Owner & Lead Instructor
Amy is the owner & lead instructor for Lil' Guppies Swim School. Amy grew up on the east coast and fell in love with the water at a very young age. She was always the first one in the pool and the last one out! Amy swam competitively from age 8 through college. She competed in butterfly, backstroke, the IM and freestyle relays and still enjoys swimming on Masters club teams. Amy has always loved working with children and so it was a perfect combination of passions to start teaching swim lessons at the young age of 15. Amy has now taught lessons for over 25 years, and has lifeguarded and coached age group swim teams on both the east and west coasts. She started Lil' Guppies Swim School in 2006 in Los Angeles, and recently upon relocating in 2020, has established a branch of the school in Sarasota, FL! Amy is also an acupuncturist, children's book author, and mom to two boys, ages 11 and 5. They are the original lil' guppies and love swimming just as much as their mom!
Shawna is not only an incredible swim instructor, but a mother of two toddlers (ages 3 and 4) and an instructional aide for special needs children at a middle school in Los Angeles. Shawna has extensivie experience as a lifegaurd and swim instructor at both summer camps and privately for the past 7 years. She loves working with children and has a very gentle teaching style. Shawna - just like our whole Lil' Guppies team- believes that swim lessons should be fun as well as educational!
Shawn has been a swimming instructor and lifeguard for over nine years and has also served as a pool supervisor and swim coach at his local YMCA. Shawn has worked with children and adults of all ages and skill levels, including infants and special needs children. Shawn is very passionate about his role in teaching swimming and water safety and is a great asset to our team!
Brad comes with over 11 years of experience teaching swimming, ranging from infants-adults. Brad has also worked with special needs children with both physical and cognitive limitations. In the past, Brad worked within the Disney Theme Parks playing characters such as Aladdin, Prince Eric, and Prince Charming! Brad's background and experience along with his degree in Child Psychology have instilled in him key instincts when interacting with children of all backgrounds. He was also a competitive swimmer for 15 years and captain of my varsity team. He's got chlorine in his blood! Brad is passionate about teaching swimming for so many reasons - he loves watching someone learn a new skill, especially one as important as swimming. He loves watching people, especially children, grow more confident in themselves, and he loves helping people feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of every lesson.
Sorelle is a rising sophomore at Amherst College, MA, studying Psychology and French. She grew up in West LA, but lived in Athens, Greece, from ages 6-9 where she attended the Lycée and learned French and Greek. Sorelle fell in love with swimming by 3 years old, and always found herself by a pool or a beach (surfing, paddle-boarding or, of course, swimming!). Coming from a family of swimmers and lifeguards, Sorelle became Captain of her High School swim team at Geffen Academy @ UCLA in her Junior and Senior years. During this time, Sorelle also worked at the Collins & Katz Family YMCA in West LA as both a lifeguard and swim instructor to swimmers of all ages (infants - adults). Sorelle loves teaching, and creates a safe, playful, and inclusive learning environment for all students. She is patient, kind, enthusiastic, and always brings her best! No matter your level, Sorelle will help you reach your goal and practice safe swimming!
Grace is an award winning swimmer. She has over 15 years of experience teaching swimming to kids and adults. During the off season, Grace teaches high school and tutors students. She loves teaching kids to be water safe. Grace also coaches swimmers and helps people stay fit. Her philosophy is, "You can learn
through discipline, hard work and laughter." Half drill sergeant, half comedian,Grace achieves excellent results. Whatever your goals may be, Grace will help you get there!
Heidi is a seasoned swimmer and instructor, and she loves to be around the water! She began competitively swimming in her teens and swam in high school and college for the University of New Mexico. While competing, she also became a swim instructor and lifeguard. After graduating, she continued to teach swim lessons, coach a competitive swim team, and volunteer with the Special Olympics. She has over 7 years of experience teaching children and adults how to swim and always emphasizes creating a safe environment around any body of water!
Hana is dedicated to helping her students achieve water safety and build foundational swimming skills. She is a rising sophomore at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, studying Graphic Communications. Hana grew up in West Los Angeles where she has accumulated 9 years of competitive swimming experience, as well as 5 years of ocean swimming experience. She has previous experience in swim instructing and lifeguarding at her local YMCA and absolutely loves being able to blend her love for teaching with her passion for swimming. In addition to being a swim instructor, Hana has experience working with kids in educational environments as a teacher's assistant and tutor. Hana is enthusiastic about teaching and cannot wait to help her students improve their swimming and water safety abilities!
Jae is a passionate competitive swimmer, instructor and lifeguard! Jae lead his high school and college swim teams, and also worked for both the YMCA and the City of Los Angeles as an instructor and lifeguard. Jae also has experience teaching children with special needs and believes in the importance of teaching everyone water safety and experience the enjoyment swimming has to offer! Jae is a very patient instructor and finds this key to any successful learning and educational challenge. Jae loves working with and encouraging young children just learning the basics to training competitive swimmers and athletes who seek to achieve higher goals! Jae is also now engaged in the medical field, working towards becoming an MRI Technologist for the next two years.
Welcome Sky! Sky has a tremendous passion for working with children. She has extensive experience teaching swim and water safety to ages ranging from 3 months old to adults. Sky also has experience working with autistic and hearing impaired children. She speaks English, Hebrew, and and basic sign language. Sky has been a nanny to multiple families as well and is a huge asset to our swim instructor team!
As a trained lifeguard and swim coach, Nico consistently emphasizes the importance of water safety with every student he teaches, regardless of age or skill level. Nico is currently a rising senior at Loyola Marymount University, but grew up in Cape Cod and was born a water baby! As soon as he was old enough, Nico joined both his school and local swim teams, and immediately started helping out with swim lessons. He quickly fell in love with the pool and progressed into coaching and teaching swimming to people of all ages, from infants to adults. Nico also has an extensive background in instructing lifeguard certification and junior lifeguarding courses during his summers on Cape Cod. Nico's enthusiasm for swimming and teaching is contagious and he is excited join the Lil' Guppies team and work with everyone!
Thamar has been teaching swimming lessons for 5 years now and has experience working with infants and children of all ages and skill levels! Thamar has also worked with children as a nanny, babysitter, tutor, and even children's birthday party host! Thamar is well versed in working with children with special needs and those that have a fear of the water. The fact that her students typically leave her class a little more curious and excited to try again! speaks volumes to Thamar's teaching style and natural inclination for working with children. Thamar swam competitively in high school, and attended Southern New Hampshire University, Bridgewater State College, Middlesex Community College, and the New England Institute of Art before deciding to follow her passion for music. She moved to Los Angeles with a dream to become a singer songwriter, but has always stayed close to teaching, because as Thamar says, "working with children and being in the water feeds my soul!" Thamar believes firmly in priortizing and educating families on water safety and feels this is one way she can give back to her community.