We are honored to introduce the amazing group of women that will be serving on the Girls Play Sports Board of Directors.
Joyce Anderson is the Head Coach of Girls Tennis at ETHS and also serves as the ETHS College Bound Student Athlete Advisor. Since joining ETHS in 2010, she has grown the Girls Tennis program from 30 girls players to 65. Anderson was recently awarded the 2016 IHSTCA Regional Coach of the Year, after leading her Varsity team to a top 10 finish at State, the best performance in ETHS Girls Tennis History. From the beginning of GPS, Coach Anderson has trained her high school players to work with GPS girls. The ETHS girls serve as mentors to the GPS participants, gaining leadership skills and inspiring GPS participants to continue participating in sports. Prior to joining the Wildkit team, Coach Anderson earned her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School and practiced securities litigation at a large Chicago law firm. She played 4 years NCAA Div I tennis at Columbia University in NYC and received her B.A. in History. Anderson also serves on the Advisory Committee for Beyond Sports Foundation. Sport has taught Coach Anderson so much about discipline, confidence, teamwork, sportsmanship, time management and how to live a healthy lifestyle. She hopes that GPS will help lead many more young girls to learn a new sport and in turn gain confidence and life skills. Coach Anderson lives in Evanston with her husband and three sons.
Juliet E. Barnes, a Chicago native, was raised in Skokie IL, and is a graduate of Evanston Township High School and an alumna of Illinois State University. Sports have always played an instrumental role throughout her life. In fact, Juliet attributes her teamwork skills and willingness to branch out and explore new opportunities to her early involvement in sports. Juliet played volleyball, basketball, and softball while in high school and was recruited to play volleyball in college before having knee surgery, which altered her path to pursue a career in college athletics in a different capacity. Instead of playing collegiate volleyball, Juliet was a student Athletic Trainer with women’s basketball, track and field, and gymnastics teams at Illinois State. She played volleyball and basketball intramurals while also serving as a mentor to incoming freshman and volunteering with the Girl’s Scouts. Juliet graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Athletic Training and has spent close to 15 years working as an Athletic Trainer for major sports associations including the USA Women’s Soccer Team and the WNBA Chicago Sky Team. She has traveled to over eight countries and six continents with the Women’s USA Soccer Team, and has worked with a number of high school and collegiate teams across the Chicagoland area. She stays up-to-date on the latest sports related injuries and technologies by attending continuing education classes. She is also a certified Performance Enhancement specialist. Juliet currently works with the Women’s Lacrosse team at Northwestern University, and has supported these young women through seven national championship titles. She is pursuing her Masters in Sports Administration at Northwestern with an emphasis in Marketing. All the while, she continues to promote team building and the value of what it means to work for something bigger than her. Juliet is committed to her community and is a Board Member for the “Through Her Eyes Project”, which is an innovative multimedia project designed to profile girls and women in developing countries who play sports.
The mother of a high school senior boy and 6th grade girl who are both very involved in extracurricular activities, Clarinda Harbison knows the importance of keeping children involved in multiple sports and activities. Born and raised in Evanston, she has a strong connection with the Evanston community and a passion to help all children, but especially the underserved and underprivileged. Her current position as Athletic Specialist at ETHS has allowed her to nurture this passion and has allowed her to be hands on in encouraging our youth to stay involved in sports. Prior to her position at ETHS, spent 13 years with AXA Advisors (formerly Equitable Life Insurance) where she held several positions including Asst. to the Branch Manager, Compliance Specialist and eventually Office Manager at Sachman/Mooney. She attended University of Phoenix online while working at AXA and plans to go back and earn her BA in Accounting.
After 11 seasons with the Northwestern University, April Likhite recently retired from collegiate coaching as the Wildcats’ Head Cross Country Coach. In 1998 Likhite was hired to resurrect the women’s program and served three years as head coach before moving to the Detroit area where she taught physical education and coached track and cross country. Another move in 2007 brought her back to NU where she continued her second stint for the Wildcats. While coaching at Northwestern, April encouraged her student athletes to be involved in the community, particularly with programs like GPS, and to share their passion for running and athletics in general. Likhite embraced those same joys at an early age when she was encouraged to participate in various sports including soccer and track and field in her hometown of Green Bay, WI. She accepted an athletic scholarship to compete in cross country and track and field at Mississippi State University where she earned All-American and All-SEC honors and was the SEC Student-Athlete of the year. After graduating with a degree in Physical and Elementary Education, April began her professional career as an assistant cross country and track coach at the University of Alabama and pursued a Masters of Arts in Human Performance and Teacher Education. She went on to coach the women and men’s teams at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Likhite attributes much of her athletic success and career opportunities to those individuals and coaches who were positive influences on her athletics at a young age. Both she and her husband Craig have enjoyed watching their son Cade’s physical and emotional growth through sports, and April is thrilled to be part of a program whose philosophies provide and encourage that same growth to young girls in their Evanston community.
Maureen Palchak is the assistant athletic director for community relations in Northwestern University’s Athletics Department. She serves as Northwestern’s philanthropic liaison, responsible for coordinating community service for all 19 varsity programs. She also plays a large role in Northwestern Athletics’ relationships with the Evanston community. Charged with implementing programs for coaches and student-athletes to become more involved on campus and in the Chicagoland community, Palchak also facilitates charitable donation requests and coordinates efforts with NU’s sponsorship department to enhance joint community relations initiatives with Northwestern sponsors. A Marshall, Michigan native, Palchak graduated from Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana, where she swam four years on the Belles’ varsity swim team and set five program records. Maureen who is involved with Women in Sports and Events (WISE), earned her master’s degree in sports administration from Northwestern University in 2008. She resides in Evanston with her husband, Doug Meffley, and son.
Dr. Sharon Robinson
A native of Gary, Indiana, Sharon attended Duke University where she obtained a B.S. in Psychology with a focus in Child Development. She then earned her Medical Degree from Indiana University School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital (now Lurie Children’s Hospital) in Chicago, Illinois. After serving as chief resident, she joined NorthShore University HealthSystem where she practices general pediatrics. Sharon resides in Evanston with her husband and her two daughters who attend District 65 schools. She is dedicated to the empowerment of girls through athletics and sportsmanship and is honored to serve on the board of Team GPS.
Denise Rossa is a graduate of Kankakee Valley High School in Indiana. She received her B.S. from the University of Southern Indiana in Physical Education with a minor in Athletic Training while competing in volleyball there on scholarship for four years. She served as the head volleyball coach at Brescia University in 1994 and Kentucky Wesleyan in 1995. She received her M.S. in Exercise Physiology from Northeastern Illinois University in 2006 and M.A. in Educational Leadership & Type 75 in 2014. She has taught & coached varsity volleyball at Highland High School in Highland, Indiana, from 1998-2002 and led her team to the Indiana State Tournament in 2002. She is currently the District 65 Physical Education Department Chair (K-8) and has been teaching at Chute Middle School, a Blue Ribbon school for physical education, since 2002 and has been coaching volleyball at Evanston Township High School since 2007. Denise is also an avid cyclist who used to race road bikes.
Kathy is a lifelong Evanston resident and an alumna of both King Lab and Evanston Township High School. Kathy holds a BA from Washington University and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. Formerly, she worked as a professional political consultant. Kathy serves on a number of non-profit boards and currently co-chairs the Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center Board. She lives in Evanston with her husband Pat Hughes and their two children who attend Haven and ETHS.
Jackie English, a native of Iowa, has lived in Evanston for over 15 years, where her three children attended Willard School, Haven Middle School, and ETHS — participating in community, club, and high school athletics. Jackie has been actively involved in the Evanston Community, currently serving on the ETHS Booster Board and as a member of the North End Mother’s Club. She served previously on the Evanston Youth Hockey Association board and the Willard PTA. Jackie graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University. She is currently Head of Client Experience and Service Delivery at JP Morgan Chase and has a leadership and executive coaching practice. As a high school athlete in Iowa, Jackie played golf, volleyball, and basketball and believes the skills and work ethic she formed in youth sports served to instill in her an ability to set challenging goals and continue to learn new skills. She is excited to support the growth and development of GPS in the Evanston community.