Welcome to the Team!

Welcome to the Team! 3334 1459 Kate Kinkade

We are excited to welcome four new team members at Way to Grow! Learn a bit more about Mariana, Sheena, Tomi, and Jeanetta.

Mariana Villegas Ramírez

Family Educator

Tell us a little bit about yourself! 

I moved to the Twin Cities from Mexico in 2011 to continue my undergraduate program in Human Resources Development from the University of Minnesota. In 2015, I pursued a path in education, working and supporting non-profit organizations around Minnesota, including the United Nations Association of MN. In 2016, I discovered the Montessori philosophy and joined the Montessori Center of Minnesota – where my graduate education continued. In 2020, I received her master’s degree in Montessori Education from St. Catherine University, and now I am hoping to pursue a doctoral program in Educational Psychology. 

What excites you most about working for Way to Grow? 

I believe that life is about helping each other, especially children and vulnerable communities. As a Family Educator, I have the opportunity to guide those children and families through the system so that they can also experience a dignified life. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I am passionate about nature spaces, traveling, reading, cooking, running, yoga, and spending time with loved ones. 

Sheena Moss

Assistant Preschool Teacher

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Sheena, and I am a Minnesota native, born and raised in south Minneapolis. I’m currently a student studying Early Childhood Education.

What excites you about working at Way to Grow?

I’ve had a dream of teaching since the first grade! It’s an honor to live out this dream of mine with Way To Grow and I’m excited to share my passion in this company with others and with students.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I like to cook, draw pictures, and FaceTime my older brother and his two-year-old daughter.

Tomi Bali

Family Educator

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m called Tomi,  recently graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Bachelor’s in Public Health. I love interacting with people, traveling and tying out new foods. I’m excited about the work I get to do at Way To Grow.

What excites you most about working for Way to Grow?

Way to Grow gives me the opportunity to make an impact in the community through my passion for working with children and families. The work environment has also been a positive place so far, I’m excited to work with everyone!

What do you like to do in your spare time?  

I like to spend time with loved ones, trying new restaurants, cooking, traveling and watching TV shows

Jeanetta Searcy-Cooper

Director of Education

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Fun Facts: 

-We have lived in Minnesota for almost 4 years from Texas. 

-We moved here for the ministry, my husband is a Pastor in Minneapolis. 

-I have worked in the Early Childhood Education field for 24 years. 

-I have a BA, MBA, MA and working toward my Ph.D. in Education Leadership at Concordia University in St. Paul. 

-I love all things peppermint/mocha including my coffee and coffee creamer. 

-I love WWE Smackdown (yes that is wrestling). 

-My favorite color is pink, but for some reason I don’t wear it much. LOL 

-Lastly, I love Minnesota winters, the snow, and the cold, all of it.  And the Fall! 

What excites you about working at Way to Grow?

What excites me most about working for Way to Grow is the diversity in families and students served. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy being outside in nature and spending time with loved ones.

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