Meet our swim instructors 2017
During the week (Monday to Friday), group classes and private lessons are taught by Michael Smith and Henry Valdes who bring their talents and energy to the Club for a second year of summer fun and learning. Weekend instructors are Brett Isaacs, also returning for her second summer, and new instructor Jillian Ames.
Michael Smith is passionate about working with kids and has over 10 years of experience as a swim instructor. He has taught swimming at Boston University, the Wellfleet Parks and Recreation program, the Edlavitch D.C. Jewish Community Center and, most recently, at the Cleveland Park Club. In addition to being a swim instructor, Michael holds a degree in screen writing with a concentration in play and art therapy from Boston University. He has written multiple books and scripts for the Nickelodeon show Blue’s Clues and co-created Team Umizoomi, a math-based pre-school program for the same network. Michael has also volunteered with a variety of child-centered programs such as Urban Adventure Squad, Massachusetts National Seashore, and Friends of The National Zoo. He is currently creating the Owls Writing Club, a series of creative workshops for children ages 6-18.
Henry Valdes began swimming at 7 years old and swimming competitively at 9 years old, first for the TPDC and DC Wave teams and then the Edmund Burke swim team. He has worked as a lifeguard for Washington DC's Department of Parks and Recreation where he also supervised senior swimming classes. Most recently, Henry has taught group and private swim lessons at the Washington Sports Club, Sport & Health Club and Cleveland Park Club. Along with being a swim instructor, Henry produces electronic music. He toured the east coast after his first release through an LA label known as Symbols and plans to release his second album this year.
Jillian Ames is enthusiastic about teaching everyone - children and adults - to swim. With more than ten years of experience as a swim instructor and lifeguard, she places a high value on water safety and fun! Jillian swam competitively in high school, played water polo at UCLA, and also swam with UCLA's Master's program in her senior year. During grad school, she swam with UT Austin's Master's team and currently swims with the D.C. Aquatics Club.
"To promote social intercourse, recreation and sports, literature and the arts and for mutual improvement." Club Certificate of Incorporation, November 21, 1922