Primrose School of Waco at Woodway

Our Staff

  • Monique Hernandez, Director

    Monique Hernandez


    Hello Primrose families, my name is Ms. Monique Hernandez.  I recently relocated to Waco Texas in February of 2022. I am excited and grateful to be a part of the Primrose School of Waco at Woodway community. I am passionate about providing an inviting, healthy, safe, and caring community in which children are happy and thrive.

    I have worked in the school education system since 2007 in various office administration positions including establishing two charter schools which are now thriving and growing. Mostly recently I worked with a faith based outreach organization serving, underserved individuals/families by meeting physical and spiritual needs while traveling across America as a personal assistant to the CEO, mobile office administrator, and event coordinator.

    I moved to Waco with my amazing son and wonderful mother. I love to organize, travel, roller skate, laugh, and live in the moment. I look forward to meeting each one of you! If you see me smile and please say hi. I would love to meet you.

  • Vanessa Renteria, Education Coach

    Vanessa Renteria

    Education Coach

    I’m Mrs. Renteria! I relocated to Texas from California 4 years ago. I have been married to my husband for 11 years and we have two children. I have been working with children for 15 years. I have taught Sunday school, worked as a paraprofessional, pre-k teacher, and an elementary librarian. I got my Associate Degree in Elementary Education in 2011 and am currently studying to recieve my BS in Family and Human Development in May 2023.  In my spare time I like to go on mini adventures with my family, go thrifting, and I love to read!


  • Megan Hatley, Venture Teacher

    Megan Hatley

    Venture Teacher
    Apple of Our Eye

    I’m Ms.  Hatley! I grew up in Waco, but due to being a Navy brat and the military, I lived in Virginia for 13 years. I relocated back to Waco last year and I am so glad I did. I have 2 stepdaughters and am expecting another daughter this coming January. I love cats, Harry Potter, and all things Spooky!

  • Justin Smith, Chef

    Justin Smith


    My name is Justin Smith. I’m from Waco, Texas. I have two daughters and one on the way. I like Star Wars and playing video games in my spare time.

  • Salima Ali, Wonder Teacher

    Salima Ali

    Wonder Teacher

    I’m Salima Ali. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I have two children. My daughter Sarah just graduated and my son Aahil is going to high school. My husband Aslam is so supportive of me. I have been in education for 2 years. I worked at the Montessori Preparatory School. I’m excited to start working in Primrose School. I love to work with the children.

  • Melodee Stump, Wonder Teacher

    Melodee Stump

    Wonder Teacher

    My name is Melodee Stump. I was born in Rhode Island and lived there for 19 years. I moved to North Carolina and lived there for 8 years, where I met my husband, Ray. Three years after we married we moved to Irving, TX and we lived there for 36 years. We have two children, one is 32 and has two children and the other is 26 and is a student at the University of Texas at Austin. We can't leave out our 14 year old fur baby, Kirbym a schauzer corgi mix. We relocated to Waco after my husband retired. I has been working for Primrose Of Las Colinas for 17 years, mostly with babies. I especially enjoy the infant room. It is fascinating to watch them grow and develop so quickly and to see their personalities begin to form, not to mention they are so cute and cuddly! I also realize the importance of quality care, being that I was a worknig mother for quite some time.

  • Jennifer Lopez, Wonder Teacher

    Jennifer Lopez

    Wonder Teacher

    I have been in childcare for 32 years and absolutely love working with children. My children and grandbabies are my whole world. For fun I enjoy shopping and going out to eat with family and friends. I am so excited to be back with my Primrose family.

  • Laurie Jordan, Wonder Teacher

    Laurie Jordan

    Wonder Teacher

    I am Laurie Jordan. I wanted to tell you a little about myself. I grew up in Texas and I love my southern roots. I have 3 grown children and they are married and live in Illinois.  My oldest is in the Air Force and is stationed in Guam.  I am newly married to my best friend and we love to spend the weekends working on the farm, kayaking, fishing and many other adventures together.  I have been in childcare 26 years and every day is a new day to learn something new.  I am excited to get to know all the children and watch them grow and discover new things about their environment and community.

  • Tonnye Garrett, Wonder Teacher

    Tonnye Garrett

    Wonder Teacher

    I love God, family, and friends, and in that order. I love all sports and most outdoor activity, especially if they involve water. I love to cook! I grew up in a small town and have small town values. I enjoy reading, plants and flowers, and the company of my friends.

  • Cekevia Degrate, Wonder Teacher

    Cekevia Degrate

    Wonder Teacher


    My name is Cekevia Degrate! I have worked in the childcare field for 7+ years. I have experience in all groups. I have worked specifically with children ages infant to age four for the the past four years. I love to shop, get pedicures, and sleep in on the weekends!

  • Cierra Reese, Wonder Teacher

    Cierra Reese

    Wonder Teacher

    I’m Cierra Reese. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I started working in childcare right out of high school and have loved it ever since. I have worked in the toddler class for the whole 5 years that I’ve had experience. I have an amazing little rainbow baby named Caia Jade and she lights up my life. Sometimes I love relaxing to a good TV show with my little family, and other times I love being out and shopping. But at the end of every weekend, I am excited to come back to school and do what I love.

  • Jaime Rodriguez, Wonder Teacher

    Jaime Rodriguez

    Wonder Teacher

    I’m Jaime. I wanted to tell you a little about myself. I am a mother of two wonderful boys. . I met my husband when I was in middle school and have been happily married ever since, a true love story.I had my first child at the age of 16 and waited until I was 24 for my second. My oldest is 10 years old and my youngest is 2 and since then have had a passion for working with children.

  • Alexandra Escobedo, Wonder Teacher

    Alexandra Escobedo

    Wonder Teacher

    I'm Alexandra. I wanted to tell you a little about myself. I was born and raised in Waco, TX. I graduated from La Vega High School. I have six brothers, I am the oldest. I love working with young children and enjoy watching them grow. I have been in childcare since 2019 and I love it! I am blessed to be a part of the Primrose Family.

  • Tyanna White, Wonder Teacher

    Tyanna White

    Wonder Teacher

    I’m Miss White. I was born in Dallas but have lived in Waco my whole life. Before I came to Primrose I worked at Golden Corral for 4 years and Midway ISD Panther Kids for 2 years. I am currently attending MCC for my associate’s degree in General Business but will eventually transfer on to get a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. On the weekends I enjoy golfing with my brothers.

  • Daisy Manzo, Wonder Teacher

    Daisy Manzo

    Wonder Teacher

    I am the middle child of seven siblings, and I am also a TWIN! I was born and raised in Texas. I enjoy drinking coffee, playing piano, horseback riding, and crafting!

  • Autumn Lewis, Wonder Teacher

    Autumn Lewis

    Wonder Teacher

    I’m Miss Lewis! I love animals! I have four dogs at home. I am originally from Oklahoma, but moved to Waco in my childhood. I am 28 years old and graduated college in 2016. I worked for awhile in food service but decided to get back into teaching because I missed working with children. In my spare time I love to spend time with my dogs, my friends, and my mom who I am very close with.

  • Angelica Kinsman, Venture Teacher

    Angelica Kinsman

    Venture Teacher

    My name is Ms. Kinsman! I recently moved from California to Texas with my aunt. I'm really enjoying being here as it been a life changing experience. In June of 2017, I graduated with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Humphreys University. I have eighteen years of experience working with children, from infants all the way to elementary school age. I worked for the Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Joaquin County for two years providing childcare and resources for families in need. In my free time I love to travel state to state. I enjoy fishing, camping, hiking, and viewing wildlife at the Nature Wildlife Preserves.

    I am looking forward to getting to know your child and observe each one as they learn their skills and interact with their peers and teachers.

  • Olivia McWhorter, Venture Teacher

    Olivia McWhorter

    Venture Teacher

    Hello! I’m Olivia. I was born in Waco, TX and raised in Lousiana. I am excited to help your children learn and grow! It has been a childhood dream of mine to become a teacher and to help impact the lives of children. I am a mother and enjoy spending time with my daughter. We love swimming, reading, and painting in our free time.

  • Karen Escalante, Venture Teacher

    Karen Escalante

    Venture Teacher

    I’m Mrs. Escalante! I recently moved to Waco from San Antonio. I started working in childcare in 2015. I enjoy working with children because it is exciting to watch them learn and grow and there is never a dull moment working with children!

  • Caroline Durham, Venture Teacher

    Caroline Durham

    Venture Teacher

    I’m Caroline Durham. I was born and raised in Waco, TX. I went to Harmony schools from second grade into Senior year. I studied psychology at MCC. I believe I have found my calling in this line of work and I am very excited to see where this career will lead me.

  • Wilma Barrera, Venture Teacher

    Wilma Barrera

    Venture Teacher

    I’m Wilma Barrera. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I am 27 years old. I was born in Madera, California. I moved to Waco with my parents when I was one years old. I did move around and lived in Florida, Arizona and Las Vegas.

    I’ve been working with kids for about 7 years. One of the things I love about working with kids is seeing them learn, have fun and grow day by day.

  • Kandi Jones, Venture Teacher

    Kandi Jones

    Venture Teacher

    I was born in Abilene, TX. I am an only child. I love all kinds of sports. I have always had a passion for children. I am currently getting my Bachelor’s degree at Tarleton State University. I got married in 2018. We don’t have any children at this time.

  • Marga Johnson, Venture Teacher

    Marga Johnson

    Venture Teacher

    I'm Mrs. Johnson, I was born and raised in Waco! My family and friends are my greatest treasure and making memories with them is my favorite thing to do! I have been working with children and families for over 14 years. I truly love my career and I consider it a blessing to be in this position! I look forward to getting to know the children and your family!

  • Alexis Spence, Explorer Teacher

    Alexis Spence

    Explorer Teacher

    I’m Alexis Spence . I wanted to tell you a little about myself. I am currently working on my associates degree at MCC. My plan is to transfer to the University of Houston and get my Special Education degree. I have worked with children through the Boys and Girls Club and provided child care for children ages 6-13 in Fort Worth. In my free time, I like to do arts and crafts or go outside and exercise. I also like to hang out with my friends.I look forward to seeing the children learn and grow.

  • Maria Pat, Explorer Teacher

    Maria Pat

    Explorer Teacher

    I’m Maria Pat. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I was born and raised in Mexico. I moved to Waco, Texas in 2012 at the age of 14 to start at Midway High School. I am currently a student at McLennan Community College. I am working on getting my degree in education. I have worked at Hewitt Elementary’s after school care program for 4 years. I am so excited to put my skills to practice and spend time with my new students. I am sure we will all grow together as a group and every one of my students will be successful on their path to progress.

  • Julie McDonald, Support Teacher

    Julie McDonald

    Support Teacher

    Hello! My name is Julie McDonald & I'm so excited to be joining the Primrose School of Woodway team as Office Manager! I am looking forward to building relationships with all of the wonderful children and families here at Primrose!

    I started my childcare experience as an in-home caregiver for several children in 2014, and discovered how much I loved working with children. I decided to work in a childcare facility and worked as a teacher for over 5 years with all ages. I have also previously worked in administrative positions for over 5 years. I attended Robinson High School, and some college at McLennan Community College. I will be returning to school in the fall to work on a business degree, and hope to get a certification in teaching as well.

    My family has just relocated back to our hometown of Waco, TX, after living close to Houston for almost a decade. We live in China Spring, and are enjoying the community & people there. I married my high school sweetheart, and we have two wonderful boys that are 17 & 7 years old. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with our large family, friends, gardening, music, vinyl records, and learning new things.


  • Delia Espinoza, Support Teacher

    Delia Espinoza

    Support Teacher

    I was born and raised in Texas. I have two daughters and two grandchildren. I love to read and cook. I am continuing my education to become an LVN, Nurse.

  • Jo McLaughlin/Dr.Noel Rigley, Franchise Owner

    Jo McLaughlin/Dr.Noel Rigley

    Franchise Owners

    Welcome to the Primrose School of Waco at Woodway!

    Jo McLaughlin was a working mother in 1993 at a cross roads; spend more time with her family or continue with her career path. She stepped away from her career to spend more time with her son thus beginning her Primrose journey as an Assistant Teacher at the first Primrose School in Texas shortly after it opened in 1993. Jo quickly fell in love with Primrose. When it came time to take the next step in her career, Jo knew Primrose Schools was the right partner because the Primrose curriculum represents the best for young students and the culture matched her values and leadership beliefs. Jo earned her B.A. in Early Childhood Education and continued to grow with Primrose. Her journey has given her the experience as an assistant teacher, a lead teacher, an office assistant, a director, an area director, and she worked for the Primrose Corporate Office for 14 years as a School Business Consultant and Training Specialist which ultimately led her to join Dr.’s Pratiksha and Noel Rigley as an Operating Partner/Franchise Owner in August 2018.

    Jo has been married to her husband Bob for 39 years. Bob is also a Primrose advocate and has worked with Primrose Schools for 20 years. Jo and Bob have a wonderful family of 3 children, 4 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren (some of whom are Primrose graduates). The family enjoys the great outdoors!

    Teaching and mentoring to give back to their community and church are a priority for Bob and Jo. Jo has volunteered with her local fire department and the Red Cross. Jo and her husband provided hurricane disaster relief in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Jo also understands the need to be prepared, to react, and respond to immediate emergencies in our communities with training she received with Home Land Security.

    In 2018 Jo was honored to partner with the late Dr. Pratiksha and Dr. Noel Rigley. As their former Corporate School Business Consultant, she witnessed first hand the exemplary approach to Primrose’s outstanding education, the accredited curriculum and character development program that their schools implement daily. They believe in the importance of early literacy and are proud to be a partner in the Primrose Schools partnerships with many local and national non-profit organizations. The Rigley's have been recipients of the prestigious Primrose Schools Franchising Company's Rising Star Award and National Platinum Donor Award for 2016, 2017 and 2018.

    Dr. Noel Rigley supports Dallas area schools - Primrose School of Frisco West, Primrose School of Park Cities, Primrose School of Plano at Preston Meadow, Primrose School of Klyde Warren Park and Primrose School of Prestonwood.

    Together the ownership team has 65 years of Primrose service instilling active minds, healthy bodies and happy hearts in young children entrusted to our care. Who children become is as important as what they know, is a belief that is at the core of our Balanced Learning approach. Our exclusive early learning approach balances purposeful play with nurturing guidance from teachers to encourage curiosity, creativity, confidence, and compassion. We deliver more than a curriculum; it’s a life-changing early learning experience for children and families in our schools.

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