Our Management Team

Miriam Little

Gym Director

Mrs. Miriam has been working here since November 2007. She has been dancing since she was 5 in a variety of dance styles. Some of her favorite things are photography, reading, camping, hiking, vacationing with her husband, and spending time with her family and friends. Mrs. Miriam says she remembers what a big influence her dance teachers were on her growing up and is excited that now she has the opportunity to work with kids and grow that love of dance and gymnastics herself. Her favorite thing about her job is how playing with kids always makes the day a little better.

Dani DePaepe

Program Director

Miss Dani started teaching at Aurora Kids in December 2013 and became Program Director in 2016. She currently attends UAA and is getting her degree in Early Childhood Development. She participated in high school gymnastics for 2 years and has danced for 11 years at Alaska Dance Theater and Underground Dance Company.

She is certified in CPR/First Aid, Gymnastics Safety & Risk Management, & USOC SafeSport. She has completed USA Gymnastics University: Instructor training.

She enjoys hanging out with her friends and family in her down time. Miss Dani says her favorite thing about working with kids is that you can get them excited about anything and their love of learning new things.

Angel Stanley

Office Manager

Mrs. Angel has degrees in Business Management but would rather play with kids. She has taught at Aurora Kids and been our Office Manager since September 2012.

She is certified in CPR/First aid, & USA Gymnastics Safety & Risk Management.

When she grows up she wants to live in a motorhome on the beach. She loves to read, play games with her family, and travel. Angel’s favorite thing about teaching children: “I love to see their self confidence grow as they master their skills. Plus they are super fun to play with.”

Ashley Brinker

Instructor

Miss Ashley has been working at Aurora Kids since March 2012. She is a homeschool graduate. She did Gymnastics at Aurora Kids from 3-5 yrs old. She danced with us from 5-18 yrs old, and was part of our Performance Gymnastics Team for 5 years.

She is CPR/First Aid certified and Parkour certified.

She loves working with kids because she feels kids are good role models. Most of the time they’re very happy, and they think positively, and they’re carefree.

Canzada Maruskie

Instructor

Miss Zada has been working at Aurora Kids since 2014.

She is currently a student at UAA. She started doing gymnastics when I was 2 at Aurora Kids & started dance here when she was 4. She joined the Aurora Kids Performance Gymnastics Team in 2011 and the competitive Power Team Gym in 2014.

She plays violin in the school orchestra and is an active member of student government. She has been dog mushing since 2007. She enjoys doing tricks, poses, and workouts with hammock silks (started in 2016)

She loves hearing all the kids’ fun stories, watching them grow their skills and seeing their excitement when they get a new skill. She loves to see the kids excitement to learn something new.

Miss Zada is CPR/first aid certified and Parkour certified.

Chelsea Grisham

Instructor

Miss Chelsea and husband Brodie are the proud parents of baby boy Mason, who was born in June (2019).

She is CPR/First Aid/BLS certified & certified in USA Gymnastics Safety & Risk Management.

Miss Chelsea says she loves working with kids because “Everything is fun! No matter what it is, it can be the most fun the kids have ever had.”

Wendell Jack

Instructor

Mr. Wendell began working here in the summer of 2017. He is currently a junior at Dimond High School. In his free time he likes to do anything active and competes in diving for his school. Mr. Wendell grew up doing gymnastics at Aurora Kids starting from the age of three. His favorite thing about working here is that the kids have a lot of energy and make him laugh.

Angela Bjorn

Instructor

Mrs. Angela started working at Aurora Kids in May 2018. She has taken many elementary education classes at UAA, and has an associates degree from Arizona. She loves working in schools, and currently works at Polaris K-12, and she plans on finishing her teaching certification someday. She enjoys hiking, biking, gardening, and reading. She received a 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo when she was younger. Now she enjoys learning everything gymnastics from her daughter who is also a student here at Aurora Kids. She loves that kids have flexible thinking and love to try new things, she says, “They are natural scientists!” She also loves that their joy for learning comes from within.

Laura Stone

Instructor

Mrs. Laura has been working at Aurora Kids since 2004. She has a degree in Elementary Education from Montana State University. She is also a health teacher for the Anchorage School District.
Miss Laura’s hobbies are cross country skiing, reading, shopping, and spending time with her family. Miss Laura has been a gymnastics coach for over 15 years. She says, “It always amazes me how eager the kids are to learn.”

Micah Rochin

Instructor

Mr. Micah started working at Aurora Kids November 2018. He attends West High and plans to work for his uncle’s tech business some day. Mr. Micah enjoys playing video games and also plays the drums and is learning guitar. Mr. Micah attended parkour classes here at Aurora Kids. His favorite things about working with kids is seeing them develop new skills and how they get excited about learning them.

Anna Jack

Instructor

Miss Anna has been working at Aurora Kids since 2017. She is a 2019 Dimond High graduate and is currently attending UAA. When she grows up she wants to work with animals. Miss Anna enjoys hiking, camping, snowboarding, painting, and fishing. She attended Aurora Kids starting at the age of 3, and was a member of our Performance Team for 3 years. She also did gymnastics at Dimond for 3 years. Her favorite thing about working with kids is their excitement and readiness to learn skills.

Terryn Woods

Instructor

Miss Terryn started working at Aurora Kids December 2018. She is currently a high school senior attending Service and King Tech high schools. She plans to be a cosmetologist when she grows up. Miss Terryn likes sports, make up and hair, and travelling. She attended gymnastics at Aurora Kids from 2004 to 2011 and then went to Arctic Gymnastics from 2011 to 2018. She competed in high school gymnastics at Service for all 4 years. She has also been playing volleyball since she was 7. She says she loves working with kids because they are so fun to be around with their spunky attitudes and fun personalities.

Gloria Reed

Instructor

Miss Gloria started working at Aurora Kids in the fall of 2018. She is currently homeschooled and plans to be an elementary teacher when she grows up. Miss Gloria enjoys reading, painting, writing, archery, horseback riding, hiking, hanging out with friends and family, and photography. She started dancing at Aurora Kids in 2007 and continues to do so. She also did gymnastics, performance team, Irish dancing, and swimming. Her favorite thing about working with kids is the funny things they say and how quickly they can learn.

Autumn Stanley

Instructor

Miss Autumn has been raised at Aurora Kids and is the daughter of our Office Manager, Miss Angel. She has been a dancer and gymnast here and a member of both our Performance and Competitive Team Gym Teams. She attends South High School. She has played Volleyball for 3 years as well as violin and enjoys arts & crafts. Her favorite thing about working with kids is their excitement when they learn something new.

Kaeli Smith

Instructor

Miss Kaeli is back at Aurora Kids for a college internship this Fall. She worked here from 2012-2017 after being a gymnast with us most of her life. She graduated from Service High School and went on to study Recreation Management at BYU. She has been a gymnast for 16 years and was a member of the Aurora Kids Performance Gymnastics Team and competitive Power Team Gym. She also competed gymnastics in High School. She has also played softball for 8 years. She loves to read and hike and was married last year. You may know her as Kaeli Hutchings. She loves working with kids because of their enthusiasm to learn.

Kris Wolkoff

Instructor

Mr. Kris worked at Aurora Kids for a year in 2015 and then returned in December 2018 to work with us again! He graduated from Service High School and Family Partnership Charter School. He is currently attending UAA and planning to go to medical school. Mr. Kris competes in Olympic weight lifting, snowboards regularly, and has also done recreational gymnastics and parkour. His favorite thing about working with kids is, “They are always so cheerful and full of energy.”

Anna Richardson

Instructor

Miss Anna is a new instructor. She attended Trailside Elementary, Hanshew Middle School and Service High. When she “grows up” she wants to explore what the world has to offer. Miss Anna loves drawing and painting, reading and listening to stories. She has been a runner, a skier and participated in track and field. She did gymnastics at Aurora Kids from the age of 8 through 12 years old and joined her High School Gymnastics team at Service, where she was captain. Miss Anna enjoys kids and how excited they are to learn, as well as the weird things they say.

Logan Dawson

Instructor

Mr. Logan has recently become one of our Parkour Instructors after being Parkour certified this summer. He attends Dimond High School. He has played hockey for 6 years and enjoys biking, fishing and skiing. His favorite thing about teaching kids is watching them improve.

Taki Gyfteas

Instructor

Mr. Taki is a new parkour instructor at Aurora Kids. He’s grown up here taking gymnastics and parkour since he was 3 years old. He’s played baseball, flag football and soccer. He likes gaming, reading, sports and socializing. He’s been homeschooled his whole life and wants to take over his father’s restaurant, Sorrento’s, when he grows up. He loves how full of energy kids can be, and how happy they can be when they achieve something. He likes watching them grow and learn new skills.

Elizabeth (Liz) Chadwick

Instructor

Miss Liz is a student at UAA studying English. She likes crafting, gaming, skiing/snowboarding and figure skating. She’s been part of her school’s Colorguard and Winterguard and on the Volleyball team for 3 years. She loves seeing how kids enjoy the small things and their giggles.

AVALON BORION

Instructor

Miss Avalon started working at Aurora Kids in May of 2019. She currently attend Polaris K-12 school and hope to one earn a doctorate in marine biology or veterinary science. Miss Avalon loves to swim and has been on the swim team for 4 years. She also enjoys rock climbing, surfing, skiing, Taekwondo and, of course, gymnastics! She also spends her time drawing, playing violin, and volunteering at the ASPCA. Miss Avalon says she loves that kids have so much energy no matter what! ”A lot of them truly have a passion for gymnastics and it makes them try really hard. Teaching kids could never get boring because they are always so excited.”

MADELYNNE THOMAS

Instructor

Miss Maddy has worked at Aurora Kids since June 2016. She grew up dancing at Aurora Kids and at East High School. She is currently a student at Western Oregon University, where she received a dance scholarship to pursue a B.S. in both Dance and Exercise Science. When she’s not working, studying, or dancing she enjoys fishing and anything else outdoors; along with spending time with her Corgi, listening to Pandora, road trips, and classic movies. Her favorite thing about working with kids is the stories they tell, the energy they bring, and their excitement to learn.

Cassidy Vickery

Instructor

Miss Cassidy is new at Aurora Kids. She attended Bartlett High School and homeschooled. She wants to be a pediatric nurse practitioner. She likes to camp, hike, fish, babysit and spend time with her family. She cheered for Bartlett High football. Her favorite things about kids are helping them learn and grow and also seeing them happy.

Emma Burkholder

Instructor

Miss Emma is a new instructor. She has been a student at Aquarian Charter school, Goldenview Middle school and South High School. She likes to go to her cabin and do fun things outside as well as play sports. Miss Emma is super sporty. She has been a swimmer for 6 years, a gymnast here, at Arctic Gymnastics and Anchorage Gymnastics Association. She’s also played flag football, runs and rock climbs. She loves that kids are energetic and fun to be around. She likes helping them and teaching them new things.

DANAE STOKES

Instructor

Miss Danae has been working at Aurora Kids since 2014. She is a junior in High School.

She loves playing volleyball (indoor and sand). She loves piano and longboarding.

Teaching kids is her passion and she hopes to become a Kindergarden Teacher when she graduates.

She is CPR/First Aid Certified.

CARMEN PARSONS

Instructor

Miss Carmen started working at Aurora Kids in the summer of 2014. She is currently a student at East High and would like to someday work as an author or illustrator. Miss Carmen loves to dance, write, draw, read, and hang out with her friends. She has danced at Aurora Kids for 10 years, done gymnastics for 2, and is currently on the Performance Team. She also participates in Dog Mushing. Her favorite thing about working with kids is watching them bounce around with endless energy, eager to learn and try new things. She loves seeing their bright smiles and hearing their gleeful laughter.

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