Meet the SwimJim Team

 

Management

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Jim Spiers

Owner
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Jim Spiers has been teaching swimming for over 30 years, and established the Underwater Schoolhouse swimming program and teaching methodology in collaboration with 2 time gold medalist Catherine Fox. Jim created and redeveloped multiple swim programs in Texas including one at Phil Hansel Swim Academy in Houston. He moved to New York in 1990 to run a swim school and direct children's theater. He founded SwimJim, Inc. in 1998. He has been featured in the New York Times, had interviews on NPR and Martha Stewart Radio and has been featured in numerous children's magazines. Jim has also presented around the globe for the USSSA and the WABC. Additionally Jim is a member of the World Aquatic Baby Congress, United States Swim School Association, National Drowning Prevention Alliance and serves on the Board of Directors for the Swim for Life Foundation. Drowning Prevention and Aquatic Education are Jim's passion.
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Catherine Fox

Co Author
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Catherine won 2 gold medals at 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.Represented the United States as a US National team member in North and South America, Asia, Europe and Australia. Competed at the national level for 10 years.US Olympic Training Center stroke technician and teacher. Stanford University Athletic Department's Female Athlete of the year for 3 years. Other accomplishments include nine NCAA individual titles and 28 time All American, an American record holder and elected team captain on a national team and college team. She has five years of training with a Chinese acrobatics program in hand-balancing and contortion, learning basic ballet and modern dance skills, is certified in the Pilates Mat method, and is currently the owner of her own private somatic therapy practice in Northern California where she has been running for 11 years. She is the co author of the SwimJim program.

 

Tri-State Team

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Kyle Shaw

Instructor / Trainer
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Kyle joined the SwimJim team in 2015. He was born and raised in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. Being an energetic and active child, he was always enrolled in various sports such as little league baseball, soccer, and ice skating. He is a physical fitness enthusiast and thus enjoys working out at the gym and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He learned to swim at the early age of three at the McBurney Y on West 23rd Street. He further developed a passion for swimming after joining the Chelsea Blue Dolphins, a NYC Parks & Recreation swim team. He enjoyed competing and his expertise in the butterfly stroke awarded him several medals. Soon he became captain of the team, where he was responsible for teaching and guiding his younger teammates. He is proud to bring his patience and persistence to his role as an instructor with SwimJim. Helping children break through their fears and apprehensions about swimming is a great joy of his.
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Candace Bollinger

Director of Client Services
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Candace joined the SwimJim team in 2014. As a native New Yorker, she is ever excited about education and community building in the city. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in educational psychology, she is passionate about the empowerment of often overlooked populations such as women and girls; children with special needs; the economically disadvantaged and the LGBTQI community. Volunteer work in these fields has taken her all over the US where she has swam in more bodies of water than she can count. Her favorite being the lakes surrounding Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can always reach her in the office and occasionally on the pool deck as she gets out to meet and greet the families of SwimJim!
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Keisha Brewer

Instructor / Trainer / Head Lifeguard
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Keisha joined the SwimJim team in 2012. Growing up in California, Keisha feels at home in the water and strives to impart that feeling on her students. Her first experience in the water was both negative and positive. At the age of five, she slipped off the stairs at a pool party and went under water but managed to get back to the side of the pool despite not yet knowing how to swim. This potentially dangerous situation turned positive as she then learned to swim and love the water. She began as a SwimJim lifeguard and found simply observing the lessons to not be enough! She started teaching in 2014, having come with years of experience teaching at the Y and has since gone on to also become head lifeguard and an instructor trainer!
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Lorraine Diehl

Seasonal Instructor/Substitute
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Lorraine is a freshman at St. Joseph's College studying Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Speech and English. She grew up on Long Island and has always loved the water that surrounds her. She started swimming at the age of six and has swam competitively for twelve years both on her varsity high school team and outside swim club. She continues to swim for her college team today. Lorraine has been teaching lessons and lifeguarding for the past four years. She recently joined the SwimJim team in May 2014 and taught SwimJim lessons in the Hampton's summer of 2014.
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Saul Perez

Instructor / Trainer / Assistant Head Lifeguard
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Saul joined the SwimJim team in 2014. Saul, the middle child of five, began as a lifeguard and joined the instructor team in 2015. Born and raised in the Bronx, he found his love for swimming after his elementary school held lessons at a local recreational center. He then pursued his career in swimming by joining that pools swim team and swam competitively for a year. He then became a trained lifeguard and acquired a certification in first aid and CPR and started his career with SwimJim. His hobbies are playing guitar, piano, football, baseball, ping pong, and chess. He looks forward to showing children how to love, enjoy and be safe in the water!
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Kelli Stryker

Director/Head Instructor
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Kelli joined the SwimJim team in 2008. Kelli was taught how to swim by Uncle Swim "Jim" himself at the age of 3. Growing up on a swim team she was awarded many purple participation ribbons but never got gold. Though competitive swimming wasn't for her, in the long run her love for swimming always remained intact. She obtained a BFA in Musical Theatre from Webster Universities Conservatory of Fine Arts. After moving to New York, Kelli began working for SwimJim as an instructor and deck supervisor. Kelli can now be seen not only in the pool but in the office as the Director of the company. She has received her Infant/Toddler and Special Abilities certification from the United States Swim School Association as well as trained at AquaPros in San Diego on their Special Needs program. Teaching swimming and educating people on water safety are some of Kelli’s greatest passions. There is no greater feeling than knowing that you have taught someone a skill that makes them safer in and around the water!
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Betty Huerta

Instructor
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Betty joined the SwimJim team in 2015. She discovered her passion for swimming while taking swim classes in high school. She volunteered for two years with the Red Cross teaching in the very same school after she graduated. Betty understands the importance of swimming as a survival skill and loves to teach it to the little ones. She believes with patience and repetition, everyone can learn.
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Lena Dabrusin

Instructor
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Lena joined the SwimJim team in 2015. Lena, a Vancouver native, has been teaching children in the arena of aquatics, dance and theater for more than 5 years. She is a warm, upbeat instructor who is seeks to enrich the lives of children of all ages and abilities.
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Linda Moulton

Instructor
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Linda joined the SwimJim team in 2015. Since childhood, this Native Floridian has always loved the water, be it swimming, snorkeling, surfing and her favorite: kayaking! While she has been swimming for more than 20 years, she is sympathetic and no stranger to overcoming obstacles and fears. As a child, she was asthmatic and learned to swim in lakes and rivers populated by alligators. Linda is a proud graduate of Interlochen Center of the Arts and holds a dual Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree from Syracuse University’s Department of Drama and Liberal Arts and Sciences and Tsinghua University’s department of International Relations. A sketch comedy writer and stand-up comedian, Linda has performed three times at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and performs bi-monthly with the group 301 Views. She is thrilled to be a part of the Swim Jim family.
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Emily Tarrier

Instructor
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Emily joined the SwimJim team in 2015. Emily is a recent graduate of a BFA program in dance at SUNY Purchase. Her experience as a dancer, dance instructor and pilates instructor has given her a passion for physical awareness of the body. This, combined with her experience as a competitive swimmer makes her a creative, instinctive, physically engaging swim educator.
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Jon Siedman

Instructor
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Jon joined the SwimJim team in 2015. Jon, a native New Yorker, brings his passion for education and swimming to his instruction at SwimJim after 3+ years of work with a Montessori swim program and many years experience as an academic tutor. Jon is an outgoing, entertaining instructor with a background in performance and screenwriting that informs his ability to adapt to anything his students send his way.
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Jennifer Arsego

Instructor
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Jen joined the SwimJim team in 2015. She learned to swim at the age of three at a YMCA program in Torrington, Connecticut. She has had a love for the water ever since, and swam competitively for six years on a Connecticut swim club team. She spent her high school summers teaching swimming lessons and lifeguarding at Torrington’s town pool, where she was able to help children enjoy swimming just as much as she did growing up. After completing coursework at Columbia University, Jennifer hopes to further her education by attending medical school. She is extremely excited to join the SwimJim team to provide children with fun and safe swimming instruction.
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Rodrigue Tovar

Instructor
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Rodrigue joined the SwimJim team in 2015. He is a New York City native who has been swimming since the age of 3. He is a sensitive yet challenging instructor who uses his good-natured and fun-loving personality to connect with his students. Prior to joining the SwimJim team, this avid hiker, cyclist, traveler, fisherman and basketball player swam competitively and coached children ranging from pre-school through high school age.
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Wilson Acero

Instructor
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Wilson joined the SwimJim team in 2015. He started as a lifeguard but quickly went into teacher training. His charismatic nature makes him a natural fit for working with children and he has seen great success with children of all ages.
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Kris Gonell

Instructor
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Kris joined the SwimJim team in 2015. Her passion for swimming, history as a lifeguard and background in child care brought her to teaching with SwimJim. She’s a young, relatable, friendly instructor who excels with young kids.
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Lio Ruiz

Instructor
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Lio joined the SwimJim team in 2016. Some of his earliest memories are of learning to swim with his parents and having outings on his father's boat. Growing up in Argentina, he was part of the state swim team and received 2nd place in the National Argentinean Summer tournaments in 1997 and 1998. He later represented Argentina on the South American Tournament in Brazil in 1999. It was learning to swim that gave him confidence as a boy and in turn, that gave him his desire to bring that confidence to children through swimming.
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Abril Sanchez

Instructor
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Abril joined the SwimJim team in early 2016. She is a positive, energetic instructor who is eager to share her experience with her students. Abril is a college student pursuing a career in medicine with 3+ years of swim instructor experience working with young children prior to joining the SwimJim team.
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Elizabeth Earhart

Instructor
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Kutay joined the SwimJim team in early 2016. He excelled on his high school swim team and has worked with children in different capacities his entire life. As a childcare professional and Developmental Psychology major at Hunter College, he is both invested in and fascinated by child development. Kutay is a patient, understanding and motivational instructor we are proud to welcome to the team.
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Darline Vargas

Lifeguard Coordinator
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Bio coming soon...
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Mike Gennodie

Pool Operator
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Bio coming soon...
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Maci Powers

Client Services / Home Pool Coordinator
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Maci joined the SwimJim team in 2015. Growing up in Tennessee, Maci recalls spending a lot of time outdoors. Attending Lyon College, she remained active in outdoor education through LEAP (Lyon Education Adventure Program) which led her to work for the Boy Scouts of America at Florida National High Adventure Sea Base in Summerland Key after graduation. There she spent every day on the water with activities such as sea kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, and scuba diving, which in turn led to her love for the aquatic environment! She continued to participate in high adventure sports after moving to Breckenridge, Colorado, and has recently moved to New York City and joined our team as a Client Service Representative and Home Pool coordinator.
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Taylor Heron

Client Services
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Bio coming soon...
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JR Chansakul

Instructor
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Bio coming soon...
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Kutay Agardici

Instructor
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Kutay joined the SwimJim team in early 2016. He excelled on his high school swim team and has worked with children in different capacities his entire life. As a childcare professional and Developmental Psychology major at Hunter College, he is both invested in and fascinated by child development. Kutay is a patient, understanding and motivational instructor we are proud to welcome to the team.
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Abril Sanchez

Swim Instructor
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Bio coming soon

 

Texas Team

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Julian Lomeli

Instructor
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Bio coming soon
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Chris Leach

Instructor
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James Christopher Leach or known to his students as Coach Chris is an instructor at SwimJim Texas. He was born in Oahu Hawaii and moved to Houston, Texas at a very young age. On his days off, he loves to hit the waves and go surfing in Galveston. He recently taught himself to play the guitar and will sometimes play what he has learned for the parents and staff. Chris previously taught Taekwondo for an after school activity center and enjoys working with children very much. His students love his energetic bubbly personality and he refers to himself as a “big kid at heart”.
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Juan Borrayo

Director / Instructor
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I have always been very involved in athletics, tracing back to a very young age. Competitive swimming was one of my favorite extra curricular activities in which I excelled in, primarily in the Braest Stroke. I joined my first swim team at the age of 11 during the summer where I joined a summer league for my local community pool. Every year since then, up to the age of 18, I joined that summer league and from ages 14 and 18 I never failed to qualify for The All-Stars, where the best swimmers around the Houston area competed amongst one another. I attended Alief Taylor high school, where I swam for four years and became captain my junior year. Come my senior year, I had the honor of winning our Most Valuable swimmer award and set a school record in the 100m Breast Stroke. I am currently attending Lonestar College where I plan to transfer to The University of Houston in hopes of graduating with a Bachelor's in Kinesiology. Hopefully, as you're reading this, you can see that I have a genuine passion for not only swimming but everything athletic related. SwimJim for me, has been the perfect platform where I can convey my knowledge and experience in swimming to anyone willing to learn. Whether it be a young child or a grown adult, I take pride in making sure that the individual gets the most out of their lessons. I always try to excel and be the best at whatever I do and it is no different when I am teaching swim lessons at SwimJim. I believe that I am not only teaching my students swimming, but in addition, a life saving skill.
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Maria Quevedo

Instructor
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Hi my name is Maria Quevedo and I am from Cuba. Since I was a child swimming was my passion. I was also very passionate about music and dancing and this is why I became a synchronized swimming athlete. For 14 years, I passed through all categories, from starter to senior, participated in national and international competitions and got medal of all colors. After all those years as an athlete I started to work as a synchro-swimming coach of early age teams (from 5 to 12 years) until I was promoted as a coach of the Cuba National Team. I have 11 years of experience as a coach, in total. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education and a Master's Degree in Synchronized Swimming. When I moved to USA, I worked as a swimming instructor at the Southeast Family YMCA in Louisville, Kentucky. I then, moved to Houston, and I'm very happy to have found a home at SwimJim. I aspire to give the best of me to all those who want to learn how to swim and I'm doing it with all the passion and love that I feel for swimming. I'm sure, once they learn it, they're going to feel the same for this wonderful sport.
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Pam Stansbury

Client Services Supervisor
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Hi, I’m Pam and I help run the office here at SwimJim Texas. I was born and raised on Long Island, New York and spent much of my time on the beaches. I love working with parents and their children and am committed to making their experience here the best it can possibly be. My background is in Office Management and Office Administration which I have enjoyed for the past 20+ years. I believe great customer service and the dedication of our qualified instructors are the keys to the continuing success of SwimJim.
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Mary Pham

Client Services
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Mary Pham has been working for SwimJim Swim School as a client coordinator since May of 2014. Mary was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and moved to Houston, Texas in 2010. Mary is currently attending Houston Community College, pursuing her dream of becoming a Neonatal Nurse. Growing up in a big family has given her the patience needed to care for children. She loves that she can bring her passion of caring for children to SwimJim.
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Trevion Minor

Instructor
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Bio coming soon...
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Sana Mian

Client Services / Marketing
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Sana Mian has been working as the client coordinator for SwimJim Swim School since May of 2013. Although she mostly works at the Front desk, but time to time can be found in the pool helping with water demonstrations and promoting our non-profit organization The Safer Three. Sana currently attends the University of Houston- Main Campus, she is pursuing a bachelors in Engineering. She loves working with children and enjoys taking her nieces to the pool whenever she can. Sana learned to swim at a very young age, when she was 2 and a half she nearly drowned at her community pool back in New Port California where she grew up and since that incident she has been an advocate of children learning to swim as soon as physically possible.
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Enrique Borrayo

Instructor
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Bio coming soon...
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Victor Borrayo

Instructor Trainer
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Born and raised in Houston Texas, swimming has always been a part of Victors life. He has always loved to swim and has been on a swim team for most of his life. As soon as he turned 15 he became a lifeguard. He competed in swimming, water polo, and has also enjoyed playing many other sports throughout his life. Victors patience, love for the water, and passion in teaching kids makes him a perfect fit for the SwimJim team! Victor strongly believes in water safety and that every child and adult must know how to swim in order to avoid drownings. Victors positive attitude and determination to see every child succeed makes him a great swim instructor.
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Kevin Quintero

Instructor
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Bio coming soon
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Debra Mojena

Front Desk
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Bio coming soon