Janice Plante says her 10-year-old son was a selfish, misbehaved child with no self-confidence and did not respect authority.
Then, Cody joined KC’s Tae Kwon Do.
“When he did,” Janice says, “We began to notice a change in his behavior at home and school.”
Cody gained self-confidence through the encouragement of KC’s owners Karen and Chuck Conover. “They were always teaching him how to be a good role model in his community and how to turn his ‘bad choices’ into good ones.”
Now at 17, Cody is a leader and volunteer in his community. He is a role model to youth and adults, a 2nd-degree black belt, and an A/B student at South Verde High School.
KC’s is a “wonderful family business,” says Merrilane Zellner. “I have seen it personally change my grandson into a fine young man who has learned many things from the teachings. They have taught young students and parents alike to be better citizens and be productive. They are even helping the older students get prepared for college and helping them apply for scholarships so that they are better prepared in becoming adults. Most of all it is so family oriented.”
The full name of the Verde Pride award winner is KC’s Tae Kwon Do and Tumbling. It offers tae kwon do training, tumbling, cardio fitness and self-defense, teaching ages 3 and up,
Karen Conover is the head instructor and owner. She is a 3rd degree black belt in American Freestyle Tae Kwon Do. She also has a Masters Degree in Music Education and has taught privately and in public school.
“I had been an instructor in a different school, but after securing my 2nd Degree Black Belt, I knew it was time to open my own studio. My husband and family all did martial arts, and we personally saw the benefit and wanted to bring those advantages to the entire community.”
The Camp Verde studio opened first in 2006 and the Cottonwood studio opened later. There are about 250 students between the two locations.
A student herself, Conover currently studies martial arts under 5th Degree Master Shanon Preston in Mesa.
KC’s facilities in Camp Verde and Cottonwood are staffed by a 40-person leadership team. The team includes black belts, under-belt and parents who are training in a high-level skill class on instructing and assisting martial arts students.