USAG Coaching Staff

Lauren Ginestra

USAG Competitive Team Director - Optional Head Coach - Gym Manager

                    • 6 year Level 10 Competitor
                    • 13 years of Competitive Gymnastics Experience
                    • Competed in numerous State, Regional, and National Gymnastics Qualifiers
                    • 3 year Missouri State Qualifier in MSHSAA High School Swimming and Diving
                    • Attended KU on Academic Scholarship studying Architecture
                    • Graduated with BA from UMKC in Business Administration
                    • Graduated with MBA from UMKC in Leadership and Organizational Change
                    • Coached Boys & Girls High School Diving from 2008-2010
                    • Worked in the Autism program in Park Hill School District from 2010-2012
                    • Started assistant coaching at age 16
                    • Began Competitive team coaching in 2006
                    • Started Coaching at Liberty Gymnastics Academy in 2008
                    • USAG Professional Member
                    • National Level Coach

“Coaching gymnastics began as a hobby, then became a job, and over the years has evolved into a passion that I have been given the opportunity to embrace and experience every day.  I truly love being able to contribute to the journey of life in these young athletes. The lessons learned in the gym will follow these athletes throughout life and will provide them with strength and determination, the ability to set and achieve goals, the value of discipline and focus, and so much more. My goal each day is to encourage each athlete to understand how to participate and excel in a healthy gymnastics career and shape a lifestyle that will promote leadership in all aspects of their life.” 

Marlon Smith

USAG Team Coach - Tumbling Coach

Kyle Zak

USAG Team Coach - Boys Team Director

                    • Achieved the Status of Elite Gymnast
                    • U.S. Jr. National Team Competitor
                    • Scholarship Athlete for the University of Illinois Men’s Gymnastics Team
                    • Graduated with a Degree in Communications
                    • Assistant Coach at University of Illinios from 2000-2001
                    • Assistant Coach at The University of Minnesota
                    • Began Working at Liberty Gymnastics Academy in 2011
                    • USAG & AAU Professional Member

“I choose to enrich the lives of children by teaching what I know about the sport of gymnastics because the journey taught me about many life’s lessons, prepared me for many of life’s experiences and established a foundation for success. It is my wish and goal to give a bit of that back to our students, and hopefully foster their love for this sport and all that it instills in us! I aim to make great gymnasts and promote greatness in great people.” 

Karyn O'Toole

USAG Team Coach - Developmental Coach - Open Gym/Birthday Parties Director


                    • Began working for Liberty Gymnastics in 2007 in the Developmental Program
                    • Has worked in all levels of the Developmental Program over the last 7 years
                    • Began coaching Competitive Team in 2010
                    • Currently is the Lead Coach of the Level 3 Competitive Team
                    • Currently runs an In-Home Daycare (21 years of business)
                    • Mother of 5 children – One is currently an Optional Gymnast at Liberty Gymnastics
                    • Director of Birthday Parties & Open Gyms at Liberty Gymnastics for the past 5 years 

“My goal is to prepare these young girls to be independent, strong, and respectful to whomever or whatever they should encounter in their lives.”

    Bailey Babcock

    USAG Team Coach - League Team Coach

                      • USAG competitive gymnast at LGA for 5 years
                      • Started coaching at LGA in 2012
                      • Has experience coaching Recreational, League and USAG levels
                      • Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management from Eastern Kentucky University in 2017
                      • Currently working on a Masters degree in Sport Management from the University of Kansas

    “LGA has been a second home for me since I was four years old. The family environment and love of gymnastics have continued to pull me back to the gym over the years. I have a passion for helping kids set and achieve their goals and am honored to have the opportunity to help them develop into successful young ladies in and outside of the gym.”

      Jessica Cordle

      USAG Team Coach - Developmental Coach

                        • 15 years of gymnastics experience
                        • 4 year Level 10 USAG competitor
                        • 13x USAG State qualifier
                        • 5x USAG Regional qualifier
                        • 2014 Western National Championships qualifier
                        • 2016 Junior Olympic National qualifier
                        • Graduated from Kearney High School in the top 10% of her class
                        • Currently attending UMKC and majoring in Biology with a minor in Criminal Justice
                        • Chi Omega at UMKC

        Maureen Mihelic

        USAG Team Coach - League Team Coach

                          • 15 years of Competitive Tumbling and Dance Experience
                          • 6 years of Competitive Gymnastics Experience
                          • Began coaching at 11 years old
                          • Started Coaching at Liberty Gymnastics in 2014
                          • Graduated from University of Missouri – Columbia with a Bachelors in Child Psychology
                          • Employed with the Missouri Board of Probation & Parole from 1989-2013
                          • Currently employed with the Clay County Juvenile Office as a Deputy Juvenile Officer

        “Growing up in the gym taught me the sport of gymnastics, but it also taught me many other life lessons as well.  My coaches instilled in me the importance of determination, self-discipline, respect, integrity, self-esteem, and perseverance.  These are the same principles that have made me the person I am today.  I want to pass on my knowledge and love of gymnastics, but overall life skills and character development are my main goals” 

          Melissa Gleason

          USAG Team Coach - League Team Coach

                            • 11 years of USAG Competitive Gymnastics Experience
                            • Competed in State, Regional, and National Gymnastic Competitions
                            • Level 9 National Qualifier
                            • Graduated with a BA from the University of Iowa in Elementary Education and Sports Studies
                            • Graduated with a Minor in Communications
                            • Graduated with a Masters in Reading Education from UMKC
                            • Started Coaching at Liberty Gymnastics Academy in 2011

          “Gymnastics is my passion.  I loved doing the sport, I continue to love watching the sport, and now I love coaching the sport.  Growing up, I had wonderful coaches who guided me along the way to achieve my goals.  They pushed me harder than I ever thought possible all the while instilling great confidence in my own abilities as a gymnast and a young woman.  My hope and goal as a coach is to pass along that passion, mentorship, and confidence to my gymnasts as there is no greater reward than watching others achieve their dreams.  The pure pride, joy, and excitement that radiates from such accomplishments is reason enough to be in the profession.


            Samee Schram

            Developmental Coach - USAG Team Coach

                              • 2 year Level 9 Competitor
                              • 7 years of Competitive Gymnastics Experience
                              • Competed in Numerous State and Regional Gymnastics Qualifiers
                              • 4 year All-Conference Missouri State High School Diver
                              • 2 year State Qualifier for MSHSAA Diving Championships
                              • Holds 4 years of Track and Field All-Conference Pole Vault Titles
                              • 2009 Missouri State Section 4 Pole Vault 1st Place Champion
                              • 2009 Missouri Track and Field State Qualifier in Pole Vault
                              • 2009 4A 1st team All-State Pole Vault
                              • Currently attends Park University on Track & Field Athletic Scholarship (Pole Vault)
                              • Studying Secondary Education and Adolescent Psychology at Park University
                              • Coached 2 Missouri State 1st Place All-Around Gymnastics Champions in 2013

            “My passion for coaching gymnastics stems back to my years as a gymnast not so long ago. I remember exactly how rewarding, yet difficult the successes and failures of this particular sport can be as a child/adolescent. My goal each and every day is to guide the girls in a way that will prepare them to be strong, modest, and genuine young ladies, inside the gym and out.” 

              Sydnee Schram

              USAG Team Coach

                                • Competitive Gymnast for 8 years
                                • 2 year Level 9 Competitor
                                • Began Coaching Competitive Gymnastics at Age 16
                                • 2011 & 2012 All-American Diver
                                • 2012 All-Conference Dive Champion
                                • 4 year State Qualifier in High School Diving
                                • 2011 & 2012 All-Conference Pole Vault Champion
                                • 1 year State Qualifier in High School Track & Field (Pole Vault)
                                • Winnetonka High School Student Body President
                                • Graduated from Winnetonka High School with a 4.2 GPA
                                • Attends Missouri University – Science & Technology on Academic and Athletic Scholarships
                                • Missouri S&T Chancellor’s Honor Roll
                                • Currently Competes on Missouri S&T Varsity Track & Field Team (Pole Vault & Javelin)
                                • Currently Studying Business Management and Information Systems Technology

              “I am beyond passionate about coaching gymnastics. I believe gymnastics is a tool to shape these lovely young ladies into well rounded, confident human beings. I owe many of my life’s successes to my experience as a gymnast and the relationships I built with my coaches and teammates. The joy I feel when I see children reach their goals and, even more so, when I get to help them set new ones is insurmountable. I feel incredibly fortunate to have a family who have made changing youths’ lives into a family tradition.”

                Kathryn VanWijk

                USAG Team Coach - Developmental Coach - Tumbling Coach

                                  • Competitive Gymnast for 10 years
                                  • 2 year Level 9 Competitor
                                  • Level 6 & 7 Consecutive 2-time State All-Around Champion
                                  • Level 6, 7, & 8 Vault State Champion
                                  • Competed in High School Cheerleading
                                  • High School State Diving Competitor
                                  • Graduated from Winnetonka High School
                                  • Graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelors in Physical Anthropology and a Minor in American Sign Language
                                  • Currently working on a Masters Degree at Rockhurst University 

                  Ashley Smith

                  USAG Team Coach

                                    • Former competitive gymnast
                                    • Started coaching gymnastics in 2007 (primarily USAG Compulsory levels)
                                    • Started coaching at LGA in 2018
                                    • USAG Professional Member
                                    • Graduated from the University of Kansas Medical Center with a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science
                                    • Obtained a Specialist in Blood Bank Technology from Rush University
                                    • Certified MLS(ASCP)SBB
                                    • Currently works at North Kansas City Hospital as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in the Blood Bank
                                    • Enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters

                  “Gymnastics played an important role in my life while I was growing up. As a coach, my goal is not only to teach these girls proper technique, but to encourage positive attitudes, self-esteem and confidence.”


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