About The Swim School

Parrish Children's swim lessons

History


In May 2015, The Swim School began offering private and group swim lessons in Manatee County for adults and children 6 months of age and older. In addition to providing quality stroke instruction for all ability levels, The Swim School expanded their services and started the Parrish Bull Sharks Swim Team in May 2018, a seasonal program for youth ages 5-18.

Hilary Koppenhaver

Hilary Koppenhaver


Originally from Pennsylvania, Hilary started swimming at the age of five and continued competitively through college in Ohio where she earned a B.A. in Psychology. After receiving her degree in 2003, she returned to PA and worked part-time as a lifeguard, swim lesson instructor, and swim team coach in addition to having a full-time position in the human services field assisting children with special needs. With a love for the beach and a craving for a warmer climate, Hilary relocated to Florida in 2006 and worked as an Aquatics Director at a YMCA for over eight years where she developed a year round competitive swim team program, administered a progressive swim lesson program and conducted water fitness classes at two aquatics facilities. In May 2015, Hilary took her passion for teaching aquatics programs and established The Swim School. After seeing a great need in the community, she formed the Parrish Bull Sharks swim team in May 2018. Hilary strives to provide valuable, educational aquatics experiences for children of all ages and ability levels. She enjoys watching children progress and achieve new skills in the pool, and hopes to instill in her students a lifelong love for swimming. She is a certified Swim Lesson Instructor, Lifeguard, and CPR-PR/AED & First Aid Instructor.

Jacie Dyer


Jacie graduated from Manatee School for the Arts and attends SCF. Originally from Maine, she learned how to swim at a very young age. Jacie moved to Florida when she was seven years old and by the summer before entering middle school, she joined her first swim team with the Bradenton YMCA. After competing for two summer seasons, she fell in love with the sport of swimming and joined a year-round team at the Lakewood Ranch YMCA. She swam there until moving to the North River Rapids (now Parrish Bull Sharks) summer swim team in Parrish. In 2020, Jacie was hired as a summer camp counselor and lifeguard for the River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Sports Camp. She developed a swim program specifically for the camp participants based on their ages and abilities, and served as the lead swim instructor/coach for the camp for two summers. Jacie joined The Swim School in October 2021 and teaches both group and private swim lessons, as well as our Flying Fish swim club. She has a great passion for teaching swimming and helping children achieve new goals in the pool. Coach Jacie is Lifeguard, CPR/AED & First Aid certified.

Brandy Murphy


Brandy grew up in a small town in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. From a very young age, she loved being in the water and took swim lessons throughout her childhood. Beginning in high school and continuing through college and law school, Brandy served as Head Lifeguard in a little village on the shores of beautiful Lake George where she taught swim lessons and oversaw the water safety of beach patrons. During her college years in Vermont, Brandy worked part-time as a lifeguard. It is there where she became involved in her college’s Adaptive Swim Program, initially as a teacher and then later as a swim instructor trainer, guiding new instructors on how to provide safe and fun lessons adapted to the needs of children and adults with sensory and physical/motor learning differences. Brandy worked as an attorney for the State of New York for several years but always remembered fondly her time as a swim instructor. She and her husband dreamt of living on the Gulf Coast and being within driving distance of its gorgeous beaches. This past year, that dream became a reality when they moved to the area with three of their children. Brandy quickly became certified as a Swim Instructor and Lifeguard and worked for a local YMCA, teaching both private and group lessons. Brandy believes that learning to swim is a fundamental life skill and truly enjoys teaching that skill to children and adults alike.

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