Our Teachers

Melissa Egan

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Melissa Egan started teaching the Tadpoles at Downey in 2007 after seven years of being a co-op parent. Her past experience, including being a preschool teacher from toddlers to four-year-olds and a grade school volunteer, make her a great fit for the Downey team. As a co-op parent, she held a variety of positions, including president, and served on the board of ICPC. Melissa has a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Western Kentucky University and received specialized training in early childhood education at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Melissa is a calming presence in the classroom and enjoys building relationships with the parents. She loves being in nature, spending time with her family, and laughing as often as possible.

Mindy Dant

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Mindy Dant began her experience at Downey as a co-op parent when her oldest child was part of the Polliwog class.  She has held roles as class rep, president, co-president, and treasure before teaching the Frogs’ class.  She is a graduate of Indiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  After graduation she spent six years teaching kindergarten.  Mindy whole-heartily believes in the “learn through play” motto and cooperative model of Downey.  She works to create activities and experiences that encourage children to inquire, explore, and play freely.  Mindy enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, being in nature, going on bike rides, and discovering new and interesting children’s books.

Angie Lacy

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Angie Lacy serves as our Polliwog and Lily Pad teacher. She has been a pediatric Occupational Therapist for 25 years; specializing in the birth to 3 population. She currently also works for the Indiana First Steps program. Angie has a long time affiliation with Downey Cooperative Preschool; attending Downey herself as a child and as a co-op parent for her 4 children. As a co-op parent, she held a variety of positions including president, secretary, and membership chairperson. Angie also founded and runs a non-profit organization called Project Play, Inc. which provides toys and books to children who need them. She has a strong belief in the power of learning through play.

Sherri Beshears-McNeely

Sherri joined the Downey family in 2018 as a parent and class representative for the 4/5 class. She stepped into the role of kindergarten teacher in January of 2020. In addition to her position at Downey, Sherri is an independent educational consultant with over two decades of diverse educational experience including pk-12 the grade classroom instruction in drama, dance, and music; curriculum writing; research and data collection; professional development design and delivery; and teacher/administrative coaching. She holds a B.S. in theatre performance from the University of Evansville, a masters of performing arts degree in child drama from Oklahoma City University, a teaching license from Marian University, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Indiana State University. As an artist. Sherri brings a unique blend of arts-integrated, play-based learning to the kindergarten classroom.

Meghan Sissom

Meghan Sissom has a Masters in Education with a focus on utilizing movement and learning especially with learning disabilities and autism. She has taught early childhood ages for twenty plus years and has also taught at Speedway Cooperative Preschool. She loves the learning through play motto that cooperatives offer and the simple joy of learning and discovery with the students within a rich environment. She is looking forward to incorporating the method of see, say, hear and do at Downey — incorporating the senses, imagination and individual aspects of each student as we meet the standards of Kindergarten. She believes that outside is a natural teacher and looks forward to Kindergarten Forest Days. Meghan grew up in Irvington, she has one daughter, named Ruth, and also teaches yoga and dance to children and families.