STAFF BIOS

Check out our blog/FB page each week for a new “Meet us Monday!”

Meet Juliana Soto!

Name: Juliana Soto

Place of birth: Libertyville

Schooling: Carmel Catholic High School

Gymnastics Experience: Basic tumbling at Elite Dance Company in Mundelein

Certifications: CPR & AED

Levels taught at VHG: PreK and Kindergarten

Life: Juliana lives in Mundelein and plays tennis and soccer. She also speaks Spanish!

Meet Bari Dacks!

Name: Bari Dacks

Place of birth: Buffalo Grove

Schooling: Stevenson HS, University of IL

Gymnastics Experience: Competitive as a child through high school at Stevenson

Life: Bari lives with her husband, Tony, and two daughters, Dani and Lailee in Mundelein. Both Dani and Lailee love taking gymnastics at VHG!

Meet Olivia Petrini-Poli!

Name: Olivia Petrini-Poli

Place of birth: Chicago

Schooling: Junior at Lake Forest Academy

Gymnastics Experience: Competitive gymnast 3rd through 8th grade

Awards: Candidate for Student of the Year for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (current)

Life: Olivia lives in Lake Bluff

Meet Becca Ferraro!

Place of birth: Born in Elgin, grew up in Deerfield

Schooling: BA in Spanish, minors in French and secondary education, Masters in Spanish

Gymnastics Experience: Recreational classes as a child, 1 year high school gymnastics

Coaching Experience: This is her first year coaching gymnastics, though she has coached her daughter’s soccer team for 4 seasons, HS golf, HS badminton, middle school girls volleyball, basketball and softball.

Awards, scholarships, certifications: Safety & Risk Management Certified, SafeSport Trained, CPR certified

Job at VHG: Preschool coach, Social media manager, maker of all things VHG (shirts, water bottles, etc.)

Life: Becca and her husband, Tony, live in Vernon Hills with their two kids, Paige (6) and Parker (2.5). Paige is on preteam and Parker takes two 3-4yo classes at VHG. Becca enjoys crafting and volunteering in her free time. She coaches her daughter’s soccer team, volunteers at her daughter’s school, and is a Girl Scout leader.

Meet Erin Robin Wochinski!

Name: Erin Robin Wochinski

Place of birth: Lake Forest

Schooling: Entering junior year

Gymnastics Experience: Recreational clubs K-6, tumbling

Levels taught at VHG: preschool/rec

Life: Erin enjoys track and field and waterskiing

Meet Jennifer Bernstein!

Name: Jennifer Bernstein

Place of birth: San Francisco, CA

Schooling: Half Moon HS, UW-Madison

Gymnastics Experience: 10 years of gymnastics experience, 1 year teaching, grandfather is in the Gymnastics Hall of Fame

Awards, scholarships, certifications: 9th place on vault at Nor Cal State Championship

Levels taught at VHG: preschool

Life: Jennifer lives in Deerfield with her husband and two daughters, 6 & 8.

Meet Lauren Viets!

Name: Lauren Viets

Place of birth: Riverwoods, IL

Schooling: University of Vermont - BA in Psychology and Spanish

Gymnastics Experience: Competitive gymnast through 8th grade, 4 years Varsity gymnastics at Lake Forest High School

Certifications: Safe Sport & Safety Trained, CPR certified, Yoga & Prenatal Yoga certified

Levels taught at VHG: Parent & Tot, Preschool

Life: Lauren lives in Vernon Hills with her husband and 3 kids, ages: 14, 12 and 7.

Meet Maya Fergus!

Name: Maya Fergus

Place of birth: Georgia

Schooling: Stevenson HS

Gymnastics Experience: Varsity at Stevenson, Did through level 7 before switching to SHS gymnastics

Awards: Lettered in Varsity gymnastics her freshman year

Levels taught at VHG: Assisting with team levels 3+4

Life: Maya lives with her family in Long Grove. She has been doing gymnastics for 14 years.

Meet Lauryn Theisen!

Name: Lauryn Theisen

Place of birth: California

Schooling: Concordia University, Irvine

Gymnastics Experience: Coaching 18 years - Levels 1 - 10

Certifications: CPR certified, Safe Sport and Safety Trained

Levels taught at VHG: Team

Life: Lauryn lives in Vernon Hills with her husband, Mike, and 3 daughters. She is so excited to have a top notch gym in Vernon Hills. This gym and programs will be an asset to the community.

Meet Ellen Driscoll!

Name: Ellen Driscoll

Place of birth: Riverwoods, IL

Schooling: BFA in Art History from The University of Illinois, Masters in Education from Depaul University, Culinary School dropout (Culinary and Hospitality Institute of Chicago)

Gymnastics Experience: Competitive Gymnast through level 7, 4 years as a Varsity Gymnast at Stevenson High School, 2 years of coaching experience.

Certifications: CPR certified

Levels taught at VHG: Pre Team

Life: Ellen lives in Long Grove with her husband and 3 children. Before kids she was an Art History Instructor at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. She finds that teaching gymnastics is almost as challenging as teaching Art History, and lives to pass on her passion of the sport to her own children and students. When she’s not coaching she loves to cook, create and travel.

Meet Kristin Cox!

Name: Kristin Cox, “Coach K”

Place of birth: Mundelein, IL

Schooling: University of Nebraska (Lincoln) — Go Big Red! — Bachelors of Science in Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Promotion with a minor in Psychology

Gymnastics Experience: Kristin started coaching gymnastics in high school, continued through college and the universe brought her back to coaching 3 years ago after she had her first daughter. For over 10+ years she has coached parent and tot, preschool, kindergarten, rec girls and pre-team.

Certifications: CPR certified, USAG safe sport and safety certification

Levels taught at VHG: Parent and Tot, Preschool, Advanced Preschool, Kindergarten, Rec Girls, Tumbling and Xcel Pre Team, Parent and Tot + Preschool Director

Life: Kristin is married to a goofball that she met while playing on a Jesse Oaks volleyball team. She has two beautiful little girls, Lorraine and Hailey, that you may see bopping around the gym in Parent and Tot and Preschool classes!

Meet Kim Sweeney!

Name: Kim Sweeney

Place of birth: Skokie, IL

Schooling: Hersey High School, University of Iowa (Elementary Education)

Gymnastics Experience: Competitive gymnast through Level 9, 15 years of coaching experience including 7 years with USAG teams 3-9.

Certifications: CPR certified, USAG safe sport and safety certification

Levels taught at VHG: Team, tumbling

Life: Kim is a middle school math teacher

Meet Stacey Hubbard!

Name: Stacey Hubbard

Place of birth: Fort Wayne, IN

Schooling: Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in Kinesiology, with a major in Exercise Science

Gymnastics Experience: Through high school

Levels taught at VHG: Preschool & Parent and Tot

Life: Stacey is and her husband live in Vernon Hills with their two kids: Patrick (8) and Alayna (5).

Meet Jessica Qualich!

Name: Jessica Qualich

Place of birth: Buffalo Grove, IL

Schooling: Stevenson High School

Gymnastics Experience: Level 9 JO

Awards: 1st in State - Level 6, 5th in the region - Level 8

Levels taught at VHG: Tumbling 1 & 3, Kindergarten, Level 4

Meet Stephanie Meadow!

Name: Stephanie Meadow

Place of birth: Long Grove, IL

Schooling: Bachelors in Sociology from Rutgers University

Gymnastics Experience: Stephanie was a very energetic child, so her parents enrolled her in a pre-school gymnastics class when she was three. Her passion for gymnastics only grew stronger as she continued practicing and reaching higher levels. She competed at Stevenson where she became the first gymnast from the School to place in an Illinois State meet. Her hard work and dedication earned her an athletic scholarship to Rutgers University where she competed all four years of Division I gymnastics.

Coaching Experience: 19 years of coaching competitive gymnastics

Levels taught at VHG: Team

Life: Stephanie knew early on that she could teach young gymnasts not only the physical skills they would need to compete, but also the importance of keeping a positive attitude, building confidence, having fun, and sharing compliments with teammates. For the past 19 years, she has coached gymnastics at the highest of competitive levels and knows that all gymnasts are inspired by their coaches, staff, parents, and teammates. She and her family (husband, Adam, daughter, Olivia, and son, Austin) live in Buffalo Grove.

Meet Anthony Pollina!

Name: Anthony Pollina

Place of birth: Chicago, IL

Schooling: Bachelors in Physics/Mathematics Education from Taylor University 2012, Masters in Teaching, Learning and Assessment from National Louis University 2016

Coaching Experience: Six Years’ experience coaching Pre-school, Boys and Girls Recreational, Ninja, Tumbling, USAG Excel, USAG levels 2 - 6, and Pre-team 

Coaching Experience: High Jump Coach for 6 years

Levels taught at VHG: Levels 1-3, Tumbling

Life: He is a STEM Teacher in Lake Forest, currently living in Vernon Hills. Anthony is enjoying the summer with concerts, friends, and family. He is extremely glad for this opportunity to guide the next generation of gymnasts!

Meet Quintin Derezinski!

Name: Quintin Derezinski

Place of birth: Waupaca, Wisconsin

Schooling: Currently in College for a Bachelor’s in Business Administration specializing in Computer Networking

Coaching Experience: Six Years’ experience coaching Pre-school, Boys and Girls Recreational, Ninja, Tumbling, USAG Excel, USAG levels 2 - 6, and Pre-team 

Awards, scholarships, certifications: U101 Safety & Risk Management Certified, U110 SafeSport Trained, USAG Gymnastics Instructor Certified

Levels taught at VHG: Tumbling

Life: Coach Q currently lives in Whitewater, Wisconsin and attends their business college. His reason for coaching is the intrinsic reward from seeing someone learn something and teaching life skills!


Meet Jasmin McDermott!

Place of birth: Wauconda, IL

Schooling: Wauconda High School - Class of 2012, Associates in Arts College of Lake County, Bachelors in General Studies Eastern Illinois University, Graduated with honors

Gymnastics Experience: Gymnastics classes when she was young but eventually switched to Competitive All Star Cheerleading

Coaching Experience: USGA/Recreational Classes for 5 Years, Recreational Cheerleading for 2 Years

Levels taught at VHG: USGA 3 & 4

Life: Jasmin and her boyfriend live in Buffalo Grove. She currently works as a Promotions & Events Coordinator at Old World Industries in Northbrook, in addition to coaching at VHG. She loves BOTH of her jobs!

Meet Sara Orzoff!

Place of Birth:  Chicago, IL

Schooling: Adlai E. Stevenson High School, diploma, 1997, Northeastern Illinois University, B.A. in History/Philosophy, 2006

Gymnastics Experience:  13 years of gymnastics experience as an athlete, reached USAG Level 9, 6 years coaching experience

Awards, Scholarships, Certifications: 1995 USAG Level 9 Illinois State Vault Champion, 1997 Adlai E. Stevenson H.S. Scholar Athlete of the Year, USAG and AAU Certified 

Levels taught at VHG:  Xcel team, recreationalMeet us Monday! Meet Jasmin McDermott!