Erie Gymnastics Staff

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Program Directors - Douglas & Christine (Tina) Pershun

Coming up soon here in 2020, Tina & I will have been in business at Erie Gymnastics Center / Team Lightning Inc. for 30 years!  Wow!  It's been an amazing journey with a tremendous number of loyal and dedicated staff that helped us get here!  We consider them members of our family!  Coaching now for 30+ years, we're on 2nd Generations.  That is perhaps the best compliment we can receive.  Children who once attended here now are fathers and mothers and loved the experience so much they share their children with us!  In addition, a good portion of our staff are former gymnasts who've attended Erie Gymnastics and came back to share their love and passion for the program and the sport!  Below I would like to introduce you to some of our staff, their credentials, and our Philosophy in Hiring!

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Safety - Mackenzie Test

When hiring teaching & coaching staff, we use what we call the "Mackenzie Test".  As a National Clinician for USA Gymnastics, I've trained lots of coaches in the intricacies of the sport.  I used to be a School Teacher.  In the school were numerous qualified teachers at varying points in their career.  Teachers with numerous years of experience had all sorts of tricks up their sleeves to get students to perform better.  The newer hires - fresh out of college often lacked this experience, however whatever they lacked in experience, they made up for in enthusiasm.  

When considering hiring a Teacher / Coach, we ask ourselves a very simple but poignant question.  Would we TRUST - that coach teaching and working with our daughter Mackenzie (or son Jesse)?  Do we trust that they will do their best to keep our child safe?  Do we trust that they have a safe and clean background?  Are they skilled enough to safely spot my child?  Are they competent enough and prudent enough to make safe decisions for my child?  Do they have the skills to give my child a quality learning experience?  Only if they pass this test are they considered for hire!

Our Daughter is now 20 years old and away at college (and a Gymnastics Judge), our son is working here in the Family business, however we still employ this method in hiring our staff.

 

Douglas Pershun

TITLE

  • President - Team Lightning Inc.
  • Erie Gymnastics Center - Program Director
  • Team Lightning Head Optional Coach
  • Star's & Stripes Meet Director

Education

Dual Graduate of Edinboro University

  • BS Secondary Education
  • BS Biology
  • Minor Art
  • Minor Music
  • Attendee & Credits from Univ. of Alaska - Fairbanks
  • Attendee & Credits from Pitt Univ.

Coaching / Work Experience

  • 38 Years as Gymnastics Team Head Coach
  • 30 Years as Owner of Erie Gymnastics
  • Former Head Coach of Dance & Gymnastics All Around
  • Former Head Coach of Erie Flairs
  • Former Head Coach of National School of Gymnastics in Pittsburgh
  • Former Middle School Teacher (10 years) in Erie & Pittsburgh
  • Former PJAS Academic Coach & Judge
  • Former USA Gymnastics Men's Artistic Judge
  • Former Field Biologist - conducting Avian Research for Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge - Montana

Professional Work & Accolades

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Profession Credential / Work

  • School of Competitive Gymnastics USA Gymnastics Rating - National Women's Artistic Coach (only one in Erie area)
  • USA Gymnastics National Instructor
  • School of Recreational Gymnastics - Director
  • USA Gymnastics Professional Member - cert. Men's Artistic / Women's Artistic / Rhythmic
  • USA Gymnastics Safety Certified (U101)
  • USA Gymnastics Member Club - Administrator
  • USA Gymnastics  - UB 100 / PDP 1 & 2 / Yurchenko Vault Cert. / 
  • American Coaching Education Program (ACEP)
  • U110 - Safe Sport Trained
  • W200 -  Developmental Coaching Course - Hands on Training - Instructor
  • W202 - Women's Meet Director
  • Member - ECA - (Elite Coaches Association)
  • Red Cross - First Aid Cert.
  • Red Cross - CPR / AED - Infant, Child, Adult Cert.
  • National Cheerleading Judge - CCC - Local, Regional, and National Championships
  • Head Clinician - Cheerleading National Coaches Congress
  • Woodward Gymnastics Camp - Coach & Coaching Certifier
  • Meadowland Gymnastics (Gym Dandy's) Summer Camp Clinician
  • Butler Hy-Flyers Summer Camp Clinican
  • Warren Powerhouse - Summer Camp Clinician
  • Team Lightning - Summer Competitive Team Camp - Director & Clinician

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Event Director

 

  • Meet Director & Host- Stars & Stripes - 2002 - present -- Largest Coed Gymnastics Competition in Pennsylvania with 2,000 athletes & 55 Team attending. (one of the largest in the USA)
  • Meet Director & Host - for the Level 9 / 10 (USAG highest level) State Gymnastics Championships
  • Meet Director for 12 additional Pennsylvania State Gymnastics Championships
  • 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award (Ron Sertz Award) Awarded by the Erie Sports Commission / Visit Erie - for contributions to Erie in the field of Sports Tourism
  • 2016 & 2018 - Locally Managed Sporting Event of the Year (Erie Sports Commission / Visit Erie)
  • 2017 National Locally Managed Event of the Year - National Sports Commission. 

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Coaching Accolades

  • 30+ NCAA College Scholarships & Athletes... including Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, West Point, Gannon Univ., Pitt, Bowling Green, Alabama, Brockport....
  • 2 TOPS National Elite Members
  • 97' National Gold Medalist - Vault - 6th AA
  • 16' National Bronze Medalist - Beam
  • 30+ National Competitors
  • 80+ Regional Competitors
  • Numerous PA State Champions & Region VII - and Invitational Champions 

Tina Pershun

Title

  • Vice President - Team Lightning Inc.
  • Asst. Program Director - Erie Gymnastics Center
  • Head Team Lightning Compulsory Team Coach
  • Star's & Stripes Asst. Meet Director

Education

  • Graduate of SUNY Univ.
  • BA Human Services
  • Attendee & Credits from Edinboro Univ. Business

Coaching / Work Experience

 

  • 30 Years as Gymnastics Team Head Coach
  • 30 Years as Co-Owner of Erie Gymnastics
  • Former Optional Competitive Gymnast - Ambridge Bridgers
  • Former Head Coach of Erie Flairs Compulsory Teams
  • Business Manager Team Lightning Inc.
  • Loving Wife & mother of two wonderful children

Professional & Work Accolades

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  • School of Competitive Gymnastics USA Gymnastics Rating - National Women's Artistic Coach (only one in Erie area)
  • School of Recreational Gymnastics - Director
  • USA Gymnastics Professional Member - cert.  Women's Artistic
  • USA Gymnastics Safety Certified (U101)
  • USA Gymnastics Member Club - Administrator
  • U110 - Safe Sport Trained
  • W200 -  Developmental Coaching Course - Hands on Training - Instructor
  • W202 - Women's Meet Director
  • Red Cross - First Aid Cert.
  • Red Cross - CPR / AED - Infant, Child, Adult Cert.
  • Team Lightning - Summer Competitive Team Camp - Director & Clinician

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Event Director

  

  • Co-Meet Director & Host- Stars & Stripes - 2002 - present -- Largest Coed Gymnastics Competition in Pennsylvania with 2,000 athletes & 55 Team attending. (one of the largest in the USA)
  • Co-Meet Director & Host - for the Level 9 / 10 (USAG highest level) State Gymnastics Championships
  • Co-Meet Director for 12 additional Pennsylvania State Gymnastics Championships
  • 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award (Ron Sertz Award) Awarded by the Erie Sports Commission / Visit Erie - for contributions to Erie in the field of Sports Tourism
  • 2016 & 2018 - Locally Managed Sporting Event of the Year (Erie Sports Commission / Visit Erie)
  • 2017 National Locally Managed Event of the Year - National Sports Commission. 

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Coaching Accolades

 

  • Produced Numerous PA State Champions & Championships Teams.
  • Numerous Invitational Champions & Team Champions.
  • 97' National Gold Medalist - Vault - 6th AA
  • Currently manages and Head Coaches 60+ Compulsory Athletes.
  • Advanced 100's of well prepared Compulsory Athletes to Optional Levels.
  • Manages and organizes over 30 Coaching Staff yearly.
  • Manages, Coordinates & Head Coaches 4 Compulsory Teams yearly.

All EGC Staff -- have a minimum of...

Act 33/34 Background Clearances

All Staff have a minimum of Act 33/34 Child Clearances as Law required persons who work with children.  Many additionally have NCSI - National Clearances as required by USA Gymnastics for certified coaching staff.

Child / Infant CPR

All EGC Staff are required to have and maintain Child & Infant CPR certifications.  Erie Gymnastics offers a class once a year for both staff and EGC students & parents.  We believe everyone should have this!

Red Cross First Aid

All EGC Staff are required to have and maintain the Red Cross First Aid Course.  Erie Gymnastics also offers a class once a year for both Staff & EGC students & parents.

U110 - Safe Sport

All Erie Gymnastics Staff are required to take a 1 hours "Safe Sport" U-110 - online course.  This course is our commitment to eliminate Child Abuse & Predators. 

1 Year Apprenticeship

All EGC Staff must work a minimum of 1 year for EGC as an apprentices Teacher / Coach prior to being able to teach any class on their own.

"Mackenzie Test"

As outlined above, we (the owners) must trust that any coach working for us would be safe teaching or coaching  our own precious children. (Mackenzie or Jesse)

Coaching Staff

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Jesse Pershun

Jesse is son of Doug & Tina Pershun and was born into the Gymnastics Family.  Being a cute & friendly baby, Jesse was held and played with by numerous Olympic Champions as he traveled with his parents to  numerous competitions (Mary Lou Retton / Nadia Comaneci / Bart Conners / Kim Zmeskal / Krystal Uzelac / Svetlana Boganskaya / ... and many more.  Jesse participated and is the founder of the current 'Mom & Tot' program at EGC where we founded the class.  Jesse participated in all of the EGC Rec. Classes as well as was a member of the Team Lightning Men's Team.  Jesse went on to play travel Hockey as well as some NCAA Hockey.  

Jesse wanted to follow in 'Dad's Footsteps', so dad made him start at the bottom of the ladder.  Jesse started helping with Preschool & Beginner Classes.  Eventually he moved up to the Preteams and Compulsory Teams with his mother.  Now, he has learned 'advanced spotting' and works as assistant to the Team Lightning Optional Team.  Jesse now has produced his first series of State Champions and has his first 'National Competitor.  Jesse has been studying and taking both online and hands on courses thru USA Gymnastics and has earned numerous credits in the School of Recreational / School of Business / & School of Competitive.  

In addition to gymnastics, he shares his fathers love for music and his band - Real Fake Doors - has been taking flight - opening for National acts and has multiple songs on spotify.

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Mackenzie Pershun

   Mackenzie - daughter of Doug & Tina - grew up in the gymnastics world.  Mackenzie participated in every class from Mom & Tot - thru - Advanced II.  She went on to Team Lightning Compulsories and was most accomplished at the Uneven Bars.  Mackenzie graduated Collegiate Academy - Summa Cum Laude - and is now attending RIT majoring in Biochemistry.  Kenzie is on college leave but comes in a coaches during the Holidays and Summer.  Kenzie is currently coaching at a prestigious club in Rochester, NY - Victor's Gymnastics as well is a NWGJA Gymnastics Judge. 

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Jesse Pershun

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Joe Wroblewski

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Lindsey McKnight

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Dustin Hinkson

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Cierra Ball

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Sabryna Ball

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Adam Barbe

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Cindy Bretz

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Adam Goss

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Crystal Goss

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Jenn Austin

 Coach Jenn just started coaching this year but is no stranger to Erie Gymnastics Center.  She has three daughters who have all started in Mom and Tot and are now Level 3, Level 2, and Intermediate Kinder.  She currently assists in teaching Kinder and coaching Mini Team, Level 2, and Level 3 at the West gym.  Jenn is originally from Pittsburgh where she was a cheerleader all through middle and high school.  She has her Bachelor's and Master's degree in education.  Along with coaching, Jenn teaches at Our Lady of Peace School.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and making candy. 

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Stephanie Hargest

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Andre Jones

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Kelly Martucci

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Andy Parks

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Mackenzie Pershun

  Mackenzie - daughter of Doug & Tina - grew up in the gymnastics world.  Mackenzie participated in every class from Mom & Tot - thru - Advanced II.  She went on to Team Lightning Compulsories and was most accomplished at the Uneven Bars.  Mackenzie graduated Collegiate Academy - Summa Cum Laude - and is now attending RIT majoring in Biochemistry.  Kenzie is on college leave but comes in a coaches during the Holidays and Summer.  Kenzie is currently coaching at a prestigious club in Rochester, NY - Victor's Gymnastics as well is a NWGJA Gymnastics Judge.

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Bryanna Pierce

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Christopher Roberts

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Yuri Romatowski

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Jodie Schwabenbauer

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Kaitlyn Snyder

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Andrew Vogt

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Justin Whitman

Justin grew up in EGC - becoming both a Class 1 and National Level 10 contender.  Nicknamed the "Showman" Justin performed in 25+ EGC end of the year shows.  Justin graduated Slippery Rock Univ. w/  Health & Physical Education Degree.  He became the Head Coach of the Butler Hy-Flyers Men's Team.  Justin then returned to EGC where he became the Head Coach of Team Lightning Men's Team.   Justin has coached numerous State & Regional Champions as well as led our Team Lightning boys to win first place Team at the PA State Championships in 2018.  

By day Justin is a school teacher at St. George Catholic School.  Justin is also a USAG Professional Coach, First Aid / CPR certified / NCIS & PA Background Clearences / USAG Safety Certified.  

Justin took a year sebatical but joined back up with the staff to assist the Team Lightning Women's Compulsory Team.  

Hobbies:  Golf, Working Out, spending time with his wife Lauren and daughter Mia (soon to be a Team Lightning gymnast!). 

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Courtney (Froman) Wroblewski

Courtney started gymnastics late at the age of 12.  However she fell in love and went on to compete for Warren Powerhouse Gymnastics.   Courney worked her way up to Optional Levels by her Senior Year.   Courtney  started coaching at the age of 16 for the YMCA.   Courney joined our coaching team in 2007 when she moved to Erie for college. 

Courtney is USAG Professional Coach and USAG Safety Certified, NCSI & PA Background clearances /  U100 and W200, and Safe sport certified. 

Courtney earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Penn State Behrend and her teaching certification in Business, Computer and Information Technology from Mercyhurst University.

By day, Courtney is currently working on getting her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Gannon University.  Courtney is also  a Business Teacher at Harbor Creek Jr. High since August 2014. 

Hobbies:  Courtney loves to spend time with family especially her son Caedmon and husband Joe. I love to travel to see family and to places I’ve never been before including when I traveled to Costa Rica for my honeymoon! 

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Stephanie (Nowokowski) Phillips

Erie Center founder - mentor to Doug as he grew into coaching.  Former gymnast of Elaine Jewart - owner / founder of Pittsburgh Northstars.  Former NCAA Gymnast for Slippery Rock Univ.  Degree in Physical Education.  For EGC - she is retired from coaching, but works with our Preschool / Mom n Tot Programs as well as staff education.