Meet our Coaches & Staff
Lakettes staff members are fun, educated, and dedicated to the kids they work with! In house training on safety, technique, and class set up is provided to all of our coaches. Nationally accredited by USAG, coaches are safety certified and many of our coaches hold nationally accredited certifications in both gym safety and technique training. Take a look at our staff and see why they make us an incredible place to train.
Matthew & Heather Kowalczyk: Owners
Heather Kowalczyk - I’ve had a passion for gymnastics from the first class I took at age 3. My parents owned and managed Lakettes, for over 25 years before my husband and I took it over in 2002. As a gymnast, I received State & Regional awards throughout the USAG program. I competed collegiate gymnastics at Kent State University, as I studied Health & Physical Education. In 1998 I returned home to coach and assist in the family business. Certifications include USAG club member, professional member & USAG safety certification. Additional education includes: Business Foundation courses, various Gymnastic Spotting and technique certifications, and CPR. Currently, I oversee all coaches, classes and teams, train staff, plan special events and programming, as well as assistant coach of Lakettes Levels 6-10. Matthew Kowalczyk - With a background in maintenance, grounds keeping, accounting and public relations, Matthew, brings vision and an abundance of knowledge to our program. Leading our organization with hard work and innovation. He is father to 4 children, part time worship leader, elder and accountant in a local church. Hobbies include motorcycles and guitar. Prior job experience includes 10 years of maintenance and ground keeping at Family First Sports Park. Matthew, has a strong value for family and the importance of growth and empowerment of others.
Mary Hawley- Lakettes USAG Team Director/Head Coach: Oversees and manages all aspects of the Competitive Team Program, levels 2-10 and Xcel. Mary, has a long history with Lakettes. She was the second owner to our organization in the 80's, purchasing the business from the original owner Ann Carr, (famous Penn State athlete). She returned to Erie and our company in 2013 and has coached dozens of state, regional, and nationally recognized athletes over the course of her career. Mary, leads our team staff by developing training programs, lesson planning, scheduling workouts, and traveling to competitions. Mary, also has years of experience choreographing floor and balance beam routines, numbering in the hundreds. She plans all camps and clinics. Beside her extensive background in our sport, she carries a poise to her that graces those around her with confidence. Confidence in who they are as a person and who they can become as an athlete.
Monica Karnes- Assistant Office Manager: Monica, has been with our company for over 13 years. She has had 3 children take classes and compete on competitive teams at Lakettes/Lakers. Her son Josh, currently competes for team USA and Penn State University.
Emma Eisert - Level 2 and Xcel Head Coach:
Grace Harrick - Team Coach Levels 3-10:
Valerie Kavelish- Recreational Gymnastics Director / Kid's Night Out Head Coach / Party Coach:
Ericka Torain- Preschool & Recreational Coach :
Stacie Sampsell- Preschool & Recreational Coach / Kid's
Night Out Head Coach / Party Coach:
Jen Trapp- Preschool & Recreational Coach / Party Coach:
Brian Edwards - Parkour Director & Coach / Nerf War Coach / Play Hard Coach:
Connor Check - Parkour Assistant Coach / Nerf War Coach / Kid's Night Out Coach / Party Coach:
Katie Cogswell-Mattern- Team Coach:
Lynzi King- Team & Developmental Team Coach:
Maddie Afton- Coach:
Abby Karnes- Coach:
Katie George- Coach:
Olivia KosKo- Coach:
Marissa Burge - Developmental Team Coach, Assistant Xcel Team Coach / Kid's Night Out Coach / Party Coach:
Bekah Kowalczyk - Coach & Level 1-5 USAG certified Judge: