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New Canaan Winter Club

Group Skating Professional Staff


Christi JonesHead Pro

Christi is returning for her ninth year at the Winter Club and sixth year as Head Pro.   She is a graduate of Principia College with a BA in Fine Arts.  Over the course of her competitive amateur career, Christi trained in St. Louis MO, Dallas TX, Madison WI, Denver CO, and Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor.  As a coach, Christi began working with skaters all over the Midwest.  She has worked with a range of skaters from beginners to National and International competitors, and is also a Power Skating coach for hockey players.  She was the Skating Director at the Ice Zone (practice home of the St. Louis Blues) in its inaugural season, and helped to develop the figure skating program at the acclaimed Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minnesota.  Upon moving to Connecticut, she has worked with skaters at the Darien Ice Arena, Terry Connors, Fairfield Ice Academy, and launched the Skating school at Sono Ice House.  Christi is a former Strength and Conditioning coach, Metabolic Typing Advisor, and Holistic Lifestyle coach.  She is a USFSA Gold Medalist in Figures, Freestyle, and Moves in the Field.  

Outside of teaching, Christi enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.  

Barbara Julian

The Winter Club has been a home skating club to Barbara for over 30 years.  She is a four time USFSA Gold Medalist in Figures, Freestyle, Ice Dancing, and Moves in the Field.  She studied Art and Art History at Villanova University, where she met her husband, and together they had four children.  She has helped skaters develop strong basics and good skating habits.  Not only teaching figure skating, Barbara has also worked with multiple levels of hockey players, training them in the biomechanics of strong skating.  Barbara worked at the Coliseum Skating Club in Voorhees, NJ (home training facility of the Philadelphia Flyers) from 1985-87 where she was the Head Pro of Figure Skating.  She is grateful to be a part of the NCWC family, and looks forward to the coming winter season!

Laura Vescovi

Laura Vescovi was a competitor from the Smithfield Figure Skating Club in Smithfield, RI where she was coached by Lori Castelli and the late Diane Brown. She later joined Walt Disney’s Snow White on Ice.

With the rise of designer dresses appearing on elite skaters, Laura co-authored a story on competitive skating attire for American Skating World Magazine in 1998.  In 1997 she choreographed the finale of Champions on Ice featuring Olympic Gold Medalist, Oksana Baiul. In the spring of 2015, she was interviewed and appeared on Montreal’s sports network CH24. The television segment highlighted former student Montreal Canadien team captain, Max Pacioretty. The story was timed for the Montreal Canadien’s advancement into 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Laura has been coaching all levels of skating at the New Canaan Winter Club for 28 years. She is compliant with all CER testing and requirements mandated by United States Figure Skating and Professional Skating Association.

Laura is a graduate from Syracuse University where she earned a BA in English and minor in creative writing. She continues to work part time in public relations and currently lives with her husband and daughter in Branford, CT.

Kari Pinkernell

Kari received an undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University and an MBA in Finance from New York University.  Kari is a double gold medalist in figures and freestyle and trained with Olympic and World coaches Peter Burrows and MaryLynn Gelderman.  Kari taught skating for two years at Sport-o-rama in Monsey, New York and four years at St. Lawrence University.  She was also the Power Skating coach for her High School hockey team.  Kari returns to skating after spending 14 years working on Wall Street.  Kari is returning for her fifth season at the Winter Club and is a New Canaan resident.

Barret Mulligan Gargano  

Barret is a third generation professional after her mother and grandmother.  She is a US Gold Medalist in both Figures and Freestyle.  She has been teaching for over 27 years and at the NCWC since 2000.  Prior to that she taught at Beaver Dam in Locust Valley, NY.  She works with all levels and ages.  Her focus is to give her students the proper skating fundamentals that will assist them in whichever skating discipline they choose.  Barret also teaches skating for the New Canaan Country School.  Barret is a graduate of Boston College and currently lives in Darien with her husband Trey, daughter, Ridgely and son, Teddy.  


Elizabeth Leamy

Elizabeth Leamy was a competitive skater who medaled at the U.S. Figure Skating New England Regional and competed at the North Atlantic Regional Championships representing the Greenwich Skating Club and Rye Figure Skating Club Inc., respectively.

As a competitor, she trained full time with Peter Burrows and then Hans Gerschwiler, both of who are U.S.F.S. and Professional Skaters Association Hall of Fame. She also trained with her mother, Nancy Madden Leamy, longtime Director of the Hamill Rink/Greenwich Skating School and Frances Gold Lind, the Canadian medalist in Connecticut.

Elizabeth is a U.S.F.S. delegate and PSA-rated coach. Since the 1990s, she has coached skaters from the Learn-to-Skate through to the competitive levels as well as through the full variety of U.S.F.S. field moves and freestyle tests.

Over the years, her students have placed, qualified for finals and competed at U.S.F.S. North Atlantic and New England Regtionals as well as at East Coast U.S.F.S. non-qualifying events, including Middle Atlantics (in Manhattan), the Southern Connecticut Open, the Philadelphia Open, the Morris Open (in New Jersey) and the Lake Placid Open (in New York).

Since the 2010s, Elizabeth has been a developmental coach for skaters who have been members of the Skyliners beginner through junior and senior lines, many teams which have consistently medaled and won their divisions at the U.S.F.S. Eastern and National Synchronized Championships.

Elizabeth has also worked as a media correspondent and reporter for U.S.F.S., the PSA, iceskatinginternationalonline.com and IceNetwork.com since 1995 and has covered the U.S. Championships, World Championships and Skate America through to the current 2021 season.

She has also worked on the editorial staff of Conde Nast's Glamour and Hanson Publications' Direct business magazines and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rosemont College where she majored in English Literature.  Elizabeth resides in Cos Cob, Connecticut.