Elite Learning Academy and Founder Shannon Gunn Recipient of December Good Neighbor Award

LEWISVILLE, TEXAS – The students and staff of Elite Learning Academy (ELA) have been presented the Good Neighbor Award for December 2016. This monthly honor is presented to individuals and/or organizations by Loving Community, a neighborhood advocacy group in recognition of their outstanding volunteer and community involvement.

Elite Learning Academy was founded in 2005 by Ms. Shannon Gunn who continues as director 11 years later. The Coppell based school enrolling 1st – 8th grade students is associated and operates inside of Texas Dream Gymnastics http://texasdreams.com. The academy provides young gymnasts an opportunity to both train and learn in an environment that compliments their unique and rigorous gymnastics schedules.

Shannon is an innovative educator, and the mother of a former Texas Dream gymnast. Early on she recognized the “value add” of providing a duel environment of training and learning. Since the school’s inception and their first class of five students, ELA has steadily grown and now has seventy-two students enrolled and a staff of four full time and three part time faculty.

The school’s success has mirrored that of Texas Dreams Gymnastics which was founded by Texan and world champion, olympic medalist, and hall of fame gymnast Kim Zmeskal-Burdette in 2001.

Alumni now number in the hundreds. Many are award winning gymnast with student Ragan Smith being part of the 2016 USA Olympic team. Others are scholarship awarded collegiate athletes at schools such as the University of Alabama, University of Florida, University of Oklahoma, UCLA, LSU, Yale, Stanford and others.

From it’s humble beginnings, Gunn said she never could’ve imagined what has transpired over the past decade of educating hundreds of elite gymnasts. She now too enjoys the camaraderie of their close nit teaching team which includes Martha Halter, Michelle Campbell, Sharon Mustain, and Jennifer Zavala.

And excellence in the gym and class room are just part of the overall equation. Building strong character and outstanding community citizens is equally important. This high bar value has led the faculty and staff to annually adopt projects and ways to give back and serve the community.

This December is one of these examples as ELA students chose to link arms with the Lewisville High School Student Council, under the leadership of Ms. Alison Stamey as they organized the 14th annual Lewisville ISD Angel Tree, a gift donation campaign created to provide a wonderful holiday experience for less fortunate children – newborns through 19-year-olds – across district schools.

ELA adopted twelve deserving families from the tree. The students then collected funds and shopped to buy gifts. The gifts were then delivered to the school for Christmas distribution.

Fifth grade student and gymnast Addie said this of her involvement, “It was a lot of fun! It made me feel good to help others, especially at Christmas. I know I am blessed and have lots of things. I’m glad we can show other kids that we care, and can help them to have a better Christmas.”

Jim Mustain, Executive Director of Loving Community reflected that, “It’s always heartening to see people, and especially kids learn how to serve and give back to others. In a ‘me first’ culture, to place the needs of others above our own is invaluable.”

Congratulations to Elite Learning Academy of Texas Dream Gymnastics and Director Shannon Gunn for receiving the December 2016 Good Neighbor Award!

Loving Community’s Good Neighbor award is sponsored by Gaylene Anders of Ebby Halliday Realtors in honor of Ebby Halliday Acers who modeled her life on the principle — “Do something for someone everyday”.

To find out more about Loving Community and the Good Neighbor award, to volunteer, or to nominate a deserving individual or organization, or to learn more about Elite Learning Academy and Texas Dream Gymnastics, contact: Gaylene Anders at http://gaylene.ebby.com,  or Jim Mustain at www.loving-community.net or Shannon Gunn at http://texasdreams.com

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