Encore Story


Johnny and Denise Griffin were married in November of 1991. They were two professional artists and entertainment managers working in the corporate hospitality world. They would gain valuable knowledge during their business careers and while spending a decade on tour of the United States that brought them to 27 states in the union. After the birth of their third child, they decided they no longer wished to travel. Johnny went into teaching and Denise became a marketing manager for a major publishing company. In 2004, Denise had a back injury that resulted in a two year period where she was under care and in a wheelchair. During this time, Johnny and Denise were forced to reevaluate their life. They decided they wanted to teach children what they learned while touring the country as professional artists and opened Star Quest Arts Academy, an after school program that focused on helping children get quality stage time throughout the state of California. Johnny and Denise were trying to find a way to be able to offer arts classes to students that may not have opportunity. (Living on one income with three children made it difficult for them to fund classes for their own children.)

In 2007, Encore Education Corporation was founded by Johnny and Denise Griffin, with the help of the third founding member Paula Gharib. At the time, the three were operating the after school program in Miss Paula’s drama classroom at Hesperia High School. (Paula had been teaching for seventeen years.) In the fall of 2007, HUSD approved the charter petition for the opening of Encore in the high desert. The first Encore was opened on 08/08/08 with 581 students. Encore Education Corporation is a non profit corporation.

As the success and reputation of Encore continued to grow, Johnny and Denise Griffin (COO and CEO respectively) realized the need for expansion. They realized that the amazing team that had created the Encore family was hungry to be able to offer opportunities to children across the state. This was a move to help the students of California and not a move for power and fortune. (All salaries within Encore are based on districts where Encore schools are located.) The expansion plan for the Encore family would give the team opportunity for growth within Encore creating lifelong career paths, AND an opportunity for students with diverse backgrounds to explore their passion for the arts. Did we mention that by doing this countless doors have been opened to major universities worldwide for students of Encore from Dublin University to UCLA to Nebraska University to Yale?

Encore is moving into the ten year celebration and it is hard to believe that an idea that started on a kitchen table with three people has grown to an organization with over 200 employees serving just under 2,000 students each year.

At Encore, everyone from the staff to the parents to the students are considered family.
It is the magic of hard work and family spirit that has made Encore successful.