The employees of Ultimate Gymnastics provide a fun and safe learning environment where all children, no matter what skill level, feel successful! Our office staff is always there to make sure our customers' needs are met with a smile.  Our coaches are dedicated to your children and teaching them in the safest, most engaging environment we can provide. 


20+ years of making a difference!  Thank you!

MEET OUR ULTIMATE STAFF!

JR
Halek


Birth Place: Waukegan, Il
Gymnastics experience: Competed for Temper HS. Over 30 years coaching experience including all Rec Levels, Team Levels 3-10 as well as Warren & Lake Forest HS.
Accomplishments:  He has coached High School State Champions.  He is USAG safety certified and CPR certified and AED trained. 
Year started at Ultimate: 1995 Ultimate's very 1st coach.
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Team
Personal information: JR is an officer and member of the SWAT Team.  He resides with his family in Lake Villa. 
​​

Steve
Kams

Gym Manager​​​​​

Birth Place:  Livonia, Michigan 
Accomplishments: CPR certified, AED trained, USAG safety certified. 
Winner of the Tim Rand Award. Coached several State and Regional Champions, as well as National Qualifiers.  
Year started at Ultimate: 1997
Levels taught at Ultimate: Boys Recreational, Flip Flop, Girls Recreational, Girls Team, Preschool
Personal  information:  Steve lives in Kenosha, WI with his son Owen who is also a gymnast at Ultimate.

Wendy Ambrose

Birth Place: Chicago, IL 
Accomplishments: CPR Certified, AED trained, and USAG Safety Certified.  Coached many State Champions. 
Year started at Ultimate: 1998 
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Recreational, Girls Team
Personal Information: Wendy currently lives in Pleasant Prairie, WI with her husband.  They have 3 children.  Wendy's daughter, Kaylin, is a former athlete and current Ultimate coach.  

Debbi Langohr

Preschool & Special Events Director

Birth Place:  Waukegan, IL 
Accomplishments: CPR certified, AED trained, USAG safety certified. 
Year started at Ultimate: 1998
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Recreational, Preschool, Member of Customer Service
Personal  information: Debbi has 2 amazing children who are very talented and are also employed here at Ultimate.

Tina Hoyer

Accomplishments: CPR certified, AED trained, licensed personal trainer (Certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine). Over 12 years coaching experience. 
Year started at Ultimate: 2004
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Recreational, Girls Team


Stacy Etheridge

  Compulsory Team Head Coach
Levels 3-5

Birth Place:  Birmingham, AL
Schooling: Master's degree
Gymnastics Experience: Stacy coached for a combined 7 years at the Performance Academy and Anderson Gymnastics (level 4-8) and was a USAG Compulsory Judge.
Accomplishments: CPR certified, AED trained, USAG safety certified.  Coached many State Champions. 
Year started at Ultimate: 2005
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Recreational, Girls Team
Personal  information: Stacy currently lives in Park City.

Karen McCue

Birth Place:  Minneapolis, MN
Schooling: Carmel Catholic High School, University of Minnesota (Sociology/Swedish) 
Gymnastics Experience: 10 years competitive gymnastics in Minnesota
Accomplishments: CPR certified and AED trained. 
Year started at Ultimate: 2006
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Recreational, Preschool, Member of Customer Service
Personal  information: Karen has 3 kids, her son plays hockey and her youngest daughter was a competitive gymnast at Ultimate.  


Bryce Ring

Birth Place:  Waukegan, IL 
Schooling: Lakes Community High School, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee (Majoring in Percussion Performance) 
Gymnastics Experience:  5 years competive gymnast for Ultimate. 
Accomplishments: CPR certified, AED trained, and USAG Safety Certified. 
Year started at Ultimate: 2008
Levels taught at Ultimate: Boys Recreational, Flip Flop, Preschool, Member of Customer Service
Personal  information: Bryce loves to play the drums in his spare time.  He is currently in a band that places all over Lake County.  Bryce's mom and sister work at Ultimate as well! 


Aly
Ring

Birth Place:  Waukegan, IL 
Schooling: Lakes Community High School, University of Wisconsin- Parkside (Majoring in Psychology) 
Gymnastics Experience:  Started at Ultimate as a toddler and 7 years competive power tumbler for Ultimate. 
Accomplishments: CPR certified, AED trained, and USAG Safety Certified. 
Year started at Ultimate: 2009
Levels taught at Ultimate: Flip Flop,  Girls Recreational, Preschool, Member of Customer Service, Special Needs Coordinator. 
Personal  information: Aly's mom is our very own coach Debbi! Aly's brother is also an employee at Ultimate. 


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Lori Christenson


Birth Place:  Elgin, IL 

Schooling: Warren Township High School, Illinois State University (Graphic Art)
Gymnastics Experience:  Competed for Gymnastics Factory unitl her Freshman year of high school. 
Accomplishments: CPR certified and AED trained
Year started at Ultimate: 2010
Levels taught at Ultimate: Flip Flop, Girls Recreational,  Preschool
Personal  information:  Lori loves to spend time with her family and friends, camping, swimming, bonfires in the summer, sledding and snowmobiling in the winter. 

Kristin
Carpenter

Recreational & XCEL  Director


Birth Place: Lansing, MI

Schooling: Western Michigan University (Community Health Education and Minor in Coaching) 
Gymnastics Experience:  12 years as a gymnast, competed for Great Lake Gymnastics (now known as Twisters USA) and coached recreational gymnastics at Western Michigan University. 
Accomplishments: CPR certified, AED trained, USAG Safety Certified, PACE I & II
Year started at Ultimate: 2012
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Recreational, Preschool, Member of Customer Service 

Kaylin
Mathiesen

Birth Place: Winthrop Harbor, IL 
Schooling: Carthage College
Gymnastics Experience: Grew up coming to work with her mom, Coach Wendy.  Competed gymnastics from age 8 to 18.  She competed for Ultimate and her high school.  She also competed on an All-Star cheerleading team and competition dance team. 
Accomplishments: CPR certified and AED trained
Year started at Ultimate: 2012
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Recreational, Girls Team, Preschool. Kaylin is also one of Ultimate's gym choreographers.  

Personal Infromation: Kaylin is currently a senior at Carthage College.  Kaylin loves to travel and to date has been to 17 countries. 

Danni Pietrzyk


Birth Place: Lake Villa, IL

Schooling: Carmel Catholic High School, University of Wisconsin- Whitewater (B.A) 
Gymnastics Experience: Competed for Ultimate from ages 8-13.  She competed for Carmel and UW-Whitewater. 
Accomplishments: CPR certified and AED trained.  WIAC scholastic honor roll. All American on Balance Beam at UW-Whitewater. 
Year started at Ultimate: 2012
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Recreational, Preschool. 

Ben 
Merz

Boys Team Director
& Head Coach


Birth Place: Hoffman Estates, IL 

Schooling: Some College
Gymnastics Experience: 11 years of club gymnastics.  12+ years coaching all ages (preschool to team).
Accomplishments: CPR certified, AED trained, USAG Pro member, USAG Safety Certified 
Year started at Ultimate: 2013
Levels taught at Ultimate: Boys Recreational, Boys Team, Flip Flop, Girls Recreational. 

Personal Infromation: Ben comes from a gymnastics family with both his mom and sister being gymnastics coaches also.  Ben currently lives in Lake Villa, IL. 

Krystal
Kofoed


Schooling: Northern Illinois University
Gymnastics Experience: Started at Gymnastics Spot at age 2 then began at Ultimate at age 4.  Competitive gymnast at Ultimate from ages 7-18. Competed for Warren high school for 3 years.  
Accomplishments: CPR certified and AED trained
Year started at Ultimate: 2013
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Recreational, Preschool 


Alison Rossman


Birth Place: Lake Forest, IL 

Schooling: University of Wisconsin- Parkside (Psychology)
Gymnastics Experience: Started at Ultimate at age 3, competed for Ultimate from ages 5-Level 7.  Competed Varsity high school for 4 years.  Coached for 3 years at another facility.  
Accomplishments: CPR certified and AED trained. Honor roll all semesters in college. 
Year started at Ultimate: 2013
Levels taught at Ultimate: Boys Recreational, Flip Flop, Girls Recreational, Preschool, XCEL Girls Team.


Emiley Chimner


Birth Place: Petoskey, MI

Schooling: Warren Township High School
Gymnastics Experience: Recreational Classes and played soccer
Accomplishments: CPR certified, AED trained. Honor roll student at Warren High School.
Year started at Ultimate: 2014
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Recreational, Preschool


Lexi Richardson


Birth Place: Waukegan, IL 

Schooling: Zion Benton High School
Gymnastics Experience: Took classes from age 4 years old. 8 years of cheerleading experience.  
Year started at Ultimate: 2015
Levels taught at Ultimate: Flip Flop, Girls Recreational, Preschool

Personal Information:  Lexi won Worlds in 2008 with her Baton Team! Lexi lives in Antioch, IL. 

Becca Nachbin


Birth Place: Gurnee, IL 

Schooling: Warren Township High School
Gymnastics Experience: Recreational gymnast and dancer. Currently on Warren High School Dance Team.
Accomplishments: CPR certified, AED trained.  Honor Roll Student
Year started at Ultimate: 2015
Levels taught at Ultimate: Birthday Party Staff


Grace Brezina

Schooling: Warren Township High School
Gymnastics Experience: Varstiy Dance Team at Warren High School. Has been dancing for 13 years. 
Accomplishments:  Honor Roll Student
Year started at Ultimate: 2015
Levels taught at Ultimate: Birthday Party Staff

George Clauser

​​ Birth Place: Lake Zurich, IL 
Schooling: University Of Illinois Chichago (Undergrad), Valparaiso University School of Law
Gymnastics Experience: Started gymnastics as a child and competed all the way through the collegiate level. 
Accomplishments: Competed at Nationals as a JO gymnast. College gymnast.  Passed the bar exam. 
Year started at Ultimate: 2015
Levels taught at Ultimate: Boys Team

Personal Information: George has a great family and friends.  George enjoys returning the favor to the gymnastics community for assisting him in his personal and professional accomplishments. 

Austin Wolfgram

Birth Place: Lake Forest, IL 
Schooling: Lakes Community High School 
Gymnastics Experience: 5 years as a competitive gymnast for Ultimate. 
Year started at Ultimate: 2016

Levels taught at Ultimate: Boys Recreational, ​Cheerleading, Flip Flop

Jonathan
Putman

Birth Place: Lake Forest, IL 
Schooling: Lakes Community High School   
Accomplishments: Volleyball player, Eagle Pride Award, Volleyball Sportsmanship Award, All-Academic Volleyball
Year started at Ultimate: 2016

Levels taught at Ultimate: Birthday Party Staff

Gaby Inawat


Birth Place: Lake Forest, IL 

Schooling: Waren Township High School 
Gymnastics Experience: Competed for 10 years as a gymnast through level 7 and is currently a Cheerleader at Warren Township High School.  
Year started at Ultimate: 2016

Levels taught at Ultimate: ​Girls Recreational 

Daniella Strauss

Birth Place: Evanston, IL 
Schooling: Warren Township High School
Gymnastics Experience: Started at Ultimate at 18 months old nd has been on Ultimate's girls competitive team for 7 years. 
Accomplishments:  Received most valuable gymnast in 2012 and 2014.  Daniella received coaches awards in 2013 and 2015.  
Year started at Ultimate: 2017

Levels taught at Ultimate:  Flip Flop, Girls Recreational, Preschool

Matthew Richardson

Birth Place: Lake Villa, IL 
Schooling: Libertyville High School
Gymnastics Experience:  Level 10 gymnast at Ultimate
Accomplishments:  Honor Roll, National Qualifier for gymnastics level 9.
Year started at Ultimate: 2017

Levels taught at Ultimate: ​Boys  Recreational, Flip Flop, Preschool

Laken
Ritzert

Birth Place: Tampa, FL 
Schooling: Deerfield High School
Gymnastics Experience:  
Year started at Ultimate: 2017
Levels taught at Ultimate: ​Girls Recreational, Preschool

Lauren Brezina


Birth Place: Rochester Hills, MI

Schooling: Warren Township High School
Gymnastics Experience: Recreational gymanstics from age 7 to 14. 
Accomplishments: Part of the Spanish National Honors Society, Honor Roll Student
Year started at Ultimate: 2017
Levels taught at Ultimate: ​Girls Recreational, Preschool


Ashley 
O'Malley


Birth Place: Cedar Rapids, IA

Schooling:  Kirkwood Community College (Liberal Arts Degree)
Gymnastics Experience: 10 years as a gymnast and coached at Bainbridge for 4 1/2 years. 
Accomplishments:
Year started at Ultimate: 2017
Levels taught at Ultimate: XCEL, ​Flip Flop, Girls Recreational, Preschool
Personal Infromation: Ashley moved to Illinois from Washington, with her 1 1/2 year old, Molly, and fiance Tim.  Ashley loves the sport of gymnastics!  It is very rewarding to see kids not only progress in this sport but also with life skills!

Wendy Gastelum

 Birth Place: Los Angeles, California
Schooling: NCCHS, Everst College Medical Assistant 
Year started at Ultimate: 2017
Levels taught at Ultimate: ​Girls Recreational, PreschooL

Brittany Frierson

Schooling: College of Lake County (A.A.S/Sports Science)
Year started at Ultimate: 2017
Levels taught at Ultimate: ​Girls Recreational, Preschool
Personal Information: The ability to motivate and encourage young adults, children to reach their ful potential, leaving a poisitve influence on their lives. 

Tim
​Forro

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Bremerton, WA
Schooling: Eagle Harbor High School
Gymnastics Experience: Level 9, with some college experience.  He did gymnastics for 9 years and has coached for 7 years.  
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate: Boys Recreational, Flip Flop, Preschool
 

Chelsea McCarter

 ​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Vinita, OK
Schooling: Memorial High School, Le Cordon Blue (Associates of Applied Science)
Gymnastics Experience: Did gymnastics as a child.
Year started at Ultimate: 2017
Levels taught at Ultimate: ​Preschool, Member of Customer Service
Personal: Chelsea is a single mom of a handsome little boy named Chaz.  We recently moved from Dallas, TX to be closer to our family here in IL and MI.  Chelsea has a passion for health and is currently studying to become a holistic nutrionist. She enjoys eating as healthy as possible, running, reading, movies, music, LOVES chocolate, puppies, cold weather, roller coasters and so much more! 

Andrea Kutulas

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Kansas City, KS
Schooling: Mundelein High School, Western Illinois University (Bachelo of Science Degree in Economis) 
Gymnastics Experience: New to gymnastics and eager to learn! 
Year started at Ultimate: 2017
Levels taught at Ultimate: ​Girls Recreational, Preschool
Personal: Andrea is married, mother of 1 daughter, her name is Mia and is 3years old.  She is the reason I have joined the Ultimate family.  She has loved all her classes and coaches as have I, and being a stay at home mom and nanny to my nephew I was excited to join the team.  

Sylvia Raquel

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Denver, CO
Schooling: Vernon Hills High School
Gymnastics Experience: Competed gymnastics for 9 years and counting.  She is a level 10 currently at Ultimate.    
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate: Flip Flop, Girls Recreational, Preschool

​Hannah Arends

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Gurnee, IL
Schooling: Carmel Catholic High School  
Gymnastics Experience: New to gymnastics but has watched her sisters compete for many years. 
Awards, Scholarships, Certifications: CPR and Safe Sport Certified 
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Recreational, Preschool
Personal: Varsity track and cross country at Carmel Catholic High School.  She loves to spend time with her younger sisters, who are always doing flips and tricks.   

​Megan Tomasiewicz

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Lake Forest, IL
Schooling: College of Lake County  
Gymnastics Experience: New to coaching gymnastics but took classes as a child.  
Awards, Scholarships, Certifications: National Honors Society
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate: Girls Recreational, Preschool, Trampoline and Tumbling

Olivia Roebuck

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Gurnee, IL
Schooling: Warren Township High School
Gymnastics Experience: Student at Ultimate since 5 years old and was on Ultimate's girls team for 8 years.    
Awards, Scholarships, Certifications: Vault, Beam, and All Around State Champion. 4 time Floor State Champion.  Regional Floor Champion. 
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate: Flip Flop, Girls Recreational, Preschool, Trampoline and Tumbling

Matthew Brockner

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Schooling: Wilmot Union High School
Gymnastics Experience: Coached cheerleading and gymnastics at La Fluers and Gym Zone.  Participated in competitive cheerleading in high school.   
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate: Cheerleading, Flip Flop, Girls Recreational, Preschool, Trampoline and Tumbling
Personal: Matthew is from Wisconsin and currently works for GameStop.  He enjoys playing video games and chilling with friends. 

Anij Alshanski

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Libertyville, IL
Schooling: Warren Township High School  
Gymnastics Experience: Cheerleader for 6 years.  
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate: ​Flip Flop, Girls Recreational, Preschool

Lexi
Sapp

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Gurnee, IL
Schooling: Warren Township High School
Gymnastics Experience: Began classes when she was 2 at Ultimate.  Also was a cheerleader and poms and has been on dance team for 4 years.  
Awards, Scholarships, Certifications, etc: NHS, NSHS Vice President of Student Council, SALT (Student Athletic Leadership Team), Student District Leadership Team
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate: Flip Flop, Girls Recreational, Preschool, Trampoline and Tumbling
Personal: Lexi has experience with 1 on 1 and group settings with kids with special needs. 

Jenna Ritzert

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: New York
Schooling: Deerfield High School 
Gymnastics Experience: 11 Years of club gymnastics
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate: Flip Flop, Girls Recreational

Lucia Rodriguez

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Lake Forest, IL 
Schooling:  
Gymnastics Experience: 5 years recreational gymnastics, 4 years competitive gymnastics, Warren Varsity Dance Team.
Awards, Scholarships, Certifications, etc: Adult and Pediatric CPR Certified
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate:​ Girls Recreational, Preschool

Alyssa Dundore

PICTURE CURRENTLY UNAVALIABLE 

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Park Ridge, IL 
Schooling: Warren Township High School
Gymnastics Experience: 6 years of gymnastics at Ultimate and 2 years of tumbling at Ultimate.  
Awards, Scholarships, Certifications, etc: NHS
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate:​ Girls Recreational, Preschool, Trampoline and Tumbling

Jamie Bednarz

PICTURE CURRENTLY UNAVALIABLE 

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Illinois
Schooling: High School
Gymnastics Experience: Cheerleading experience.  
Awards, Scholarships, Certifications, etc: Certified in CPR. Involved in cheerleading and lacrosse through high school. 
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate:​ Girls Recreational, Preschool, Trampoline and Tumbling

Kristen Hadap

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Waukegan, IL 
Schooling: Lake Forest College, BA in Politics and Psychology
Gymnastics Experience: 4 years at Flip Flop Shop in Zion. 
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate:​ Preschool, Member of Customer Service Team

Jeff
Grandt

Schooling: Mundelein High School, College of Lake County 
Gymnastics Experience: 15 years of coaching, 2 time speaker at IL USAG Congress, Region 5 Training camp; camp director, assistant clinician, and head clinician.  
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate:​ Girls Recreational, Girls Team, Preschool

Cheyne Clark

 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Birth Place: Newport Beach, CA
Schooling: Bainbridge Island High School, Seattle Central University, United States Airforce Academy
Gymnastics Experience: 7+ years coaching experience at all levels.  Competed 10 years through J.O. Men's program. Competed at Nationals as a J.O. gymnast.  Competed 3 years varsity diver at the USAFA.   
Awards, Scholarships, Certifications, etc: Certified in CPR and AED. USAG Safety certified.  
Year started at Ultimate: 2018
Levels taught at Ultimate:​ Flip FLop, Girls Recreational, Preschool, Trampoline and Tumbling
Personal: Cheyne is a Seattle transplant who loves coaching every age and skill level. Gymnastics gives so much back as a sport.  He is also an avid & licensed skydiver and enjoys spending his free time in the sky.