Meet Our Team!
We have a strong partnership of professionals working hard to move LACA forward, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring this vision to life for the Blooming Prairie community!
Ms. Hannah Kinny
Custodial Support/Program Assistant
Hannah Kinny loves her position at the Leo Augusta Children’s Academy, and the Academy staff are thankful for Hannah. She brings one year of childcare experience to Leo Augusta as a Custodial Support Person and Program Assistant.
Hannah chose to work at LACA because of her passion for working with children. She loves building connections with children and their families. When not working at Leo Augusta, Hannah enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and listening to music.
Ms. Kaylee Chick, Toddler Teacher
Kaylee brings to the academy 6 years of related work experience using her well-rounded capabilities to serve our toddler development needs. Kaylee’s unique way of creating age-appropriate lesson plans will serve as a strength to the academy and undoubtedly keep our toddlers learning without even knowing it.
Kaylee is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Development Program at Rochester Community and Technical College. She is expected to graduate in 2023. Kaylee resides in Hayfield and enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her boyfriend, babysitting, binge-watching TV series, and spending time outdoors (campfires, and camping). Kaylee loves interacting with kids and the connections that she builds with parents and families along the way.
Ms. Hailey Naatz, Preschool Teacher
Hailey joins the academy with an AAS Degree in Early Childhood Education earned from South Central College in Faribault. Throughout completing her courses, she has been exposed to classroom management, child development, planning, and organization, as well as group and individual observations and assessments. Hailey will help your child grow and learn in a positive, safe, and friendly environment.
Hailey currently resides in Blooming Prairie and enjoys baking (cakes, cupcakes, almost anything), spending time with families and friends, farming, and farm animals. Hailey has a love for all animals, but especially loves cows. She enjoys walks and time outdoors. Hailey is very excited about this new journey as a Lead Teacher and is looking forward to working with many amazing co-workers and families.
Ms. Josie Mueller,
Josie joins the academy with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Winona State University. In addition to Josie’s formal education, she also brings over three years of related work experience. Josie brings a great attitude and work ethic to the classroom. Her organizational skills, compassion, passion, and leadership will ensure those children in her class are engaged.
Josie resides in Owatonna. Josie enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family and pets.
Ms. Whittney McCamish,
Whittney brings 2 years of previous childcare experience to the academy with a broad range of skills. Whittney has led lessons in small and large motor activities, and STEAM activities including art projects, obstacle courses, writing, and music. Working with children has been her dream job since she graduated from high school and that was solidified after gaining those two years of experience. Whittney is particularly good at making new children feel welcome in an unfamiliar environment. She needs to connect personally to each child. She uses her organizational skills and patience in every classroom.
Whittney is looking forward to gaining more work experience in this field to follow her passion. Whittney resides in Ellendale and has worked with her brother for the past 8 years.
Toddler Assistant Teacher
Jordann joins the Academy with over 7 years of experience as a childcare provider. From having served as a Lead Teacher in a childcare program, to operating her in-home daycare, Jordann is excited to be the Assistant Infant Teacher at Leo Augusta. Her knowledge and understanding of how children learn and succeed and her passion for children and learning are gifts to the Academy.
Jordann holds an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and an AAS degree in Veterinary Technology. Jordann has also been employed as a Personal Care Assistant. She has strong teaching and communication skills. Jordann enjoys giving back to her community. When she has free time, she volunteers at the Humane Society, has fostered animals, and has coached T-ball. As an adult, she enjoys playing softball and spending time with her daughter.
Ms. Kim Routh,
Preschool Assistant Teacher
Kim has 19 years of paraprofessional experience in a public school system. Kim’s experience, willingness to learn, hardworking attitude, and flexible work style will be highly regarded at the academy. Kim is a very caring and supportive individual and her family is everything. Kim will bring that family togetherness value to the academy and the children she works with. Kim has a unique ability to partner with those children that bring us the most challenges.
Kim lives in New Richland with her husband Chan. Kim has 4 sons and 4 grandchildren. Kim enjoys playing Bingo, going for walks, and shopping in her spare time.
Ms. Karri Skow,
Infant Program Assistant
Karri brings to the academy 6 years of working as a paraprofessional in the public school system. During Karri’s time, she has worked primarily with young children with severe autism. It’s a gift to have Karri join the academy with the skill set of understanding and working with children in their uniqueness. Karri is CPI trained which allows her to teach and implement best practices for managing difficult situations and disruptive behaviors during a nonviolent crisis.
Karri resides in Blooming Prairie with her husband Mark. Karri enjoys spending time with her two grandson’s Cashius and Cayden.
Ms. Audrea Horejsi,
School-Age Program Assistant
Audrea brings numerous years of experience to the academy with her outgoing and personable charm. Audrea has most recently provided craft class instructions through Community Education courses to school-aged children in K-6 in the surrounding communities. Audrea served as a girl scout leader while her girls were in Elementary School. Audrea has been told more than once that she missed her calling as a youth to become a teacher but all is not lost. During Audrea’s work-life she has managed to always find a way to work with children, explore how to put things together, and make the most unique things that pique a child’s interest.
Audrea lives in Ellendale with her husband and two daughters. In her free time, she enjoys scrapbooking, making keepsakes, and spending time with her family.
Lily Graves, Program Assistant
Lily lives in Blooming Prairie and is currently a junior at Blooming Prairie High School. Lily has spent summers babysitting young children and loves working with kids. Her plans include attending college, and she has the desire to become an elementary school teacher.
Lily loves animals and has a small dog named Olive. She is the middle child of two brothers. Lily has a passion for dance and has been dancing since the age of three. She currently is a member of a dance team in Owatonna.
Welcome to the Academy, Lily!”
Bianca Ibarra, Program Assistant
Bianca lives in Blooming Prairie with her boyfriend and her son. Bianca currently is enrolled at Riverland Community College-Austin and is working on completing her Registered Nursing degree.
Bianca has spent much of her time working as a Certified Nursing Assistant but now has a very strong desire for childcare. She loves getting to experience the changes that take place in children as they grow and learn.
Bianca especially appreciates the opportunity to make connections with each child and family who attends the Academy.
Tammy Jax, Academy Coordinator
Tammy joins the academy with over 6 years of related work experience in a vast variety of roles in the early childhood industry. Tammy also spent 22 years in the healthcare industry working with families and patients in the surgical unit. We are fortunate to have Tammy join the academy to bring her wide range of skill sets such as food/dining, management, scheduling, and community coordination.
Tammy is eager to be part of the Blooming Prairie community and her infectious laugh and personality will no doubt win you over. Tammy is from a family of 7 and is the middle child. She graduated from Hayfield and attended RCTC working at Mayo facilities for 16 years after graduation. She was a trained Surgeon’s Assistant. Tammy has a daughter who recently graduated as an RN and Tammy was searching for a new role in childcare and has found that at the Academy.
Tammy’s interests include singing and music, sports, and family. Tammy has seen the difference that a small town has made in the life of her daughter and her sister. Her motto is, “Keep going forward into new things, it can change your life and bring you joy!”
Daysha Zilm, Assistant Director
Daysha comes to the academy with 7 years of experience in the childcare industry of which 3 of those years working as an Assistant Director in a childcare setting. Daysha has an upbeat attitude, a love for children, and organizational skills that will be of significant value to the academy. Daysha’s knowledge of records and retention, policy and procedures, and staff mentoring will help lead the academy to success. Daysha will work in close collaboration with the Director and Board of Directors to ensure the academy’s mission is considered during every major business decision.
Daysha has a Child Development Associate Certificate earned from Riverland Community College. In Daysha’s downtime, she enjoys spending time with her fiancé Gabe and their son Grady. She enjoys exploring the great outdoors, hiking, camping, and anything under the sun with her family.