January 2013, marks Discovery Programs 40th Anniversary. It takes my breath away to contemplate all the extraordinary teaching talents who have meant so much to the Program and our families over the years: Cynthia Olivera, (Our First Toddler Program Coordinator ), Nancy Dow, Anne Lall, Lynne Pidel, Liz Vacco (Leading Ballet Instructors) Richard Martin & Lynne Perrott (Our First Head Gymnastic Coaches), Jesse & Steve Kirtzman (Sports Head Coaches), Vladimir Reyson, Costache Gheorghiu, Paul Yang, Professor Meng Kui Wang, (Olympic Gymnastic Coaches), Bertin Rowser ( Musical Theater Director ), Hector Elizondo (Guest Theater Instructor ), Harriet Wald, Jan Brecht, Toni Wisti, Stella Moon, Elaine Winters ( Program Directors ), Barry Geisler (Track Program Head Coach )… all in all, over 350 teachers with really special gifts for engaging and inspiring children. And they were all so wonderful to work with administratively as professionals and artists.
I think back on the literally thousands of children, we have had the pleasure of working with, seeing grow up in the Program and go on to become professional dancers, actors, national athletes, teachers, doctors, lawyers, film makers, etc. So many of them, and their parents, remember Discovery and our teachers with lasting affection.
Today, many of our former students’ children attend our classes, their parents are so anxious to bring them. And Claude Meliarenne, who started as a running student at the age of nine in our Millrose AA Junior Track Club, has played an increasingly major part in the Program for 17 years and now helps lead the Program as our Business Director. Dolores Jefferson graced our front desk and our lives for 20 years welcoming arriving families. Our present Director, Katie Kheel, is adored by everyone, parents, staff and children alike.
I invite you to post on our Facebook page, some of your personal memories of Discovery and to read what others have posted, and reconnect with some of your favorite instructors, administrators, classmates and fellow-parents.
I can only imagine what Discovery will look like in the next 40 years and the great personalities who will fill it.
With much love to all of you,
Founder & Executive Director