Coach Shannon’s swimming career began during her childhood years (age 6-13) while living in the middle of the desert of Saudi Arabia. She learned how to swim in classes at school and then participated in her school’s swim team. Upon returning to the United States, Shannon spent her high school years in Roanoke, Virginia, doing little more than studying in school and swimming year round. She graduated in 1993, and forfeited her last summer of freedom and a swimming scholarship to James Madison University—all in favor of heading to the Air Force Academy for boot camp with eight white bras, combat boots, and what she jokingly refers to as “a dreadful haircut”.
At the Academy, the primary focus was education and the military, so swimming was a release for Coach Shannon. Grateful to have a coach who opened her eyes and body to potential she never thought possible, Shannon ended her swimming career as a 14-time NCAA All-American with four school records, and was co-captain of the swim team. In retrospect, Coach Shannon believes the experience was both challenging and rewarding; the hardships being crucial to personal growth, relationship-building, and leadership opportunities.
In 1997, Shannon graduated with a degree in Human Factors Engineering, was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force and served in San Antonio, Texas as a Manpower Officer. After a year there, she spent her last four years in the military at the Mountain Home Air Force Base. During that time, she discovered what she believes to be one of the best kept secret cities in America: Boise, Idaho. She also discovered the world of triathlons, great friends, and Mr. Right. After obtaining her Master’s Degree, Shannon was happy for the experience but was ready to spread her entrepreneurial wings and move on.
After dabbling in a couple business ventures, discovering some life-changing mentors and coaches, and experiencing tremendous personal growth, Shannon returned to her love and the source of her passion: swimming. In January of 2002, she was hired as the Head Coach of the YMCA Sawtooth Masters Program. Inspired by her enjoyment of coaching, the birth of her son, and multiple inquiries for lessons, Shannon soon pursued her dream of opening her own swimming school. Thus, FLOW Aquatics was born. And the rest is history.
Coach Amber is a native Virginian and transplanted to Boise because she wanted to be close to family. Having worked in the customer service industry for years as a life guard, server, flight attendant, barista, bank teller (and a couple more), her sister was finally able to steal her away and turn her into a full time coach—and Amber has never looked back. In the last three years, she has helped hundreds of children to love the water as much as she does herself and has helped grow the program to double the size since she started. Although a natural coach, she still has a calling to one day own her own coffee shop. (If her sister has it her way, it will be inside their Swim School!) In all her spare time, she loves hanging out with her husband, her baby boy, two dogs and three cats – her own little zoo.
Growing up in Indonesia, a country with over 17,000 islands and the second-longest coastline in the world, Ilse had plenty of access to the water and spent her childhood swimming in rivers and the ocean. Swimming was a weekly family outing that Ilse thoroughly enjoyed until she was stung by a large, poisonous jellyfish. Between the jellyfish incident and immigrating with her family two years later to Wyoming (where there is much less coastline), she gave up ocean swimming and instead focused on learning basic strokes in swim class, which was a mandatory part of PE at her new school.
Since 2006 Ilse has been integral in helping the operations of FLOW flow smoothly. As Office Manager, she has manned the admin desk at both pools, assisted Coach Shannon with bookkeeping and record keeping functions, answered phones when someone inquired about FLOW’s programs, and covered all the other duties and responsibilities that go along with a growing swim school. She has enjoyed watching FLOW grow over the last decade and most appreciates Coach Shannon’s passion for swimming and dedication to improving her program by continually finding better ways to train her coaches and teach the swimmers in her program.
Learning to swim wasn’t an option for Coach Lauren. Growing up near the ocean in Southern California, she began swimming from a very young age. Fortunately she loved her swimming lessons so much that she took them for fun until a teacher proposed the idea of joining a swim team. Despite her nervousness, she decided to join a club team and eventually swam for her high school. She started teaching swim lessons at her local YMCA in 2005 and taught at another facility before joining FLOW. Even though she swapped the shores of Southern California for the banks of the Boise River, Lauren brings a passion for swimming and a wealth of experience to the FLOW team. Whether she is teaching babies or adults, she loves watching new swimmers develop confidence and trust in their abilities.
Having grown up on the South Coast of Massachusetts, only 20 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, it seems only natural that Coach Mia loves the water. Because she and her siblings were competitive swimmers from an early age, summer weekends meant traveling to swim meets, and nights were spent chasing waves and body boarding at the beach. When Mia began teaching swimming lessons to earn extra laundry money during college, she didn’t foresee how greatly the experience would change her. But after several years as a swim instructor and lifeguard, then settling at FLOW, she has an acute appreciation for teaching proper technique, water safety, and skills progression.
While she’s always been drawn to the water, Kathie’s early relationship with swimming was rocky. A couple of near-drowning experiences and ear infections put swim lessons on hold for a while, but she developed a healthy fear and respect for the water. When she had her own children, she vowed that they wouldn’t be afraid of the water like she was. Kathie discovered FLOW Aquatics after trying out several swim programs and was thrilled at how the program allowed her kids to blossom in the water. She was determined to learn to swim so she could enjoy the water alongside her kids and enrolled in her own swim lessons. Thanks to Coach Shannon, Kathy has replaced her fear of the water with a great passion for swimming. After teaching and coaching in several capacities, Kathie is now dedicated to helping students at FLOW overcome their own fear of swimming and feel safe in the water. She loves empowering the next generation of students and swimmers.
While most children learn to swim by spending time in the water, Aimee began to swim by way of skimming across the top of it. She grew up water skiing with her family in Anaheim, California and spent her summers on the river improving her skiing skills. Once she reached high school she decided to take the plunge and join the swim team, despite only knowing the freestyle stroke. She taught herself the other strokes by watching her teammates and eventually made the varsity team. Her knack for picking up swim strokes has made her a natural teacher—she has taught swimming for five years and also earned her BA in Elementary and Junior High Education from Redding College. Throughout her teaching experience she’s learned that no two kids learn the same way, so she appreciates FLOW’s ability to work as a team—if an instructor has a hard time passing a student in a skill, other instructors will offer their advice on how to teach that particular skill.
Born and raised in Oceanside, California, Coach Kevin learned to swim at a young age and spent much of his time at the beach or the pool with his friends. In middle school, he learned to surf, using the sport as a way to clear his head and enjoy the ocean. When he was still a child, Coach Kevin learned the hard way that the ocean deserves respect: after swimming in the waves at his favorite beach in California, he was caught in a rip current and had to be rescued by a lifeguard. Today, he uses his personal experiences to help others—teaching young swimmers at FLOW Aquatics the skills needed to use the water to our advantage and instilling in them a newfound confidence.
Coach Danny learned to swim at a young age, often spending time at his grandmother’s pool or swimming in Borah Pool’s summer program. Later, he worked as a counselor of Wings’ summer program, and now brings a positive perspective of mutual learning to our team at FLOW Aquatics. Swimming is still an important part of Coach Danny’s life, but he now realizes that speed isn’t everything. Rather, he enjoys helping our students learn how to be comfortable in the water, and he relates that he has even learned to be a much more efficient swimmer in the process.
Coach Amie grew up in Washington State. From the very beginning, she found herself drawn to the water, starting with her parents as a baby, through lessons, then finally to swim team. The weather was cold in Washington, even in the summer, but that didn’t stop her from joining summer swim team in her neighborhood pool. Amie taught swim lessons in high school and part of college and has taught in both Idaho and Washington in several special education classrooms. When Amie isn’t swimming or teaching at FLOW she is off running her own business where she teaches children with Autism how to swim.
Sammie is a true “Idahoan” born and raised. Living in Meridian and Boise her entire life, she thinks there is no better place to live! When Sammie was younger she would avoid stepping into any water that prevented her feet to touch the bottom. Considering her short stature from her dwarfism, she wouldn’t go much farther than the pool steps. As she started FLOW’s program, the fear of the ‘deep end’ began to quickly diminish with her growing confidence in the water. Not only did she fall in love with swimming, but the environment as well. Sammie began working with FLOW and LOVES it. Often times you’ll find her working at the front desk.
Jeremy was originally from Iowa but has lived in Idaho most of his life. He grew up with the same sink or swim mentality that so many of us have but believes that FLOW’s philosophy of working with the kids on their fear of the water is a much better direction than to simply try to teach them to swim. Although, Jeremy has no swimming experience he taught both of his kids how to golf! You can find Jeremy up in the front office always going out of his way to accommodate our clients.
Michelle grew up in Arlington, Texas. Born and raised. Michelle learned to swim at a (now very large) swim school and to this day she still vividly remembers her swim coach. Her 1st birthday was even a pool party!! Michelle became a live-in nanny and although she wasn’t required to teach the kids, she made up her own lesson plans and games so they could start to learn letters and sounds. Before she was a swim coach, she was a boat captain on a lake, captaining out houseboats for guests. She loves to teach something and see the progress. She is also a very thorough person, she like explaining the “science” behind how and why we do something. Michelle makes it a point to find hikes that lead to lakes, or that follow rivers because she enjoys the sound of the water. She likes hiking to lakes because she LOVES to jump in the water when she reaches the destination.
Robyn has lived in Boise her entire life but plans on moving into the Portland area when she leaves for college. She grew up with a pool in her backyard, so she has been comfortable in the water her entire life and that has never changed. She enjoys any kind of water sport or activity and is so grateful for being involved in the water so young. Her best friend’s mom worked at FLOW and absolutely loved it, so she decided to try it out and has worked for FLOW for more than a year and a half now! She was a coach, but now she works at the front desk scheduling absences, makeups, answering questions and contributing to the flow. It is still weird for her to hear that some people don’t know how to swim, but Robyn grew up here in Boise, so maybe the culture that FLOW creates has affected that!
Growing up, Bailey moved back and forth between Nevada and California. During the summers that she lived in California, she was enrolled in private swimming lessons that took place in a backyard swimming pool. She loved the water as a child (and still does as an adult). She was fascinated by the the quiet and serene nature that comes with being underneath the surface. Teaching is something that Bailey has always been passionate about and she followed that passion throughout her collegiate career. She attended Boise State University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. You can currently find Bailey handing out ribbons, pins, and trophies to all of our fabulous swimmers.