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Your TGISC Professional Coaching Team


Melissa Butler - Core Coaching Team Member

Head Coach, STARSkate, CanPowerSkate and CanSkate Coach

StarSkate, CanSkate and CanPowerSkate Program Co-ordinator

Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing Major, Haskayne School of Business (University of Calgary)

  • ISPC (formerly NCCP Level 2) Trained Status
  • NCCP Level 1 Certified
  • CanPowerSkate Instructor Certified
  • 23 years experience 
  • Novice Competitive Freeskate
  • Gold Freeskate, Sr. Silver Skating Skills, Partial Gold Dance, and Silver Interpretive
  • Skate Canada Continuous Education Program (CEP) - Gold Status 2014-2016 Cycle
  • Alberta/NWT/Nunavut Section appointed CanSkate Certification Coach Mentor
  • Skate Canada Club and Recreation Coach Award of Excellence - Calgary Region Nominee 2010
  • Skate Canada Best of the Best CanSkate Coach National Finalist (Top 20)
  • Skate Canada National Coaches Conference Attendee 2009 - Edmonton & 2015 - Winnipeg
  • Specializing in choreography, style enhancement, developing artistic impression, and off-ice dance training. 
  • Extensive dance background performing and choreographing for productions with: World Police and Fire Games, Legends Alive Tour, Artists Elite International, Dance with France Studios, Blue Collar Dance Company, the University of Calgary, Calgary Opera, and many city wide events.
  • Private lesson rate (2017/2018 season) = $13.00/15 minutes (subject to change with notice)


Shirley Schmidt (McNally) - Core Coaching Team Member

STARSkate, CanPowerSkate and CanSkate Coach

  • NCCP Level 3 Certified
  • 35 years experience
  • Gold Figure
  • Gold Free
  • Gold Dances/Us Gold Dances
  • Gold Skills
  • Have taught all levels of skating from Preschool-Competitive Skating
  • Have had competitors at the Sectional and National Level
  • Winter Games coach
  • Mentor Coach
  • Director of skating for Prince George FSC and Summerland FSC 

Tammy J. Schmidt - Core Coaching Team Member

STARSkate and CanSkate Coach

Over 25 Years Coaching Experience, National and International 

  • Level 3 Certified Coach with Skate Canada
  • Certified CanSkate , CanFigureSkate & CanPowerSkate Coach
  • Certified with Red Cross First Aid
  • Gold Figure, Gold Freeskate, Gold Dances, Gold Artistic, Novice Competitive Freeskate, Bronze Rhythm Dance
  • Coached in Gore, New Zealand, 1992
  • Competitive Precision Skater/Competed in Canadian Championships from 1982-1988
  • Multiple skaters with Triple and Quad Gold accomplishments
  • Coach of StarSkate 2012 Gold Triathlon Champion, StarSkate 2015 & 2016 Silver Triathlon Champion
  • StarSkate medalists at various other levels and disciplines
  • Skaters on AB Provincial Junior development Team 2005- 2015
  • Skaters on Select/Elite AB Provincial Team 2009-2016 Skating Season
  • Challenge Competitors 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012/13, 2015/16 Skating Season
  • Various Annie’s Edges Seminar
  • Mariposa Seminar with Doug Leigh 1997-2009
  • Western Canada Coaches Conference 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005
  • Elizabeth Manley Seminar 2007 & 2008
  • Whistler Program Components Seminar 2009
  • Aaron Lowe Dance Seminar 2009, 2010
  • Vancouver Canadian Coaches Conference 2012
  • Chicago USA Coaches Conference 2013
  • Palm Springs USA Coaches Conference 2014
  • Calgary Components Seminar 2014
  • Edmonton Officials & Coaches Summit 2016
  • Las Vegas USA Coaches Conference 2016
  • Calgary Region Coaches Rep 2008-2012, Huntington Hills Skating Club Coaches Rep 2004 - 2010
  • Private lesson rate (2016/2017 season) = $15.50/15 minutes 


Sara Knowles - Core Coaching Team Member

STARSkate and Off-Ice Coach

Off-Ice Conditioning & Program Component/GOE Specialist 

Bachelor of Physical Education with Specialization in Coaching Studies (University of Alberta) 

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association - Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
  • Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology - Certified Personal Trainer
  • Founder of Podium Performance Training - Figure Skating Fitness and Assessments
  • Skate Canada National Coach (formerly Level 3) Analyze Technical and Tactical Performance Course and all Multi-Sport Courses completed
  • Skate Canada Provincial Coach (formerly Level 2) Certified
  • Skate Canada CEP Gold Status 2012-2016
  • Skate Canada Triple Gold Award
  • 6 years full-time coaching experience including 2 years in Sweden and an extensive mentorship at the Royal Glenora Club
  • Program Components and Conditioning Coach of Swedish National Competitors and Alberta Winter Games Champion
  • Coaches Rep for 2017/2018 Season


Samantha Tawkin

CanSkate Coach and STARSkate Support Coach

B.Sc., in Biological Sciences from the University of Calgary (2011)

  • CanSkate certified (2015), NCCP Primary STARSkate Certified (2016)
  • CanSkate Coach/STARSkate Support Coach
  • Competitive figure skater for over 10 years. Gold Skills, Sr. Silver Dance, Jr. Silver Freeskate
  • Private lesson rate (2015/2016 season): $8.00/15 minutes


Karen Clarke 

STARSkate Support Coach

Bachelor of Science & Environmental Health, Masters of Public Health

  • NCCP Level 1 Certified, NCCP ISPC (Level 2) Theory and Technical courses
  • CanSkate Coach / STARSkate Main Coach
  • 14 years experience
  • Gold Dance, Gold Skating Skills
  • Coached STARskaters through Gold level tests
  • Skate Canada Club and Recreation Coach Award of Excellence - Calgary Region Nominee 2011
  • Skate Canada National Coaches Conference Attendee - Winnipeg 2015

Jessica MacQueen  

CanSkate Coach

  • 4 years of Program Assistant experience 
  • NCCP certified In-training April 2018- aiming for Trained status during the 2018-19 season
  • Taking part in the ACAD (Alberta College of Art and Design) dual credit program- includes a semester at ACAD
  • First Aid, CPR, and AED certified as of August 2018
  • Respect in Sport certified as of August 2018

Diane Greenwood

STARSkate Support Coach, CanPowerSkate & CanSkate Coach

Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary, 2013

Bachelor of Communication and Culture from the University of Calgary, 2011 

  • NCCP Level 1 Certified
  • CanPower Skate Instructor Certified 12 years coaching experience
  • 5 years teaching experience, specializing in inclusive education (special needs) within the Calgary Board of Education
  • CPR Level C First Aid Certified 
  • Previous experience as Junior StarSkate and Jumpstart Coordinator, Canskate Coordinator and Program Assistant Coordinator
  • Gold Dance
  • Skate Canada Club and Recreation Coach Award of Excellence - Calgary Region Nominee 2011