Ellen is a social entrepreneur who uses the power of sports to help kids be super! Involved with sport throughout her life, she is passionate about how sports can transform lives and help kids be better teammates in sports and in life!
Navigating a career path to fit her passions, she has worked at for-profit and nonprofit organizations, including Burson Marsteller, the United States Tennis Association, Girl Scouts of the USA, and the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation.
Involved in after school & out of school time programming for more than 20 years, Ellen is focused on sports-based youth development, and creating opportunities for youth, particularly girls, to feel connected, competent and confident. In 1998, Ellen followed her dream by founding PowerPlay NYC (www.powerplaynyc.org), a nonprofit, sports-based youth development organization that educates and inspires New York City girls. PowerPlay’s after school and summer programs currently inspire more than 1,000 girls each year.
In Charlottesville, Ellen launched SuperStarters Consulting, which offers coaching, programs, & consulting in the areas of sports-based youth development, workshops & professional development, sport psychology and peak performance, and nonprofit organizations. SuperStarters Sports programs are now offered in 11 city and county schools in Charlottesville, as well as through the Albemarle County Department of Parks & Recreation & the Crozet YMCA. SuperStarters Sports serves more than 500 kids each year through our programs. Ellen is also the coach of the Western Albemarle High School Girls Tennis team, 2014 Virginia 3A State Champions, and the Director of Tennis for the Albemarle County Parks & Recreation.
“Dr. E” is a graduate of Yale University (BA), where she played on the Women’s Tennis Team, along with Intramural Volleyball and Basketball teams. She received an MBA in Marketing from NYU’s Leonard Stern School of Business, an MA in Physical Education from Adelphi University, and a Ph.D in Education from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.
Greatest Sports Moment: from my Yale days, it’s a toss up between coming back from 6-1, 5-0 to win a singles match….and when the entire team dressed up for Halloween, flew to Norfolk VA and I rolled around the airport on my roller skates!
Alice Tym, Yale Women’s Tennis Coach
Best Coaching Moments:
I love facilitating kids’ developing their “super powers,” through sports! One of my favorite parts of our SuperStarters programs is shout outs when kids thank and acknowledge each other at the end of practice. Shout outs make me so happy!
One of my proudest coaching moments was watching the Western Albemarle High School Girls Tennis team win its first-ever state title in 2014. After reaching state semifinals, and state finals in the previous two years, it was an amazing feeling to finally climb to the top of the mountain! It took great teamwork, leadership and belief to make that dream a reality.
Brittany is currently the Volunteer Coordinator for Meals on Wheels in Charlottesville. When she isn’t volunteering, Brittany is coaching. Brittany loves to play sports. The primary sports she plays are rugby, volleyball, and soccer, however, growing up she was involved in tennis, golf, basketball, softball, and dancing. Brittany is a huge Chicago Bulls fan and loves to watch Joakim Noah play because of his intense effort and his ability to motivate his fellow teammates.
Brittany reminisces on some influential moments in her sports career, sharing that the biggest life lesson she’s learned from sports is how to work together with other teammates towards a common goal, even though differing desires and expectations were present on the team. Brittany’s favorite coach was her volleyball coach, who helped Brittany reach her athletic goals through challenging her and respecting her – both key aspects of coaching. One of Brittany’s personal sports highlight was scoring a try comeback win over Virginia Tech during playoffs!
For SuperStarters, Brittany coaches a little bit of everything but primarily coaches tennis and golf.
Andi is originally from Richmond, VA and came to Charlottesville to attend The University of Virginia. She graduated in 2013 with a Master’s in Teaching. Currently, Andi is teaching high school English at Albemarle High School. In her spare time, Andi loves to hike and rock climb. Andi’s favorite sports teams are the Arizona Cardinals and the Baltimore Orioles! When it comes to tennis though, Andi roots for Djokovic!
Andi is excited to be coaching tennis for SuperStarters!
Tom is originally from Spotsylvania, Virginia. He has be teaching tennis for the past 3 years and has just recently taken up rock climbing! Other activities that Tom enjoys doing include soccer, racquetball, and playing the guitar. In the professional world, Tom favorite coach and athlete are Paul Anacone and Roger Federer.
Through sports, Tom has learned many different life skills but the one that is most salient is patience. During his first tennis match, Tom was against a more talented player. However, Tom stayed focused and patient and came back to win the match! One of Tom’s greatest sports memories was when he scored the winning goal that helped lead his team to the playoffs.
Tom loves sharing his knowledge and passion for tennis as one of the tennis coaches for SuperStarters!
Ashlee is from Richmond, VA and is currently in her 3rd year of her undergraduate studies in the Curry School of Education. Her studies are focused on Youth and Social Innovation and Spanish. After graduation she hopes to continue with her education. Like most Hoos, Ashlee’s favorite sports team is the UVA Mens Basketball team and looks up to the coaching techniques of Tony Bennet.
Ashlee loves to dance and danced competitively in high school. Her greatest sports moment was helping her senior dance team get to grand champs with the dance pieces she choreographed! Through dance, Ashlee has learned the important skills of practice and perseverance – traits she hopes to pass on to her fellow dancers in SuperStarters.
Ashlee coaches Hip Hop Dance for SuperStarters!
Mary is from Long Island, New York and is in Charlottesville completing her M.Ed. and M.T. at the University of Virginia. Mary has been active her whole life and enjoys running, sailing, and hiking. However, her true passion lies with running. She has been a runner since 7th grade (about 11 years now!), and has loved every minute of it. She was a 3-season varsity athlete – cross country, winter track, and spring track – for all 4 years of high school, and was captain of the teams for the majority of the seasons. Currently, she runs for the pure pleasure of it and competes in various road races.
One of her greatest running moments was in 8th grade when she was honored to be on varsity track. She competed at All-Divisions and ran a PR for her 1500m event! One of the key lessons Mary has learned from competing in sports is the importance of teamwork through communication and respect. She learned much of the characteristics of these two traits through being involved in a team. Mary reflects back to how she loved the support and camaraderie present everyday on the track. Mary also gives credit to her track coach who always made the team feel like a family.
For SuperStarters, Mary coaches tennis and running. She is super excited to be coaching the first SuperStarters Running Club and hopes to spread the joy of running!
Jared is originally from Pound Ridge, New York. He is a 3rd year pre-med Biology student at the University of Virginia. Jared enjoys playing Frisbee, in particular Ultimate Frisbee. Jared’s favorite sports teams include the Pacers, Titans, Rangers, and of course the Hoos! He also looks up to some of these teams – Tony Bennett, Frank Vogel, and Gregg Popovich. Jared’s favorite athlete to watch is the professional ice hockey goalie, Henrik Lundqvist.
One of Jared’s greatest sports memories was when UVA took the victory over Duke two years ago. Through the game of Frisbee, Jared has learned both teamwork and integrity. These are characteristics that can be learned through sports but can also be translated into great benefits for contexts outside of sports.
Jared loves coaching Ultimate Frisbee for SuperStarters!
Emily is from the small town of Front Royal, VA and just graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Secondary Education. In addition to coaching kids through SuperStarters, Emily is an Assistant Coach for the girl’s tennis team at Western Albemarle HS and working as a substitute teacher in Albemarle County. Emily is super excited to be starting her first teaching job this fall as a 6th grade reading teacher in Brooklyn, NY! When Emily is not teaching, she enjoys watching professional tennis player, Rafael Nadal, play. She particularly enjoys watching him play on different court surfaces and how his mental focus and toughness leads him to success.
Emily’s greatest sports moments was the perseverance and hard work her high school tennis team put in to move up in their district. By the end of her senior year, the team had become one of the strongest teams in the region. Much of the team’s hard work and determination was facilitated by Emily’s tennis coach. The coach was a huge role model and taught the team the value of teamwork and determination. One of the best lessons Emily has learned through sports is how much can truly be gained through hard work!
Emily is one of the tennis coaches for SuperStarters!
Carolyn grew up moving around quite a bit due to her father’s career in the Air Force. Carolyn received her Masters in Teaching from The University of Virginia and is completing her first year as a 9th grade World History teacher as The New Community School in Richmond, Virginia! Growing up, Carolyn loved to play a variety of sports especially those that involved being on a team. When it comes to watching sports, her favorite team to watch is any Notre Dame team!
Thinking of her greatest sports memory was tough, but her most favorite moment was during the last game of a middle school boys basketball team she was helping coach. Even though the team lost by a lot, it was the first game that Carolyn remembers the boys looking and acting like a team! One of the best lessons that Carolyn has learned through sports is to trust not only yourself but also your teammates.
Carolyn is super excited to be coaching tennis this summer for SuperStarters!
Kandyce was born and raised in Nelson County, VA. She attended Emory and Henry College for her undergraduate studies and received her Masters in Teaching in 2014 from James Madison University. Kandyce has recently moved to Charlottesville for her career. In Charlottesville, Kandyce is a teacher for early childhood education, a high school coach, and a senior care provider. When it comes to sports, Kandyce loves to play tennis, football, volleyball, and basketball. In the professional realm, Kandyce is an Eagles fan and looks up to the coaching of Chip Kelly. Her favorite athlete to watch is Kevin Durant because he is always positive in promoting what a healthy athlete should represent.
Kandyce’s greatest sports memory was when she was undefeated as a #4 seed during her sophomore year at her alma mater. She was the first student-athlete of the millennium for Emory and Henry College women’s tennis to accomplish an All-Conference player standing! Through sports, Kandyce has learned that determination is the biggest motivator for athlete development – and this applies to any sport! One sayings that Kandyce uses to relate to this is to remember that the word CAN comes before CAN’T!
For SuperStarters, Kandyce is excited to be coaching tennis!
Elias was born and raised in New Hampshire and moved to Charlottesville in 2014. He played at Bryant University and is currently a coach for the Tandem Friends School boys team. When watching sports, Elias liked to watch the tennis player Rafael Nadal because of his tenacity and skill.
In addition to giving Elias a great foundation to continuing learning and growing, sports has also helped him navigate through life. The lessons that Elias has learned through sports has helped give him a great foundation to build
For SuperStarters, Elias coaches Tennis and Golf!