Coaching Staff

Learn to Skate instructors

All BGSU professionals are dedicated to the advancement figure skating and carry personal liability insurance. Interested customers may contact staff to arrange an appointment with a professional. Most lessons are conducted on the main ice during a figure skating session or, with advanced booking through the Skate Shop, on the studio ice.

The coaching team meets on a regular basis, in conjunction with Ice Arena management, to continually fine-tune curriculum and disseminate information about the world of skating to you!  Class offerings feature several sessions of most skill levels which allow a teacher to student ratio of 10 - 1 or better for all classes.

In addition to focusing on the progress of your child many coaches also serve as mentors to younger potential teachers who wish to learn more about the instruction of basic skating skills. These volunteers are screened and trained by the program director and provide more individual attention for each participant. Ice Arena management is very proud of the commitment and hard work demonstrated by all Learn to Skate coaches.

  • BGSU Student Instructors
  • Kate Bresnan Messa
  • Shelly Bressler
  • Laura Fischer, Assistant Director of Programming
  • Laurie Haener-Buckley
  • Tracy Koehler
  • Aleksandr Nagorny
  • Amy Rybak

Private Lessons

Skaters desiring individualized lessons for figure skating or hockey skating skill development are advised to consider private lessons.  Private lessons can be as often as multiple times a week or as few as a couple of times a year to supplement group classes.  Individualized instruction can be a great way to master a specific skill or progress at a faster pace.  Private lessons and group classes can be taken simultaneously.  Practicing outside of private lessons is highly encouraged.

Professional Instructors are independent contractors who conduct skating lessons at the Slater Family Ice Arena.  Fees, lesson times, and availability are entirely at the discretion of the individual professional.  Contact the Professional Instructor directly to inquire about availability and philosophy of coaching.  Skating session fees are paid separately and in addition to Private Instructor fees.  Skating sessions cannot be pro-rated.  All skaters must sign-in and pay prior to the start of the session.  Read more on Hiring a Private Coach from U.S. Figure Skating.

Private Instructors


Shelly Bressler

  • Position: Private Skating Instructor, Figure Skating and Hockey Skills
  • Phone: 419-353-3829
  • Email:
  • PSA,USFS, ISI Member
  • 35 years coaching experience; on and off-ice
  • Skate Holiday on Ice, 1978-1979, Guest Skater Dubai, U.A.E. 1980, Adzio skater, 1981
  • BGSC Junior Club Director, 2001-2005
  • Director of BGSU Group Lesson Program 1996-2008
  • Ice Horizons Director, 2003 & 2005

Laurie Haener-Buckley

  • Position: Private Skating Instructor, Figure Skating and Hockey Skills
  • Phone: 419-902-1645
  • United States Figure Skating gold medals in Figures and Freestyle, United States Figure Skating Pre-Gold Dance
  • Professional Skater’s Association Senior Ratings in Freestyle (1998)*
  • Professional Skater’s Association Hockey Skating Accreditation Levels 1 and 2 (1997)*
  • Established skating clubs: Southwest Michigan Skating Club and Kaleidoscope Skating Academy
  • Developed, organized, and implemented skating programs, shows, and exhibitions for numerous skating organizations in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio
  • Have taught USFS private and group skating lessons in the areas of figures, freestyle, dance, moves in the field, power stroking, and preliminary pairs to children from 18 months old through adulthood (1980-present)
  • Numerous skaters have placed in Eastern Great Lakes Regional Competition in both singles and dance events (mid 1980s & early 1990s) -Former students went on to achieve international acclaim: Naomi Lang (2002 Olympics) and Charlie Butler (1998 Olympics)
  • Chorus Skater with Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice, Magic Kingdom on Ice (1983-1984)
  • BS in Elementary Education (1982); Masters in Educational Leadership and Supervision (2011)
  • Licensed and experienced School Teacher for over 20 years.

* PSA Rating status is not currently active due to a lack of an immediate teaching need for reactivation.


Aleksandr (Sasha) Nagorny

  • Position: Private Skating Instructor, Figure Skating
  • Phone: 419-345-1248
  • Email:
  • PSA, USFS Member
  • 37 years coaching experience
  • Ukrainian National Figure Skating Team Member
  • Gold Medalist of Ukrainian National Championships
  • Master of Sports of USSR in Figure Skating
  • Master of Education in Coaching and Choreography, Ukrainian State Academy of Physical Education and Sports, Kiev, Ukraine, 1975

Amy Rybak

  • Position: Private Skating Instructor, Figure Skating
  • Phone: 419-353-2438
  • Email:
  • PSA Registered Group Rating, USFS Member
  • 23 years coaching experience
  • USFS Gold Dance, 5th Figure, and Novice Freestyle tests
  • Featured skater in Ice Horizons & International Stars on Ice, 1975-1983
  • BA & MA in English, BGSU 1987 & 1989

Updated: 09/12/2022 01:05PM