Staff

Senior Management

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Carly Markesich

President and Owner – Discover Gymnastics

Founder and Executive Director – Discover Fitness Foundation

District 6 Representative – TxUSAG

713.680.0045 | Houston, Texas

Carly Markesich earned her B.A. in International  Studies at the University of St. Thomas and is a graduate of Rice University’s Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives. Carly has been working in the gymnastics industry since 1979, as a coach and administrator. She is a USAG Pro Member, holds a USAG Meet Director’s Certification and currently serves on the Texas State Administrative Committee for USAG. Over the years, Carly and Discover have received numerous awards including the Gymnastics Association of Texas’ Distinguished Service Award for outstanding service to the development of gymnastics and gymnastics programs in Texas, and Discover was named one of Fortune’s Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) 100 Fastest Growing Companies. Discover is now preparing for a second facility and program expansion.

Carly is the CEO of Discover Gymnastics, Houston’s premier gymnastics facility, serving over 2000 students each week, ages 6 months – 18 years, including all levels of gymnastics, both competitive and non-competitive, in a 22,000sf state-of-the-art facility. Classes include gymnastics, tumbling, trampoline, children’s fitness, special needs programming, summer and holiday day camps, and a competitive team program for both boys and girls. Discover also offers ancillary activities including birthday parties, a retail pro shop, and hosts three USAG sanctioned gymnastics competitions each year – The Texas Classic Meet, The Svetlana Boguinskaia Invitational and the Reindeer Games, plus one Special Olympics meet each year.

Carly attributes Discover’s success to her approach to employee training and professional development. Discover, on average, employs over 60 coaches, hiring dynamic instructors and investing time and energy in their professional development. This approach has created recognition in the community of consumers for quality of programming and services. The financial success has allowed Discover Gymnastics to offer attractive salaries and to attract and retain motivated and professional employees.

Over the years of operating Discover Gymnastics, Carly has witnessed the under-served fitness needs of children in the community. As preparation for the next stage in her career, in 2008, Carly returned to school at Rice University to create a charitable arm of her company. In 2010, with the assistance of the founding Board of Directors, Carly began the Discover Fitness Foundation (DFF). The DFF mission is to create a continuum of services for children with special needs, children fighting obesity, and talented athletes that inspires youth to participate in recreational and competitive level gymnastics. DFF promises to nurture potential, promote dignity, and support bold steps by all.

The vision of the DFF is to continue to expand affiliated locations throughout the City of Houston and the State of Texas. By 2020 we will have created a nationwide network of gymnastics clubs and local fundraising chapters to have eligible children enrolled in fitness and gymnastics programs across the United States.

The DFF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, created to generate and provide funding for athletic scholarships and act as a liaison organization to match eligible candidates with a qualified gymnastics facility near their home. The DFF currently provides funding  for gymnastics instruction to over 200 children in 9 different gymnastics facilities.

Carly’s hobbies include traveling, reading and she is an activist championing the rights of children, women, and the environment.

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Travis S

Travis Sheffield

Title: General Manager

Certifications: CPR/BFA Instructor Certification; CPRP; DFPS Director Certification; USAG

Travis joined Discover Gymnastics in 2015 bringing a wealth of business administration and gymnastics knowledge to the organization. Originally from Bartlett, Texas, Travis graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Bachelors of Science in Business Administration Management.

Travis played football, baseball and ran track in high school. After high school, he played college baseball. Currently he enjoys running races and is into health and fitness.

Previously, Travis worked as an Afterschool Program Director, a Corporate Director of Training and New Development for a national distribution company and currently has 10.5 years of General Manager experience of gymnastics facilities.

In his spare time, Travis enjoys golf, SCUBA diving and live music.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: The opportunity to lead such a wonderful group of people and the joy that comes from the kids having so much fun!

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Francisco

Francisco Acuna

Title: Sales and Marketing Director

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Francisco joined Discover Gymnastics in 1999. Francisco originally from Monterrey, Mexico, relocated to the United States, specifically the Houston area, after graduating with a degree in Hotel and Travel Business to attend St. Thomas University in the ESL Program for International Students. Francisco realized that learning English would greatly improve his ability to work in the Hotel and Travel industry.

As a young boy, Francisco competed in the sport of swimming and platform diving. Francisco achieved years of personal success in platform diving throughout his youth.

After relocating to the Houston Area, Francisco’s friend asked him to take his kids to Discover Gymnastics for their gymnastics classes. As Francisco watched the class, he realized that he really wanted to coach gymnastics.  For the past 18 years, Francisco has coached Boys Gymnastics, Tumbling classes, Special Needs classes and then took over as the Preschool Gymnastics Manager. The preschool program became his favorite program to lead because he realized that he had such a positive opportunity to impact children at an early age. Francisco’s diving background instilled a lot of coordination and comfort with tumbling skills.

Although Francisco is currently the Sales and Marketing Director at Discover Gymnastics, he still teaches Preschool classes and Tiny Twisters gymnastics as his heart is devoted to coaching. Francisco believes that everyone has the opportunity to learn gymnastics if your coach believes in you. Francisco coaches all his gymnasts with this passion. Francisco takes pride in seeing some of his youngest gymnastics move up to the competitive team.

In his spare time, Francisco enjoys running the park trails around the city, working out, eating healthy or getting ready to book his next fun travel adventure.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: Kids learning at a fun pace! Also being able to work with special needs kids.

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Program Managers

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Costela Mihaiuc

Title: Girls Team Head Coach

Certifications: Elite Coach Certification; International Judge Certification; USAG; CPR/First Aid

Costela joined Discover Gymnastics in 2011 bringing a wealth of coaching knowledge. Costela was born in Baia-Mare, Romania and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Romanian National Institute with a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Physical Education and Gymnastics as well as received her Teaching Certificate of Gymnastics.

Costela has over 34 years of coaching experience and has produced top gymnasts in Romania, France, Germany and the United States. She has judged many international competitions and is a professional choreographer.

In her spare time, Costela enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music and watching movies.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? Everything! It’s a wonderful place to work with motivated, talented and positive gymnasts and staff. The facility is excellent!

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Ricky D

Ricky Danby

Title: Gym Coordinator; Preschool and Rec Instructor; Xcel team Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid; USAG

Ricky joined Discover Gymnastics in 2016, when he relocated from Louisiana to the Houston Area.

Ricky competed in gymnastics for 4 years during his youth. After several years of gymnastics training, Ricky transitioned to playing football in Jr High and competed in rock climbing throughout High School

Ricky has coached many disciplines of gymnastics and brings over 10 years of coaching experience to Discover Gymnastics. As a natural coach, Ricky has coached both men’s and women’s competitive gymnastics as well as preschool and rec classes. He has also trained cheerleaders for collegiate Cheer. Currently, Ricky coaches our Rec classes and is a Xcel Team Coach at Discover Gymnastics.

Professionally, Ricky has also held many administrative positions in gymnastics, illustrated for a sports blog, managed a distribution center and has appeared on webcasts dedicated to Fantasy Football to provide commentary and insights.

In his spare time, Ricky enjoys golf, Fantasy Football, NFL, cornhole and running. Ricky has completed many 10k’s, half-marathons and will be completing his first full marathon in January 2018!

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? The opportunity to work with various disciplines. At Discover Gymnastics he is involved in molding preschool, recreational, pre-team, and competitive athletes, and loves that oppurtunity!

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Luba Mihaylova

Title: Xcel Headcoach

Certifications: USAG, First Aid/CPR

Luba joined Discover in 2001 and now has 50 years of coaching experience.

Luba Mihaylova is a native Bulgarian; the mother of two daughters, and the grandmother of two grandsons – Ivan Alexander and Preslav.

She was a gymnast for 11 years and was a member of the Bulgarian National Team where she earned the title Master of the Sport. She graduated from the National Sport Academy in Bulgaria with a Masters Degree – P.E. Teacher and Gymnastics Coach.

In Bulgaria, Luba worked for many years coaching gymnastics, including 8 years as the Head Coach Manager to seven different sports. She has coached for both the Bulgarian and Mexican National Teams before moving to Houston in 1995 where she’s coached a variety of gyms until coming to Discover Gymnastics in 2001.

She believes that the new Xcel program is an excellent way for kids to advance in competitive gymnastics while spending less time training than is required on traditional competitive team tracks. Luba and the other Xcel Program coaches are working hard to make the kid’s dreams a reality.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? The atmosphere, people and organization!

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Kristen Frankiewicz

Title: Rhythmic Gymnastics Manager

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Kristen Frankiewicz joined Discover Gymnastics in 2013 bringing years of Rhythmic Gymnastics experience to our organization.  Kristen graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance.

Kristen spent most of her youth performing classical ballet in the City Ballet of Houston Company, while competing as a Rhythmic Gymnast through USAG. Kristen had the privilege of qualifying and competing in two Junior Olympics Championships; the first championship being her first year in the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics. In 2000, Kristen won 1st Place All Around at the U.S. Level 9 National Championships. Kristen also competed at multiple U.S. Level 10 National Championships as an individual and group rhythmic gymnast.

Outside of coaching, Kristen performs as a professional contemporary dancer and aerial artist with various companies. Kristen’s professional dance career has carried her to perform throughout the states, as well as internationally on amazing stages in Greece, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Ireland, Ecuador, and Italy. Some of the most unique performance spaces include dancing in Athens, Greece at the Olympic Stadium, performing in Austria at the historical Dogana Theater, dancing inside the Waterwall of Houston, performing in the galleries of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, performing in front of an eighty foot panoramic digital screen in Las Vegas, dangling above the baseball field at Constellation Field, bungee dancing above the guests at the Bruno Mars pre-show Superbowl LI party, and dancing suspended on the glass facade of the George R. Brown Convention Center windows. Kristen enjoys dancing for Houston Grand Opera in multiple operas at the Wortham Theater downtown and with guest artists that tour to the U.S. Most frequently, Kristen dances for contemporary dance company Chapman Dance and aerial dance company VauLt Dance. Past performance experience with zoe|juniper Dance (Seattle), ODC Dance (San Francisco), Snappy Dance (Boston), Recked Productions, Frame Dance Productions, and Staging Solutions helped shape her contemporary dance style and influences. One of Kristen’s favorite performing experiences was dancing at the legendary Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. where Dance Magazine nominated her for the “Most Outstanding Performer” award in a contemporary ballet choreographed by David Justin.

In addition to performing, Kristen has a strong background in choreography for both concert dance and gymnastics routines. Kristen enjoys guest teaching dance master classes and setting choreography on dancers attending Rice University, Sam Houston State University, as well as her alma mater at The University of Texas at Austin.

We are so fortunate to have Kristen working with our team here at Discover Gymnastics because she truly believes in the individuality and character building of each gymnast she encounters. From the tiniest aged students to rhythmic gymnasts to team gymnasts, we appreciate Kristen’s positive influences in our Discover Gymnastics community.

In her spare time, Kristen enjoys attending music festivals and all variety of concerts. A few favorites over the years include Chris Isaak, Metallica, Houston Symphony, U2, Willie Nelson, and getting invited on stage at the Santigold concert. Kristen also enjoys Astros games, yoga, working out, catching up with her twin sister, family and friends.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? It’s a great place for children’s activities.

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Pentcho Pentchev

Title: TNT Manager/Head Coach

Certifications: USAG; CPR/First Aid

Pentcho joined Discover Gymnastics in 2017 bringing over twenty-five years of gymnastics coaching experience. Originally from Bulgaria, Pentcho graduated from the National Sports Academy of Bulgaria with his Bachelor Degree of Sports focusing on Gymnastics, Trampoline, Acrobatics Coaching and Physical Education Coaching.

Pentcho began his gymnastics training at the young age of nine and competed for the next eleven years. In addition to gymnastics, Pentcho also competed in trampoline and double mini trampoline. Pentcho personally participated in many World and European Championships during his youth earning him countless podium finishes.

After a very accomplished personal athletic experience, Pentcho began coaching gymnastics and trampoline in Bulgaria. After seven years of coaching in Bulgaria, Pentcho and his family relocated to the Houston area where he continued his coaching career.

With twenty-five years of gymnastics and trampoline experience, Pentcho joined Discover Gymnastics as a Manager to develop our TNT (Tumbling and Trampoline) program. With Pentcho’s knowledge and experience, he will be an enormous asset to the future of this program.

In his free time, Pentcho enjoys spending time with family.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: Happy kids and nice coaches.

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Brandi Hines-Thomas

Title: Sales and Customer Care Manager

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Brandi joined Discover Gymnastics in 2017. Brandi was born in Rockford, IL and graduated with her Bachelors of Marketing Degree from the University of Houston – Downtown.

Brandi was a competitive gymnast for 12 years where she placed at National Champions in Savannah, Georgia. After competitive gymnastics, she completed a year of Tumbling and Trampoline.

Brandi has coached gymnastics, from preschool classes to team, for the previous 5 years. Previously, she was also a Recruiter for a medical company and held a sales position with Enterprise, where she earned #1 in sales award. Brandi is very involved in the community and enjoys Community Outreach.

In her spare time, Brandi enjoys attending church and spending time with her family.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? I love that they love gymnastics.

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Lesa Mueschke

Title: Preschool Manager

Certifications: CPR/First Aid, USAG

Lesa joined Discover Gymnastics in 2017 bringing a wealth of knowledge to our Preschool Program. Lesa graduated from Western Kentucky University with her teaching certificate.

Lesa has been in the sport of dance for the last forty-nine years teaching tap, ballet and jazz as well as has over 13 years of experience in gymnastics. As the owner and the director of a dance studio, Lesa is very invested in the development and talents of our youth. Many of Lesa’s competitive dancers have won numerous local, state and national titles and have gone on to join professional dance companies across the country.

Lesa’s love for teaching children and her wealth of experience led her to start a new journey coaching at Discover Gymnastics, managing our Preschool Department. One of Lesa’s favorite things to do is work with special needs children. She enjoys the opportunity to enhance that program here at Discover Gymnastics. Lesa’s creativity, friendly nature and patience are truly embraced by all of the staff and children’s lives she touches.

In her free time, Lesa enjoys dance and costume design.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? The friendly, positive environment for all levels of athletes – from baby stars to elites.

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Sarah Anderson

Title: Birthday Party Manager

Certifications: CPR/First Aid, USAG

Sarah joined Discover Gymnastics in 2017 as our Birthday Party Manager and recreational/preschool gymnastics instructor.

Sarah grew up as a competitive dancer in the Houston area dancing in Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz and Acro. She studied under some of the most well-known dancers in the country at Joffrey Ballet in New York.

Sarah began teaching dance at the age of fourteen after many personal dance accomplishments. She is a choreographer for National American Miss Pageant System and eventually while teaching dance at a national gymnastics program, she had her first taste of coaching gymnasts. Sarah now has over six years of gymnastics coaching experience.

In her free time, Sarah enjoys dancing.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? The dedication of of all the coaches towards their students, which makes learning fun!

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Edison Vernaza

Title: Boys Team Head Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid, USAG

Edison joined Discover Gymnastics in 2017 after relocating to the Houston area from New Jersey, bringing over 10 years of coaching experience with him.

Edison began his gymnastics training at the age of twelve in Cúcuta, Colombia and worked hard to have a remarkable gymnastics career, achieving many national and international awards.

As a proud member of Team Colombia for six years, Edison’s strongest events were Pommel Horse, High Bar, and Parallel Bars. Some of Edison’s proudest achievements include a National All-Around Champion title in 2005, 3rd Place finish on Pommel Horse at the Pan-American Championships in 2002  and a 2nd place team title at Bolivarianos Games in 2005.

In 2007, Edison was invited to start his coaching career in New Jersey to form a strong boys gymnastics program that cultivated dedicated boys who quickly begin earning State and Regional Championship medals.

Edison’s commitment, supportive demeanor and impressive track record with competitive boys gymnastics achievements is assisting our boys teams to stand out. Edison always has an upbeat energy and high standards which serve as inspiration for our young gymnasts to enjoy working hard at the sport they love.

It is Edison’s goal to see each gymnast reach their highest potential and he hopes to have all of our Boys Team on the podium this season. Edison knows the hard work it takes and the pride felt when your team succeeds.

In his free time, Edison enjoys to read and watch movies.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? I love that all the staff have good knowledge of the sport and work as a team to have the best environment for the kids.

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Karina Garcia

Title: Camp Manager

Karina joined Discover Gymnastics in 2014. Karina is currently enrolled at the University of Houston completing her Bachelor of Arts degree.

Karina participated in many sports during her youth including soccer, cheerleading, cross country, and swimming.

Previously, Karina has worked as an After-School Teacher, Nursery Care Worker and a Dance Assistant Instructor. Due to her professional background experience with children, Karina made the decision to join Discover Gymnastics and begin her coaching career. Currently, Karina has three years of coaching experience and now manages our Camp Program where she provides a safe and fun environment for the kids.

In her free time, Karina enjoys running, dancing and soccer.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: Everyone is friendly and the environment is good to work in.

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Team Coaches

Alexander Alexandrov

Title: Girls Team Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid; USAG

Alexander joined Discover Gymnastics in 2016. Originally born in Moscow, Alexander first found gymnastics at age seven and continued in the sport with his coaching career taking off after attending University for a Masters of Sport Degree in Physical Education in the Soviet Union.

Alexander’s well-known gymnastics coaching career spans more than forty years of experience training top international Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics Teams. His first position was in one of the most important gyms in Moscow as the Men’s Gymnastics coach, where he produced several gymnasts for the Soviet Union National Team, after coaching Dimitri Bilozerchev and Valentine Mogilny to numerous world titles.

The 1988 Olympics Games in Seuol, Korea marked Alexander’s first participation in the Olympics as a Senior Coach of the Women’s National Team and finished with a Gold Medal winning team. Alexander believes “gymnastics is always gymnastics no matter what event you are on. The basics of training strong gymnastics is the same for boys and girls.” His immense talent in coaching so many athletes lead him to train numerous Women’s Gymnastics Team World Champions and Olympians throughout his growing career. Women’s Gymnastics Gold Medal Team success wins to add to his coaching career include the 1989 World Championships in Stuttgart, the 1991 World Championships in Indianapolis and the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. These Gold Medal wins include gymnasts such as Svetlana Boguinskaia, Oksana Chusovitina, Yelena Grudneva, Tatiana Lysenko and Tatiana Gutsu on his teams.

In 1994, Alexander arrived in the USA to work at Bela Karolyi’s first gym and had the opportunity to coach many of USA Women’s Team gymnasts for the World Championships and Olympic Games including Kim Zmeskal, Dominique Moceanu and Carly Patterson.

After several years training athletes throughout the United States, Alexander returned to Russia to coach Aliya Mustafina to a silver medal all-around finish for the 2012 Olympics Games in London. Soon after, Brazil won the Olympic bid for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio, Alexander was invited to be the head coach for the Women’s National Team. Through his training, 2016 became the first year a Brazilian National Team ever qualified for the Team Finals in an Olympic Games.

After reconnecting with Discover Gymnastics’ owner Carly Markesich at the Olympic Games in Rio, Alexander decided to come back to Houston to be with his family and train athletes here at Discover Gymnastics.

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Juan Corzo

Title: Girls Team Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid; USAG; Federal Internal Gymnastics

Juan joined Discover Gymnastics in 2016.  Originally from Cucuta, Colombia, Juan graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health.

Juan began gymnastics at the age of five. He personally competed in the South American Games and Pan Americans Games with the Colombian National Team. After his successful personal gymnastics record, Juan began coaching. Juan coached the Men’s National Colombian Team where he accomplished many winnings at International and National Meets including taking the Colombian National Team to Pan American Games in Brazil.

After relocating to the United States, Juan joined Discover Gymnastics. Juan assisted with coaching the Boys Competitive Team and has recently transitioned to assisting with the Girls Optional Competitive Team.

In his spare time, Juan loves to spend time with his family.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? The organization and how friendly the people are.

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Haifa Abdullah

Title: Girls Team Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid; USAG Member

Haifa joined Discover Gymnastics in 2009 bringing many years of gymnastics experience. Haifa received her Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Baghdad University.

Haifa was a gymnast in Iraq for four years and a talented dancer. Haifa has been a part of many theatrical and dance groups performing in various National and International level competitions. After her personal athletic experience, Haifa began her coaching career at eighteen years old.

Haifa began her coaching career in Baghdad working in a Gymnastics School. She also taught fitness, aerobics and dance classes. She then taught gymnastics in Jordan and was the National Team Assistant Coach for three years and the Head Coach for one year. Haifa was also a member of the Olympic Committee in Iraq for more than a decade. Haifa then relocated to the United States where she began coaching at Discover Gymnastics. Currently Haifa has over 30 years of coaching experience. With her keen sense of rhythm, Haifa is also an exceptional choreographer.

In her spare time, Haifa enjoys music, dance, seaside and theater.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? The family atmosphere that makes me feel like home again.

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Juan Jimenez

Title: Girls Team Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid; USAG

Originally from the Houston area, Juan currently has over 7 years of coaching experience, joining Discover Gymnastics in 2011. Juan graduated with his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Houston.

Juan started his professional dancing career with various companies at the young age of fifteen. At the age of nineteen, Juan was a professional circus artist. Currently, he performs as an acrobat in Houston’s first circus based company, Cirque La Vie.

Juan has experience with a wide range of training methods over the span of his acrobatic and gravity-defying career that gave him his unique perspective on gymnastics skills.

Juan currently coaches our Compulsory Team Girls Junior Olympics program at Discover Gymnastics. He has also coached TNT (Tumbling and Trampoline) and acrobatic gymnastics in the past as well as taught dance in the Independent School District.

In his free time, Juan devotes time to music, photography and art performance.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: Watching our athletes push themselves to their limits and teaching them that they are capable of incredible things.

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Carlos Calvo

Title: Boys Team Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Carlos joined Discover Gymnastics in 2017 and is originally from Cucuta, Colombia.

Carlos joined gymnastics at the age of eight. In 2010, Carlos became a part of the Colombian National Team and competed for the first time at the International Arena in the South American Championships in Peru. Since then, Carlos has achieved significant personal accomplishments throughout his gymnastics career. A few of Carlos’ proudest accomplishments are being ranked #28 at World Gymnastics Championships, a Pan American Games Champion, South American Games Champion, 2nd place at Central American Games and 1st place at the 2017 Bolivarian Games. Carlos has contributed to several team wins for the Colombian National Team as well.

Carlos recently relocated to the Houston Area and currently competes as an Elite Level gymnast for Discover Gymnastics. Carlos’ favorite apparatus is rings and his next goal is to be a finalist at the World Championships. When he isn’t currently competing or training, Carlos assists Discover Gymnastics as a coach with our Boys Team Program.

In his spare time, Carlos enjoys movies, tennis and is a x-box gamer.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: The familiar environment, the great friendship of the staff and the kids happiness.

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Juan Castro

Title: Boys Team Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Juan joined Discover Gymnastics in 2016 and is originally from Bogotá, Colombia.

Juan joined gymnastics as a very young child. He remembers being very restless and gymnastics became a productive and fun outlet for his energy. Each year of competition, Juan achieved significant improvement in his physical ability and was achieving top awards consistently. By the age of thirteen, Juan represented his country on the Colombian National Team for men’s gymnastics. Some of Juan’s proudest achievements in gymnastics include, “winning South American Champion three times, placing second at qualification for the Youth Olympic Games and winning 4th place on high bar in a Junior International Cup in Mexico.”

Juan relocated to the Houston area and currently competes as an Elite level gymnast in men’s gymnastics for Discover Gymnastics as well as assists in coaching and growing our Boys Team Program. His positive attitude and hard work ethic really shows every time he steps into the gym.

In his spare time, Juan enjoys reading, music and spending time with friends.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: Discover Gymnastics is a great place. I love seeing the kids have fun and enjoy their classes. You can learn something new here every day!

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Nina Pentcheva

Title: Xcel Team Coach

Certifications: USAG, CPR/First Aid

Nina joined Discover Gymnastics in 2017 bringing years of coaching knowledge. Originally from Bulgaria, Nina graduated from the College of Sports as well as from the National Sports Academy of Bulgaria with her Bachelor Degree of Sports focusing on Gymnastics, Trampoline, Acrobatics Coaching and Physical Education Coaching.

Nina began her personal gymnastics career at the young age of six. Nina continued competing in gymnastics for the next thirteen years where she participated in many National and International Competitions and gained recognition for her many podium finishes.

After graduating with her Bachelor degree, Nina began her coaching career in Bulgaria. After seven years of coaching in Bulgaria, Nina relocated with her family to Texas where she continued her coaching career.

With over twenty-five years of gymnastics experience, Nina currently coaches our Xcel Girls Team at Discover Gymnastics. Nina has experience working with all ages and has a wealth of knowledge in gymnastics skills, movement analysis, weight training and fitness training.

In her free time, Nina enjoys spending time with her family.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: Big facility, lots of kids with good coaches.

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Amy Newsom

Title: Girls Team Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Amy joined Discover Gymnastics in 2017 after relocating to the Houston Area. Amy is currently working on her Cosmetology degree.

Amy was a competitive gymnast for nine years. After competitive gymnastics, Amy was a competitive cheerleader for five years. After her personal athletics, Amy began coaching Cheer and Tumbling. She previously was an assistant to the CFO of a construction organization.

In her spare time, Amy enjoys beauty products and all things involving cosmetology.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: The amount of diversity throughout the gym. It makes everyone feel welcome and treated as part of the big family.

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Instructors and Administrative Staff

Vicki D
  • Name: Vicki D.
  • Job: Administrative Manager
  • Certifications: CPR
  • Personal Experience: Office manager for an orthodontic office.
  • Personal Information: Native Texan. Loves being active and outdoors, spending time with family and friends.
  • Favorite Color: Blue
  • Hobbies: Tennis, Golf, and Travel
  • What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: The dynamic atmosphere.
Layla_H
  • Name: Layla H.
  • Job: Pro-Shop
  • Certifications: CPR, First Aid
  • Personal Experience: Completed the Dental Hygienist program at Texas Woman’s University
  • Personal Information: I have four children. I was born in El Campo, Texas.
  • Favorite Color: Pink
  • Favorite Movie: Beauty and the Beast
  • Hobbies: Watching movies
  • What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: Being around all the personalities that our gymnasts have, and Emily L.!
 Amber P
  • Name: Amber P.
  • Job: Camp Instructor & Birthday Party Host
  • Certifications: CPR, AED
  • Personal Information: I am going to be a junior at Stephen F. Austin State University. My major is Early Childhood Education.
  • Favorite Color: Pink
  • Favorite Movie: I am Sam
  • Hobbies: Playing random games outside with friends.
2016-03-01 Amber W 002
  • Name: Amber W.
  • Job: Recreational & Preschool Instructor
  • Certifications: CPR & First Aid
  • Personal Experience/Education: I’m 20 years old. I’m currently taking classes at HCC, majoring in radiology. I love to see the earth I live on and have traveled to over 22 states. I have three sisters, one brother, and a dog.
  • Favorite Color: Purple
  • Hobbies: I love traveling and live music festivals.
  • What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: I love the atmosphere. Everyone is so kind, happy, and energetic. You can feel the strong potential in everyone.
  • Name: Brianna S.
  • Job: Recreational Instructor
  • Personal Experience: Started gymnastics when I was 2 and did competitive gymnastics throughout high school. I was also a cheerleader for Tulane University.
  • Personal Experience/Education: From New Jersey and moved to Houston to work in Environmental Science.
  • Favorite Color: Orange
  • Favorite Movie: Heavy Weights
  • Hobbies: Gymnastics, dance, hiking, and anything else outdoors
  • What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: The positive environment in which kids can learn gymnastics in a fun and exciting way.
Courtney F
  • Name: Courtney F.
  • Job: Preschool, Discovery
  • Personal Experience:  I have instructed kids in theater and dog training.
  • Personal Info: I have three children, four dogs, and 3 parrots.
  • Favorite Color: Orange
  • Hobbies: Competitive Obedience training for dogs.
Desiree G
  • Name: Desiree G.
  • Job: Camp
  • Certifications: CPR, AED
  • Favorite Color: Green
  • Favorite Movie: Mulan
  • Hobbies: Playing Board Games
  • What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: Watching the kids do cool stunts!
  • Name: Kadence N.
  • Job: Camp
  • Personal Experience Currently a gymnast at Discover Gymnastics
  • Favorite Color: White
  • Favorite Movie: Pitch Perfect
  • Hobbies: Drawing
  • What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: How nice and friendly the staff is.
  • Name: Hannah D.
  • Job: Preschool and Summer Camp Instructor
  • Certifications: CPR, AED, and First Aid
  • Personal Experience/Education: I have 10 years of gymnastics experience, 6 years of competitive cheer leading,
    and three of high school cheer leading.
  • Personal Info: I am studying marketing at the University of Alabama.
  • Favorite Color: Purple
  • Favorite Movie: Zootopia
  • Hobbies: Tumbling, working out, and being with friends.
  • What I love about working at Discover Gymnastics: The energy that everyone has and I love how much fun the children have while building their skills.
 
  • Name: Juan Sebastian C.
  • Job: Tumbling and Recreational Coach
  • Certifications: CPR and First Aid
  • Personal Info: I’m a Columbian-American, a fun-loving guy who enjoys being outdoors, playful in nature but serious about gymnastic’s artistic disciplines.
  • Favorite Color: Orange
  • Hobbies: Going to public, parks, juggling, and dancing.
  • What I love about working at Discover Gymnastics: The dedication to customer service!
  • Name: Rianna F.
  • Job: Recreational Gymnastics & Tumbling Coach
  • Certifications: CPR, First Aid, AED, Teaching, Personal Training, and Tumbling
  • Personal Experience/Education: I have coached gymnastics and tumbling for two years in college, coached softball, and been an elementary and middle school teacher.
  • Personal Info: I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Nutrition from Stephen F. Austin University. I play softball in college and was an active member of the Tridelta sorority. I am current a teacher at St. Francis Episcopal Day School.
  • Favorite Color: Pink
  • Favorite Movie: Sweet Home Alabama
  • Hobbies: Working out, traveling, and cooking.
  • What I love about working at Discover Gymnastics: I fell like every decision made as a purpose. I like how motivated the kids are.
Juan_M
  • Name: Juan M.
  • Job:  Marketing Designer
  • Personal Experience/Education: High School
  • Personal Info: I am a Pisces, I have 2 dogs and 2 cats, I play the piano, and I speak Spanish
  • Favorite Colors: Blue, Black and Yellow
  • Favorite Movie:Avatar, 2012, The Social Network, X-Men
  • Hobbies: Running, Drawing
  • What I love about working at Discover Gymnastics: It’s an amazing place to have fun and have a great time.
  • Name: Rajiv A.
  • Job: Information Technology
  • Personal Experience/Education: Sophomore Computer Science major and Leadership Studies Minor at the University of Houston, and member of the Honors College. Also a Honors Ambassador and Honors Freshman Mentor.
  • Personal Information: I was born and raised in Houston and I absolutely love it here. I am also an Eagle Scout.
  • Hobbies: Attending UH football games, relaxing with friends, and mountain biking.
  • Favorite Color: Red
  • Favorite Movie: The Italian Job
  • Name: Nicolas A.
  • Job: Information Technology
  • Personal Experience/Education: Computer Science major at the University of Houston, and a member of the Honors College.
  • Hobbies: Watching football, hanging out with my dogs, and exploring Houston.
  • Favorite Color: Red
  • Favorite Movie: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy