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918 E. Pass Rd. • Gulfport, MS 39507
Kid Academy Kids
Matt Dickens , Executive Director & Owner

Matt Dickens is the Executive Director and founder of Kid Academy.  Matt graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business.  He also received a Credential Director’s License from the State of Mississippi in 2004.  Matt’s vision of owning a pre-school started as a school project in his Entrepreneurship Class while attending college.   In April 2000, Matt made his studies a reality when he opened Kid Academy with 28 students at the age of 24.


Matt is a “hands on” owner and works closely with Kid Academy’s Principal Hope Hendry in day-to-day operations.  Matt is a hard-core believer in customer service.  His door is always open for any and all concerns.  Plus, he publicly gives out his personal mobile number and accepts phone calls seven days a week from 9:00am to 9:00pm.  Even though it is not his title, he considers himself the Customer Service Department of Kid Academy.


Matt encourages all parents and students to stop by his office at the end of each day.  He loves rewarding students with a sticker each day as they head out for home.

Hope Tinsman , Principal

Mrs. Hope Tinsman is our Principal, a role she is very comfortable serving in because she served as an assistant principal and principal in the public schools for seven years. Mrs. Hope is also now a part of WKAR for the Hope and Go Go Morning Show.  Serving and educating children is a passion that Ms. Hope has been dedicated to the past 19 years.


Ms. Hope’s pride and joy is her two children, Hanna, 21 and Daulton, 18.  Spending time with her children, reading and walking on the beach are just some of the activities that she enjoys doing during her free time.  Ms. Hope will be working hard each day to ensure students receive a quality education by writing curriculum that will prepare the students for kindergarten.  Please feel free to let her know of any concerns or praises that you may have.

Margaux Kleinman , Vice Principal

Ms. Margaux has been with Kid Academy for six years.  She has worked as a part time teacher with our afterschool students, a full time teacher in the Junior Toddler room, and has also served as the Office Manager for three years. Ms. Margaux is currently serving as one of our Vice Principals. She is a Credentialed Director, C. D. in the State of Mississippi and is eager to continue her education while working alongside Mrs. Hope, our Principal.


She is also a part of WKAR on the “Hope and Go Go Morning Show” and enjoys reading books, spending time with her family, and traveling to an abundance of destinations. She is always ready to assist our customers with the enrollment process as well as answer any questions they may have. Ms. Margaux’s goal is to make sure that their experience with Kid Academy is a positive one.

Nick Arnold , Vice Principal

Nick Arnold is our newest addition to the Kid Academy Management Team.  Nick serves as one of our Vice Principals at Kid Academy. He comes to us with many years of experience in customer service.  He enjoys greeting people and assisting them in solving any concerns they may have.  Mr. Nick has a four year old son, Noah, who also attends Kid Academy.


In his spare time, you may see Mr. Nick on the ball field or at the park with Noah.  He also enjoys fitness and watching football.  You are certain to see Mr. Nick in the hallways each day, making sure everything runs smoothly for the teachers, students and parents.

Gale York , Morning Director

Gale York has been a part of the Kid Academy Family for 16 years.  She has served as a Director, Curriculum Coordinator and Teacher.  Currently, you will see Ms. Gale each morning greeting students and parents as they come in during the morning as the Morning Director.  Ms. Gale, also currently assists Ms. Hope designing curriculum so that each child has a great learning experience.  Ms. Gale is also teaching our Pre-K5 students each day!


During her spare time, Ms. Gale enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren and enjoys cooking.  Parents are sure to love Ms. Gale’s experience, passion for teaching and creative ideas.

Lisa VanCourt , Special Events Director

Ms. Lisa was born and raised on the MS Gulf Coast.  She has spent much of her career in Sales and Marketing. She served as Kid Academy's Director of Operations from 2005 to 2008 and returned to Kid Academy in 2014 as the school's Special Events Manager. Ms. Lisa, known around the school as "LuLu", is also part of the WKAR radio crew and is co-host of the "Matt and LuLu Show".


During her free time Ms Lisa enjoys reading, movies and spending time with her two dogs Lucy Opal and Hunter.

© Copyright 2016. Kid Academy.

Site designed and maintained by Odom Creative Services.

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Over 9,000 Sq. Ft. of

Pre-School and over 4,000 Sq. Ft. of playground fun!


Kid Academy's mission is to provide a Christian, safe, learning environment for all students and offer pre-school classes to prepare our students for Kindergarten while having fun.


Call and make an appointment today or just stop by and see why parents are choosing Kid Academy for their child's pre-school experience!


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