Founder and Executive Director – Discover Fitness Foundation
Carly Markesich earned a B.A. in International Studies at the University of St. Thomas in 1994 and graduated from Rice University’s Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives in 2010.
Carly began her coaching career in 1979 and in 1999 opened Discover Gymnastics. Presently, Discover serves over 2000 students each week, ages 6 months – 18 years, in a 22,000sf state-of-the-art facility. Classes include gymnastics, tumbling, trampoline, dance, 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 two large gymnastics competitions each year – The Texas Classic and The Svetlana Boguinskaia Invitational. In 2022, Discover began its 23rd year serving the Houston community.
Carly attributes Discover’s success to her approach to employee training and professional development. Discover, on average, employs over 60 coaches. We hire dynamic instructors and invest 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 23 years operating Discover Gymnastics, Carly has witnessed the underserved 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. We will nurture potential, promote dignity, and support bold steps by all. The DFF is a 501c3 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. For the past 13 years, the DFF has continually provided gymnastics scholarships to 200 children each year.
Carly’s hobbies include travel, gardening, and she champions children’s, women’s and animal rights causes.
Tiny Twister Head Coach
As many of you know, Coach Francisco started with Discover Gymnastics since practically the beginning almost 21 years ago. Our owner Carly was searching for a great coach to work with the boys gymnastics program, and chance stepped in when Francisco happened to be doing an adult gymnastics class at the gym. Coach Francisco gave coaching a try the next day after Carly asked him to help out, and he immediately loved teaching children about gymnastics and everything at Discover.
This newfound coaching passion of Francisco’s became life changing when he decided to quit his full-time job to become a gymnastics coach. Over the years, Coach Francisco has been in charge of almost all the programs the gym offers, such as the Boys Team head coach, Recreational Boys and Girls Gymnastics, Preschool Gymnastics Director, Birthday Party manager and Special Need Classes instructor. Currently Coach Francisco is the Marketing Director for the gym, oversees our Preschool and Camp Directors, organizes Discover Kids Nights and coaches some of our pre-team advanced girls gymnastics classes. Coach Francisco is very proud to be part of Discover Gymnastics and enjoys getting to know so many of our families and customers. Coach Francisco really loves coaching the 4-7 year olds in the Tiny Twisters and Super Twisters pre-team classes, as well as our Preschool gymnastics classes, because he believes that at that young age children can learn so much, very quickly. Coach Francisco has enjoyed seeing the strong foundation of Discover Gymnastics continue to grow and be a consistent presence in the community.
Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, Coach Francisco came to the United States to study ESL at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. In his spare time, he enjoys running in Memorial Park and traveling whenever he can. Coach Francisco loves the sport of gymnastics and is grateful for the many opportunities he has had to meet Olympic gymnastics medalists, attend multiple national and international gymnastics events, as well as travel to watch the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Coach Francisco is thankful to have a job where he feels fulfilled in his goals and has the opportunity to see children grow and learn every day. Being part of Discover Gymnastics is definitely Coach Francisco’s favorite job over the years.
Kristen joined Discover Gymnastics in 2013, bringing years of competitive rhythmic gymnastics, professional contemporary dance and choreographic experience with her. Growing up, Kristen studied classical ballet and performed with City Ballet of Houston Company while doing competitive Rhythmic Gymnastics. In 2000, Kristen won the title of U.S. Level 9 National Champion and enjoyed several years of both individual and group competition with her team. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, Kristen performed nationally and internationally with several professional dance companies located in Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and Houston. Kristen loves experiencing the world and different cultures, so her time in Greece, Ecuador and Austria remain some of her favorite places to have performed in. When the occasion arises locally, Kristen loves to teach master classes in contemporary dance and create choreography for Rice University or Sam Houston State University’s dance programs. Kristen loves helping grow students’ understanding of what they’re capable of, and being able to inspire students to think positively about themselves to continue to achieve. Kristen also dances with an aerial company that tours to do performances off the sides of high rise buildings. Dancing locally with Houston Grand Opera is a joy for Kristen because it is right in the heart of the city, and is so artistically fueling to work alongside so many talented artists and guest musicians. Outside of work, Kristen enjoys going to tons of concerts, catching Astros games, traveling to new places, being active, pilates, sports psychology, enjoying sunny patios, catching up with her twin sister, big family events, time with friends and going to tons of live music concerts.
Amanda joined Discover Gymnastics in 2017. Amanda graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Kinesiology/Sports Administration and minored in dance. Amanda was a gymnast for 14 years and a dancer for 18. 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. 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.
Edison joined Discover Gymnastics in 2017 after relocating to Houston from New Jersey, bringing over 10 years of coaching experience with him. Edison began gymnastics at the age of 12 in Cúcuta, Colombia 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. 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 reading and watching movies.
We are happy to introduce you to Coach Faith as our new Camp Manager! Coach Faith’s great energy, several years of competitive gymnastics and cheer, as well as years of dance background, has her ready to get all the campers active this Summer. She has coached in our Camp program for the past two years, and is now ready to lead us into a great Summer with her inspirational and fun ideas!
Coach Faith is currently attending school at the University of Texas at Arlington as a nursing major in hopes of becoming a neonatal nurse or a travel nurse one day. She is also excited to be cheering at college. With so many years in competitive cheer, Faith is proud to have lead her squad as captain at Pearland High School. During her time as captain there, the cheer squad placed top 3 in Texas and top 10 in the nation. Faith earned 3x All-American cheerleader status and was selected to attend a leadership program for USASF (U.S. All Star Federation) for cheer.
We are excited to see Coach Faith step into managing Camp with her background in leading many cheer camps and clinics for the BAFL, TIFY Youth Football leagues, and cheer fundamentals program at a cheer gym in the Houston area. Students, campers, and staff enjoy getting to learn from such a positive and fun coach like Faith!
Coach Kelsi is our Preschool Manager that came on board this past Fall session. As a former Level 10 gymnast who competed in Eastern Nationals and won several state and regional championships, she is an experienced gymnast that also has a love for teaching children’s gymnastics. Her interest in gymnastics started at a young age, and she dedicated years of hard work to achieve such an impressive level of success in the sport. After finishing her gymnastics career, Kelsi pursued higher education at Virginia Commonwealth University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. She also minored in Spanish, demonstrating her commitment to learning and communication. While in college, she also ran Division 1 track and field, showcasing her athletic abilities in yet another sport. Coach Kelsi’s competitive spirit and determination to succeed in athletics and academics earned her the respect of peers and coaches alike. Coach Kelsi has set out to continue serving the community through coaching our very young students and helping build their confidence through the sport of gymnastics. It is important to Coach Kelsi to impress a positive influence on our young athletes to begin learning about the possibilities of success in multiple areas of life through hard work and dedication from the start!
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. As a proud member of 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 Bolivian 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. 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.
Carlos joined Discover Gymnastics in 2020 and is originally from Cucuta, Colombia. In 2010, Carlos became a part of the Colombian National Team and competed for the first time at the International Arena in the South American Championships in Peru. Carlos has achieved significant personal accomplishments throughout his gymnastics career. A few of Carlos’s proudest accomplishments are being ranked #28 at World Gymnastics Championships, 2nd place at Central American Games, and 1st place at the 2017 Bolivarian Games. When he isn’t currently competing or training, Carlos assists Discover Gymnastics as a coach with our Boys Team Program. In his spare time, Carlos enjoys movies, tennis and is a x-box gamer.
Originally from the Houston area, Juan currently has over 9 years of coaching experience, joining Discover Gymnastics in 2011. Juan graduated with his Bachelor of Fine Arts from UH. Juan started his professional dancing career with various companies at the age of 15. Currently, he performs as an acrobat in Houston’s 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. He has also coached TNT and acrobatic gymnastics in the past as well as taught dance in HISD. In his free time, Juan devotes time to music, photography, and art performance..
Tori has been coaching gymnastics since she was 13. Originally from Frisco, Tori has received her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Affairs from Texas Southern University. Tori has been a coach for all Girl programs.
What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics?
How large the program is and the increasing enrollments.
Coach Christina’s coaching experience spans the globe from Singapore, Australia, North Carolina, and now Texas. Christina was a National Team Member representing the Philippines. She was also a cheerleader and did aerobic competitions.
FIG Level1/2 Coach Certified.
Plamen joined Discover Gymnastics in 2018 bringing 32 years of coaching experience. Plamen graduated with a Masters degree in Artistic Gymnastics and a Bachelor Degree in PE. Growing up, he qualified for both the Jr. and Sr. National Men’s Artistic Team in Bulgaria, he competed in 4 World Championships and was a 2 times European Champion. Plamen qualified for the 1984 Olympics Games, however the Bulgarian team was not able to participate. Plamen is married to Bulgarian Gymnast, Diana Doudeva, who has competed in 2 Olympic Games and have two kids. In his spare time, Plamen enjoys woodworking.
Coach Andrey has 30 years of coaching experience. He has coached internationally in Poland, Singapore, and Australia and coached in North Carolina in the States. Throughout his career he has taken athletes to World Championships, European Championships, Easterns, Nationals, and the Visa Championships.
Coach Barry has 40 years of coaching experience having taken numerous athletes to the Hopes Elite Program, Level 9 & 10 Nationals, and the Collegiate Level. Barry is a Level 10 rated Judge, and is also a choreographer.
With 30 years of experience as an athlete and coach of men’s Gymnastics, Coach Jorge has a lot of desire to be part of the Discover Gymnastics staff on Boys Team. Jorge has competed in 3 Mens Gymnastics Olympics
(2004 – 2008 – 2012 Summer Olympics) and several international competitions including 13 World Championships. South America Pan American Championships, Central American Championships and World Cup..
Brianna started gymnastics when she was 2 and did competitive gymnastics throughout high school. She is originally from New Jersey and moved to Houston to work in Environmental Science. She was a cheerleader for Tulane University, loves the color orange and the movie Heavy Weights. In her spare time she enjoys dancing, hiking and spending time outdoors.
What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics:
The positive environment in which kids can learn gymnastics in a fun and exciting way.
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. On top of running all of our camps, Erik now also assists with Preschool Gymnastics Classes and the Boys Competitive Team program. 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.
Front Desk Staff
Born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, Thadey grew up doing gymnastics and dance throughout high school. Competing all the way to USAG Level 8, Thadey was a very competitive gymnast and enjoyed traveling to meets. After high school, Thadey went on to dance and continue learning at Stephen F. Austin State University. We are happy to have Coach Thadey’s bubbly energy helping customers at the Front Desk and also teaching so many of our students in our Day Camps. In her spare time away from work, Thadey likes reading, hiking in the fresh outdoors, and working out. Coach Thadey feels good being able to teach others what she has learned, and she loves being part of that culture here at Discover Gymnastics.
Front Desk Staff
Amber was a cheerleader growing up and has been coaching gymnastics for 3 years. She is currently taking classes at HCC and majoring in radiology. She loves to travel and has been to over 22 states. She has 3 sisters, one brother, and a dog.
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.
Emily has been working with children for about 5 years. She recently graduated from UH and is pursuing further education. Her favorite color is mint green and enjoys riding her bike.
What do you love most about Discover Gymnastics?
How excited every kid is coming into the gym!
Birthday Party Staff