Meet the Discovery Center Team at Avail Academy

Marlissa Johnson- Site Director and Kinderstart Lead Teacher

Email Marlissa Marlissa first connected with the Discovery Center as a student teacher from Northwestern College in St. Paul. After graduating with her Pre-Primary Degree/Kindergarten Certification and MN Teaching License, Marlissa joined the Discovery Team in 2011 as a Lead Teacher in White Bear Lake. She has also taught at the Stillwater and Minnetonka Discovery Center locations. Marlissa brings great experience and contagious positive energy to the classroom.

Maximizer  Empathy  Developer  Arranger  Strategic 


Melissa Kerr, Lead Discovery Teacher

Email Melissa Melissa has over 10 years experience working with children in schools, church, daycares, camp and home settings. She joined the Discovery Team in 2016 with a BA in English from the University of Northwester-St. Paul and is currently working on her MA in Education degree.  In her free-time, Melissa enjoys visiting family and friends, traveling to MN State Parks, reading and cooking. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not discourage others, it is not self-seeing.”  – 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Deliberative  Relator  Learner  Achiever  Discipline

Jordan Hoem, Assistant Teacher

Jordan began teaching with the Discovery Center in 2017. She has an Associates of Arts degree from North Hennepin Community College in process. Jordan enjoys yoga, soap-making, dance, crochet, health and nutrition. “What day is it?” asked Winnie the Pooh. “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.’ ”  – A. A. Milne




Claire Madden, Assistant Teacher and Extended Care Team Lead

Claire joined the Discovery Center team in 2018. She has a BA in environmental studies and biology and is currently in a Masters program for ESL Education.  Claire enjoys hiking, camping, crafts, dogs and animals. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss