- Vice-President of Science of Spin, Inc. (formerly Spintastics Skill Toys, Inc.)
- Science of Spin school program Lead Presenter since 1995
- 2015-2018 Vice-Chairman - Board of Directors - International Top Spinner's Association (ITSA)
- 2014 2nd Place National Spin Top Champion (& 2004)
- 2004 Recipient of the Linda Sengpiel Award for excellence in yo-yoing
- 2006 4th Place Finalist and World Champion Female Top Spinner
- 1972 Minnesota State Yo-Yo Champion
- 1997-2001 Secretary of the American Yo-Yo Association
- Founder Lone Star Spinners Club, DFW, Texas
and Twin Cities Spinners Club, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Val began yo-yoing at the age of 5 when, in the early 1960’s, she and her older brother, Forest, would follow their then Duncan yo-yo man, and now lifelong friend, Bob Rule, from store to store in the Minneapolis area. She developed her skills with the yo-yo and spinning top during those years, appearing on television, competing, and winning contests throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. She deeply believes that these activities taught her important lessons in persistence and the value of practice, as well as good sportsmanship, and contributed to her positive self-esteem as a child. When yo-yoing resurfaced, she won the Minnesota State Yo-Yo Championship in 1972.
Val holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota and a technical degree in computer programming. After 18 years in the computer industry, with jobs ranging from programming to management, and eventually owning her own computer consulting business, she wanted a change. Sharing her yo-yoing skills at various times during the years in her four daughters’ school classrooms (and there named “Yo-Yo Mom”), she finally realized where her heart was – with children and her yo-yo!
Since 1995, she has been presenting the Science of Spin™ school program to over 10,000 elementary and middle school students annually. Beginning in Minnesota, and now from Texas, she travels across the U.S. presenting this educational and fun program. She has developed an Interdisciplinary Yo-Yo Curriculum, using the yo-yo to teach and reinforce concepts across all educational disciplines, including Social Studies (history), Language Arts, Art, Science and Math. She has written specifications on how the 'Science of Spin' program itself addresses the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) Science Objectives. In 1996, she wrote an article for the MAHPERD (Minnesota Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance) newsletter on the value of developing yo-yo skills in the physical education of children. During 1997 and 1998, she was presenter for the accredited Workshop on Wheels program, teaching Physical Education teachers across the Midwest how to teach yo-yoing skills to elementary students. She has also presented her yo-yo clinic program to physical education specialists in both Texas and Oklahoma.
Summers are filled presenting her acclaimed '/Science of Spin/Whirled on a String' Show for Summer Reading programs in libraries and VBS camps throughout Texas.
Val has been an active member of the American Yo-Yo Association since 1994 and held the position of Secretary of the AYYA from 1997 through 2001. While in Minneapolis, she founded the Twin Cities Spinners Yo-Yo Club. She organized and judged the Twin Cities Open Yo-Yo Championships in Minneapolis and the MadFest Competition in Madison, Wisconsin, in both 1996 and 1997.
Valerie attends and participates in National and World Yo-Yo Championships annually.
Her contest accomplishments include:
2006 & 2004 - 4th Place Finalist World Spin Top Championship
making her the World Champion Female Top Spinner
2014 Silver Medalist National Spin Top Championship (& 2004)
2004 Recipient of the Linda Sengpiel Award for excellence in yo-yoing. World Yo-Yo Contest, August 2004
1st Place 2002-National Spin Top Sport Division, Overall Champion
2nd Place – 1998 World Yo-Yo Championship - Recreational Division
3rd Place – 1996 National Yo-Yo Championship – Level 3
5th Place, 1996 World Yo-Yo Championship – Masters Division
4th Place – 1995 World Yo-Yo Championship – Masters Division
1972 Minnesota State Yo-Yo Champion
In 1996, Val teamed up with Dale Oliver to form Spintastics Skill Toys, Inc. to promote and distribute a full line of yo-yos, spinning tops and diabolos, as well as to market the successful 'Science of Spin' program across the country. In 1997, she relocated to Texas (Dallas/Ft. Worth area) where she founded the Lone Star Spinners which meets monthly, and has organized and judged yo-yo and spin top contests across the state of Texas.
At the 1998 World Yo-Yo Championship in Primm, Nevada, Valerie was a shadow judge and continues to judge Sport divisions at both World and National competitions annually.
Val's picture was seen and she was quoted in Wall Street Journal in its front page article about yo-yos on July 17, 2009.
Val and her husband, 1992 World Yo-Yo Champion, Dale Oliver, are exploring the increasingly obvious benefits of yo-yoing for ADD and ADHD students.
Email Val at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
Science of Spin, Inc. TM