Primrose School of South Minneapolis and Richfield

Our Staff

  • Mrs. Heidi DeVaun, Education Coach

    Mrs. Heidi DeVaun

    Education Coach

    I have a passion for education and developing teachers. Primrose aligns with my values and allows me to make a significant impact in our students lives! I have earned my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and my Masters in School Administration. I worked in South Korea as an ESL teacher for 3 years, that was extremely rewarding! I am looking forward to getting to know each of you, and helping your children learn and grow!

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: Hoyt Lakes, MN

    Hobby: Traveling, Hiking

    Snack: Spicy Chips

    Beverage: Dr. Pepper

    Favorite Color: Ocean Blue

  • Mr. Joe Davis, Chef

    Mr. Joe Davis

    Chef

    I enjoy spending time with my family. I have four sons, from toddler to high school age – so we keep busy! When I am not engaged at home, I enjoy playing golf and softball. Nutrition is important to me, and I strive to make sure that out students here at Primrose are getting a balanced meal each day. I enjoy the relationships that I have made with the families here at Primrose.

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: Richfield, MN

    Hobby: Playing Sports

    Snack: Chocolate Covered Peanuts

    Beverage: Mountain Dew

    Favorite Color: Blue

  • Ms. Wamie Pojeska, Infant Assistant

    Ms. Wamie Pojeska

    Infant Assistant

    I love waking up each morning knowing that I am making an impact on so many lives. As an Infant Teacher, I know the importance of making sure that the parents have the upmost trust in me. It is a privilege to spend my days working with infants and helping them achieve important milestones. I am excited to meet you and your child!

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: St Paul, Mn

    Hobby: Painting

    Snack: Cookies and Chips

    Beverage: Strawberry Smoothie

    Favorite Color: Red

  • Ms. Fabiola Reyes, Infant Teacher

    Ms. Fabiola Reyes

    Infant Teacher

    Teaching and helping children to meet their milestones in their first years is something that I am passionate about. I have more than four years of experience working with infants. While living in Mexico, I was a Physician Surgeon – graduating in 2012. I am currently working towards being a licensed Physician within the United States. I am looking forward to working hand in hand with your family to help your child reach their milestones.

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: Eden Prairie, Mn

    Hobby: Read, Sing, Play Guitar

    Snack: Ritz

    Beverage: Vanilla Chai Milk Tea

    Favorite Color: Pink and Black

  • Mrs. Kristina Zera, Infant Teacher

    Mrs. Kristina Zera

    Infant Teacher

    I believe that teaching children at a young age is one of the most important things we can do. I have been in Early Childhood Education for more than 6 years; I know that it is my true calling in life. I am a loyal Vikings fan, and dog lover. I can not wait to meet you and your child, and work together to help them achieve their full potential!

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: Minnetonka, Mn

    Hobby: Baking and watching movies

    Snack: Chocolate

    Beverage: Diet Coke

    Favorite Color: Purple

  • Ms. Carlisha Brandon, Infant Assistant

    Ms. Carlisha Brandon

    Infant Assistant

    The diversity in students and teachers is what I love about working at Primrose. Being able to help teach students about the world around us and different cultures is so important! I am currently pursuing my degree in Psychology. My hope is to constantly learn and grow as a teacher, parent and student. I am excited to get to know you and your family!

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: Richfield, MN

    Hobby: Spending time with friends

    Snack: Oreos

    Beverage: Mango Pineapple Smoothie

    Favorite Color: Black

  • Mrs. Janyka Reed, Infant Assistant

    Mrs. Janyka Reed

    Infant Assistant

    I have heard a lot of great things about Primrose for a few years, so I was excited to become apart of the Primrose Family! I have worked with other childcare facilities for over 3 years. I most enjoy working with infants. Seeing them grow and reach new milestones is the most rewarding part of my job. I can’t wait to meet you and your family!

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: Kansas City, Mo

    Hobby: Napping, Watching TV

    Snack: Cheddar Chex Mix

    Beverage: Welch’s Juice

    Favorite Color: Turquoise

  • Ms. Mackenzie Rowe, Toddler Teacher

    Ms. Mackenzie Rowe

    Toddler Teacher

    I chose to work at Primrose because I want to expand the minds of my students. Learning about new cultures and new traditions that my students may have inspires me! I was a Native English Teacher in Budapest, Hungary and have also taught Toddlers while living in Wisconsin. I have earned my BS in Psychology. I am so glad to be apart of the Primrose Family!

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: Oshkosh, Wisconsin

    Hobby: Cooking/Baking and Traveling

    Snack: Almonds and Cheese

    Beverage: Almond Milk Latte

    Favorite Color: Blue

  • Ms. Zoe Lancrete, Toddler Assistant

    Ms. Zoe Lancrete

    Toddler Assistant

    Let’s get to know each other.

    I admire the way Primrose has integrated education and play that allows for individualized learning! This is my first experience working in Early Childhood Education, and I love working with the younger students. A little fun fact about me – I have over one dozen pet birds of all different species! I am looking forward to learning and growing each day with my students – hope to meet you soon!

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: Bahn, Mi

    Hobby: Writing and Playing Music

    Snack: Honey Roasted Sesame Sticks

    Beverage: Root Beer

    Favorite Color: Cyan

  • Ms. Sheeba Reed, Toddler Teacher

    Ms. Sheeba Reed

    Toddler Teacher

    In my 7 years of experience, I have been taught so much by my students – more than I thought possible. I love working with children, each one of them are so unique and hold a place in my heart. Interesting fact about me – I have only left Minnesota one time in my life. One day, I hope to live in a state where it is warm year-round! I am looking forward to meeting you and your family.

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: Richfield, Mn

    Hobby: Shopping, Spend time with my family

    Snack: Fruit, Cookies

    Beverage: Pepsi

    Favorite Color: Purple

  • Ms. Arianna Portilla, Early Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Arianna Portilla

    Early Preschool Teacher

    I have worked in Early Childhood Education for almost six years. Primrose caught my attention with their curriculum and how the help teachers advance with their career. Having the chance to teach the next generation of our world is a rewarding thought! I love spending time with my family and being outdoors. I can’t wait to get know you!

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: Veracruz, Mexico

    Hobby: Listen to music, shop, travel back to Mexico

    Snack: Hot Cheetos

    Beverage: Coke

    Favorite Color: Black, Red

  • Ms. Gabriela D.S., Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Gabriela D.S.

    Preschool Teacher

    Shaping the minds of our future is such a delicate task, and one that I enjoy doing so much! I majored in Elementary Education in College but was curious about Early Childhood. I came to Primrose and fell in love with it. I moved to the United States from Brazil in 2004. I love gardening, and I am so excited to get my students involved in the Primrose Patch this summer! I hope to meet you soon.

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: Decorah, IA

    Hobby: Reading, Drawing, Hiking

    Snack: White Cheddar Puffs

    Beverage: Sprite

    Favorite Color: Green

  • Mr. Santiago Espinosa, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

    Mr. Santiago Espinosa

    Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

    Being part of the growth and development of children is the most rewarding experience I have; I love what I do. I have worked with children since I arrived to the USA in 2017. In my home country, Ecuador, I worked in education for over 15 years and obtained my Degree in Educational Administration. I love to bring my guitar to class and play for my students! I am looking forward to learning along side your child each day.

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown:Quito, Ecuador

    Hobby: Play Guitar, Soccer

    Snack: Chips

    Beverage: Carmel Macchiato

    Favorite Color: Blue

  • Ms. Allison Pritchett, Distant Learning/Float Teacher

    Ms. Allison Pritchett

    Distant Learning/Float Teacher

    I love working with kids and seeing how they explore the world around them. I worked in Elementary Schools in Mankato, MN before moving here this summer. I am now in the Interpreting program for American Sign Language at Saint Paul College. I can’t wait to help your child grow!


    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: East Grand Forks, MN

    Hobby: Anything outdoors!

    Snack: Cauliflower

    Beverage: Iced Tea

    Favorite Color: Yellow

  • Ms. Leslie Sanchez, Float Teacher

    Ms. Leslie Sanchez

    Float Teacher

    I have heard wonderful things about Primrose within our community and am very glad to have joined the team! I am still fairly new working in Early Childhood Education, but I love it! I currently attend Normandale Community College and am working on my general courses and wish to pursue a degree in Healthcare. I am looking forward to meeting you and your family!

    Fun Facts & Favorites

    Hometown: Richfield, Mn

    Hobby: Playing Soccer

    Snack: Hot Cheetos

    Beverage: Cherry Coke

    Favorite Color: Pink

  • Saleem Karmaliani and Dr. Salima Mithani, Franchise Owner

    Saleem Karmaliani and Dr. Salima Mithani

    Franchise Owner

    Meet Saleem Karmaliani and Dr. Salima Mithani – dedicated parents of three daughters and active owners and operators of Primrose Schools located in the northern, central and southern neighborhoods of twin cities metropolis. 

    Primrose School of Prior Lake & Savage was the very first Primrose to open its doors in Minnesota in August 2006. With years of successfully serving the Prior Lake and Savage communities, the couple decided to organically grow into neighborhoods where the communities were still lacking high quality early childhood education and care. As a result they own Primrose School of South Minneapolis & RichfieldPrimrose School of Prior Lake and Savage, Primrose School of Arden Hills and Shoreview, Primrose School of Edina, and Primrose School of West Plymouth

    As parents of young children themselves, Karmalianis understand the importance of starting early to shape a child’s educational foundation and character. The couple, sees first hand, the difference early childhood education makes in young lives as they have themselves witnessed how Primrose School has positively impacted their own children. "We knew we wanted to deliver the same high-quality care and education for other families," said Saleem. Recognizing how challenging it was to find a quality, early childhood development program for their own children, Karmalianis embraced and continue to promote the Primrose mission with a well-balanced educational experience for the families they serve through these schools.

    Saleem holds graduate degrees in Education and Public Policy, while Salima practices the field of Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine. Both are graduates of University of Minnesota and have been living in Twin Cities for 25 plus years. Together they have three daughters Cerena and twins Sophie and Sara. Karmalianis love sports and are die-hard fans of Gophers and Minnesota Vikings. The family loves to spend time outdoors and are frequent visitors to Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA).

    “Our mission remains consistent with the Primrose model: to provide our families with the premier well balanced early childhood development experience in a safe and loving environment. We know this is only possible with our parents and teachers’ continued partnership and support” said Saleem. His past experience in Education as well as working for the government in the field of Human Services for over 15 years is practically evident in his day to day operations in their schools. Between their schools, Saleem leads a dedicated and professional team of over 120 employees managed by 12 highly qualified and caring leadership team members.

    “When we were introduced to Primrose for our own children, we immediately became enthralled with the curriculum, instruction methodologies and dedication of the teachers to develop each child emotionally and cognitively,” said Dr. Salima Mithani. The couple recognized that Saleem's experience in education combined with Primrose Schools's philosophy would allow their family to establish a strong model of early learning in Minnesota where parents and children would feel comfortable and part of a family.

    Both Saleem and Salima volunteer for local community organizations in the field of education and public services. Dr. Salima Mithani also served as the board member and treasurer of their children elementary school's PTO.

    Primrose School of South Minneapolis and Richfield welcomed children in March of 2019. Our teachers enthusiastically have been implementing the exclusive Balanced Learning system with STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) Program for children ages six weeks to 6 years old. Developed by and taught exclusively at Primrose Schools, Balanced Learning Curriculum blends teacher-directed and child-initiated activities with a special emphasis on character development in the schools.

    We hope to see you around at the school. For more information about Primrose School of South Minneapolis and Richfield please visit our Facebook page. For pointers for parents please visit https://www.primroseschools.com/blog

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