WHERE WE OPERATE

Sarasota

Instructors in this area

Julie Shaughnessy

Julie Shaughnessy

Julie was born into a family that loves the water and has been swimming her whole life. She began to swim competitively at the young age of five. She swam on her local competitive team and high school swim team. Julie received her lifeguard certification and CPR certification in 1983, and has been a swim instructor since 1982. She has taken many different roles in her career with swimming, such as being the swim instructor for Farmingdale University, Aquatics Director at a children’s day camp, and most recently has become a swim instructor and aerobics director at the local YMCA.

Julie strives to become a better swim instructor year after year. Julie was also a nursery schoolteacher and a teacher assistant for the special education department for students of all ages. Children with special needs carry a place in her heart. Julie has devoted a huge part of her life to teaching children how to be safe in the water, and continues to do so with Mermaid Swim School. She always keeps the lessons upbeat and fun, while working on core skills necessary to becoming a great swimmer. She cannot wait to share her love of the water with your child!

Garry Nelson

Garry Nelson

Garry has been teaching with Mermaid Swim School since 2011. He grew up in IL and graduated from Eastern IL University with a B.S. degree in Physical Education and a minor in Psychology. During the summer months Garry served as the Aquatic Director at the Towering Pines Boys camp in Eagle River Wisconsin. After college Garry got his first coaching job at the Hall of Fame pool in Ft. Lauderdale FL, where Former Olympic Coach Jack Nelson hired Garry to be his Head Age Group Coach and Head Instructor for the Jack Nelson Swim School. During his time at FLST Garry learned the skills required to teach children of all ages how to swim.

Garry continued his career serving as Head Coach for various schools, as well as started his own club team called the Broward Seahawks. During that time Garry he also became one of the first Program Directors for the new learn-to-swim program called Swim America. Garry went on to coach his teams to 42 national champions, 7 national records, 232 all Americans and several top 2 team finishes. Garry was also honored as National Male Coach of the Year 1995 and 1997. Garry was also voted into the BCC Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

After all his success, Garry retired from full-time teaching and coaching in 2011. After a brief stint in Asheville, North Carolina, he missed the water and moved back to Florida. "I have always wanted to stay involved in swimming, and working for Mermaid Swim School to teach lessons to the children of this area is a great opportunity. I believe all parents should consider getting their children lessons, with the amount of water in our area it is a must. I look forward to teaching your children in a fun and safe way."

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