Dianne Arnett founded the Children’s Discovery Center on Duval Street in September 1979 with the
intention of creating an Austin preschool with a safe environment for children to explore and learn through
hands-on experiences. In August 1991, Kyle Holder took over the school and expanded on that philosophy
in creative new ways. He utilized the current schools of thought in early childhood development to develop
a program using progressive and innovative ideas. In 1996, Kelly McRee became the Educational Director
to help guide the school’s curriculum and shape the philosophy of the school to become even more
developmentally sound. They opened the second Austin preschool location in West Austin, September of
1997 and named it The Discovery School.
In 2004 Kyle and Kelly, along with a few like-minded educators, started a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation to create an elementary school that would be a progressive alternative to the public school system. In 2005 a charter was granted by the State of Texas and The Austin Discovery School was born! Kelly took the reigns as principal, and many of the teachers who shaped the preschool’s philosophy are now teaching there. The charter school serves grades K-6 and is free to the public.
In March 2010, the idea for the Children’s Discovery Center South was hatched, with an opening date of June 2010. After three years at the central school, Lynne Kirby Collier became Site director for the South school, which offers infant and toddler programs and a preschool program. Chris Box and Chrissy Montell are the Assistant Directors. At the Children’s Discovery Center Central, Ros Schneider was promoted to Director in 2006, after teaching for us since 2001. Brittany Overton is the assistant director of our central location. Dustin Withers is the site director at the Discovery School Pre-K program and he has been with the school since 2005. Eva Silver is the Assistant Director.
We are continuously expanding on the progressive, innovative, child -centered educational techniques that we feel are critical for children to have a meaningful preschool experience. At Children’s Discovery Center (CDC), our goal has always been to maintain an environment that is rich in opportunities that instill self-confidence and enable children to develop socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively. We form partnerships with parents to promote a greater understanding of ways in which children grow and learn.