GIRLS’ TEAM COACHES: Kathy Nitch and Sara Gonzalez
GYMNASTICS INSTRUCTORS: Judith Tedeschi, Laura Krohm, Larene, O’Connell, Karen Ott, Kelly Purdy, Laura Matthews,Jawonne Worth, Lindsey Sandstrom, Yvette Gutierez
Judy Tedeschi – Gymnastics Office Coordinator
Judy Tedeschi is the Gymnastics Office Coordinator for the Wilmette Park District gymnastics program. With an education in Recreation and Administration, she began teaching for gymnastics and continued for 30 years. “I wanted to work at a park district because of my major, and I ended up staying for years because I loved what I did!”
In 2011, Judy moved to working the administrative side of the department and is managing registration, morning and afternoon class scheduling as well as the preschool program.
Laura Krohm – Gymnastics Coach
Coach Laura is a Chicago native that has been with the Wilmette Park District gymnastics department for 16 years. She works with children in the preschool programs, teaching between five and six classes a day.
Coach Laura has a background working with children – she was a nanny for 11 years and a preschool teacher prior to that. “I like working with the little kids – they’re fun to be around.” She first joined the WPD teaching a few classes a week, and her passion quickly grew for the program and the kids she was working with.
Karen Ott – Gymnastics Coach
Coach Karen started working with the Wilmette Park District gymnastics department 14 years ago. She did gymnastics as a kid, and her children were in gymnastics programs growing up. Her enjoyment of the sport and her love of working with little kids is an excellent combination for teaching the preschool age classes.
“I like working with the little kids – helping them and seeing their skills grow.”
Over the years, Coach Jennifer has helped a lot of young gymnasts advance to elite levels and compete at state championships, but she enjoys every achievement of her students no matter the level. “I like seeing the look in their eye when they accomplish something.”
Larene O’Connell – Gymnastics Coach
Coach Larene has been with the Wilmette Park District gymnastics program for 15 years. With experience working with kids in a preschool, she immediately took to coaching the youth gymnastics programs. “I like interacting with the kids – we work with hundreds each week and it’s always changing and never boring!”
Coach Larene is also the Birthday Party Coordinator in gymnastics. She manages the booking, hosting and follow-up for each event. The two-hour parties include a one hour gymnastics class followed by another hour of fun and celebration in a party room.
Rich Nixon – Gymnastics Coach
Coach Rich has been at the Wilmette Park District long before he started coaching. Up through his high school years, he was in the gymnastics program – at which point, he began teaching in the summers to later begin working year-round in 2001.
The Chicago native teaches classes for boys as well as a gymnastics team. “I like gymnastics,” Coach Rich says, it was an easy transition to begin teaching it to kids.
Sara Gonzalez – Gymnastics Coach
Coach Sara joined the Wilmette Park District Gymnastics department in January 2014, following six years coaching locally. Her coaching expertise covers all recreational classes as well as the traveling team.
Prior to coaching, Coach Sara did gymnastics for 12 years, equipping her with knowledge and experience to pass along to her classes. “I knew a lot about gymnastics, and I just enjoy being involved in it,” she says. “It’s the joy of teaching, when the kids learn their skills.”
Kathy Nitch – Gymnastics Coach
Kathy coaches 4 to 6 years old classes during the day and traveling teams at night. She is from Glenview, IL, and began her gymnastics journey at 1 year old while her mother coached at Turner Verein Lincoln in Chicago. Kathy trained at the Wilmette Park District and New Trier High School and after college she began judging gymnastics competitions and later started coaching and running gymnastics camp.