Our Mission

      Our Center is dedicated to help children thrive; to assist families to nurture and guide their children; to maintain a supportive community; and to strengthen Austin so it remains a good place to live. To fulfill this mission the Center sets forth these core beliefs.

      We cherish all children and want the best for them. We believe parents have the primary responsibility for nurturing and guiding their children and we will be there to support them in this responsibility. By helping parents in doing this, we will be forming a partnership and will teach their children together. We value relationships and community collaborative that are flexible, responsive and respectful to family life needs.

     With these goals in mind, the Center offers nurturing, age appropriate academia and social stimuli to all children enrolled in its program that the results may be a child ready for entrance into school.

Background & Teachers

     Discovery Learning Center is owned by Randy and Deidre Smith. Deidre has a Degree in Child Development and has been working in the Preschool industry for 7 years. Deidre has worked for three different Preschools. These Preschools include; Children's Place in Rochester, MN, Citi Bank Family Center in Sioux Falls, SD and Stewartville Child Care Center in Stewartville, MN. Other related experience includes working as a Family Support Director for Hiawatha Homes of Rochester, MN. Deidre is currently the Director and Lead Teacher of the Preschool room.

     Randy has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and has been a Franchise Manager for a lawn care company in Sioux Falls, SD. Randy also recently worked for Pepsi in Sioux Falls and Rochester and is still working outside the Center. Randy is acting as the Accountant for Discovery.

     Cindy Skolte worked in the infant program at Kids Korner and a short time at Apple Lane. Most of Cindy's experience comes from running an in home daycare for 8 years. Cindy is one of the Infant Teachers but has worked with all age groups in the past.

     Sarah Weis is currently a sub at Discovery and has 7 years experience working with all age groups from infant to preschool. Sarah worked all 7 years at Kids Korner and is finishing her Bachelors Degree in Business Administration at South West State.

     Deanna Weis is also a substitute teacher and has been working for Kids Korner for over 16 years and currently holds the site supervisor position for the after school program. Before starting at Kids Korner, she ran an in-home daycare and raised her three children.

     Beth Berhow is Discovery's Preschool teacher and brings a lot of experience to this program. For 7 years, Beth worked at St. Edwards Nursery. For 11 years, she worked at Austin's YMCA Preschool and until taking a position with Discovery, she worked for Early Childhood Family Education. Beth has an AAS degree in Child Care and Development and has taken many child related classes outside her degree.

     Melissa Ihrke is Discovery's newest teacher and is also one of the infant teachers. Melissa has an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and was pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education at Winona State. Melissa recently worked for Hiawatha Homes and provided care and assistance to mentally challenged and handicapped children.

*More Teachers will be listed as they are hired.