Our passionate, highly trained staff is committed to helping our students thrive as gymnasts and individuals. It is our mission to create an environment where all children can play and grow.
Karissa Johnson, Owner & Instructor
Karissa is the proud founder of Spectra Gymnastics. She has been teaching in the gymnastics industry for the past 15 years in a variety of roles throughout her career. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and has worked as an ABA Therapist since 2008. With her blended background of gymnastics and behavioral therapy, she has created specialized programs at Spectra to teach a variety of social, emotional and communication skills through the movement of gymnastics. She has an undying passion for creating inclusive environments for all abilities and diverse learners. “It is such an honor and privilege to work with our community of learners at Spectra. I believe in using a variety of approaches and strategies to guide our students into reaching their fullest potential”.
Karissa gives presentations on her programs and experience through USA Gymnastics' Regional and National Congresses each year.
She is currently developing online coursework that will be the building blocks to creating inclusive gymnastics programs worldwide.
Jesse Norris, Instructor
Jesse graduated from Quest University Canada in 2013 with a major in Psychology. He has since worked as a counselor and teacher at a residential treatment center for children and at an alternative high school in S.E. Portland. Jesse has seven years of coaching experience in basketball, coaching last season at Cleveland High School. He has many years of playing experience in basketball, football and baseball. Jesse believes in working towards goals as an individual and as a team. He is an incredible role model and strives to teach classes that inspire minds to create!
Jordan Wagner, Office Manager
Jordan has a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Art from Colorado State University. She is currently in her final year of the M.A. in Art Therapy Counseling program from Marylhurst University. Jordan participated in competitive volleyball and soccer for six years before beginning college. She has professional experience as a teacher assistant, childcare provider, and art therapy intern. She brings a strong knowledge base in social skill building, group-work, and creative play. Jordan is very excited to be a part of the Spectra Gymnastics team!
Ellie Wirth, Instructor
Ellie is currently an optional level 9 gymnast at Oregon Metropolitan Elite Gymnastics Academy, also known as Omega. She has competed in gymnastics in the U.S. Junior Olympic program since she was six years old and holds many state titles. Gymnastics is her passion and favorite sport, and she loves every minute she spends in the gym. Ellie volunteered weekly at Spectra from 2015 through 2017 and is now a proud member of the Spectra teaching team! She enjoys coaching other athletes who are also diagnosed with ASD (and related disorders) and she loves every minute of teaching others.
Kendra Weisner, Instructor
Kendra has been working with children for almost 15 years and has a background in ABA and Early Childhood Education. Her teaching style incorporates a fun approach to skill building, by using a little bit of humor and a lot of imagination. Her experience as a mother has developed her appreciation for the strength it takes parents to raise children with special needs, and she is honored to be a source of support for these amazing families. Kendra is a firm believer that world would be a far better place if we all worked a little less and played a lot more!
Sydney Hinze, Instructor and Social Media Manager
Sydney was a competitive cheerleader for ten years beginning at the age of six. She was a coach for the first special needs cheerleading team in Oregon. She is currently pursuing her degree in psychology. Sydney brings a fun and playful approach to her role as gymnastics instructor, while maintaining a structured environment. She is excited to be a part of the Spectra team!