Child Development Center Staff

Casey Zimmeht - Director

Casey Zimmeht

Hi, my name is Casey Zimmeht. I have been part of the Indian Hills family, in many different capacities, since 2002. During my time here, I have worked with all ages and I am really enjoying being the lead teacher in the Infant Room. Each day is filled with new adventures and discoveries! It’s exciting watching the babies discover all the new things in their world each day! We love to sing, dance and be silly each day!

I grew up in Ottumwa and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I believe that a strong start for school age children, begins in early childhood and that is where I have focused my career. I live in Ottumwa with my husband and our two sons. We enjoy spending time outdoors, boating, and swimming! During the winter, we love the snow, sledding, and hot chocolate!! When we aren’t at school and work, we are always looking for our next big adventure!

Brooke Sparks - Lead Teacher Room 2


My name is Brooke Sparks. I graduated high school from Albia in 2017. I have worked at the Child Development Center since March of 2018.

In the Fall of 2018 I started my education in Early Childhood Development and cannot wait to see where it takes me, it has already gone so fast. In my free time I like to be with my family and friends, travel, and babysit!



Ashley Johnson - Lead Teacher Room 4

Ashley Johnson

My name is Ashley Johnson and I am the lead teacher in the one-year-old room. I started at Indian Hills in the winter of 2016 and before that, I worked in the Ottumwa school district for 6 years as a one-on-one associate in special education.

I have my A.A. through Indian Hills Community College and plan on continuing my education in Early Childhood. I live in Agency with my fiancé John and our three children Madison, Dylan, and Kaden. We love spending our time outside during the summers tending our garden and ducks, while the kids play outside on their bikes and at the park.

Brenda Salter - Lead Teacher Room 3

Brenda Salter

My name is Brenda Salter I live in Ottumwa and have one son who is 19. I have worked in early childhood development for 16 years and have loved every minute of it.

I am a graduate of Indian Hills Community College. I have an A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education and have worked for Indian Hills Community College Child Development Center since 2012. I feel very fortunate to have a job that allows me to impact the lives of so many amazing children and their families’ every day.

Barb Jones - Lead Teacher Room 1

Barb Jones

I am a native Ottumwan. I have been teaching for thirty-one years. Twenty- seven at Indian Hills Child Development Center and four years at the YWCA. My husband Ron and I have two grown children and four grandchildren.

My philosophy is that young children learn best through play. Play teaches important social skills, language development, cognitive skills, as well as math and literacy skills. My work at Indian hills has been challenging and rewarding, working with a professional staff. I have enjoyed being a part of Indian Hills Child Development Center growth and look forward to its continued success.

Connie Lind - Lead Teacher Room 5






Connie Ballew - Child Development Assistant


My name is Connie Ballew and I have been working here at Indian Hills as a Child Care Assistant since May of 2015. I am married and have four grown children, Ben, Jon, Rose, and Josh.

I have over thirty years of experience working with children. In my free time I love teaching Sunday School with my preschoolers, singing at my church, and spending time with my family. I have always enjoyed working with children and especially love to see the world from their perspective.

My favorite thing about working here is watching the children grow and learn every day. It is a pleasure working with these kids.

Denise Riley - Child Development Assistant

Denise Riley

Hello, my name is Kathryn Denise Riley. I was born in Chicago, moved to Iowa when I was 7 years old. Hedrick is where I was raised and graduated high school. I was a stay at home mom until my youngest went to preschool. That is when I attended Indian Hills Community College and Buena Vista University to attain my AA in Early Childhood and my BA in Elementary Education with a Pre-K Endorsement.

My wonderful journey here with my Indian Hills Community College Child Development Center family began when I was working on my practicums as a student. The journey continues since my being hired on as part- timer in 1999. Over the years, as you can imagine, I have watched many children explore and grow.

Let me assure you that all children that become part of the Indian Hills Community College Child Development Center family are precious and I am blessed to be a part of their childhood learning experience. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your child's life. I love every minute of watching and helping children to grow and learn.

Glenda Williams - Child Development Assistant


My name is Glenda Williams. I have been married for 30 years. I have two adult children. My son has one child and one on the way.

I have been in childcare for 20 years; before that I took care of children in my home while I was at home with my own children.

My favorite things are going to church, crocheting, photography, Arts and Crafts, and spending time with my family.


Jeannie Collins - Child Development Assistant


My name is Jeannie Collins I recently graduated from Indian Hills Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood. I currently work 2 jobs, one working here at the Development Center and I also work at Hy-Vee in the Deli Department.

I started working here at the Development Center in October 2018. I have worked at Hy-Vee for almost 2 years. I absolutely love what I am doing! I love watching kids grow and learn new things! I love photography, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends. I hope to one day open a Child Care Center.