Our teachers have over 30 years of combined experience in early childhood education, and many years at Poe Co. All bring to our children’s developmental experience an abundance of knowledge, skill, passion, and commitment.
Donna Wheeler, Director/Co-Teacher Apple Class
Donna Wheeler joined Poe Co in 2009, bringing more than 25 years of early childhood experience. Impressed with Poe Co’s child-focused environment and high level of parent participation, she knew this was the school for her. As director and lead Apple teacher, she shares her many talents, love of children’s literature and nature, and caring disposition with the children. Fascinated with child development, Donna also shares her vast knowledge with parents in parent information nights and conferences to help us to better understand why our kids do what they do.
She has a master’s degree in human development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California and an undergraduate degree in social ecology with an emphasis in human development from the University of California at Irvine. She has also completed the Child Development Associate credential from Houston Community College. Donna previously worked as a preschool center director for six years, a nature educator at the Houston Arboretum, an instructor of child development for Houston Community College, a motor skills teacher, art teacher and teacher of four-year-olds. She also serves on the board of Avance, a non-profit organization supporting at-risk children and families in Houston.
Rebecca LaRocco, Co-Teacher Apple Class
Originally hailing from Dallas, Rebecca LaRocco attended Northaven Cooperative followed by the renowned Lamplighter School. Having been a student herself in programs that recognize the power of play and the need for young minds to create and imagine, she appreciates the value of Poe Co’s approach to education.
Creativity is a defining influence for Rebecca. Having delighted in the arts from an early age, she attended Rhode Island School of Design before completing her BFA at SMU. She particularly loves art that uses the senses and invites children to interact physically with the creative process.
Rebecca holds a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of St. Thomas. She previously taught an after school arts enrichment program, via Young Picassos at The Fay School. She also created and instructed an art and cooking program centered on children’s literature.
Having participated in numerous children’s garden programs, she looks forward to utilizing the Poe Co outdoor classroom. She believes in providing students with rich, hands-on learning experiences where they can engage and explore the natural world around them. A third-generation teacher, Rebecca is excited to join the Poe Co community.
Veronica Ramirez, Co-Teacher Acorn Class
Mrs. Ramirez has a Bachelor of Arts in Pedagogy (Cum Laude) from Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City. She has completed a Teachers Training Course (TTC) from the British Council and earned a First Certificate in English from the University of Cambridge. Having moved to Houston in 2003, she obtained her certification for High Quality EC-4 Bilingual Generalist in 2009. In 2010, she completed a specialization in Special Education for Early Education through Grade 12. Having worked in Mexico City as a preschool teacher, she developed students’ basic skills in reading and writing of the English language, improved students’ musical skills and introduced children to English language in all content areas.
Vero loves to educate young children and help them in the learning process. She is thrilled to become part of the Poe Co family and strives to gain a deeper understanding of different student needs. She has high expectation for her students and loves to foster creativity and imagination in children’s activities. She wants her students to think and find their own solutions, learn some Spanish language and grow as balanced human beings to succeed in the future.
Ashley Molina, Co-Teacher Acorn Class
Ashley Molina joined Poe Co in 2012 and is currently working towards her degree in Early Childhood. She previously had 3 years experience working with children and was the lead infant teacher at The Childhood Center. Ashley is excited to be part of the Poe Co community and looks forward to working with parents, students and staff to make learning and teaching an exciting experience.