(Director, Delaware Swim School at Pike Creek) My name is Cecily Connell and I am the Program Director at Delaware Swim School at Pike Creek. Swimming has always played a large role in my life and has brought me so much joy over the years. Now I love spreading that joy to others in their to quest to learn how to swim! Teaching is very special to me, not only am I providing each child with a life long skill, I am creating a trusting environment for this child to grow both inside and outside the pool. I believe I am a successful instructor because I listen to each new swimmer and creatively find ways to get over that next hump and ultimately get them to believe in themselves.
Helping young kids learn to swim is both an exciting and rewarding experience for me. Throughout my years of teaching swim lessons, I have always made the most positive connections with the children and their families. I am looking forward to continuing my journey of being a swim instructor and also being a part of each child’s journey of discovering everlasting life skills in the water.
Hi, my name is Veda Wooley, and I’m a senior at Cab Calloway School of the Arts. I've been a swimming instructor for DE Swim School for a year. But I was learning how to swim before I could even walk. I love teaching swim lessons and watching my students’ skill sets grow. There is nothing like helping someone who has never even stepped foot in a pool and then watching them swim laps on their own after some instruction! :)
I am currently a University of Delaware student. I did not choose the swimming life but my mother chose it for me. At 18 months, I had my very first swim lesson at the Pike Creek Fitness Club, now The Delaware Swim and Fitness Center. I have been swimming ever since. When I was a teenager, the skills, will, and determination I learned from a young age helped me earn a spot on my high school swim team. I have been teaching swim lessons at the Delaware Swim School for about 4 years. I enjoy teaching students of all ages to swim. I am persistent with my teaching and maximize my time to help build confidence in all of my swimmers. “When life gets you down you know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” Swimming should be fun and easy but only after you make it through the hard part of learning how.
My experience in coaching and instruction goes back several years. I was a four-year letterman in Swimming at the University of Delaware. I began coaching in 2002 with Team Delaware, and came to Delaware Swim Team in 2009. I have been working with all ages and skill levels in swimming, working with children and adults alike in our lessons program, and working with our Mini, Age Group, and Junior National programs for the swim team.
I am currently a freshman at the University of Delaware. I have been swimming for as long as I can remember, and it has been a sport I have thoroughly enjoyed doing since I was very young. I have swam and competed for many different teams during the winter and summer months including, The Boys and Girls Club, The Delaware Bluefish, five years for Charter during middle and high school, and now I am currently swimming for the University of Delaware club team. The thing I would say I like the most about swimming is being a part of a team and connecting with your fellow teammates. Whether you’re on the pool deck about to swim or in the pool racing, your teammates are always there for you, to cheer you on or to congratulate you at the end of a race.
A fun little fact about me is that I attended an art school for seven years where I majored in visual arts and digital media. I love to draw, paint, sculpt, and make new art pieces with anything I can get my hands on. I love children and I hope to work with kids in the future. When I am teaching I constantly like to encourage my students, letting them know that they are doing a great job. Learning to swim is not an easy skill; it takes lots of time and patience, which is why I find it crucial to always be very positive. I like letting them know, that with a little hard work they can do anything they set their minds to.
Mary Kate Kalinowski
My name is Mary Kate Kalinowski. I’m a junior at Ursuline Academy. I have been swimming competitively for almost 10 years now at various swim clubs such as Westminster Pool, The Western YMCA, and at Ursuline. I love to teach swim lessons and watch each individual student grow in their aquatic capability. I focus on using the special skills of my students and manipulate them in the best way possible to further advance their strokes. I like to have fun and make the lessons creative and enjoyable, while still centering in on the important life-long swimming techniques.
My name is Vanessa Keir. I am currently a sophomore at Delaware Military Academy. I swim during the summer for Westminster Swim Club and during the winter for my school. Some of my hobbies include field hockey, soccer and I love to travel. Being around people of all ages, it is my pleasure to be teaching/instructing at all skill levels. My goal is to teach everyone the importance of swimming while putting a smile on their faces. I am excited to meet every one of my students and provide them with the necessary tools to become a better swimmer and give them confidence and build trust.
Veronica Hanby is a native Delawarean, currently residing in Newark. As a youth she was a competitive roller skater, winning many compettiions. Wishing to expand her talents, she decided to enter into swimming instruction. Ms.Ronnie has served as a swimming instructor at Delaware Swim School for the past 12 years. She is especially fond of cultivating the swimming skills of younger children, by providing a fun and challenging environment, with an emphasis on kicking, drills and technique. Among her many attributes, her best one is "patience."
My name is Emily Askew. I have been a swimmer for over 27 years... 13 of which were competitive, a swim instructor for over 14 years and I was in the Marine Corps for 4 years. Also, I am the mother of 2 very handsome boys an 1 very beautiful girl. First, I was trained as a Red Cross Certified Water Safety Instructor; since moving to DE, I have been trained to teach swim team style lessons. Houston Scuba Academy in Houston, TX, is where I first started work as a swim instructor in 2001. I left to join the Marine Corps in 2007 and returned in 2011, after my term of enlistment. In 2013 I was an instructor for the world's largest swim lesson. Leaving Texas and Houston Scuba Academy was tough, I was the lead instructor and had grown very close to the staff and my students. Everyone asks why I left Texas, it was to be closer to my husbands side of the family. This area and Delaware Swim and Fitness have been wonderful. Over the last 9 months of working here I have met so many great people and look forward to continuing on this new path.
Ms. Jenn teaches part time at the New Castle location of Delaware Swim and Fitness and brings over 15 years of teaching and swim team coaching experience to every swimmer she works with.Her aquatics background began when she joined her first outdoor summer swim team at the age of 6 in Northeast Ohio. Swimming throughout high school, she began teaching others to swim, float, and coached many young swimmers to get them ready for swim teams. In 2011, an opportunity came knocking in Southern Delaware where she ran a successful swim and lifeguard program at a private golf and country club. She has taught anything from "Mommy and Me" classes to group, private semi-private lessons, and summertime swim camps.
As a part time coach, she coached the Sussex County Otters swim team in Georgetown, Delaware for the 2012 Season. Since then, she has continued to teach and looks forward to getting back into coaching. It is this experience and a pure love for all things swimming, that she brings to Delaware Swim and Fitness.
During the day, Ms. Jenn works as a Global Loan Analyst for Barclays Bank in Newark. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling, going to the beach, spending time with her family and friends, volunteering for several charities such as American Cancer Society and The Wounded Warrior Walk.
She looks forward to working with students of all ages and hopes to share her love for the water with everyone.
Edward Tyler Wolfe
Edward Tyler Wolfe is well versed in the technical expertise and philosophy of a competitive swimmer. He made it to Delaware State Championships in 2005 for the 100 m Butterfly placing 21st. He grew up here in New Castle and swam for Penn Acres swim club until swimming for Charter School of Wilmington. His father, Donald “Gus” Wolfe who swam for University of Delaware and coached Charter School of Wilmington’s girl’s team has shown him what it takes to be a leader and to coach competitive athletes. “Coach Tyler” has also been personally trained by Katie Sweeney for adapting his expertise to practical skills for children and novice adults. He started teaching a handful of athletes during his spare time at Delaware State University in 2010. He has been teaching at Delaware Swim school since fall of 2015.