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Amy Diamond

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! 

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Meagan Richardson

Assistant Manager

Meagan joins our team from New York as both assistant manager and swim instructor for the Florida branch of Lil' Guppies.  She comes to the team with over 10 years of experience in both managerial duties and swim instruction. Meagan has worked as a babysitter, lifeguard and swim instructor specializing in water safety and success, and also has a background in working with special needs children. Meagan's passion for helping others has continued through her volunteer work on the ambulance, and she is now a certified EMT. She is ready to jump right in and meet our families!  

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Shawn Mohamed

Shawn has been a swimming instructor and lifeguard for over six 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!

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Aly Arsenault

Aly is originally from Massachusetts and was a competitive synchronized swimmer for 10 years along with a seasonsal speed swimmer from age 5 though college. She started teaching swim lessons at the age of 15 and has stuck with it ever since! Aly has spent the last six years in non-profit aquaitc departments on the east coast perfecting her craft as a swim instructor. She loves her lessons to be fun and silly, yet also driven to meet goals in a reasonable timeframe, thus making Aly a perfect fit for our team! Aly's favorite stroke to teach and swim is butterfly. One thing you will learn about Aly's lessons is that she can turn anything into a song - whether it be a skill you are learning, the weather, or everything else in between! 

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Brad Ulbrich

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.  

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Taylor Bolden

Taylor began her swimming career in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.  She swam on three different teams there, with her final team being a competitive swim club called University Swim Club. Upon moving to Las Vegas, Taylor swam competitively for the Sandpipers of Nevada. Once Taylor entered high school, she realized she wanted more from the pool. She loved being in and around the water and so become a lifeguard and then soon after, a swim instructor. Taylor soon moved to Los Angeles and continued her path of lifeguarding and teaching. She has experience teaching all ages and types of water classes, including Parent & Me classes for infants,  prenatal water aerobics, children with special needs such as DMD & MS, deep water aerobics, aqua core class, adult swim lessons, and kids' summer camp lessons!  Taylor loves being a swim instructor, teaching water safety skills, instilling confidence in her students and helping them improve their swimming skills along the way! 

Maria Zarro-Ayaya

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Maria, also affectionately known as "Coach Z", comes to our Lil' Guppies family from the South Bay area. Her affinity for the water since she was as small child makes being in the water second nature! Maria earned her BA from UCLA and her MA.Ed from Concordia University, Irvine. Growing up, Maria participated in many sports, including swimming, surfing and water skiing. She also coached high school coed swimming & diving teams for 15 years. Maria has instructed infants-adults, including developmentally delayed, autistic and other special needs students, and peformed senior lifeguard duties for the city of Carson.  She holds certifications in WSI and NFHS coaching. Maria is also a mother of two daughters who followed in her swimming footsteps! 

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Jessica Sandidge

Jessica has been teaching swimming for over 10 years. She helped design the Baby Swim program for New York's Imagine Swimming, using songs and playtime to teach infants and toddlers to swim during Parent & Me classes. Jessica also happens to be an accomplished opera singer and has performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Opera, Sarasota Opera, and New York City Opera.  Jessica also teaches piano and singing lessons to children and adults. 

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Ben Boyer

Ben is originally from Missouri and spent most summers at his local pool where he began teaching himself how to swim!  Swimming has always been a big part of Ben's life. After a near-drowning incident at the age 10, Ben learned just how important water safety and swimming are. He was thankfully rescued by a lifeguard, and after that felt the urge to re-examine his life.  Ben started making it a point to ask anyone he was swimming with if they knew how to swim before he would get in water around them. He practiced treading water using heavy rocks any time I was at the lake to build up my strength in the water. This incident helped prepare and focus Ben anytime he was around water, and he helped raise awareness for those around him as well.  This pushed him into his first job as a lifeguard. Lifeguarding helped shaped the way Ben looks at work. When he made his first save, he realized there was no more of a self rewarding experience than saving a life. Being an instructor and guard working with children require significant amounts of patience and heightened awareness! The ability to stay calm and react swiftly and efficiently is certainly the most useful skill Ben utilizes regularly as a swim instructor and lifeguard.

   

Max Yera

Max is an experienced competitive swimmer, water polo player, swim instructor, and lifeguard. He has been lifeguarding and teaching swimming since the young age of 16 and has been swimming competitively since the age of nine! Max loves working with children of all ages, teaching swimming and ensuring water safety! 

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Sophie Niekamp

Sophie is 22 years old & originally from Akron, Ohio. She recently moved to Los Angeles and has five years experience teaching swim lessons, lifeguarding and working as a day care assistant. 

Sophie has also studied  Educational Psychology.  Sophie ran cross country and track in college and has always loved being active & challenging herself!  She enjoys teaching swim lessons & working with children because she finds it to be both extremely rewarding and fun. Sophie is patient and creative and looks forward to working with our Lil' Guppies!

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Jonathan Prieto

Jonathan was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and thus spent a lot of his time in the Florida keys swimming, free diving and spearfishing! Jonathan has been a lifeguard, surf & swim instructor for several years and is a natural with kids. His high energy and positive attitude has helped his students all swim like pros!  

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Adrienne Wesselius

Adrienne has over ten years of experience teaching swim lessons and coaching competitive swimmers. She joined the swim team at age 9 and continued swimming in college as well. She started teaching swim lessons at 15 and was inspired to earn her degree in K-12 Physical Education. She loves to introduce children to the water and movement, and seeing new concepts click in their minds when learning a new skill. Adrienne has experience teaching infants, children and adults!  In her spare time she loves learning new things. Her next goal is to learn how to surf! She also loves to skate at the beach and make macrame plant hangers for her etsy shop.

Jasmin Benavides

Jasmin recently moved to California from Chicago. She has had multiple years experience teaching children of all ages in the water.  Jasmin finds being a swim instructor to be a rewarding experience that makes a significant impact on a child’s growth and confidence and loves being able to watch them develop over time! 

Scott Salem

Scott swam competitively for several years and has been a head swim instructor for various swim schools. He has worked with children of all ages for nine years (and counting!) and has an absolute passion for working and helping people - both in and out of the water!  Scott is also a big soccer fan and played competitively throughout college. Scott is really excited to teach and looks forward to all his lessons with Lil' Guppies!