America’s Best Kids Staff and Instructors

 

Brooklynn Atkinson
Gymnastics Coach
Brooklynn is 16, a junior in high school, and a retired competitive gymnast. She was a gymnast for six years and competed for ABK for 4 years. During that time Brooklynn earned multiple State championships that are displayed on banners on the ABK wall of champions. Motto: “Be loud about the things that are important to you.”
About Brooklynn
Amy Beagle
Senior Gymnastics Coach
Amy is a native Oregonian and lived in Eugene while training for gymnastics. She has three grown sons and three grandsons who still live in the Eugene area. Amy competed as an Elite gymnast for the National Academy in Eugene and has been coaching off and on for over 40 years. Her favorite event to coach is beam which was also her favorite to do! Motto: “I always get to where I’m going by walking away from where I’ve been.” - Christopher Robin
About Amy
Madelyn Bennett
Swim Instructor
Madelyn is athletic and musical. She enjoys being outdoors and meeting and connecting with others. Specialties: Madelyn has her Starguard lifeguard certification. Motto: "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up." -Vince Lombardi
About Madelyn
Evan Benton
Gymnastics Coach
Evan coaches recreational gymnastics at America's Best Kids.
About Evan
Bri Berryessa
Enrichment Department Leader
Bri leads the Enrichment team - including After School Care and Summer Camps at America's Best Kids.
About Bri
Don Berryessa
Owner, President America’s Best Kids Inc.
Don holds a 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, is the Chief Master Instructor for all the Oregon America’s Best Karate Academies, and he serves as President of America’s Best Kids, Inc. Mr. Berryessa started his martial arts training at six years old when his father, an accomplished Judo practitioner and wrestler, would spend hours wrestling and showing him moves on the living room floor. From this solid foundation, he pursued more formal training in a wide variety of disciplines. In 1992 Master Berryessa became partners with five-time World Champion, Master George Chung (founder of America’s Best Karate), as well as three-time World Champion, Master Anthony Chan. Through this alliance and the help of dedicated instructors like Master Waldschmidt and Master Penner they built one of the most successful Martial Arts programs in the country. In 2000 Master Berryessa decided to leave the organization to spend more time with his wife and family. On September 11, 2001 Master Berryessa opened America’s Best Karate of Medford in a small 1200 sq. ft facility. Master Berryessa, like many on that day, felt an even greater responsibility as an American to help his country. He felt the best way he could do this was to help as many children as possible learn values, life skills, and principles. He knew that virtues like responsibility, honesty, trust, perseverance, stewardship and servitude were naturally ingrained in the teachings of Martial Arts, but he wanted to provide even more programs to mentor youth. So, with the help of his wife Sheri Berryessa, a Black Belt and accomplished gymnast, along with several very dedicated teachers at ABK, they created the current 30,000 square foot Americas Best Kids Sports and Learning Center that helps mentor more than 1500 children weekly.
About Don
Olivia Berryessa
Customer Service & Administrative Specialist
Olivia has held numerous positions here at ABK. She has worked as a gymnastics coach, swim instructor, Swim department leader and customer service specialist, just to name a few. Olivia is currently going to school to become a licensed massage therapist. She is the mother of 3 rambunctious boys.
About Olivia
Sheri Berryessa
Owner, Gymnastics Director
Sheri is a National Instructor for USA Gymnastics and has many certifications in recreational, preschool and competitive gymnastics. She has taught gymnastics for over 30 years and has a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. My favorite thing about teaching and coaching are those moments when a student really understands something. I love it when you see the look on their face that screams, "I GOT IT"!
About Sheri
Sophia Berryessa
Swim Instructor
Sophia teaches swim at America's Best Kids.
About Sophia
Parker Bryan
Swim Instructor
Parker is passionate about health and wellness and how exercise can positively affect one's physical and emotional well-being. He is currently working towards a degree in exercise science. Parker is friendly and outgoing. Specialties: Parker has certifications in CPR and Starguard Lifeguarding. As an instructor, he is nurturing and patient. Motto: “Attitudes are contagious; make yours worth catching.”
About Parker
Taylor Burgess
Gymnastics Coach
Taylor started at ABK as a gymnastics student who made her way from recreational to competitive team and graces our wall of champions as a Level 3 & 4 State Champion. Taylor is a current member of the North Medford High School Cheer team.
About Taylor
Jaidyn Campbell
Gymnastics Coach
Jaidyn is a 16 year-old junior attending Crater High School of Business Innovation and Science. She was a gymnast at ABK for nearly 10 years and competed for Team ABK up through level 8. Now, she spends her time pole vaulting with the Crater Track and Field team as well as pursuing the performing arts with the Teen Musical Theater of Oregon. Jaidyn loves that she is now able to return to her second home, ABK, and teach young gymnasts about a sport she’ll always love. Motto: “The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first found yourself.” -Mark Caine
About Jaidyn
Marlon Campos
Camp Instructor
Marlon teaches summer camps at America's Best Kids.
About Marlon
Dylan Detweiler
Department Leader of ABK Swim School
Dylan is a father of three boys! During his free time Dylan enjoys playing guitar and cooking. Specialties: Dylan began training Taekwondo at age 11 and has since trained in various Martial Arts including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga. During his years in school, he participated in Football, Baseball and was a part of the wrestling team at the High Schools he attended. Motto: “If you can't take care of yourself, take care of somebody else." - Roy Buchanan
About Dylan
Rebecca Dosser
Senior Gymnastics Coach, Preschool Teacher
Rebecca was born and raised in Southern OR and was a competitive gymnast for 9 years. She did gymnastics at ABK from 2002-2008, came back to coach and teach in ABK Preschool in 2017, and has been loving it ever since! She has a true passion for teaching and finds joy in watching a child grow and master new skills. Rebecca has been working with kids since age 13, and has been coaching gymnastics for almost 10 years. She has always loved the sport of gymnastics and it will forever have her heart. Motto: “People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel." -Maya Angelou
About Rebecca
Sydney Eldred
Master Instructor, America's Best Karate
Sydney is a 4th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She has been training for more than 15 years, 5 of which she instructed classes at America’s Best Karate. Training at ABK has helped Master Eldred to set and attain goals throughout her life. She is currently a college student in Salem, Oregon and takes classes at a local Tae Kwon Do studio but returns each summer to work in ABK’s summer enrichment camps and karate classes, camps, and seminars. Master Eldred looks forward to every time she has the opportunity to come down and teach her students at ABK. Her personal goal in Martial Arts is to work towards her next rank and continue spreading the values of Martial Arts.
About Sydney
Hannah Finear
Gymnastics Coach
Hannah is a mother of two beautiful girls. She loves being a part of a positive, proactive team that pushes growth and learning. Hannah was a competitive gymnast her whole childhood and has continued coaching throughout her life. She is also a licensed massage therapist and loves working with kids of all ages in both fields. Gymnastics has been a part of her family for her whole life- She started very young and continued as a competitive gymnast into her teen years, rounding out her competitive career as a Junior Olympic level nine. Hannah started coaching at 22 and has been working on and off in a gym for the last 6 years. Motto: “Hard work beats talent ...when talent doesn’t work hard.”
About Hannah
Briannah Fisher
Gymnastics Coach
Briannah has been at ABK as either a gymnast or coach since the age of 2! She's affectionately known as an ABK Kid, having grown up here. Briannah recently retired from Level 7 competitive gymnastics and instead joined the coaching team.
About Briannah
Zoie Fisher
Gymnastics Coach
Zoie is a 16 year old, Junior currently attending Cascade Christian High School. She did gymnastics at ABK for about 5 years and also currently participates in softball and soccer. Zoie started in gymnastics at age 10 in a recreational class and then had to take a break due to injury. She returned at 13 and competed in the Xcel Silver level, where she became a state champion on Balance Beam (her banner graces the wall of champions at ABK). The following year she progressed to Xcel Gold and placed beam again at state. Motto: " I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me". Philippians 4:13
About Zoie
Erica Flynn
ABK Dance Program Department Leader
About Erica: Erica is a very hard worker and LOVES what she does. She not only runs the Dance Program at ABK, but she is also the mother of two beautiful girls and the lead singer of a local country/rock band. Erica grew up dancing and singing starting at the age of 3 with styles including: Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, and Hip Hop. Erica continues to grow her education in dance by attending workshops and takes classes online to further her knowledge as a dance instructor. Motto: “You will never fail until you stop trying.”
About Erica
Heidi Fogarty
ABK Customer Service Department Leader & Human Resources
Heidi has been coaching gymnastics from preschool age through the competitive team level for more than 20 years and joined the ABK family in 2013. While she currently spends more time at the Customer Service desk and behind the scenes administratively, it’s her passion for the sport of gymnastics that originally brought her to ABK. Heidi is an active and certified Level 10 rated gymnastics judge and serves on the USA Gymnastics Oregon State Administrative Committee as the Xcel Representative in her spare time. By far, though, her favorite past time, is spending time with her husband, Shane, and 2 sons, Jack and Max. Motto: “You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle
About Heidi
Ryan Fogarty
Karate Instructor
Ryan teaches karate at America's Best Kids.
About Ryan
Shane Fogarty
Lead Karate Instructor
Shane has studied martial arts throughout his life, mainly Kempo and more recently Tae Kwon Do. Mr. Fogarty graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle with a degree in Computer Animation and Multimedia. Mr. Fogarty currently serves as one of the lead instructors for America’s Best Karate of North Medford. In addition, he is a certified unarmed security professional. Mr. Fogarty enjoys outdoor activities, knife throwing, table top gaming, and spending time with his wife and 2 sons.
About Shane
Jensyn Ford
Gymnastics Coach
Jensyn grew up doing gymnastics here at ABK both recreationally and competitively. She capped off her career as a Level 8 regional qualifier. and now loves passing along her knowledge and experience to her students.
About Jensyn
Halle Harris
Gymnastics Coach
Halle has been apart of ABK since the age of 2! She loves all things gymnastics! Halle was a gymnast here at ABK for almost 15 years, ending her gymnastics career as a Level 7 team leader! Motto: “Don’t let your fears interfere with your outcomes.”
About Halle
Tegan Hoevet
Customer Service Specialist
Tegan is an absolute people person and any chance she gets to surround herself with children she will! It is her passion to make people happy, which in turn makes her happy! Tegan has been in the customer service industry for fifteen years and worked with children for a large portion of those years. She loves inspiring young minds and helping direct them down a healthy and happy path no matter where they come from or what their story may be. Tegan strives to be someone that kids can look up to, feel loved and supported by. Motto: "Decide what you want. Believe you can have it. Believe you deserve it. Believe it's possible for you."
About Tegan
Blaine Howitt
Enrichment Program Coordinator
Blaine has been with the ABK Enrichment program for nearly 5 years and truly loves interacting with the kids, helping them grow into outstanding young people. Blaine’s strengths include diligence in the organization of student activities, and scheduling. Strong communication with families and their children is another of Blaine’s strengths. Motto: "I love inside jokes. I'd love to be a part of one someday."
About Blaine
Connie Ivey
Dance Instructor, Gymnastics Coach, and Customer Service Specialist
Connie is a big believer in learning from her mistakes and allowing herself to grow and be strengthened by what she learns. She has grown tremendously from applying this principle in her life, her marriage of 24 years, her relationship with her two sons, ages 16 and 19, her work relationships, and her social relationships. Connie enjoys sharing this with young people through her coaching by creating a fun, nurturing, and nonjudgmental environment where it is safe to make mistakes and grow. Connie has had the privilege of working with children of all ages in several arenas over her life: Nanny, Cub Scout Den Mother, Fun with Music teacher at Kid Time, Tutor & Camp Director for Classical Conversations (kindergarten age to high school age), Sunday School Teacher, volunteer at Children's Festival, Camp Counselor, and Homeschool Mom. Motto: “Children are souls to be nurtured, not products to be measured." - Andrew Kern
About Connie
Megan Jauert
Dance Instructor
Megan, originally from Temecula, California, moved to the Rogue Valley to attend SOU where she is currently a junior. In her free time she enjoys being outdoors and staying active. Megan has 12 years of dance experience on various competition teams in the California area. Motto: “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” -Walt Disney
About Megan
Chrislyn Kircher
Gymnastics Coach and Enrichment Instructor
Chrislyn is married to a military man, so she’s not always working at ABK, but it is her favorite place to work! She has a dog named Dean, and he's her baby. Chrislyn has been working with children for about 8 years, and did gymnastics at ABK as a child. She absolutely loves working with children. Teaching is what she is most passionate about, and she hopes to open her own preschool one day. Motto: ¡Sea feliz!
About Chrislyn
Caylee Lesly
Dance Instructor
Caylee loves art, dancing, kids, animals, and music. She started gymnastics at age 7, dance at 11, and began teaching dance here at ABK as a Junior Instructor at 14. Caylee is a member of ABK’s award winning Dance team and most recently played the lead role in ABK’s production of The Grinch. Motto: “You can’t change the past but you can embrace the future.”
About Caylee
Madysen Lesly
Gymnastics Coach
Madysen is currently in the 9-month long Reserve Officer Law Enforcement Academy, while also enrolled at RCC, and working toward her major in Criminology and a minor in Spanish. Madysen adores working with children and watching them grow in the sport of gymnastics, both physically and mentally. She did gymnastics at ABK for about 6 years, reaching a Level 6 Recreational level. Madysen also did cheerleading for 4 years, and dance for 1 year at South Medford High School, at both the sideline and competitive level. Motto: “Don’t get so caught up in where you are now, you’re already better for wanting to be better.”
About Madysen
Alyssa Lytle
Gymnastics Department Leader and Team ABK Gymnastics Head Coach
Alyssa has lived in the Rogue Valley her whole life and graduated from Crater High School. She married her husband in 2014 and had a son, Wade, in 2017. Alyssa loves tacos and tea. She has been coaching since 2008 here at ABK and currently coaches everything from babies to teens at every level of gymnastics ABK has to offer. Alyssa was a gymnast for 14 years prior to coaching and has coached many state and regional champions in her career thus far. Alyssa’s favorite event to coach is Uneven Bars. Motto: “All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be.”
About Alyssa
Andrea Majano
Gymnastics Department Leader
Andrea, also known as Coach Dre, loves kids and teaching. Always bringing a smile is her biggest contribution to the ABK environment. Andrea started at ABK as a student in various activities, has been coaching since 2013, and a gymnastics department leader since 2017. Andrea is also one of our preschool teachers and a Starguard certified lifeguard. Motto: "Ohana" means family. Family means one one gets left behind."
About Andrea
David Mann
Maintenance and Janitorial Specialist
David works hard to pay for his hobbies. Reading, hiking, martial arts, and pc gaming keep him going. David’s specialties include fixing things that are broken and cleaning things that are dirty.
About David
Wade Mann
Karate Instructor
Mr. Mann started martial arts later in life in 2010 and has been teaching for more than 7 years. Before martial arts he was an Oregon state champion BMX racer (1984), a U.S. Army Combat Veteran (1990), and has been a Network Administrator for over 20 years. Mr. Mann received his Associates Degree in Computer Science in 1997. In his spare time, he likes to play both computer and tabletop games.
About Wade
Emily Martin
Assistant Department Leader of ABK Swim School
Emily is primarily a senior swim instructor and lifeguard in the swim department. She will also “guest star” occasionally in preschool gymnastics, after school care, and customer service. In her spare time Emily loves swimming, snowboarding, anything Disney, and being outdoors. She has over ten years of swim experience as an athlete and/or coach. Emily is a certified lifeguard, CPR, and First Aid instructor trainer. She is also a former (OG) ABK kid and worked as a volunteer for 3 years prior to being hired. Emily has been apart of ABK as an employee since 2012 but has been involved in one way or another for nearly 16 years! Her life outside of ABK has been filled with pursuing an early education & psychology degree. Emily hopes to teach 3rd grade in the near future! Motto: "The things that make me different are the things that make me, me". - Piglet
About Emily
Preston Martinez
Camp Instructor
Preston is one of our ABK Summer Day Camp instructors.
About Preston
Megan McIntosh
Swim Instructor and Dance Teacher
Megan is a swim and dance teacher at ABK and a new mother of a baby boy. She is going to school to become a teacher and has experience working with kids from internships at Kidventure preschool, Jewett Elementary, and Walker Elementary. She has practiced ballet since she could walk and loves teaching everything she knows to her students. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain” Vivian Greene
About Megan
Thomas Mullaney
Enrichment Instructor and Gymnastics Coach
Thomas teaches gymnastics and assists in the Afterschool Care and Camp programs at ABK.
About Thomas
Russell O'Connor
Senior Vice President and Martial Arts Department Leader
About Russ: Russ was born and raised in southern Oregon and is a father of 3 boys. He is a 4th degree black belt, receiving his Master in 2010 right here at America’s Best Karate. Russ has been involved in martial arts since 1995 and holds a few rankings in the NBL/SKIL circuit. . In addition to his many years of studying Tae Kwon Do he has also trained in Karate, Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling and weapons. At the age of 14 he became an assistant instructor with Master Berryessa and found he had a passion for teaching. By the age of 16 Master O’Connor was teaching full time as a lead instructor working with students from 3 to 70 years of age. Master O’Connor has conducted hundreds of safety and leadership seminars in public and private elementary schools throughout the Rogue Valley as well as numerous Women’s Self Defense workshops. Motto: "What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you." R.W. Emerson
About Russ
Jon Oppelt
Gymnastics Coach and Swim Instructor
Jon is a fun loving father, brother and son. He has a daughter and 8 nieces and nephews, so being a parental figure definitely comes naturally. Jon loves to be active, including snowboarding and skating and surfing. He sincerely enjoys coaching and everyone he works with. Jon played sports all through school and was a cheerleader his senior year at North Medford High School. That’s when he fell in love with flipping and all that comes with it. Motto: “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t... You’re right.”
About Jon
Maiya Ramirez
Gymnastics Coach
Maiya grew up here in southern Oregon and participated in competitive gymnastics as a child and competitive cheer all through high school. Maiya also enjoys dance, especially Hip Hop, and is an aspiring make-up artist.
About Maiya
Makayla Reiss
Gymnastics Coach
Kayla is a senior at South Medford Highschool and loves snowboarding and working with kids. She was a gymnast at ABK for almost 12 years and started coaching in 2019. Motto: “If you don’t do it this year, you’ll just be one year older when you do.”
About Makayla
Marisa Richard
Gymnastics Coach
Marisa is an eco-friendly hardworking mom, a gym enthusiast, and a business owner with a silly heart full of love. She has been around children her whole life and being a mom herself just adds extra love and care for the ones she gets to teach everyday! Motto: “Dreams don't work unless you do.”
About Marisa
Kellianne Richardson
Dance Instructor
Kellianne enjoys dancing and performing, and loves to work with kids. She loves to spread the joy that is dance. Kellianne has been dancing at ABK since she was 4, and has been teaching classes for the past 6 months. I enjoy jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, and musical theatre styles most. Motto: “You'll never fail until you stop trying.”
About Kellianne
Felicity Sayler
Dance Instructor
Felicity is a dance instructor at ABK. She specializes in Tap and Pom styles of dance.
About Felicity
Eliana Sherbourne
Swim Instructor
Eliana teaches swim classes at ABK Swim School.
About Eliana
Randi Slayton
Gymnastics Coach
Randi has 3 daughters with 1 on the gymnastics team. She has worked at ABK for over 8 years and loves working with children. In addition to working at ABK she also works at an elementary school. Motto: “We believe that everyone's feelings count and that the uniqueness of each of us strengthens all of us.”
About Randi
Jordan Sparks
Enrichment Director
As the Enrichment Director at America's Best Kids, every day Jordan has the extraordinary privilege of working with amazing students! His strengths include the ability to work with a variety of age groups, and to create a fun, and safe environment for students and their families. Motto: "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun."
About Jordan
Shasta Summers
Gymnastics Coach
Anyone that knows Shasta, knows her to be an easygoing, energetic person. She has always valued good relationships with people and is a family oriented person. Shasta grew up in the Medford area and is very happy to call it her home. She started working at ABK in 2017. Shasta loves working with kids and seeing how resilient and capable kids are. Being able to encourage them and help them overcome even the smallest obstacles, is the biggest blessing for her. Motto: “Let all that you do be done in love.”
About Shasta
Pasha Timofeyev
Dance Instructor
Pasha was born in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. At the age of 8, he was one of an elite group of students selected to train with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. In 2000, his family moved to the United States. Pasha continued his classical training with Pamela Hayes in Sacramento, CA. While under Pamela's tutelage, Pasha was featured in soloist roles throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in productions including The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Mary Poppins, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, A Chorus Line, and Cinderella. During this time, he also worked on modern technique with Jen Bradford. In the summer of 2011, Pasha was invited to dance at Project Launch, where he had the opportunity to work with Ben Levey, Sidra Bell, Tina Bohnstedt, Cosmin Marceletiu, Lee Wei Chao, and other modern choreographers. Pasha was most recently on stage with the Dancing People Company in Ashland, OR in 2015-16 under the modern direction of Robin Stiehm.
About Pasha
Baylie Ward
Gymnastics Coach
Baylie is an All State Cheerleader for North Medford Highschool, retired level 8 competitive gymnast, and an amazing gymnastics coach at ABK.
About Baylie
Isaiah Ward
iward@abkfun.com
Isaiah Ward is a part of the swim department at ABK. He is currently a high school senior going to RCC through a charter school called Baker. Isaiah has been swimming for 7 years, qualifying for high school state championships three years in a row. As a result, he has a desire to share his swim skills with the swim students at ABK. Motto: “Don’t you quit; you keep going, there are good things to come.”
About Isaiah
Jessica Watson
Enrichment Instructor and Swim Instructor
Jessie assists in ABK's After School Care and Day Camp programs in addition to teaching swimming.
About Jessica
McKenna Wizner
Camp Instructor
McKenna teaches in the ABK Summer Day Camp program.
About McKenna