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Our Staff



Executive Director

Dana was born and raised in South Florida. She found her forever home here, in Elizabeth City, with two awesome boys and their dad. They love doing all things outdoors in their free time!

Dana has worked with children of all ages and abilities. She has experience opening and running childcare centers, shadowing children with special needs, nannying for twins and triplets along with sleep training, plus coaching families in positive behavior and redirection. Dana's passion has always been educating children

and watching them thrive!




Kelly was born and raised near Dayton Ohio. She served in the Air Force for six years and moved to Elizabeth City in 2007. She and her husband, Chris Harris, have 3 incredible children who love to travel and spend time exploring outdoors. Kelly taught Preschool and Kindergarten in the Elizabeth City area for 10 years. She loves seeing children learn and grow while exploring the world around them.




Gavin was born and raised right here in Elizabeth City. From a young age, he had a strong interest in engineering, computers and robotics. He has worked hard on his school's FRC (robotics) team and loves doing it! He has put many hours into volunteering at Port Discover and is also a soon-to-be Eagle Scout! Gavin is very excited to grow and expand Port Discover's computer and robotics programs.




Sarah was born in Virginia but grew up in Elizabeth City. As a kid she grew up coming to Port Discover which sparked her love of science. She has been a Girl Scout since she was 5 so she has worked educating young children for many years. She loves helping kids learn just as she did. 




Maria was born and raised in Ohio where she earned her bachelor's degree in Tourism Administration and Event Planning from Bowling Green State University. She moved to Elizabeth City when she took an internship at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City where she met her husband.  They have three beautiful daughters who love dancing, swimming, and exploring nature! She has experience with homeschooling and helping children with special needs and sensory processing challenges.  She is passionate about caring for people and is excited to grow with the local community!




Margaret Flis, originally from Auburn, Maine, studied at the University of Southern Maine before spending three decades teaching in Northern Virginia. Now residing in Elizabeth City, NC with her husband and daughter, Margaret brings extensive experience working with children of all ages, teaching art and life skills. In her spare time, she enjoys flower arranging, art, gardening, and homeschooling her daughter, aiming to foster a passion for lifelong learning and curiosity at Port Discover.

To be pictured soon...

Board of Directors

Dr. Abe Meilich, Chairperson 

Melyssa Durren Andrus, CMA, Vice Chairperson

Jennifer Stallings, Southern Bank, Treasurer

Ashleigh Arsenault, AACF, Secretary

James Reynolds, Elizabeth City State University

Dr. Tim Witwer, Community Member

Dave McLoughlin, USCG

Quinnton Lawson, USN

Meredith Wilkins, ARHS

Joshua Sawyer, EdS, NBCT, ECPPS

Melanie Metzler, B&M Contractors

Board Email:

Port Discover: Northeastern North Carolina's Center for Hands-On Science

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