Feature Image for Black History Month Employee Spotlight: Ms. LaSeana post

This Black History Month, CentroNía is spotlighting early childhood educators and CentroNía heroes who not only positively impact the lives of the children and families we serve themselves, but also help CentroNía continue its mission in providing affordable and accessible high quality child care education to low-income, working families in the greater metropolitan area.

Black History Month is a month to recognize the adversities that African and Black Americans have faced and continue to face but it's also time for us to celebrate African American culture and heritage and honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans.

Read below to meet Ms. LaSeana! A CentroNía teacher who with her own beliefs, writing, and dedication to early childhood education has helped make an impact to the sector as a whole!

CentroNía: What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?

Ms. LaSeana: My favorite part about being a teacher is being as silly as I could possibly be to make the students smile. Honestly, I don’t know what type of home life a child may have. All I know is how to love children to make them feel welcomed in my presence. For some children this may be the only space where they could let their hair down to really be a kid.

CentroNía: Do you have anybody who you admire who identifies as Black/African American who inspired you to get into the early childhood sector?

Ms. LaSeana: My fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Chetham inspired me to be a teacher. She was so poised, confident, intelligent, patient, out of the box thinker and above all a Godly woman. She always motivated me to try and try again. She listened when I spoke.

After I left elementary school, I would visit her after school. Although I was no longer her student, she still gave me kind words and inspired me to do exceedingly well.

CentroNía: How important do you believe it is to have Black/African American educators in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) sector?

Ms. LaSeana: Having black educators in ECE is extremely important. Our students need to see representation of their background in the education sector because each race brings their own flavor to the classroom and beyond.

I believe in a diverse education for our children to see all cultures of teachers leading them on the right path. I am proud to represent my culture in the classroom as a black woman.

CentroNía: Tell us about your career path. How did you end up in your current role with CentroNía?

Ms. LaSeana: Teaching was my second choice in my career path. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was growing up. I went to medical assisting school to obtain a Medical Assistant Certification. I worked at a pet supply store for a year and worked in a Veterinary Clinic for five years. I genuinely loved animals and was on the fast track to becoming a veterinarian.

One day, God reminded me what, He called me to do while at church. He made me to be a teacher. There was a need for Nursery School teachers’, and I rose to the opportunity. Coupled with working at my first daycare in Maryland, I fell in love with teaching. This is my third time returning to CentroNía after a few trials and errors with other childcare facilities. I am grateful! I am currently an Assistant Teacher in an infant classroom and am in my second semester on the road to my bachelor’s degree. Soon, I will be a Lead Teacher of an Infant classroom.

CentroNía: What is your favorite activity to do with your students at CentroNía?

Ms. LaSeana: My favorite activity to do with my students is painting. I love watching them be as creative as they could be. I also like mixing colors with the paint. Most kids are blown away by seeing their two favorite colors come together to make a different color.

CentroNía: What has been your favorite memory with CentroNía students?

Ms. LaSeana: After I had my last child, I returned to CentroNía from maternity leave. I was working in aftercare with the older toddlers. One of the older toddlers called my name “Miss Seana”. I said “Yes, son, how may I help you?” He said, very clearly, “I love you”. I was shocked and asked him to repeat himself. He looked at me and said, “I love you”. I ran up to him and gave him the biggest hug. At that moment I needed to hear that.

CentroNía: You are the author of, Thankful Hannah: A Little Girl’s Walk with God. How does it feel to have your own published children’s book?

Ms. LaSeana: Praise God! IT FEELS AMAZING!! Thankful Hannah has been in my notebook since 2018. It was only God’s timing that I was able to publish in 2023. He sent me the right publisher, the right amount of funds and the right support group to help achieve this amazing accomplishment.

CentroNía: Can you share with us what Thankful Hannah: A Little Girl’s Walk with God is about?

Ms. LaSeana: Thankful Hannah is simply about if Hannah from the Bible was a child. Hannah (Samuel’s mom) gave God this beautiful thank you prayer after she found out she was pregnant with Samuel. My imagination went rampant. Throughout her weekend Hannah gives thanks to God for waking her up, for the boys and girls, for Jesus Christ, for forgiveness and creating mommy, daddy and herself. Hannah is raised with an attitude of gratitude that will follow her all the days of her life as seen in the Bible. She will have more adventures to come.

CentroNía: How exciting is it to share your own published work with CentroNía students and peers?

Ms. LaSeana: I really enjoyed sharing Thankful Hannah with my students and peers. I was truly nervous because I am an introvert. However, this is a great story to share with the world. So, the shyness had to go!

CentroNía: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming an early childhood educator and author?

Ms. LaSeana: The advice I have for someone wanting to become an ECE educator is to work with the students because you love the students, and you want to see them succeed.

The advice I have for inspiring authors is, just do it and have a GREAT support system that won’t drag you down. Additionally, do your research on the publisher and the owner of the company.

Thank you to Ms. LaSeana for this interview and for your commitment towards the many CentroNía families we serve! Happy Black History Month!