Discovery Retreat Staff

  • Discovery Retreat Banner - two different photos of students working on labs.



    Aaron Mowell - man with black slicked back hair. Aaron Mowell

    Aaron coordinates the logistics and staffing for Discovery Retreat. Aaron attended Discovery Retreat several times as a college representative for Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf before moving to Austin, Texas. Upon arrival, Aaron joined the DR staff to become more involved in Discovery Retreat. In his free time, Aaron is a Social Studies teacher for the Middle School Department at Texas School for the Deaf and a TSD Summer Camps Specialist. Born deaf, Aaron is a native signer and well versed in various forms of sign language.

    Debbie SchiraldiDebbie S - blonde woman smiling.

    Debbie is the assistant to Aaron Mowell acting as Discovery Retreat liaison to Schools, Parents and Students. She also coordinates much of the ‘behind the scenes’ details for Discovery Retreat. Debbie graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in Accounting and has been working with Discovery Retreat since 2011. Over the past several years, Debbie, who is hearing, has been involved in the Deaf Community and taken many sign language courses that have helped to increase her signing skills.


    David S. Coco, Ph.D. David Coco - Caucasion man smiling.

    David Coco is the 'Founding Father' of Discovery Retreat.  David was born hard of hearing and lost the remainder of his hearing during high school.  David's own experiences growing up plus his love of academia, led him to develop the Discovery Retreat program that brings together mainstream high school students to meet deaf adult role models and explore career opportunities. David has a Ph.D. in Space Physics and Astronomy and worked for over 20 years as a Research Physicist at the University of Texas focusing on developing Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.  He was the Outreach Specialist at the Educational Resource Center on Deafness (ERCOD) for 16 years.  David recently retired in August, 2019.