Owners of Lakeside Children’s Academy

Dear Families,

When families choose Lakeside for their child’s care, a relationship is formed that we both nurture and cherish, in the same way that you care for your child.

A tour of our academy shows you that we are committed to children. Lakeside is nestled in a quiet section of our neighborhood. Our playgrounds are large and well maintained with equipment that is both safe and exciting. Our classrooms are large, clean, bright, and attractive; stocked with toys, educational materials and technology resources that stimulate a child’s creativity, to play and learn. Our teachers are a team of experienced care givers that will support you at all developmental stages of your child.

Lakeside is a state licensed facility. Our teachers, building, and grounds all meet standards established for the safety and education of children is child care. The Missouri State Licensing Rules are available at the academy for your review.

All children develop and grow differently, Every child is unique at Lakeside. Through age appropriate, positive, educational, and fun activities, your child will reach their personal potential. We take every step to ensure your child will be treated with respect, love, and dignity, at all times. Perhaps you would like to know more about us – Sue and Dana Hockensmith.

We have been active in the welfare of children for many years. We have three children: Angela who is married to John and has two sons, Noah and Luke: Laura who is the Director at Lakeside, and our son, Philip, who died in 2001. Philip was a resident at The Pony Bird Home in Mapaville, MO for profoundly and severely mentally handicapped individuals. We are the co-founders at The Pony Bird Home, which opened in 1977 and continue to serve on the Board of Directors. In 1989, we opened our first child care center and at one time, we owned four centers. We build Lakeside in 1992, where we actively participate in the daily operations. We live only a few miles away from Lakeside.

Sue, a former elementary school teacher, has a B.S. degree in Elementary Education from Northwest Missouri State University. She has the certification to be a director of a child care center the size of Lakeside and has served as the director here. She is on the Northwest MO State University Alumni Board and has served on two Boards of Education; Desoto and Parkway School Boards. Dana has practiced law since 1975 in the St. Louis area. He was the attorney for the Autism Society of America, as well as for many other organizations serving children.

We encourage families to participate when you can in the activities through field trips, lunches, daily helpers, special events, and daily activities. We have an open door policy, which means you are welcome to visit your child any time throughout the day. We will do everything in our means to ensure your child is safe, healthy, and happy at Lakeside.


Sue and Dana Hockensmith

Laura Hockensmith Schlereth

Laura Hockensmith Schlereth

Director/ Owner

Laura began teaching at Lakeside in 2008, in the one-year-old classroom. In May of 2009, she became the Business and Marketing Director. Laura became the Director in 2011. Laura has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Southeast Missouri State University. While at Southeast, she served as the Student Representative to the Board of Regents. She has taken college courses in Early Care and Education. Laura has her Director’s Certificate through the State of Missouri. Laura is a graduate of Parkway South High School and attended Carman Trails Elementary. She has her Class E Drivers License. Laura participates in Parkway School District studies, the West County Chamber of Commerce, the Valley Park Business Association, and other community events. She is looking forward to begin her Continuing Education training career with the community. Laura will train teachers on various topics concerning early education. Laura is married to Joe and they have a son, Benjamin. They live close by in West County.

Began teaching in: 2008
Family: Husband, Joe. Son, Benjamin.
Why you like working with children: Hugs and funny stories! I enjoy creating relationships with our children and families.
Hobbies: Reading, movies, and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Favorite quote: “Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero”
Favorite children’s book: Love You Forever.
Favorite children’s song: “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Wheels on the Bus”.

Sue Hockensmith

Sue Hockensmith


Began Teaching in: 1992.
Family: Philip, Angela and Laura
Why you like working with children: Being the oldest of five children I have always been passionate about children. Children make me laugh and they are so filled with love.
Hobbies: Reading, gardening and music
Favorite Quote: “Nothing is ever easy and Always something”
Favorite Children’s Book: Too many to list
Favorite Children’s Song: Too many to list