Natalie Ward – Owner
Owner Natalie Ward grew up at Dairy Road Discovery Center. Her mother, Jo Godwin, opened the preschool when Natalie was just 13 years old and it quickly became her home away from home, every summer and afterschool job, and eventually, her own business. Although she wanted to be an architect back in 6th grade, it seems that childcare and education were in her DNA!
Natalie and her husband, Kevin Ward, were raised in Melbourne and met at Dairy Road Discovery Center when he was hired to work with the before and after school program. They got married in 1998 and started their married life in Gainesville. Both graduated from the University of Florida with Master’s Degrees in Elementary Education. Upon graduation and returning to West Melbourne, Natalie came back to the family business, first as a teacher, then as an administrator. Kevin is currently employed as the Media Specialist at Meadowlane Intermediate School. He also wears the hats of handyman, IT specialist, mulch spreader, part time bookkeeper, toilet plunger, amateur painter, and any of the other many needs that come along with owning and operating a preschool!
The couple have 3 wonderful and very busy children of their own, Jake, Avery and Kate. All three attended Dairy Road Discovery Center and now attend Meadowlane Elementary, Westshore Jr./Sr. High, and Melbourne High School.
They are actively involved in dance lessons, Mel-Hi Football, Odyssey of the Mind, and their church’s youth activities. As a family, they all enjoy college football (GO GATORS!), Mexican food, hiking and camping, going to the beach and their Mama Jo’s pool, and regular trips to Walt Disney World.