ABOUT

Our Vision

  • To see children play and explore as a means of learning.
  • To see parents in the driver seats of their child’s education.
  • To provide parents with support and resources.
  • To be a safe, fun place for families to learn, grow, and play.

Our Story

WonderHere began as a conversation between a couple of teachers on the sofa one evening. As they began to talk about their different experiences in their classrooms, they shared their concerns with where education was going and their frustrations of having to teach in a way that was not in accordance with their philosophies. These teachers dreamed of teaching in a way where the child was the focus; where their interests and curiosities drove the topics and pace of the class. Although sentiments of discontent and helplessness whispered throughout that conversation, an underlying hope and idea was also being stirred.

Out of these concerns came the question… How can we help? How can we change things? It is with these questions that the idea behind WonderHere was born. Jessica and Tiffany began dreaming of a space for children to think, play, and create. Turning that dream into a reality was a task like none they had ever experienced before, but they took on that task with determination and drive. Their central aim was to get back to teaching without all of the “extra things”, allowing children to learn organically and have fun doing so. With a set purpose, they developed a unique approach to creating a learn and play studio where families of all educational settings can come to once again learn how to enjoy learning.

Our Founders

Jessica Zivkovich

Co-Founder

Hello! I’m so glad you dropped by WonderHere… I hope you like what you see so far! Here’s a little bit about me: I moved to Lakeland in 2007 to attend Southeastern University, and I’ve lived here ever since. I graduated from Southeastern Summa Cum Laude in 2011 with a degree in Exceptional Student Education. With this degree, I’m endorsed to teach K-12 special education classes, K-6 general education classes, and I have extra endorsements in Reading and English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). I was also named the Most Exceptional Graduate in my cohort. I have been working in Polk County public schools for five years, and I represented my schools as a teacher leader in the area of Mathematics and Writing at the district level in an effort to improve instruction. I got married to the greatest man I know in November of 2012, my best decision to this day. We purchased our first house a year ago, and we added a sweet labradoodle named Henry to our family this past June.

I am now currently working on my Masters degree in Reading Education. I am incredibly passionate about reading and learning and creating, something I can accredit to a great educational experience, the hardest working father you can imagine, and a Wonder Woman of a mother who believed learning took place at home, too. I truly believe that a person can learn new things continually if we can just open our eyes to the world around us and ask questions. Learning fueled by curiosity and inquiry is the best kind, and it’s where education needs to be headed. When I’m not trying to turn the world of education upside down, I like to spend time with friends, work on home decor projects, try out new food spots, read good fiction, and just relax at home with my wonderful husband and sweet pup.

Tiffany Thenor

Co-Founder

Hi there! My name is Tiffany and I am excited you are interested in learning more about WonderHere. l wanted to take a little time to introduce myself to you so you get to know me a little better. I have been a resident of Lakeland since moving here in 2005 to attend Southeastern University. I graduated from Southeastern University in 2009 Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Elementary Education (K-6).

I have been teaching in the public school system for 7 years. It is here that, under phenomenal administration and surrounded by world-changing teachers, I grew in my passion for seeing children love learning and was inspired to be innovative in my teaching approach. I was honored by my co-workers in 2014 when they named me Teacher of the Year. I have also served as grade level chair for second and third grade teams, served on the leadership team for our school, and was invited to develop curriculum maps and assessment blueprints. In 2006, I developed a young ladies mentoring program called “Girl’s Night Out” (G.N.O) that has connected Southeastern students with middle and high school girls in the Lakeland community. This program has had a direct impact on the lives of dozens of young girls, many having graduated high school with highest honors and being the first in their families to attend college.

I married in the summer of 2011 to the love of my life and we had our first born son in the fall of 2015. I love Jesus, my family, getting a good deal on clothes, musical theatre, and Starbucks coffee. I dream of an educational choice where my son can go to enjoy learning, and have the freedom to think and be creative. I feel called to education and know that with wisdom, strong values, and like minds, WonderHere can grow to be a place where families come to collaborate, find resources, and leave inspired.

Tiffany Thenor

Co-Founder

Hi there! My name is Tiffany and I am excited you are interested in learning more about WonderHere. l wanted to take a little time to introduce myself to you so you get to know me a little better. I have been a resident of Lakeland since moving here in 2005 to attend Southeastern University. I graduated from Southeastern University in 2009 Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Elementary Education (K-6).

I have been teaching in the public school system for 7 years. It is here that, under phenomenal administration and surrounded by world-changing teachers, I grew in my passion for seeing children love learning and was inspired to be innovative in my teaching approach. I was honored by my co-workers in 2014 when they named me Teacher of the Year. I have also served as grade level chair for second and third grade teams, served on the leadership team for our school, and was invited to develop curriculum maps and assessment blueprints. In 2006, I developed a young ladies mentoring program called “Girl’s Night Out” (G.N.O) that has connected Southeastern students with middle and high school girls in the Lakeland community. This program has had a direct impact on the lives of dozens of young girls, many having graduated high school with highest honors and being the first in their families to attend college.

I married in the summer of 2011 to the love of my life and we had our first born son in the fall of 2015. I love Jesus, my family, getting a good deal on clothes, musical theatre, and Starbucks coffee. I dream of an educational choice where my son can go to enjoy learning, and have the freedom to think and be creative. I feel called to education and know that with wisdom, strong values, and like minds, WonderHere can grow to be a place where families come to collaborate, find resources, and leave inspired.