Our teachers have over 60 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/Lead Apple Teacher
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.
Donna’s family consists of her husband Doug, daughter Cara, son Andrew.
Ashley Molina, Co-Teacher Apple 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.
Ashley has many interests, including, crafts, sports, music, reading, and traveling with her family. She is married to Felipe, and has two daughters, ages 9 and 6.
Ms. Maxine and Ms. Kim
Maxine Dickey, Lead Acorn Teacher
Maxine has been teaching at Poe Co for fourteen years and she has been the lead Acorn teacher for the past five years. She has a degree in Early Childhood and seeks any and all continuing education classes that she can attend. She has a keen understanding of how children learn and develop socially, physically and cognitively. With her loving guidance and sense of humor she is able to enrich the preschool experience of the children whose lives she touches.
Maxine is married to Dan and they live in the Montrose area and have two collage aged children Dayna 20 and Travis 18 a Poe Co alumni. When Maxine is not with little children she spends time caring for her many pets, reading and spending time at the beach. She also likes to travel, especially back to her native land England. She is dedicated in all she does with her family, Poe Co, and her community of friends.
Kim Martinez, Co-Teacher Acorn Class
Kim has 21 years of experience teaching young children. She developed in 2005, and currently directs Conmigo, a “mommy & me” Spanish Program for pre-school age children at Helms Elementary, a HISD Dual Language Magnet School. Kim has taught in several different programs, both public and private over the years teaching children from age 2 to 1st grade and most recently created and directed a very popular Spanish Summer Immersion Camp in the Heights. She holds a BA in an Early Childhood Education from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA. She brings to Poe Co a love for young children, creativity, enthusiasm, organization, and an amazing ability to multitask.
Kim and her husband, Kenneth, live in the Historic Houston Heights with their three children, ages 15, 13 and 9. Her youngest, Mia, is a proud Poe Co alumni. Kim and her family enjoy long road trips and camping together. They can be spotted at home games cheering the Houston Dynamo. She enjoys reading, crafting, and “Nia” classes. Kim and the kids spend their summers in the mild temperatures of Central Mexico immersing themselves in the rich Mexican culture, food and language.