Meet the Staff
Courtney: Just You and Me Kid / Pre-school / Rec Gymnastics / Team / Manager
Courtney was born and raised in NYC. She was a competitive gymnast as a child and continued her talent through high school. She always had a niche for working with kids. At the young age of 12 she babysat often for siblings (three younger sisters) and friends. She began coaching gymnastics at 14 and hasn’t stopped since. She moved to Atlanta in 2002 and started coaching at the Ashford Dunwoody YMCA, where she quickly moved up to become the Gymnastics Coordinator, growing the program from 30 participants to over 300.
Courtney has been working with kids from the ages of 3 months to 15 years old, including pre-school, recreational and competitive team. She has always maintained her USA gymnastics safety certification and also keeps up with current pre-school certifications (formerly KAT, now HOT). Working with kids brings a smile to her face – not only when a skill has been accomplished, but a goal has been reached. For some that may be walking down a high beam alone, and for others just getting up on the beam. There is no standard in working with children. Each child is an individual with their own personality.
A 20 year old dream is finally coming true with the opening of Jump Start Gym, with husband, Todd.
Coach Todd: Just You and Me Kid / Pre-school / Mighty Mites / Manager
Todd has been working with kids for over 22 years. Starting out as a volunteer at church youth programs, Todd went on to work at the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta. He began at the ‘Y’ as a summer camp counselor, working his way up to director of youth sports and summer camps. More recently Coach Todd has brought his programs and ideas to several local children’s programs.
Coach Todd has a great passion and desire to teach and see kids learn and succeed. He will often be heard telling the kids, “Its o.k. for something to be hard, but can’t is a bad word!”. He has made a name for himself in the Sandy Springs / Dunwoody area and he looks forward to a successful launch of Jump Start Gym!
Kevin Robins: Team Department Leader (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mike Vialpando: Mighty Mites and Camps Department Leader (email@example.com)
Melanie Lott: Gymnastics and Tumbling Department Leader (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Melanie was born in South Georgia and began gymnastics at the early age of 5. She competed till level 6 and then transitioned into competitive cheerleading. With the opening of her mother’s gymnastic gym (Mid-State Stars) in Dublin, Ga, she was well exposed to the coaching aspects of both gymnastics and cheerleading. She coached competitive gymnastics and all levels of tumbling well into her college years. During this time she traveled with America’s Finest and conducted camps across the United States. While in college, Melanie cheered on the co-ed squad for 4 years and was the captain the last 2 years. She then had the privilege of starting her first year of high school teaching along with being named the head cheerleading coach. She then returned to GSU for another degree and was asked to assist the competitive squad to Nationals. After that she returned back to teaching and continued as head cheer coach. Melanie has a strong background with over 16 years of coaching experience to date. She graduated with a B.S. and a Maters Degree both in Business Education from Georgia Southern University. She is pleased that her love of teaching and coaching have both found a home here in Sandy Springs with Jump Start as their new School Aged Department Leader.
Lih-Sia Byam: Special Events Department Leader (Front desk / Rec Gymnastics / Acro / Tumbling / Birthday Parties / Parents Night Out) (email@example.com)
Lih-Sia grew up in Maryland where she took rec classes in gymnastics for most of elementary and middle school. In high school she transitioned to dance and acrobatic gymnastics. She was a member of her highschool performance dance troop and competed in acro her junior and senior years. During her senior year of high school her acro coached opened a new gym, where Lih-Sia worked part time coaching, doing birthday parties and summer camps, and assisting at the front desk. After leaving for college she continued to work at the gym during summer and winter breaks until permanently settling Atlanta in 2007.
Ema Jones: Just You and Me / Preschool / Rec Gymnastics / Boys / Team Coach / Birthday Parties
Daniela Silivas Harper: Head Team Coach
Ashley McCracken: Rec Gymnastics / Rec-team / Prep Op Lead Coach /Tumbling
Tazz Tucker: Rec Gymnastics / Boys / Adults / Camps / Birthday Parties
Shannon St. John: Rec Gymnastics / Team Coach / Birthday Parties
Kerri Lavender: Billing (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Even though Kerri was born in Miami, FL she considers herself an Atlanta native after moving here at 5 years old. She was raised in Tucker, GA and spent her youth being very active with softball, swim team, tennis and gymnastics. Her nickname growing up was “Car Head” because all the neighborhood kids were convinced she could run as fast as a car. After obtaining a BS in Family and Consumer Sciences from GSU, she worked for AIG Designs- a furniture importer & Philips- a Dutch electronics manufacturer in logistics and supply for the next decade. And although she loved her work she felt it was time to say goodbye to the corporate world to stay at home with her then 2 ½ year old son. Once her son became school age she was ready to work again….but just a little bit! Jump Start has been the perfect part time job for her with its flexible schedule. Kerri has been with Jump Start since the doors opened in July of 2011. She currently works from home on billing. She resides in Chamblee, GA with her husband Ted, son William and dog Baxter – the cutest weenie dog on earth. In her spare time she enjoys playing ALTA tennis, knitting and watching her 2 favorite shows- Downton Abbey & Nashville!
Kristy Thompson: Desk and Coach
Mindy Apple: Desk and Coach
After growing up in Dunwoody and competing gymnastics both at Dunwoody High School and at Gym Elite as a Class 1 gymnast, Mindy Apple went on to get a journalism degree at The University of Georgia. Since then, she has been coaching all ages of gymnastics for the past 15 years. She loves being able to both coach and work the front desk at Jump Start Gym!
Titus Roswell: Might Mites and Camps
Growing up in Atlanta, family and friends would describe Titus as the ultimate adventurist. He was always very active, on the go & willing to try new things. In high school he was able to manage both playing soccer and helping to coach the girl’s volleyball team. In college he found a new love….break dancing! He and his friends formed a dance crew where they were able to show off their break dancing and stunt skills. His love of dancing has spilled over into wanting to teach kids how do it. Most recently teaching own daughter and her friends how to tumble and break dance. He is eager to teach his top rocking—down rocking—freeze & power moves to anyone who shows an interest! It’s no secret that Titus loves working with and mentoring the kids at Jump Start Gym. He is hard to miss with his electric personality & big infectious smile!
Marina Davidovich: Team Coach / Dance and Flexibility Coach
Taylor McClendon: Team Coach
Christopher Taylor McClendon is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa in Iowa City (December 2012). Originally hailing from Norcross, G.A., Taylor was born and raised in the Peachtree Corners community, attending Norcross High School (2008). He is a Civil Engineering major with a focus in marketing and journalism and is currently utilizing his skill set as an intern with Inside Publications, publishing company for Inside Gymnastics, Volleyball and Cheerleading Magazines.
His gymnastics experience begin later than most, at 11. He enrolled at Gym Elite in Norcross G.A. and slowly began to catch the eye of Team Coaches. Fast forward to 2008, Taylor was brought onto to represent the University of Iowa Hawkeyes as a Div 1, Big Ten Athlete. At Iowa, he competed for the Hawkeyes in two regular meets and was a valued member of the team.After a multitude of injuries and set backs, he was compelled to stop the sport in the fall of 2010. Since then, promoting and teaching the sport has become another passion of his.
His experience in teaching the support spans a 6 year period. He has taught all age levels and experiences: recreational and novice (Robert D. Fowler YMCA), compulsory levels (Jump Start and Atlanta School of Gymnastics), and optional levels boys 7-10 (Atlanta School of Gymnastics).
Taylor plans on utilizing his technical degree and love for the sport of gymnastics as a means to begin a career combining the two talents. Whether working as an engineer or marketing specialist, he says with confidence, “Whatever I do, I HAVE to stay involved coaching gymnastics. Even if it is on the side volunteering once a week, I just can’t leave the sport!”
Danielle Floyd: Rec Gymnastics / Preschool Coach / Birthday Parties
Jessie Mills: Tumbling and Rec-Team
Jesse, 22, was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. The oldest of 6 brothers, ranging in ages from 2-20, Jesse graduated from Shiloh High School, where he first fell in love with tumbling and coaching through cheerleading. He started his coaching career working with a small all-star cheerleading gym, GA Comets. He now attends Valdosta State University where he studies public relations. He is also the captain of, and cheers for, national cheerleading champions, the Valdosta State Blazers. He has worked for the National Cheerleading Association for two years where he works with high school and middle school teams on perfecting their various skills. Although Jesse is new to the world of gymnastics, he is a fast learner. Jumpstart gymnasium has allowed him to get a more well-rounded sense of coaching, all while broadening and building upon his extensive cheerleading background. Jesse’s greatest joy is teaching young children new skills and seeing them execute these skills with proper technique. Jesse is grateful for the opportunity to gain more experience and is diving head first into the wonderful world of gymnastics!
Cara: Team Dance
Began dancing with the Fletcher School of Dance in Clyde, NC at the age of 3 and continued with her training under Beale Fletcher until she left to attend college at the University of Colorado in Boulder. While in Colorado, Cara danced for Richard Pierlon, G. Webster Smith, and Thomas Dixon- performing with Denver Contemporary Dance, Boulder Dance Forms and the University of Colorado modern/jazz dance companies. She also traveled to Germany and Switzerland to compete and perform at the Freiberg International Dance Competition where her company, A- Troupe USA, took 2nd place. Cara then found herself studying in Chicago under Lane Alexander (Hubbard Street) and Debbie Giordano (Giordano Dance Center) where she tapped her way into commercials for both Sears and Montgomery Ward. Since moving to her current home of Atlanta, Cara has been in numerous industrial commercials and professional shows, dancing for many years with Gotta Dance Atlanta, judging regional dance competitions and three seasons dancing with Atlanta Hawks Dance Team. She currently choreographs for Mount Vernon Presbyterian School and other local projects, belongs to professional Atlanta dance company “About Face”, and manages our dance program here at Jump Start Gym. She is a wife, busy mother of two wonderful children, and resident of Sandy Springs.