Maria, affectionately known as "Coach Z", comes to our Lil’ Guppies family from the San Pedro/Rancho Palos Verdes area. Her affinity for the water since she was a small child makes being in the water second nature. Maria earned her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles and her MA.Ed from Concordia University, Irvine. Growing up, Maria participated in many sports, including swimming, surfing, and water skiing. As a teacher, she coached the high school coed swimming and diving teams for 15 years. During her summers, Maria taught swim classes ranging from infants to adults, including developmentally delayed, autistic, and other special needs children, and performed senior lifeguard duties for the City of Carson. She holds her certifications in WSI, lifeguarding, first aid, CPR for the professional, and NFHS coaching. Maria is also a mother of two daughters, who participated in competitive swimming, lifeguarding, and swim instruction. Maria loves the honesty of children and teaching to all levels. She looks forward to teaching you and your children, from water safety to specialized competitive strokes. Maria’s motto: Swim for life!