Ankeny Staff 2017-05-19T17:51:15+00:00

6 Weeks – 12 Months

Tawny Thielen

Lead Teacher

My name is Tawny Thielen. I have been working at 2 For U since July 2015. My birthday is August 19th, 1993. I grew up in Dallas Center/Grimes, IA. I am married to my husband, Aaron and we have a daughter, Elliana and son, Maverick! I am the Lead Teacher in the Cruisin’ Camels Infant Room. I have almost four years of experience in a center and was a nanny for three years. What I love most about working with kids is being able to make a difference in their lives and their family’s lives. I love being able to teach them and watch them learn and grow. Lastly, I love that special bond I get to make with each of them. My hobbies include anything crafty, and just spending time with my family. I am passionate about my children and family as well as taking care of all of my babies at daycare! Something that would be impossible for me to give up would be leaving the childcare work field.

Katie Hale

Lead Teacher

My name is Katie Hale, the new lead teacher in the infant room at 2 for U. I am so incredibly excited to get to know each one of your little ones, as well as you and your families. This will be my first year at 2 for U, but I’m excited to say I have had quite a bit of experience caring for children prior to this position. So I will start off by sharing with you some of my experiences.  I grew up in a small town in Northern Iowa. Providing childcare is a big passion of mine. In the past, I have spent my free time volunteering at the daycare centers near my home town, that my mom was the director of. I moved on to providing childcare during Autism Trainings at the AEA (Area Education Agency), working as a full-time nanny, and working at a couple daycares in Ames while continuing my education at Iowa State University. Here, I began my adventure as an Iowa State Hockey Cheerleader, which led me to later become a high school cheerleading coach.  With this experience I am able to bring structure, creativity, and fun to the infant room. It is my top priority to provide a stimulating, and safe environment for all my kids.  I look forward to watching your little ones grow and getting to know your family.

1 Year – 2 Years

Racheal Vargas

Lead Teacher

I have been working at 2 For U since August 2015. My birthday is December 29th, 1993 and grew up in Monroe, IA. I moved to Des Moines to finish school. After finishing school, I stayed in Des Moines because it is a beautiful city. I am the Lead Teacher in the Energetic Elephants 1 year old room. I have a lot of experience in childcare, including an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, 5 years work in a childcare center, and volunteering in a preschool during high school. I love experiencing new things with each child. It is like every painting, story, or game is being done for the first time. You never stop learning things as a teacher, the kids ask 100 questions you don’t know, and it’s up to you to find the answer! My hobbies outside of work include reading, swimming, biking, and doing small art projects. My favorite hobby, though, is spending time with my friends and family. Something that would be impossible for me to give up would be reading. I love reading all types of books!

Taylor Feauto

Lead Teacher

My name is Taylor! I am the Lead teacher in Room 5, and have been working at 2 For U for over 3 years! I live in Ames and have two cats, Prince and Einstein. I am currently working on getting my degree in environmental science. I love being outdoors and traveling and working with children!

Anneke Schut

Lead Teacher

I’m Mrs. Anneke or “Ahka” for most of the kids I’ve worked with. I’m very excited to take on the role of lead teacher in Room 8 and get to know each of you and your children. I’m 28 years old and have been married for almost six years to my husband, Luke. We have two very troublesome kitties named Toby and Xander who always keep me on my toes. I’m originally from Dixon, California but moved to Iowa to attend Dordt college where I earned my bachelors in English Literature. While my husband finished his schooling, I worked at Hobby Lobby in Ames for four years before moving to Ankeny. I quickly realized that I wanted to do something different with my time and efforts and decided to pursue my childhood dream of teaching children (just on a different level than I ever expected!). I’m so pleased to have spent the past year at 2 for U and can’t wait to open new worlds and ideas for your children as we grown and learn together. Communication is key, so I encourage you to let me know any goals, hopes and concerns you have.

2 Years – 3 Years

Danielle Welch

Lead Teacher

I started working at 2 For U in July 2015. I grew up in Boone, Iowa and am currently still there. In my family I have my dad, Jeff, my mom, Kathy and brother, Spencer. I have worked for one year at a precious daycare center and for more than 8 years. I have been a dance instructor, nanny and babysitter as well. I am truly passionate about dance. Something that would be impossible for me to give up: My family.

3 Years – 4 Years

Jessie McLemore

Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Jessie. I am the lead teacher in Room 11. I have been in the childcare industry for 6 years, and at 2 For U for 6 months. I absolutely love kids! I have two daughters of my own, Haileigh and Bianca. We enjoy going to the zoo, park, and the pool as a family! I look forward to getting to know each one of you!!!!

Lindsay Stanford

Lead Teacher

I’m Mrs. Lindsay (Lindsay Stanford) and I’m so excited to continue this adventure with you and your children as I take on the role of lead teacher here in Room 14. I’m originally from from Osceola but I moved to Ankeny in June of 2006 to attend college and decided this is where I belong, so I never left! I went to school to earn my associates degree and a degree in mortuary science. I worked as a funeral director for a short time but ultimately found that my true calling was to continue working with children. They keep life so fun! I look forward to helping your children grow and learn. I like to keep open lines of communication, so please feel free to talk to me at any time, about anything!

4 Years – 5 Years

Kari Miller-Bailey

Lead Teacher

My name is Kari Miller-Bailey and I will be one of your child’s teachers this year! I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1986 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology. I returned to school at Des Moines Area Community College in August 1994. I received my Certificate of Specialization as a Legal Assistant in December 1995. I returned to Des Moines Area Community College in 2012 and completed my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education this May. I am a mother of 4 children, Aschlei 27, Tyler 25, Cheltzie 23 and Zachary 18. I also have two grandchildren that I take care of almost every weekend. I worked as a paralegal for 13½ years while raising my children. I have been working as a lead teacher since 2010. I started working in a two/three-year-old room, and in 2012 I moved up to the four-year-old pre-school room, where I found what I enjoy most. I enjoy working with children at any age, as each age brings its own joys and challenges! When I am not hanging out with my children or grandchildren, I enjoy baking, crocheting and working on genealogy research. I look forward to meeting you and your children next week! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a difference in your child’s life!

5 Year Old Pre-K

Deborah Grimes

Lead Teacher

Bio will be coming soon.

School Age

Zach Filzer

Lead Teacher

Hi, I’m Zach! I have been at 2 For U for almost a year and half. Originally from New Jersey, I received my Bachelors from Seton Hall University and am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Secondary Education! I hope to be a History and/or English as a second language teacher someday. During my free time I really enjoy running and being active outdoors. I am an avid soccer fan (GO LIVERPOOL AND DORTMUND) and love Indian, Thai and Mediterranean food. I absolutely love to travel and have lived abroad a few times (Israel, Thailand, Ukraine). I have a go-getter attitude and passion for all that I do, especially working with children. ROCK ON!


Lanette Miller

Lead Cook

I have 20 years of experience in childcare centers, along with raising a son of my own. Working with children is special to me because I love watching them start to develop their own personalities as they learn new things every day. I love watching them grow into individuals and seeing them interact with their friends. “Each child is gifted….they just unwrap their packages at different times.” I love spending time with my husband, Jaden, and our son Quaid, who is 3. We have bene married for 10 years. We love playing games with friends and family, and swimming. I love to watch the Iowa Hawkeyes and I love to entertain and cook for others.