Meet Our Instructors

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My interest in fitness began in my early thirties. After years as a sedentary smoker, friends convinced me to try some classes at the gym, as well as a 5K race. I soon became a regular at the gym, and in local fun runs. I quit smoking and made the commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

I’m now a group fitness instructor, certified in LES MILLS™ BODYPUMP™ and BODYFLOW®. I enjoy sharing my passion with my class participants, and I feel a personal connection with each and every one of them. My love for running has also grown. I have completed many races, road and trail, ranging in distance from 5K to Marathon.

My fitness goals include becoming a LES MILLS™ RPM instructor, attending an in-depth Yoga instructor training, and completing an ultra-marathon.

–Laugh as much as you breathe, love as long as you live.

Rose Chapman
3 Plus Years’ Experience

I started working out at The ARK shortly after it opened. My first class was RPM™ and I fell in love with LES MILLS™. After a year and a half, I decided to become an instructor and attended RPM™ training. Shortly after, I added CXWORX™ with BODYPUMP™ following a year after that. I enjoy watching others go through their own journey of health and fitness and love to see them smash their goals.

Sara Verscha
3 Plus Years’ Experience

Originally from Pennsylvania, my passion for sports and fitness began very young and ultimately led to my involvement in high school and college. In the summer of 1983 after a year at a regular university, I entered the United States Military Academy at West Point. There I was a competitive swimmer and diver for the ARMY team and also competed in Triathlon. In 1987, I graduated an Engineer Officer with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and my first and only duty station was Fort Leonard Wood Missouri.

In May 1992, I transitioned out of the Army and started my career as a civil servant and defense contractor. I married Greg Adank in 1990 who retired from the Army in 1996 and currently serves as the director of the Network Enterprise Center for Fort Leonard Wood. Together we have four children and 5 grandchildren. Our youngest child, Josh, is a student at Waynesville High School.

I became certified in three LES MILLS™ programs in 2014. The first was RPM™, the second was BODYPUMP™, and the third was BODYFLOW®. My fitness philosophy parallels my life’s philosophy of finding contentment and being happy with who you are and what you do. Everyone has a purpose and to fulfill our purpose we need to be healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. Through those three tenants, life is fun, and full of meaning and purpose. If health and fitness is fun, people will embrace it as part of their lives. I have a goal of once again swimming competitively as a Masters Swimmer and triathlete. I occasionally volunteer as a part time coach for the Lebanon Yellow Jackets Swim team, and I’m also a certified Level I USA/YMCA swim official.

Val Adank
2 Plus Years’ Experience

I am a long-term residence of Dixon/Waynesville area. I am married to an amazing man, Billy, and I have two handsome boys and two beautiful girls.

A few years ago I turned 30 and decided to take charge of my health and become more athletic in my life. I started using the ARK, because of the amazing childcare that they offer. It was the perfect place for a mom to drop off her children and get a couple hours of fitness in her life. After a year, the group fitness instructors convinced me to try a group fitness class. One time was all it took for me to be hooked and I instantly fell in love with group fitness. The motivation and friendships that develop in group fitness classes are truly amazing. I soon went from the student to the instructor. In 2014 I became certified in LES MILLS™ BODYCOMBAT™ and then followed that by becoming certified in BODYFLOW® and BODYPUMP™.

In 2015, I was hired on as the Health and Fitness Director at the ARK. This has been a huge blessing for me to be able to help my instructors and classes grow as well as speak with my members and potential members about their personal needs and wants in health and fitness. This has led me to work towards my personal trainer certification, which will be completed this year.

I believe fitness success is when a person can truly look in the mirror and be happy with who they are and where they are in their life and not by the standards of society. Fitness is more than what you look like, but also improving your health, self-esteem and quality of life. The ARK has helped me achieve my own personal fitness success and I love being able to help others find their personal fitness success as well.

Carrie Tollison
2 Plus Years’ Experience

My name is Jessica and this is my fitness journey. Limitations live only in our minds; but if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. I used to limit myself to a box – and by creating a box, I limited my fitness journey.

2014- I needed to fit the dress. I had 6 months to get ready for the ball. Once the ball had come and gone, I gained the weight right back: 204 pounds.

2015- Once again, there was yet another dress. I had to fit into it—had to look good. I started exercising again, but after the ceremony passed, so did my diet!

2016- In January, I made a decision. Not for an event, not for someone else. I made the personal commitment to change my lifestyle. It started with RPM and I fell in love with it! I received my first Les Mills certification. Soon, I incorporated BODYPUMP to increase my strength. I learned that year that fitness is not a seasonal hobby; it’s a lifestyle. Fitness is a commitment.

Since then, I have received two additional certifications in Sprint and the GRIT Series. Over this journey I have been blessed to have had The ARK CSC staff and patrons to inspire me along the way.

It did hurt! It took time and required dedication and willpower. I had to make healthy decisions that included sacrifices. I had to push myself and become uncomfortable. There was temptation—but I promise all of it was worth it! When you reach your goal, that’s when lifestyle is formed. Most of all, I learned that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Phil. 4:13

Jessica Spencer
RPM™ Sprint™ GRIT™
1 Plus Years’ Experience

Jacques walden
Zumba gold™

I found a passion for health and wellness over 10 years ago because I knew I needed to make a change. My motivation came from the need to improve the health of my four children, husband and myself who were all diagnosed “at risk for diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.”

Since then, I have received specialty certifications that include SilverSneakers® Classic, SilverSneakers® Yoga 1&2, SilverSneakers® Aqua, SilverSneakers® Circuit, TRX, and LES MILLS™ BODYPUMP™. My accreditations for Personal Training, Nutrition Basics and Group Fitness were obtained from AFAA. Another recent achievement came from opening my own personal training business that provides in home personal training services. My future goals include maintaining the optimum health and wellness for myself, family and clients. I’m so honored to have been a part of The Ark team since 2012.

Kirstan Carpenter
SilverSneakers® Classic, Yoga 1&2, Aqua & Circuit, TRX, Personal Trainer, BODYPUMP™
10 Plus Years’ Experience

I am a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor with 11 years of experience in the fitness industry. My other certifications include LES MILLS™ BODYPUMP™ and BODYFLOW®, Turbo Kick®,SilverSneakers®, and Golden Hearts. I have worked with a wide variety of clientele with different goals and all fitness levels. In recent years, my focus has shifted to working with special populations. This group includes seniors, as well as clients returning from or working through major injury, medical condition, or disability.

I love to find ways to make the body work when traditional exercises can’t be done. Because everyone should have the opportunity to get healthy, I approach each client’s needs knowing there’s no one way to exercise. I believe that no matter one’s limitations, there’s always a way to incorporate fitness to improve quality of life.

I am a Florida native who made Waynesville my home 16 years ago. I’m married to my husband, Jesse, and we have three children, James, Amelia, and Christian.

Adrianne Falge
BODYPUMP™ BODYFLOW® Turbo Kick® SilverSneakers® Golden Hearts, Personal Training
11 Plus Years’ Experience


Hello everyone!!! My name is Meleena Littlejohn and I am super excited to be training at The Ark. I have been in the health and fitness industry for over five years now and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE WHAT I DO! My bachelor’s degree is in behavioral health and I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in Sports and Fitness Management. My personal training and nutrition certifications are from AFFA (Aerobics & Fitness Association of America).

When it comes to personal training, I specialize in weight loss and muscle building. I currently work full time at the Army Wellness Center on Fort Leonard Wood and pride myself in helping the Fort Leonard Wood and surrounding areas lead a healthier lifestyle. Most of all, I want to inspire each and every client to reach their goals, whatever that goal may be. We reach ALL goals TOGETHER. Please contact me at 270-839-7841 for personal training details or The Ark in Waynesville at 573-337-9128

Meleena Littlejohn
Personal Trainer
5 Plus Years’ Experience

CXWORX™ Bodypump™

Kelli Skinner Pirtle
5 Plus Years’ Experience