A whole new World …

New Kid’s World Director Tracee Manecke has enjoyed her time at the day care center since her start this summer. She has also learned to appreciate all that living in Minnesota has to offer — including the weather. Photo / Per Peterson

From Washington State to Tracy, the new director of Kid’s World is settling into her role nicely

By Per Peterson

While it might seem like Tracee Manecke didn’t know what she was getting into when she moved from the West Coast to Balaton, nothing could be farther from the truth. And a little over four months into her new job as director of Kid’s World, she can’t imagine a better place to be.

“I was just going to stay at home when we got here, but then I happened to see a teaching position in Tracy,” she said. “We literally showed up and figured we would figure things out when we got here. We could see there were jobs available, so it wasn’t like we walked in blind. I’m a planner. I knew what I was getting into.”

While Manecke never dreamt of becoming the person in charge at Kid’s World, she did do her homework and knew there were enough companies in the area that she could work at if she chose to.

“I was already in Tracy’s town group and Balaton’s before I moved here,” she said. “I’m not going to pick my kids up and move them … if I didn’t think I’d feel secure I wasn’t going to move them.”

Balaton became Manecke’s home thanks to a friend who lives in Wisconsin whose husband hunts in the area. That friend essentially talked her into moving to southwest Minnesota.

“We looked at everything and realized that this might be a good change,” she said.

Manecke said she was blown away by the number of opportunities people have here compared to back home in Washington State, as well as how inexpensive things are here.

“It might seem expensive for people who grew up here, but for somebody who’s coming from a town where you pay $2,000 in rent a month … and gas is a dollar cheaper here,” she said. “My mom is like, ‘We’re never getting you back are we?’ I would love for her to be able to come over this way.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.