she is not busy serving the ACCESS mission, Monika enjoys time with her husband Roger and teenage son Alexander. They enjoy church activities, traveling, being outdoors, cheering on the Razorbacks, and working on their 100-year old house in the historic Hillcrest neighborhood.