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Flips Gymnastics North Shore
27825 Irma Lee Circle
Lake Forest, IL 60045
I started gymnastics, tumbling, and dance at the age of 8.  I competed in gymnastics for 4 years (2 years as co-captain) at Libertyville High School, and practiced off season at the Gymnastics Factory of Lake Forest (currently Flips!). By my senior year of high school, I was coaching recreational gymnastics, and working with floor choreography along side my own coach. Upon high school graduation, I officially came on board part time at the Gymnastics Factory.

I continued to coach tumbling and gymnastics while attending college at Northern Illinois University, followed by Roosevelt University, where I earned my Bachelor's degree in Journalism, with a focus in Advertising. During this time, Gymnastics Factory became North Shore Gymnastics.  

In 2000, I accepted a full time job with North Shore Gymnastics coaching the women's team, choreographing floor and beam, and instructing recreational gymnastics.  

In 2007, I took a 1 year leave to be with my second child, Austin (my oldest is Caden who helped me coach from a backpack at 3 months old!) I returned to the gym to coach team in 2008.

In February 2010, I had the opportunity to purchase the business from my mentors, at which time I renamed it FLIPS, and took pride in making it my own journey, along with many original staff members who still work along side me today.  

As the Flips leader, I aim to offer a rewarding gymnastics experience to all students who enter the Flips' gym, whether learning for fun and exercise, or striving for success through our women's team. 

Linda's gymnastics experience began in 1982, at the Gymnastics Factory of Lake Forest. In 1986, Linda became pregnant with her second son, and left to be a full time mom.

In 1994, Linda came back to work. Within 5 years, along with her two partners, she became the Owner/Manager of North Shore Gymnastics. Linda managed the office as well as she coached countless preschool classes, managed birthday parties, camps, field trips, Reach For The Stars, and more.  

As one partner moved on to another adventure, and the other became ill, the time had come to pass the gym along.

19 months later, Linda came on board at Flips!

What Linda loves the most about working in Gymnastics, is being part of children's lives and watching them grow from toddlers to great gymnasts!

Linda is a proud mother of 2 boys (Michael and Brian), and blessed to be a Grandmother of five!
Leah competed gymnastics for several years at the Chicago Park District, and competed in power tumbling in Las Vegas and California. In high school, Leah began coaching preschool gymnastics, followed by a full time coaching position beginning in 1994.  

Leah came to North Shore Gymnastics to coach in 1997, and has since been coaching boys and girls programs of all levels and ages. She is currently responsible for coaching our XCEL pre-team and team, as well as our Jr. High/High School program.    

In addition to gymnastics, Leah has studied Martial Arts,yoga, and many forms of dance including ballet and ballroom. Leah loves to crochet, knit, play guitar, and spend time with her husband Randy, and daughter Miriam.
Pat started gymnastics in high school at New Trier where his initial competitive events were in tumbling and trampoline. By his senior year he was competing in all-around with rings and parallel bars being his strongest events. After high school, he moved on to Iowa State University and pursued a degree in physical education, while competing four years for the team on still rings (3rd at the Big 8 Conference) and parallel bars during the regular season; and in the all-around in pre-season invitational meets(1st AA Central Suburban League). During those years Iowa State captured one 1st place team NCAA title, two 2nd’s, and a 3rd while also capturing 4 straight Big 8 titles (Now the Big 12 Conference). During the summers, Pat worked for the Evanston Recreation Department and camps teaching trampoline. Also while at ISU, he had opportunities to teach in a club situation and judge club meets. 

While at Iowa State, Pat met and married his wife Jenny. They have two grown children who were gymnasts at Gymnastics Factory, now Flips. Pat currently works full time for the Vogue Tyre & Rubber Company in Mt. Prospect as Director of Operations.
Tabatha began gymnastics at the age of 4, after attending a birthday party at North Shore Gymnastics (now Flips). She began learning gymnastics in a preschool class, and continued to master all levels.

Tabatha competed in Gymnastics all four years for Lake Forest High School team, including a Varsity Spot her senior year. She began working at Flips in August 2012. You will see Tabatha working with Preschool classes all the way through competitive team. She is currently attending the College of Lake County.  


Sarah began taking gymnastics at the age of 5, and within a few years began competing club gymnastics. Throughout high school, Sarah was a member of Libertyville High School Women's Gymnastics Team, and co-captain her senior year.  

Sarah began coaching for North Shore Gymnastics in 2000, and continues to coach for Flips within the recreational program and as a supervisor for the open gym program.

Sarah has a Bachelor's of General Science in Human Development and a Master's of Art in School Counseling with a type 73 endorsement.
STEVE BELL-WOMEN'S TEAM COACH/Off Season High School Coach
Steve began gymnastics as a way to stay in shape for other sports and ended up really enjoying the sport of competitive gymnastics.  He was a gymnast at Libertyville High School, and was a pommel horse specialist.  Steve has been involved in competitive gymnastics in Illinois for 30 years, and has coached every level from preschool through Elite. He has been a participating coach in Region 5 clinics since 1990, and in 1997, Steve was named Region 5 Coach the year. He is also active in the Illinois High School Association, and was a part of the Carmel High School State winning seasons.  His favorite events to coach are Vault and Tumbling.           
JILL GOODMAN-Parent/Tot,Preschool Director/Birthday Director
Jill's love of gymnastics began at age 8, when she was enrolled in a rec class at her local park district.  She continued with the sport through high school where she competed on the varsity team.

Jill graduated from Indiana University in 1990 with a BA in Journalism, and worked in the communications field until she began her family in 1996. After her son was born, Jill had the opportunity to teach gymnastics at her local park district beginning in 1997.  From the beginning, she knew it was the right decision.  Her love for the sport and natural creativity make her an asset to coaching. 

Jill has since continued Coached gymnastics on Chicago's North Shore. She loves seeing children of all levels progress on the apparatus, gaining both skills and confidence along the way.  Jill brings to Flips her creative curriculum and innovative ways of teaching skills to gymnasts of all ages (and their parents).  Her passion is coaching the youngest gymnasts, using boundless energy as well as creativity and her unique coaching style that tots and parents both enjoy!        

Jill lives in Highland Park with her husband, "almost" grown children, and two standard poodles.  In her spare time, she enjoys running, and has completed 3 Chicago marathons. Jill is a professional member of USA Gymnastics.
Rachel’s love for gymnastics started at the age of 3. She spent more time standing on her head then she did walking. She also did tap, dance and ballet, but her true love was gymnastics. 

By the age of 8, Rachel was spending her summers at gymnastics camps like Woodward and International Gymnastics Camp, both in Pennsylvania. In 3rd grade she was on a competitive team in Lake Zurich at United States Gymnastics Training Center. She took a short break from gymnastics due to a family move, but once she was settled she found a place she called home at North Shore Gymnastics (now Flips). Rachel took several different classes and when High School began, she tried out for the Lake Forest Scouts team and made Varsity as a freshman. She completed four years of gymnastics at Lake Forest, and by senior year she was working at Flips coaching recreational and parent/tot classes. 

After high school graduation, Rachel attended the University of Arizona and during the summer months, she continued to work at Flips. After college, she earned a spot as an XCEL competitive team coach. 

After relocating to Arizona, Rachel had to search elsewhere for a new coaching job and landed at Gold Medal Gymnastics where she worked for Amanda Borden (Olympic Gold Medalist). She enjoyed her time at Gold Medal Gymnastics, but her real connection to the sport was back at Flips Gymnastics coaching her favorite gymnasts.  Rachel is very excited to be back! 
​Amber Fitzgerald-Recreational Coach/Birthday Parties

Amber began gymnastics at the age of 8 after watching her sister go to practice every week. She started off as a level one at North Shore Gymnastics (now known as Flips). 

Throughout high school, Amber competed gymnastics her freshman and sophomore year, as well as competitive cheerleading freshman through senior year. Amber is also a camp counselor through Lake Forest Park District. She began working at flips in August 2015. Amber works with parent/tot, preschool, tumbling and all Girls Recreational Levels. Amber is a member of the Class of 2017 at Lake Forest High School, and a student at Western Illinois University.
Richie began coaching gymnastics after mastering high level tumbling skills at a gymnastics facility in New York.  He is an excellent motivator for the young gymnasts who are awestruck by the skills he will show them during lessons.  Richie came on board Flips during the Winter 2017, and currently attends Lake Forest High School.  
Office Managers
Coaching Staff
Substitute & Summer Coaches

Hannah began taking gymnastics after watching her mom coach the sport.  She competed for Highland Park High School before deciding to commit fully to track and field.  Hannah began coaching at Flips in the fall of 2016, and is currently a student at University of Illinois at Champaign. 

Andrey Nikitin- Women's Team Coach/HOPES & Jr. Elite Coach/Strength and Conditioning Coach 

Andrey started his gymnastics career in Russia where he was a top tier athlete. He was a member of the National Junior Team of Russia where he was a Regional Cup holder in 1994, as well as a bronze medalist on vault and high bar in 1996. In 1997, Andrey was the National Vault and All Around Regional Champion.  As part of his intensive gymnastics training, he also received formal ballet instruction.

Andrey followed up his successful gymnastics career, as a High Bar performer with the Moscow Circus.  His experience as a circus performer brought him to the United States, where he was a member of the trapeze production of "Sky Surface," which he performed with the Ringling Bros and Barnum Bailey Circus.  

Realizing that he still had a passion for competitive gymnastics, Andrey made the decision to coach Women's gymnastics in 2004.  He has extensive experience coaching vault, bars and tumbling with levels pre-team through Level 10, at the State, Regional, and National Levels.  

Deb Dean Recreational Coach/Gym Crawlers Coach/Office Administraton

Deb grew up in Northbrook and fell in love with gymnastics after watching her brother and sister train.  She was a competitive gymnast at Mid America Twisters, the YMCA, and then Northbrook gymnastics until the age of 16.  Deb also enjoyed dancing, swimming, diving, skiing, and just about all intermural team sports.

Deb began coaching while pursuing an English Literature degree from my alma mater – NIU.  She worked in business while starting coaching again at AAG in Wheeling. After getting married and having two kids, Deb became a director of a program for 8 years in Evanston, along with starting enrichment in sports and gymnastics at 8 park districts and schools.  She loves to coach parent/tot through advanced level gymnastics up to age 13.

Deb started at Flips in 2018, and loves it!  She understands the complexity, strength, focus, and joy that comes with training your kiddos in this sport! Deb is currently honing in on the power of play, as it relates to coaching every child at every level.