Developing Exceptional Children..
Developing Great Athletes.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Neil Palmer
President & Boys Program Director

College: University of Nebraska
Degree: Masters in Business Administration

Certifications: CPR/AED, USAG Safe Sport Certified, AAU Professional Coaching Alliance

Bio: Neil was introduced to tumbling at the age of three under the tutelage of his father, Len Palmer. He began gymnastics in Addison, IL at the age of six. Neil went on to win the Junior Olympic National Horizontal Bar Championship and became a three-time member of the United States Junior National Team, while training at the American Academy of Gymnastics. He competed for Addison Trail High School, gathering three team state championships, the parallel bar title and the National High School All-Around championship.

Neil earned a full gymnastics scholarship to the University of Nebraska. As a Cornhusker, he became an NCAA All-American and a member of the United States National Team. Some top accomplishments include: Competing in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Trials and winning the A.A. Championship at the 1987 United States Olympic Festival.

Neil has been coaching developmental through team-level boys and girls gymnastics since the age of 15. He has developed Palmer’s boys and girls into medal winning national-level competitors, as a stepping stone to producing collegiate scholarship winners.

He lives in Bloomingdale with his wife Debbie (Palmer’s Co-Owner) and their son, Brady

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Debbie Palmer
Vice President & Girls Program Director

College: University of Akron (Undergraduate), Baldwin Wallace (Graduate)
Degree: Bachelor Degree in Business Communication, Masters of Arts Degree in Education
Certifications: CPR/AED and First Aid, Certified Elementary Education and Reading Specialist,
USAG Safety and Professional Member, K.A.T certified, Skill Evaluator, Meet Director,
and PDP levels I and II accreditations, USAG Safe Sport Certified, AAU Professional Coaching Alliance

Bio: Debbie moved to Illinois from Medina, Ohio in 1997 to join the Palmer’s coaching staff. Debbie’s coaching background includes coaching developmental gymnasts through level 10 National Team members. At the age of 5, Debbie began gymnastics at Fegley’s Gymnastics School in New Jersey. After her family moved to Ohio, she continued her gymnastics career at Gymnastics World, advancing to the Class I level.

In her spare time, Debbie enjoys traveling, skiing, swimming, listening to music and spending time with her husband, Neil, and her son, Brady. Although she loves all sports, her heart belongs to gymnastics.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Emily Arens
Gymnastics Instructor

College: Northern Illinois University- Undergraduate Degree

               Concordia University- Masters

Degree: Undergraduate Degree in Education

              Masters-Curriculum and Instruction


Certifications: USAG Safe Sport Certified

Bio: Gymnastics has been a part of Emily’s life since she was ten years old.  She has been competing, coaching and most recently cheering on her favorite gymnast ever since.  When she is not at the gym, she is teaching and tutoring students.  This is her 23rd year teaching middle school math and she has enjoyed every moment of it.  At home, she is a mom to three very active kids.  Cheering her kids on during sports and watching their hard work payoff is her favorite thing to do!  Also in her spare time, she likes to read.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Christina Cisko
Gymnastics Instructor

College: Northern Illinois University
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Education with an Endorsement in Art
Certifications: CPR/ AED and First Aid, Certified K-12 Art Teacher, USAG Safe Sport Certified

Bio: Christina is a mom of 3 children, Elizabeth, Olivia & Nicholas. Her children have been taking gymnastics at Palmer’s for 10 years and her daughter Olivia is on team. Growing up she was a competitive ice skater for 8 years, skating both individually and on a precision team. Christina grew up in Naperville and graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Education with an Endorsement in Art. She is a certified teacher and taught art at Cowlishaw Elementary School in Naperville for 11 years. Christina has a passion for teaching children and watching them grow and enjoys coaching children at Palmer’s.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Amy Fuentes
Gymnastics Instructor

College: Metropolitan State College of Denver

Degree: Major in Human Development, Minor in Elementary Education

Certifications: CPR/AED, USAG Safe Sport Certified

Bio: Amy grew up in Colorado and began gymnastics at age 5. She competed in both USAG and high school gymnastics ending her career with two years as a Level 10. Some of her accomplishments were competing in four Region III Championships, 4-Years CHASSA All-Conference and helping her high school team finish in the top 3 all four years. Amy has been coaching all levels of gymnastics since 2003 and loves working with the gymnasts here at Palmer's. Amy has been coaching at Palmer’s for 14 years. Her passion is coaching the whole athlete and encouraging girls to grow into confident, strong and determined young women! Her favorite event to coach is bars!

Amy lives in Bloomingdale with her husband Carlos and children Joncarlo, Violet, Lincoln and Rosie. Other than coaching, Amy enjoys being outdoors. Some of her favorite things to do are camping, hiking, gardening and spending time with friends and family.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Carlos Fuentes
Gymnastics Instructor

College: University of Illinois at Chicago & Elmhurst College
Degree: Bachelor's Degree in Spanish, Masters in Teacher Leadership
Certifications: CPR/AED, AAU, Secondary Education Teaching Certification, USAG Safe Sport Certified

Bio: Carlos began doing gymnastics as a freshman at Glenbard East High School where he competed for four years. He was primarily a floor, vault and high bar specialist.

Carlos began his 28 year coaching career at the age of 18, coaching the Glenbard East boy’s Gymnastics Team where he stayed for six years. Carlos has had the opportunity to coach gymnasts of all ages and skill levels from beginner to Level 10. He has coached several teams to conference, regional championships and state championships and has had over twenty state qualifiers, finalists, and medalists. He is also the Head coach of the Girls Glenbard West Varsity Gymnastics Team that won the 2018 & 2019 IHSA State Championship, Boys Glenbard West Varsity Team and Palmer's Boys AAU Level 4 & 5 Team! Carlos is also a 7 time Illinois High School Gymnastics Coach of the Year and has coached 10 individual IHSA State Champions!

Also, Carlos is a high school Spanish teacher and lives with his wife Amy, sons Joncarlo and Lincoln, daughters Violet and Rosie and their dog Dexter in Wheaton.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Mike Harrast
Gymnastics Instructor

College: Ohio State University

Degree: Sociology

 Certifications: USAG Safe Sport Certified

Bio: Mike attended Addison Trail High School from 1978 to 1982, where he competed on the varsity gymnastics team all four years under coach, Fred Dennis.  He also attended American Academy and took Len Palmer’s tumbling class with Coach Neil. His high school teams won the state championship competition 3 out of his 4 years. He then attended Ohio State University, where he was a member of two Big Ten Championship Teams. He loves the sport of gymnastics and he is very happy to be coaching at Palmer’s allowing him to stay connected to this great sport.

 He also enjoys running, bicycling, swimming and attending live music venues.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Alyssa Hayward
Gymnastics Instructor

College: St. Xavier University

Degree: Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing

Certifications: Certified School Nurse, BLS-CPR, Safe Sport Certified

Bio: Alyssa started gymnastics around the age of 4 at Palmer’s Gymnastics. She started in the recreational classes and soon transitioned to Training Team where she competed for Palmer’s Gymnastics until the age of 15. Alyssa fractured her back when she was 15 years old and took some time off to heal. Upon return to the sport, she began practicing with the High School program at Palmer’s Gymnastics and later completed for Addison Trail High School. Alyssa received All Conference her Junior Year in high school and went on to compete in the Sectional Competition both her Junior and Senior Year.

Alyssa attended St. Xavier University for nursing school and graduated in 2013. She has worked In various health/medical units during her career as a nurse, including a geriatric psych. unit, labor and delivery unit, pediatrician’s office and currently as a certified school nurse in Elmhurst.

Alyssa has been coaching for Palmer’s Gymnastics on and off for many years since her gymnastics career ended in 2009. She recently started coaching more consistently in early 2018 and she coaches recreational gymnastics and tot gymnastics. She enjoys working with children of all ages and being able to watch them grow and succeed in the sport.

Alyssa lives in Carol Stream with her husband Preston and her daughter's Paisley and Mikayla who have both shown a love for the sport. She also has two furry dogs, Ava and Ellie, both Australian Shepherds with lots of energy!

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Melissa Libel
Gymnastics Instructor & Office Staff

College: North Central College
Degree: Bachelor of Art in Psychology and Sociology
Certifications: CPR/AED, AAU Professional Coaching Alliance, USAG Safe Sport Certified

Bio: Melissa started her dance career at the age of 5 with Moves Dance Theater. By the age of 10, Melissa was competing nationally with Moves Dance Studio and winning various top scores and scholarships. Also as a child, Melissa performed in various galas and charity events hosted by Sesame Street’s Bob McGrath at Navy Pier. Her T.V. and film credits include Baby’s Day Out, The Untouchables and a True Value Hardware commercial.

Melissa has also performed with many local theater groups. When Melissa was 14 she was chosen to tour with the national production of The Tap Dance Kid. She was CHRP scholarship recipient 3 years in a row and had the opportunity to perform for and tap on stage with legends Savion Glover and Gregory Hines.

Throughout her years in high school, Melissa continued to compete with Perseverance Dance Company. Fresh out of high school Melissa began teaching, choreographing and instructing master classes throughout the Chicagoland area. After teaching ballet for the gymnasts here at Palmers, Melissa was trained to coach tot gymnastics.

Melissa continues to be a recognized at competitions with choreography awards, high scores and other special awards. Melissa has a wonderful husband named Brian and two beautiful kids, Skyler and Brody.  She is extremely excited to share her love of dance and gymnastics with the kids at Palmer's and work up front in the office!

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Jake Luketin
Gymnastics Instructor

College: University of Illinois

Degree: Major in Kinesiology

Certifications: CPR/AED, K-12 Teaching Certification, AAU Professional Coaching Alliance, USAG Safe Sport Certified

Bio: Jake attended Lake Park High School where he competed on the Varsity Boys Gymnastics Team for four years. He attended college at the University of Illinois where he competed for the Flippin’ Illini Club Gymnastics team.

Since graduating college, Jake has coached gymnastics as the assistant boys team coach at the Champaign YMCA and the assistant girls gymnastics coach at Glenbard West High School. Jake currently is the head girls gymnastics coach at Lake Park High School. When he is not coaching, Jake teaches Health in Addison School District 4. Jake brings with him a true knowledge of gymnastics, as well as a love of the sport.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Jason MacDonald
Gymnastics Instructor

College: University of Michigan

Degree: Major in Exercise Science, Masters in Exercise Science

Certifications: CPR/AED, USAG Safe Sport Certified

Bio: Jason has been involved with gymnastics since the age of 5 as a gymnast, coach and judge. He is a four year letter winner and scholarship athlete at the University of Michigan. He has coached many Regional and National Qualifiers, as well as State and Regional Champions.

Jason and his wife Donna live in Montgomery with their twin daughters, Makenzie and Katie, daughter, Jordyn, and black lab Piper. When not in the gym, Jason enjoys camping, biking, watching sports and producing and editing gymnastics content for Region 5 Gymnastics. He also is editor and chief of the Region 5 Gymnastics Insider.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Tammy Nash
Office Staff

College: Northern Illinois University (Undergraduate), Northeastern Illinois University (Graduate)
Degree: Bachelor's Degree in Child Development, Masters in Educational Administration
Certifications: Certified Education Administration -Type 75

Bio: Tammy was born and raised on the North side of Chicago. where she lived unil her family moved to McHenry, IL when she was in college. After college Tammy moved back to Chicago and married her high school sweetheart.

Tammy has a love for working with children of all ages.  She began working at Day Camps in High School.  After college she started her career working with severely challenged individuals and then moved on to manage pre-school programs in Chicago. Tammy has worked part-time in the office here at Palmer’s since 2013,  while working full-time for Glenbard District 87 in their Directions Program as an Instructional Supervisor.      

Tammy has 2 children.  Her son graduated from, “The Ohio State University” and is a Senior Engineer for Cargill in Charlotte NC.  And her daughter, who did gymnastics here since she was 5 years old, is currently attending North Central College in Naperville.   She is studying Human Physiology in hopes to be a Occupational Therapist. Tammy enjoys outdoor activities, gardening, cooking, decorating/crafts, and taking road trips with her family!

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Meghan Nordstrom
Gymnastics Instructor

College: North Central College

Degree: Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

Certifications: USAG Safe Sport Certified

Bio: Meghan started gymnastics with Palmer’s at the age of 2. She competed through level 8 and then joined her high school team at Glenbard North. During high school she was a 3x state qualifier and a finalist on floor. She was also a 2x state finalist and 5th place finisher in the Pole Vault in Track and Field. She went on to pole vault at North Central College and became an NCAA national qualifier.

Meghan loves coaching gymnastics and helping children find the same love of the sport she has always had. Meghan lives in Carol Stream with her husband JT and two young boys Hunter and Aiden. She enjoys being a stay at home mom and going on adventures with her boys.   

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Jocelyn Reichert
Gymnastics Instructor

College: Northern Illinois University

Major: Kinesiology and Athletic Training

Certifications: USAG safety certified, AFPA youth nutrition specialist

Bio: Jocelyn grew up a competitive gymnast at Palmer’s gymnastics under the coaching of Yvonne and Len Palmer, where she developed her love for the sport of gymnastics. She went on to college to study Kinesiology and Exercise Science with a focus in Athletic Training/Rehabilitation. Jocelyn has been coaching developmental women’s gymnastics levels 2-10 for the past 25 years. Jocelyn loves breaking down gymnastics’ skills into their basic components to be able to teach quality technique to young gymnasts. Her passion lies with teaching young gymnasts about the power of self-confidence, discipline and hard work. She is also passionate about promoting a healthy lifestyle through good nutrition and home cooking. Jocelyn is married with 3 children and enjoys exercise, reading, cooking and taking beach vacations with her family.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Carmen Shulman
Office Staff

College: Carroll University in Waukesha, WI
Degree: Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology & Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy
Certifications: Licensed Physical Therapist, CPR/AED/First Aid

Bio: Carmen was born in northern WI. She is a HUGE Green Bay Packer Fan! She met and married her husband Drew while in college and now lives in Elk Grove Village. She is raising three daughters (two of her daughters compete on the team at Palmer's) and a son. She enjoys being a wife and mother and spending time with friends and family.  She also enjoys fitness and has competed in several half marathons, triathlons and one full marathon. Her other interests include camping, scrapbooking, hiking, water sports and traveling. She joined the Palmer’s staff in January 2016.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Pam Smith
Office Staff

College: Lewis University

Degree: Criminal Justice & Sociology

Certifications: Safe Sport

Bio: Being a former gymnast, Pam is proud to now be a part of the Palmer’s Family, with two of her three kids on the Palmers Team. Will competes on the Boys USAG Team and Lilah is on USAG Xcel! Her family spend A LOT of time at Palmer’s Gym! When not at Palmer’s, Pam works in high school administration at Leyden High School district.


paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Vanessa Srey
Office Staff

Bio: Vanessa grew up in Downers Grove, IL. and currently lives in Glendale Heights with her husband and three children. Vanessa has a degree in Travel & Tourism and in Paralegal studies.

She worked for the DuPage County Public Defender’s office in Wheaton. She currently works for the Airlines as well as Palmer’s gymnastics. She loves to travel and has pretty much traveled everywhere.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Sarah Ohnesorge
Gymnastics Instructor

College: University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Degree: Elementary Education

Bio: Sarah was a gymnast at Palmer’s from the age of 5-18 and has gained many memories in the gym as well as traveling for competitions. During her high school years she competed on Conant’s High School Varsity team. 

After her gymnastics career she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and is currently a 3rd grade teacher. She loves working with elementary aged children to help them learn and grow both in education and gymnastics! 

Sarah is a dog mom to her sweet pup named Willow and just got married to her husband Zach in July 2023! In her free time she loves spending time outdoors with Willow, friends, and family. 

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Debbie Terry
Office Manager

College: St. Joseph’s College

Degree: Major in Mathematics, Minor in Computer Science

Certificates: USAG Safe Sport Certified

Bio: Debbie worked for a small company doing general office work and customer service prior to having her three daughters. Debbie is the fourth oldest out of nine children and has many nephews and nieces. She is originally from South Bend, Indiana, and the only one who lives out of state so there are many road trips to Indiana for her and her family. Debbie is married and currently lives in Carol Stream with her husband, children and grandchildren.

paddedimage141180 Palmers gymnastics inc13 Justin Toronyi
Gymnastics Instructor & Office Staff

College: College of Dupage and Northern Illinois University
Degree: Associate in Arts
Certifications: USAG Safe Sport Certified, AAU Professional Coaching Alliance

Bio:  Justin started gymnastics at the age of 5 and has been a part of Palmer’s Gymnastics since the age of 7. He was coached by Neil Palmer much of his gymnastics career. He had worked his way through USA Gymnastics competing in all state and regional competitions from Class 5 to Class 1. He had ambitions of competing at the collegiate level and beyond.

In 2001 he qualified for the Junior Olympic National Championships but a week prior to the competition he was involved in a car accident on his way home from practice, which left him paralyzed. Determined to stick with the sport he grew up with and loved, Justin changed roles from athlete to coach. After a couple of months of tough rehabilitation, Justin continued with school not missing any time and graduated with his class in 2002 from Lake Park High School.

Justin has been coaching at Palmers since 2002 and has loved every minute of it!

He believes the sport of gymnastics is one of the most difficult and rewarding sports out there. Gymnastics can teach kids so many different life lessons, such as never giving up and that if you put your mind and effort into something you can accomplish anything! Gymnastics is one of the rare sports where all these little experiences of falling and getting back up, and doing a skill even though you might be afraid of it, can really be applied to so many situations throughout your life!

Justin also enjoys music and going to concerts. He has many favorite bands. He is also a huge Chicago Cubs, Blackhawks, Bears & Nebraska Husker Fan. He lives in Roselle with his family and new puppy, Bindi.

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