The Spark! – February 2018

A Note From The Director
Dear Parents,
It has been two years since we started our newsletter, The Spark, which was a way to connect to parents and families more. I am so pleased that we have continued the newsletter because it’s been a wonderful opportunity for teachers to write about special topics, and for our teachers and programs to be highlighted. Sometimes, I wonder how many parents read The Spark and I am always internally cheering when a parent says “oh, I read in The Spark about….” 

This month, we focus on what the teachers in our program love about teaching at Discovery. As you may know, one of my goals is building connections and many of the staff speak about the close connections between staff, children, and families. Every day, I witness and experience myself these small and big connections.  For me, it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday administrative tasks and the stress of running a large program, but I find refuge most by talking to parents and caregivers, visiting the classes for a few moments and especially laughing and dancing with my own dancers every week. Sometimes, I walk in the neighborhood and a Discovery student will exclaim a big “Hello Miss Katie” to me and it really touches my heart. All of these connected moments are what I cherish most as a Director. 

Warm Wishes,

Katie Kheel
Discovery Staff:
What do you love about your job?
“I love working at Discovery because it feels like working with family. I love that we get to be creative in a fun and uplifting environment.”
-Melanie Seastone, Ballet 
“My favorite thing about Discovery is the support system within the staff. When problems arise or something unexpected happens, every single staff member is willing to jump in and help you and the students.”
-Timi Mathai, Early Childhood   
“I love my job at Discovery because I know I am making a lasting impact on children. Discovery is constantly helping me grow as a coach and young adult.”
-Denise White, Gymnastics  
“Working at Discovery Programs never seems like work! The sense of family and connection between the staff creates a supportive environment for ideas and new discoveries to flourish. Director Katie Kheel very much inspires creative solutions in teaching and you always feel heard and free to express your ideas. That is such a healthy environment for the students, and you can see their willingness to share and express their ideas with the faculty. As a classical pianist, it’s constantly inspiring to watch the little dancers react so spontaneously and honestly to the music I’m playing. To be able to be part of the creative flow of another being, to see that growing awareness in a child of their ability and freedom of expression from the youngest stages of development, is a privilege.”
-Eric Siepkes, Ballet Accompanist 
“I love seeing how much music makes our kids at Discovery light up! Being able to bring joy through music, as they sing, laugh, and dance, is a wonderful feeling.”
– Karen Valentin, Early Childhood & Gymnastics
“To be a dance teacher is very special, but it’s even more special when you are able to work in an environment like the one at Discovery. One of my many “loves” about my job stems from my students. Each week, I am able to teach ballet and movement to young girls and boys so eager to learn. Their curiosity about life brings so much “life” to the classroom, and this is evident in every smile and movement they make, which, for a teacher, is so special to witness.”
-Katrina Muffley, Ballet 
“First I love the people I work with, the Discovery team, including the gym staff. We all work together and support each other. I love to see the happy, smiley faces of the kids as they enter their practice. Students grow, become powerful, and always do the best they can.”
-Karin Hillman, Martial Arts
“I love the Discovery community!  The close interaction between gymnasts, parents, and caregivers is so unique and provides a great family feeling at Discovery! The Discovery community is a personal relationship not found at other gyms!” 
-Mary Cain, Gymnastics 
“I love to see when kids smile, enjoy dancing, and discover the way to express themselves through dance.”
– Misaki Hayami, Ballet & Early Childhood
“I think what I like best about working at Discovery is that it’s very family-oriented. I recently came back after being gone for two years, and having different children, parents, and caretakers express joy in seeing me back was a wonderful feeling. It was like a homecoming.”
-Joe Habib, Gymnastics  
“I love my job at Discovery because I love being able to help the kids achieve their goals and being there to help them do so.”
-Rachael Early, Gymnastics 
“The staff at Discovery are so wonderful and supportive inside and outside the building which makes working there very enjoyable.”
-Sarah Roberts, Ballet & Early Childhood 
“What I love about my job at Discovery is that I get to blend three very important components to balance my job.  I get to run the business end to make sure everything is going smoothly and no interruptions occur for any given semester.  I also get to talk to the staff and see what great things they come up with, and after 22 years at DP, great things are happening every day. Lastly, I get to interact with parents and students, making sure everything is going well and smoothly.  Every day is great!”
-Claude Meliarenne, Business Manager
Coach Cristian!
On February 1st, our beloved Coach Cristian and his partner, Samantha welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world. Cristian is a first time dad!
Meet Elias Walker Quesada
February Early Childhood Snapshots!
Discovery Gymnastics!
Discovery Announcements!
Presidents’ Day Closing
-There will be no classes next Monday, January 19th! All class are on as normal from Tuesday-Saturday.
Nutcracker Photos
-The entire collection of Nutcracker Ballet Recital photos can now be found on our Facebook page! Like & follow us there.