YOUTH TECH has been running digital media and technology camps since 200l. Youth Tech prides itself on staying on the cutting edge of technology, and delivers a positive, interactive learning environment that encourages creativity, fun, and academic excellence. Youth Tech’s mission is, “to provide valuable real world training for students with a passion for learning, giving them a competitive advantage in the field of their choice.”
YOUNG REMBRANDTS® teaches basic to advanced drawing skills, art techniques, and vocabulary. Using a step-by-step method, instructors assure that every student is a creative success. Since 1997, Young Rembrandts has used technical drawing skills to break down complex objects into familiar shapes and increase student creativity, helping students to turn their drawings into eye-popping masterpieces! Young Rembrandts’ unique method also improves fine motor skills, patience, focus, and the ability to stay on task.
SCOTT HORWITZ has been the executive director for Chefsville since May 2006. His program empowers kids to make healthier food choices by providing opportunities to experiment with various flavors and food groups while learning about nutrition. Scott brings his years of chef experience to the classroom to give youngsters the opportunity to play with food because food should be fun!
PLAY-WELL originated in 1997 when Tim Bowen had the idea to get kids engaged and excited about the concepts of engineering, architecture, and physics using LEGO. Play-Well’s mission is to help kids solve problems, provide an opportunity for creative expression, and develop teamwork skills through building elaborate objects and collaborating with their peers. Play-Well is dedicated to kids having fun and expressing themselves through the world of play.
8BIT EDUCATION offers a variety of digital media classes ranging from game design to cinematography. Adrian R. Sanchez, owner of 8Bit Education, is an ITT Graduate with Honors in the area of media technologies. He has been teaching throughout the Dallas Metropolitan area and has been working with Dallas International since 2011. His goal is to prepare students for the ever-growing IT markets. Adrian creates fun, interactive, and educational courses, which can be viewed on Facebook @8BitEducation and on Twitter @8BitEdu.
CHALLENGE ISLAND is owned by Janet Epstein. Janet is passionate about fostering a love of learning in children. She spent 23 years in primary public education as a teacher and an administrator. In 2015, she decided it was time to take on a new venture. Her love of science, math, and engineering led her to Challenge Island. It is her hope that all children will discover new capabilities and come away with a desire to learn more about all things related to STEAM.
BRAINOPOLIS® is focused on encouraging children to utilize their creativity and imagination by engaging with science and technology. Since 2012, Brainopolis’ STEAM enrichment programs have prepared young people for the future of technology and competitive computer programming. Brainopolis’ mission is to inspire children to become future leaders by challenging them to analyze and solve problems and promote respect for others and the environment.
ENGINEERING FOR KIDS® brings math, science, technology, and engineering to children in a fun and challenging way. These exciting programs invite children to have fun while using their knowledge of engineering and science to design, create, and improve solutions to engineering problems. Programs are designed to meet national standards in STEM education from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-affiliated associations. Engineering for Kids® programs engage students in hands-on, real-world engineering experiences.
ANDERSON PERFORMING ARTS is owned and operated by Kristine Anderson. Mrs. Kristine was born and raised in Orange County, California, where she began her dancing journey at the tender age of 3. She continued dancing and competing with local dance studios throughout her childhood. In 2007, Mrs. Kristine began teaching classes. Her vision is to share her love and passion of dance, cheer, music, and theater with children. She hopes to inspire her students and create performers of tomorrow.
SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS AND ATHLETES is geared toward preparing children for the world while having fun. Children participating in the SSA activities experience improved flexibility, strength, and motor skills and gain an overall improved sense of well-being. Children learn how to maintain these benefits through nutrition, exercise education, and understanding the link between physical and mental health. Children experience boosted self-esteem, the ability to focus and be more alert, reduced stress levels, improved communication skills, and a more positive outlook.
AMBER SMITH has been sewing since 1992. Her passion for fabrics, stitches, and embroidery began with her mother, who taught her the art of sewing and quilting. At the age of 11, Amber began selling her sewn items and handmade doll clothes. Amber strives to boost hand-eye coordination, self-confidence, and creativity within her students. She has taught sewing at Hancock Fabrics and held private lessons since 2011.
FUGITIVE FITNESS is owned and operated by Chad Deaver. Since the age of 5, Chad played every sport available, but it was not until post-graduation that he found his calling. After receiving his degree from University of Texas at Dallas, Chad discovered the fascinating world of parkour while searching for an outlet from his nine to five routine. Now he holds certifications from not only the Cooper Institute but also from the World Parkour and Freerunning Federation. His experience as a personal trainer combined with his love for athleticism makes him an insightful, methodical instructor.
ANGELA JACKSON is the founder of Metropolitan Charm and Modeling, and executive director of The Miss Denton County Scholarship Pageant. Since 1999, Angela has successfully participated in many local pageants. She progressed from modeling in rural Southeast Texas to the DFW area, and continued to model and compete in pageants while in college. She accredits her success to her experience in manners classes, modeling training-, and pageant prep workshops. Her longtime mentor is nationally recognized Ada Duckett of the Miss Texas/Miss America organization.
SANDY ELKINS offers fine art painting classes. She started painting as a hobby in 2005. In 2011, she became a Robert Garden Certified Instructor. Her lessons include using oil paint, acrylic paint, watercolors, oil pastels, and charcoal. She teaches several techniques using the different mediums, through monthly classes and camps. She teaches perspective, color theory, and timesaving brush strokes, so students may develop a greater understanding of the visual world.
SOCCER SHOTS is a leader in youth soccer development for children ages two through eight. This nationally recognized program offers a high-energy, age-appropriate introduction to the game of soccer. The innovative curriculum utilizes creativity, games, and imagination to teach both soccer skills and character development. The goal of Soccer Shots is simple: to leave a lasting, positive impact on every child served.
NIGEL BOYD has taught Capoeira martial arts since 1998. Nigel is the Capoeira director at the South Dallas Cultural Center and is guided by his studies of the African-heritage art form. His teaching experience includes after-school programs at Big Thought, Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and Richland College. Nigel’s goal is to encourage physical activity and to grow awareness of Capoeira and its history.
JIM WARD is a 4.0-rated tennis player and Recreational Tennis Coach. Jim is certified by Coach Youth Tennis and is trained in Quickstart Tennis and 10 and Under Tennis, the new methods of USTA Tennis for younger kids interested in recreational or competitive play. Jim teaches using the fundamentals of Quickstart to introduce younger kids to the game of tennis, while growing the sport in Wylie, and providing a fun experience and appreciation of the game.
YEE HSUN U holds a fifth degree black belt in Ryubukai Okinawan Karate-Do and a first degree black belt in Kojosho Karate. Since 1967, Yee Hsun has practiced various forms of martial arts including Karate-Do, Taekwondo and Bukijutsu (Kobudo), Judo, Wing Chun Kungfu, and Arnis. Yee Hsun has been an assistant instructor to sensei Nakaya of the Okinawan Karate-Do classes since 2004 and the head instructor at the City of Mesquite Florence Community Center since 2008.
GINA KATIN has been coaching volleyball since 2011. She plays competitive sand volleyball every week, but her true passion is teaching kids. Gina has coached all ages, from kindergarten all the way through high school. Her classes focus on the rules, plays, and techniques of volleyball. Gina’s goal is to coach in such a way that kids become confident with handling the ball and acquire a love for the sport.
RENATA SHERMAN is a true citizen of the world. She started her career as a ceramics artist in 1972 and began painting in 2008. Her work is influenced by the diverse cultures she has experienced. She enjoys painting traditional art in watercolor, acrylic abstracts on canvas, and traditional oil portraiture on linen. Her goal is to develop techniques by exploring new materials, surfaces, and mediums. Renata wants to bring enriching, multicultural art ideas to the community.
KATE PHILIPPI teaches Basic Floral Design and Gardening. She has been an active member of the Senior Recreation Center since 2014. Kate started in the floral industry in 1973. She studied floral design and earned her Florist Transworld Delivery master design certification. She has owned four flower shops in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and taught floral design at the Tulsa Technology Center for 12 years.
LUPE KUHARSKY offers wreath making. Lupe is a former educator and administrator for Mesquite ISD and has been a member of the Senior Recreation Center since 2012. She was inspired to start crafting at a young age by her sister, who owned a craft store, and her neighbor who loved to create jewelry. In addition to designing wreaths, her favorite crafts include making blue jean purses and cross-stitching.
MATT KRUSE offers woodworking and Texas Hold ‘Em instruction. Since joining the Senior Recreation Center staff in 2013, he has become the go-to handyman and card dealer. Matt is an experienced woodcrafter who can build anything from cabinetry to decorative figurines. Matt perfected his woodworking and whittling skills while growing up on the family farm. He loves to teach others the trade.
MICHELLE STONE teaches Crochet. Michelle has been working at the Senior Recreation Center since 2015. She has been crocheting since she was a teenager and continues to learn new stitches to bring to her students. Michelle enjoys sharing what she has learned with others and loves seeing the joy on students’ faces when they understand a concept or master a new skill.
PAM LITTLE leads the Rock On class at Wylie Senior Recreation Center. She has been part of the Senior Recreation Center team since 2016 and strongly believes in expressing yourself through art. Her love for crafting began when she was a Brownie in Girl Scouts and has grown into a full-time hobby in her adult life. Pam is a patient leader and enjoys engaging with her students in new crafting projects.
JENNIFER HOLLIEN offers craft instruction. She has been working for the Senior Recreation Center since 2002. Jennifer has always enjoyed crafting with vacation bible school and her children and grandchildren. She has helped with the holiday craft projects and decorating for parties and lunches for many years. Jennifer enjoys helping others expand their creative expression.
ANGELA DANIEL teaches Creative Confections. She has been working for the Recreation Division since 2010 and at the Senior Recreation Center since 2016. Angela loves sharing her creativity and recipes with those around her. She has many great memories of cooking and baking with her grandmother, mother, and children. Her favorite quote is, “The fondest memories happen while gathered around the table.”
ROBERT STOKES teaches Genealogy. Robert has been researching his family history since 1997. He started out as an English teacher and eventually became an assistant principal for Dallas ISD. He has been interviewed by Time Magazine and Readers Digest for his study of family history. Robert also teaches his Genealogy courses at The Mansions of Wylie and for the City of Sachse.
DONNA SHIRLEY from the Smith Public Library heads up the Third Monday Book Bunch. She has been with the library since 2003. Donna earned her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies at Oklahoma Christian University and received a Master of Library Science from The University of Oklahoma. While she enjoys reading nonfiction and many other genres, she is especially fond of British mysteries and horror.
PATTI BRADLEY is a 200-Hour Yoga Alliance-certified instructor with additional training from CorePower Yoga, YogaFit, and the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research. Patti mixes several types of yoga into her teaching style, including Vinyasa, Power, and Hatha, paying special attention to transitions, alignment, safety, and fun. She loves that participants of all ages and mobility levels can enjoy the exploration and practice of yoga.
KATHARINE ISBELL, a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, has completed over 500 hours of yoga training and has been teaching in the Wylie area since 2008. Her specialty is Gentle Flow Yoga in which poses and flows, chosen to suit the student’s abilities, are sequenced into a coherent practice. Her desire is to build stronger, healthier participants by sequentially relaxing different areas of the body while strengthening others.
ERIN LAREW has a passion for both people and Zumba that led to her becoming an instructor in early 2009. She began teaching at Wylie Recreation Center almost immediately after it opened in 2011. Erin brings a positive, vivacious attitude to the classroom, and it is reflected in her dance style. Classes are lively and interactive. Erin has participated in several major Wylie Recreation Center events, including Black Light Zumba.
TIFFANNY ROGERS has worked in the fitness industry since 2010. She holds certificates in both American College of Sports Medicine and National Exercise and Sports Trainer Association. Tiffanny’s specialties include boot camp for adults and seniors, personal training, and spin classes. She looks for opportunities to train in more natural settings, often taking her classes to the great outdoors. Tiffany ensures her students are exposed to a wide variety of activity styles that work the body, including high-intensity interval training, calisthenics, and core workouts.
JAMES RANDELL has been practicing Tibetan, Wu, Wu (Hao), and Yang Tai Chi since 1990. He began his student teaching in 1998 under the direction of his teacher and mentor Dr. Robert Carpenter in New Mexico. After four years of training, James was awarded a black belt and the title of “Sifu” (teacher) in Yang style Tai Chi in 2000. He has taught at the YMCA in Dallas and Plano as well as private and semi-private classes.
LORI JAYNES teaches Zumba Fitness. She considers herself a late bloomer in the exercise world, but believes it is never too late to begin a healthy life style. Lori began working for the Senior Recreation Center in 2016, and received her Zumba Basic certification in 2017 in order to share her passion for dance and music with seniors. Lori’s goal is to get you moving and show that exercise should be about having fun.
CINDY RISTEEN teaches Chair Yoga. She has been part of the Senior Recreation Center team since 2013 and firmly believes that maintaining a strong core is important to senior health. Cindy strives to lead participants toward improved physical, social, and mental health. She enjoys working with seniors and hopes to brighten the day of everyone with whom she interacts.