TEST

Senior Management

Carly_M_BW

Carly Markesich

President and Owner – Discover Gymnastics

Founder and Executive Director – Discover Fitness Foundation

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.

Read More
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.

Read More

Program Managers

 

 

Costela_M

Costela Mihaiuc

Title: Girls Team Head Coach and Program Manager

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

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 began 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.

Read More

Karina Garcia

Title: Preschool 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.

Read More

Courtney Furgason

Title: Discovery and Baby Star Manger

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Courtney is excited to be helping shape the lives of all the many children that come to visit Discover Gymnastics.

As a mother of three children, Courtney first came to try gymnastics with her son when he was two years old. Courtney loved that the classes focused on gross motor skills, coordination, social interaction, parent-child bonding time and early developmental gymnastics skills.

All three of Courtney’s children went through the Discovery Program here and continued on with classes or team invitations. Courtney’s favorite aspect of coaching children is the opportunity to see each student grow stronger, and build up their confidence in gymnastics and life.

In Courtney’s spare time she enjoys training dogs for obedience shows and rankings. Courtney grew up with ballet and theater in her life, and later found joy in teaching children karate and theater. We are so pleased to have Courtney leading the youngest group of eager minds here at Discover. Courtney’s creativity, patience, and charisma for teaching are just what our littlest gymnasts need to start their healthy path in gymnastics and sports.

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

Read More

Jose Caballero

Title: Tumbling Manager

>A native Houstonian, Jose has loved gymnastics since he was a young boy, and remembers being completely amazed watching the Olympics on TV one year because there were so many impressive gymnasts in control of their bodies flipping through the air.

Jose also enjoyed playing several different sports all the way through high school, including basketball, track, soccer, football, and tennis. Tennis became a big talent of Jose’s, and he earned the #1 rank on his Varsity Tennis Team due to his skill. Jose coached tennis for a time, and then got into coaching gymnastics because he loves the sport so much. At twelve years old Jose tried a Cheer/Tumbling . class, and was grateful he could start to master most of his self-taught skills up to that point.

Jose is really known well by our students in the recreational classes of gymnastics and tumbling, but he also makes so many children’s Birthday Parties a wonderful experience here at the gym too. Camp students have a blast with him because they get to learn from a very patient coach that knows how to make class fun and welcoming. Jose loves coaching gymnastics just as much as he loves training in gymnastics still. When he is out of the gym, Jose spends time learning to tap dance, photography, rock climbing, and catching up on the latest releases on Netflix.

Before Jose came to Discover, he was attending classes toward his degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Houston, and he hopes to continue that one day. Jose also looks forward to helping more students unlock their talent in the sport of gymnastics, and is excited to one day make an impact with our growing Pre-Team and XCEL Gymnastics programs.

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

Read More

Amanda Morse

Title: Team Communications Manager

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

> Amanda joined Discover Gymnastics in 2017. Amanda graduated from University of Houston with a degree in Kinesiology/Sports Administration and minored in dance.

Amanda was a gymnast for fourteen years and a dancer for eighteen. After her personal athletic experience, Amanda began coaching gymnastics. Amanda has twenty years of coaching experience, eleven of those years as a Head Coach and Team Director of a local gym. Amanda has done choreography for gymnasts, senior school musicals as well as choreographed Shannon Millers Floor Wars TV special floor routine in 2001.

Amanda joined Discover Gymnastics to assist with the communication and administrative side of our team programs including Girl’s Junior Olympics Program, Boys Team Program, Xcel Program and TNT Program.

In her spare time, Amanda enjoys spending time with her family.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: I love that we can offer classes to everyone! From the basic gymnastics classes through the elite levels and the many different avenues in between.

Read More

Erik R.

Title: Camp Manager

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

> Erik joined Discover Gymnastics in 2015. When he began at Discover Gymnastics he worked Parents Night Out events, Birthday Parties and Camp. Since then, Erik has worked his way up to Assistant Camp Manager in 2017 and 2018 took over as the Camp Manager. Ontop of running all of our camps, Erik now also assists with Preschool Gymnastics Classes.

Erik was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He started swimming at age 3 and joined a team at age 4. He was a competitive swimmer for 12 years.

In his spare time, Erik enjoys exercising and trying new foods. His favorite color is gray and his favorite movie is the Princess Diaries.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: Teaching the kids new skills and watching them perform them.

Read More

Fabian Meza

Title:Xcel Team Head Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid, USAG

> Fabian joined Discover Gymnastics in 2018 bringing 20 years of competitive gymnastics experience and over 10 years of coaching experience.

Fabian began his gymnastics training at the age of six in Cúcuta, Colombia and worked hard to have an impressive personal gymnastics career, achieving many national and international awards.

As a proud member on the National Colombian Team for 18 years, Fabian’s strongest events were Pommel Horse, High Bar and Parallel Bars. Some of Fabian’s proudest achievements include 3 South American Games placing 1st place on High Bar and Pommel Horse and 1st place Team, 3 Bolivan Games placing 1st place on Pommel Horse and 1st place Team, 6 Elite South American Championships placing 1st place on High Bar and Pommel Horse and 5 Elite Pan American Championships placing 3rd on Pommel Horse. Fabian has also competed in 4 World Championships, 3World Cups, 2 Pan American Games, 3 Centro American Games and 3 Junior Pan American Championships where he placed and medaled in many events. Fabian’s favorite even is Pommel Horse.

Fabian’s supportive demeanor, commitment and love for the sport has shown in the growth and strength of our Xcel Program. In his free time, Fabian enjoys exercising, investing, trading and editing video games. He also loves spending time with his wife Leah and two beautiful children Cateleya and Dominic. Fabian’s favorite color is green and his favorite movie is the Lion King.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics: Working for a great owner and his awesome gymnasts!

Read More

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.

Read More

Plamen G.

Title: Girls Team Coach

Certifications:  USAG

Plamen joined Discover Gymnastics in 2018 bringing 32 years of coaching experience and an abundance of knowledge. He has spent 6 years coaching gymnastics in Bulgaria and 26 years coaching in Greece and has experience coaching up to the elite level in both Girls and Boys Gymnastics Programs. Plamen graduated with a Master degree in Artistic Gymnastics Coaching and Bachelor Degree in PE Teaching in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Plamen’s personal gymnastics career was very successful. Growing up, he qualified multiple years for both the Junior and Senior National Men’s Artistic Team in Bulgaria, he competed in 4 world Championships and was a two times European Champion on the Floor Exercise and Rings. Plamen qualified for the 1984 Olympics Games in Los Angeles, however the Bulgarian communist government boycotted, and the Bulgarian team was not able to participate.

Plamen is married to a famous Bulgarian Gymnast, Diana Doudeva, who has competed in 2 Olympic Games and has two kids who are currently active in college. He also has a twin brother who also coaches gymnastics in the Houston Area.

In his spare time, Plamen enjoys woodworking.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? The Professionalism.

Read More
Juan_C

Juan Corzo

Title: Girls Team Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid; USAG; Federal International 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.

Read More

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, relaxing seaside and going to the theater.

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

Read More

Juan Jimenez – Lead

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 and optional 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.

Read More

Marissa Mendoza – Lead

Title: Girls Team Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Marissa Mendoza was born in Pasadena, Texas, and grew up in Mexico as a young girl involved in many activities including ballet, competitive swimming, taekwondo, and gymnastics. At the age of eight, Marissa moved to Houston where she continued with the sport of gymnastics. Eleven years of gymnastics training later, Marissa concluded her competitive gymnastics career as a Level 9 gymnast. Marissa then joined her High School drill team for all 4 years, and earned the highest ranking position of Colonel of the team for her junior and senior year. During this time, Marissa also became a two time All-State Dance Team Member where she had the opportunity to partake in dance workshops, master classes, leadership training, and networking with other students across Texas.

Marissa attended McLennan college in Waco, Texas where she was offered a full ride athletic scholarship. Marissa furthered her drill team commitment as part of the McLennan Dance Team where she became a two time Academic Champion, All American dancer, American Dance Team Schools National Champion and a National Dance Alliance Champion.

Marissa is currently attending the University of Houston, and pursuing a career in Sports Medicine. Marissa has over 6 years of coaching experience with all ages, and loves the opportunity to help athletes discover what motivates them as individuals. Marissa enjoys helping coach each gymnast to reach every single one of their goals, and we are happy to have her focusing her talent with our younger Team Girls in the competitive Junior Olympics program.

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!

Read More

Javier Sandoval

Title: Boys Team Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid; USAG

Javier joined Discover Gymnastics in 2019 and is originally from Bucaramanga, Colombia.

Javier has been an elite gymnastics for 19 years and a member of the Colombian National Team for 14 years. Since then, Javier has achieved significant personal accomplishments throughout his gymnastics career. A few of his proudest accomplishments are Silver Medal on Paralle Bars at the World Challenge Cup 2016; South American Games- gold and Silver Medalist for team, silver medical on high bar and bronze medalist in Pommel Horse and Parallel Bars; Centro American Games- Gold Medalist for team, Bronze Medalist on Parallel Bars; Pan-American Games- Silver Medalist for Team and National Team Member in 4 World Championships.

Javier recently relocated to the Houston Area and currently competes as an Elite Level gymnast for Discover Gymnastics. Javier has degrees in Physical Education and Sports Technology/Medicine. He also runs a gymnastics club in Cucuta, Colombia with his family and sister who was also a National Team Member for 11 years. When he isn’t currently competing or training, Javier assists Discover Gymnastics as a coach with our Boys Team Program.

In his spare time, Javier enjoys playing soccer, cooking and traveling. His favorite color is blue and his favorite movie is SuperHeros.

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? Nice people, great professionals and gymnastics everywhere!

Read More

Instructors and Administrative Staff

 

2016-03-01 Amber W 002

Name: Amber W. – Lead

Title: Front Desk Employee and Rec Instructor

Certifications: CPR and First Aid

Personal Experience: I was a cheerleader growing up and I have been coaching gymnastics for 3 years.

Personal Information: I am currently taking classes at Houston Community College and 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

Favorite Movie: Finding Nemo

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.

Title: Rec Instructor

Certifications: CPR and First Aid

Personal Experience: I started gymnastics when I was 2 and did competitive gymnastics throughout high school. I was also a cheerleader for Tulane University.

Personal Information: I am originally 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.

Name: Jodi B.

Job: Rec Instructor and Team Coach

Certifications: CPR and First Aid

Personal Experience: I grew up a competitive gymnast and it has always been a passion of mine. I have been coaching for many years. I enjoy watching the kids grow.

Personal Information: I am a mom of a ten year old son. I grew up a gymnast and have always loved the sport. I feel gymnastics teaches children to be strong physically and mentally.

Favorite Color: Teal

Favorite Movie: Trolls

Hobbies: Anything outdoors

What I love about working at Discover Gymnastics: The ability to grow

Name: Dana J.

Job: Graphic Designer and Front Desk Employee

Personal Experience: I was a gymnast for 4 years.

Personal Information: I am currently in school at University of Houston as a Digital Media Student.

Favorite Color: Green

Favorite Movie: Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter

Hobbies: Reading, Cooking, Hiking

What I love about working at Discover Gymnastics: All the employees I work with and the ability to use my schooling to design.

Name: Lesa M.

Job: Special Needs Instructor

Certifications: CPR and First Aid

Personal Experience: Owner of a dance studio in the Houston Area and have been teaching gymnastics since 2003.

Personal Information: I have worked with special needs students for the past 6 years.

Favorite Color: Black

Favorite Movie: Gone with the Wind

Hobbies: Dance

What I love about working at Discover Gymnastics: The friendly, positive environment for all levels of athletes- from baby stars to elite.

Mike B. – Lead

Title:Birthday Party Coach

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Personal Experience: I have worked multiple jobs with children in both the public and private school settings.

Personal Information: I was Discover Gymnastics Employee of the month November 2018

Favorite Color: Red

Favorite Movie: Next Friday

Hobbies: Art and Creating Music

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? That it is a fun and positive environment with lots of room for growth.

Tori F.

Title: Rec Instructor and Birthday Parties

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Personal Experience: I have been coaching gymnastics since I was 13 years old. I started as a junior coach.

Personal Information: I am originally from Frisco, Texas and am currently a student a Texas Southern University majoring in Public Affairs and minoring in communication.

Favorite Color: Red

Favorite Movie: Shrek

Hobbies: Shopping

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics?How large the program is and the increasing enrollments.

Brenda P.

Title: Front Desk Employee and Preschool Instructor

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Personal Experience: I was in tumbling and volleyball growing up. I have taught Theatre camps to elementary school students as well.

Personal Information: I am a Houston native and am currently enrolled at the University of Houston pursing a bachelor’s degree in Theatre.

Favorite Color: Purple

Favorite Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Hobbies: Theatre, yoga and reading

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics?I love the welcoming environment and the fun I have working here!

Brenda P.

Title: Birthday Party Instructor

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Personal Experience: I have been working with children for seven years. I took gymnastics and cheerleading growing up.

Personal Information: I am currently a teacher assistant. My favorite animal is an orca and I love to draw and paint.

Favorite Color: Purple

Favorite Movie: Snow White and Jurassic Park

Hobbies: Drawing and Painting

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics?The experience and everything it has taught me so far!

Kelly C.

Title: Recreational Instructor, Camp and Birthday Parties Instructor

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Personal Experience: I was a former tumbler and a high school diver.

Personal Information: I was born in Houston, Texas. I have a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and currently work in IT with Bullpen Group. I also volunteer with Texas Children’s and Rodeo Houston.

Favorite Color: Purple

Favorite Movie: Mary Poppins

Hobbies: Sewing, two-stepping, traveling and volunteering

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? I love watching the kids gain confidence in themselves while learning new skills.

Natalie V.

Title: Preschool Instructor, Birthday Party Instructor and Camp Instructor

Certifications: CPR/First Aid

Personal Experience: 4 years of competitive cheer and tumbling experience, 3 years of dance and 5 years of gymnastics experience.

Personal Information: Born and raised in Houston area and currently in school.

Favorite Color: Yellow

Favorite Movie: Moana

Hobbies: Eating and dancing

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? Getting to know the kids!

Carmen Z.

Title: Preschool Instructor

Certifications:CPR and First Aid

Personal Experience: I did two years of Taekwondo when I was 13 and 14. I was also in the theatre program in high school.

Personal Information: I currently am attending Lone Star College and majoring in nursing.

Favorite Color: Maroon

Favorite Movie: London is falling

Hobbies: Dancing, singing, reading, writing and poetry

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? My co-workers and how much fun the environment is!

Donovan J.

Title: Birthday Party Instructor

Certifications: CPR/CPR and First Aid

Personal Experience: I have always loved working with children and I love watching them have fun and learn.

Personal Information: I play 9 instruments and am always up and willing to learn anything!

Favorite Color: Red

Favorite Movie: Tron

Hobbies: Playing music and playing video games

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? The fact that I am able to help kids create good memories and they will be able to talk about their experience when they are older!

Juliette D.

Title: Front Desk Employee

Certifications: CPR and First Aid

Personal Experience: 3 years of contemporary dance and high school theatre.

Personal Information: I am currently a Junior at University of Houston, majoring in media production.

Favorite Color: Purple

Favorite Movie: Liar, Liar

Hobbies: Music and Writing

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? The relationships we build with kids and families!

Justin M. – Lead

Title: Preschool and Rec Instructor, Xcel Team Coach

Certifications: CPR and First Aid; USAG registered

Personal Experience: I was a competitive cheerleader for 6 years as well as a Nationally ranked college Cheerleader at SHSU.

Personal Information: I am from the Houston area and have 3 years of coaching experience.

Favorite Color: Yelloq

Favorite Movie: Clueless

Hobbies: Eating Asian food and working out

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? The high level of gymnastics and my co-workers!

Lowell L.

Title: Recreational Instructor

Certifications: CPR and First Aid

Personal Experience: Participated in gymnastics in high school and was also a competitive dancer for 7 years.

Personal Information: I graduated from University of Houston with a Bachelor in Science in Biology and earned a Masters in Epidemiology from University of Texas Health Science Center.

Favorite Color: Blue

Favorite Movie: October Sky

Hobbies: Reading, dancing, cooking

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? The amount of equipment and apparatus available for the kids.

Emily L.

Title: Front Desk Employee

Certifications: CPR and First Aid

Personal Experience: I had worked with children for about 5 years.

Personal Information: I recently graduated from the University of Houston and am pursing further education.

Favorite Color: Mint Green

Favorite Movie: Toy Story

Hobbies: Riding bikes

What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics? How excited every kid is coming into the gym!

Return to top of page
 

747 N. Shepherd Dr. #400
Houston, Tx 77007
713-680-0045