Mary Ramsey

Mary was born in Pittsburgh, PA and was relocated to Florida with her family when she was 2 years old. Upon seeing her first clear blue swimming pool when they arrived in St. Pete., with no hesitation, Mary jumped right in and began her love of "all things water sports"! At the age of 15 Mary became a Lifeguard for the city of St. Pete. and during her 1st summer as a guard began teaching drown proofing and swimming lessons. Later on in her career Mary completed a certification course and became a water aerobics instructor. Mary is a graduate of Eckerd College and she is a member of the National Association of Medical Sales Representatives. She has an 18 year old son whom she taught to swim before he was a year old. She loves teaching "Mommy and Me" classes and she truly enjoys the fulfillment of helping kids of all ages overcome a fear of the water and find a love for swimming!

 

Garry NelsonCourtney Kniss

Garry 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 to St. Petersburg. "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."

 

Charlotte BenzigerCharlotte Benziger

Charlotte grew up outside of Washington, DC and is a recent graduate of Eckerd College. After volunteering with The Peace Corps in Ecuador, she decided to return to the warmth and sunshine of St. Petersburg! Charlotte has had a love for the water ever since she can remember. She joined the swim team at the age of five and happily made her varsity swim team in high school, being named captain her senior year. Charlotte continued expressing her love for the water by life guarding and instructing at a summer camp in West Virginia for six consecutive summers. She has been Lifeguard and Waterfront certified, including CPR and First Aid, with the American Red Cross since 2009. Charlotte is also employed at The Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg where she doubles as the Development Coordinator and a substitute teacher. She loves working with kids, teaching swimming lessons, and traveling in her spare time. Charlotte can not wait to help your family succeed in the water!

 

Wendy HessingerWendy Hessinger

During Wendy's early years growing up in Pennsylvania she was very active, whether it was skiing or doing other winter activities. Later, she moved to South Florida to attend Nova University; this was when she fell in love with Florida and fitness. One of her required classes was Physical Education; she chose yoga. Her yoga instructor Mark Roberts amazed her; his inspiration instilled in her a lifelong passion for yoga. Yoga is a lifelong journey, and she loves knowing that she can learn something new every single day! She loves and appreciate learning in general. Wendy has a passion for teaching swimming, yoga, and is also a personal trainer. Wendy has a positive and upbeat attitude that children immediately respond to! Wendy is a great instructor who will be able to push your child to their full potential as a swimmer. She looks forward to teaching your child the swimming skills they need to be a safe and successful swimmer for life!

 

Max HagueMax Hague

Max moved to St. Petersburg this past July after graduating from Westminster College. He received a degree in Media Arts and Film and was a member of the varsity men’s swimming and diving team. In his four years of swimming his team was conference champions for three of them. He was two-time conference champion, all conference first team, all conference honorable mention, Arena Grad Prix qualifier, and pool record holder. Max was captain of the team his senior year where they finished first in conference and 17th in the nation overall for division three. Prior to college athletics, Max swam and played water polo in high school. He started lifeguarding when he was 15 and continued to do so throughout high school and undergrad. He began coaching at 17 for the pool he worked at and also started giving individual swim lessons. During his undergrad, the swimming program would give group swim lessons to the community. Max would participate in those and would also give some individual swim lessons. He continues to love the sport of swimming and wishes to teach kids the importance of water safety.