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Fargo gymnastics soars to new heights

By Loren Nelson, 01/30/17, 1:45AM CST


Webmaster Shannon Thornton has led American Gold Gymnastics move to modern technology

Webmaster of the Week: Jan. 30-Feb. 5


Shannon Thornton


American Gold Gymnastics


Executive director, webmaster

Use of platform:



Thornton grew up just north of Fort Worth, Texas, in North Richland Hills. She attended Richland High School and didn’t start her gymnastics career until she was a sophomore. “I made varsity,” Thornton said. “And I really enjoyed the sport from there.” Thornton, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, coached gymnastics in Austin, Texas, before eventually settling in Fargo, North Dakota in 2008. As a parent of a young recreational gymnast, Thornton quickly became enamored with American Gold Gymnastics and its multitude of programs for kids of all ages, interests and abilities. American Gold is home to an acro-performance team, competitive teams and offseason high school teams. There are about 1,500 kids who regularly attend classes at American Gold, including 300 in team programs.

What she does:

American Gold Gymnastics is a non-profit, so a big part of Thornton’s job is to develop the club’s fundraising programming. She also serves as the club’s one-person web staff. As part of that role, she has created a Ways to Donate section at the bottom of the home page. She also helped to push the site live on a mobile responsive theme two months ago, directing the migration of content from the old platform. “Our previous website just wasn’t mobile friendly,” Thornton said. “A lot of (parents and athletes) are using their phones for everything. We really wanted to integrate and be user friendly. Another thing we wanted were very personal photos. Those are all our kids on the site.” Thornton uses Call to Action page elements in several places on the home page and on the site’s landing pages.

Making her mark:

Thornton oversaw the migration of the club's existing FAQ page, which includes detailed answers to logistics questions such as Where do I park? and Where do I drop off and pick up my child?, onto the new platform.  

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About Loren Nelson

Loren Nelson is Community Manager at SportsEngine. He is also the National Media Editor and has served in a variety of other customer facing and media roles since 2009.

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