Our Team of Instructors
Barb started swimming the same time she began to walk! She swam competitively starting at age 7 and competed throughout high school. She started teaching swim lessons to children and adults while studying business and human resource management at The Ohio State University. After working in corporate America for a number of years, she returned to college at West Chester University and completed her teaching certification in Health and Physical Education. She has been teaching swim lessons to a diverse clientele in the Doylestown, Bucks County, and Montgomery County areas since 2007. Her credentials include:
- Water Safety Instructor (WSI)
- Certified Adapted Physical Educator, Adapted Aquatics Instructor
- Certified Red Cross, Lifeguard
- Aquatic Director, Fanny Chapman Swim Pools
- US Swimming Stroke and Turn Official
- Assistant Coach, Central Bucks West Girls Swimming and Diving Team
- Certified teacher of Health, Physical Education, Elementary Education and Special Education
- MEd., Elementary Education and Special Education, Chestnut Hill College
- BS, Kinesiology, West Chester University
- BS, Business Administration, The Ohio State University
Barb’s motto when teaching is “be safe, have fun!”. Her goal is to share her joy of swimming with her students, and offer swim lessons that are motivating, challenging and fun. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time and exercising with friends and family, and playing with her dog Zoey!
Katherine was a true competitive swimmer! She comes from a family of All American swimmers, having trained at Germantown Academy Aquatic Club and LESD & Hawken School swimming programs. Starting at age 6, she swam competitively through her first year of college at Miami University in Oxford Ohio, qualifying for states 2 years in high school. She grew up as a certified lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor and continued to teach swim lessons throughout her years as a stay at home mom & freelance artist. Her experience includes:
- BA in Fine Arts, Miami of Ohio
- Aquatics Manager, Fanny Chapman Swimming Pools
- Aquatics Instructor, Bucks County YMCA
Katherine’s main philosophy for teaching swimming is that it must be FUN! She uses play when teaching children and meaningful analogies with adults to make swimmers feel comfortable and to develop trust. Once swimmers are comfortable with her and the water, stroke instruction can begin. Katherine wants her swimmers to learn invaluable water skills, as well as enjoy swimming throughout their lives.
She finds joy in spending time with her husband, family and friends, doing photography, gardening, hiking & being creative. Much of her time is spent now following her children in their college competitive sports and musical activities, and teaching new swimmers her love of the sport!
Maggie grew up in Lansdale, swimming on the Highpoint Athletic Club’s summer swim team from ages 6-16 years old. She began teaching swim lessons at age 15 and has taught swimming off and on for over 20 years! She enjoys working with all ages and abilities.
Maggie has 13 years of experience teaching elementary school grades K-8, and has added teaching yoga to her busy schedule.
She has a daughter Irene who is starting to drive, which will be so helpful when she can start running errands😊. They have a dog named Eight (because he loves running figure-eights). In their spare time they love hiking and watching movies together.
Melissa grew up in Montgomery County playing and coaching field hockey. She went to Catholic University and played varsity field hockey for the school. She has a BS in Psychology and worked all throughout college as a swim instructor and lifeguard.
She has diverse work experience in the fields of school counseling, a one-on-one for children with special needs and a mobile family therapist. She has two beautiful children, one with special needs.
If she has any spare time, she likes to workout, shop, hang out with friends, and enjoy going to the beach.
Claire grew up in Ohio and always enjoyed swimming. She was a lifeguard for four summers at a camp in Minnesota. She’s been teaching swimming for over five years.
Claire also teaches French and previously worked in the environmental sector (water quality, and sediment and erosion control). In her free time she likes to cook, read, travel, play tennis, explore and tries her hand at new things.
Ashley was born and raised in Philadelphia. She comes to KickSmart with years of experience working with children and in the aquatics industry. She started working with people who have special needs as a residential skills trainer before moving to the Greater Philadelphia YMCA as a before and after care provider. She progressed into their aquatic department as a lifeguard and teaches group and private swim lessons as a special abilities swim instructor.
Ashley has a daughter and helps raise her step-son. If she has any spare time, she enjoys spending time with her children, creative writing, singing vocals and reading. Her aquatic motto is “just keep swimming” like Dory in the movie Finding Dory.
Rachel grew up in northeast Philadelphia, and later moved to lower Montgomery County. She started swimming competitively at age eight, training with Somerton Sharks Swim Team, Stormchasers Swimming and Lower Moreland Swimming and Diving. At age 14 she started coaching competitive swimming, and at age 15 she started lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons. In 2019 she began coaching for the Special Olympics.
Rachel is a full-time honors student at West Chester University where she is studying Political Science. She plans to attend law school upon graduation. In her free time, she enjoys being with her family and dog, baking, cooking and finding the worlds best coffee.
Brie is from Bedminster, PA and spent much of her childhood near beautiful Lake Nockamixon. She is a graduate of Pennridge High school and went on to attend Bloomsburg University and graduate with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. While at Bloomsburg, she competed on the university field hockey and lacrosse teams.
Brie was taught how to swim by her mother who always was a constant support figure in her athletic pursuits. Working with children has always been a passion of hers. She enjoys helping children learn and work through their insecurities so that they feel comfortable and have fun expressing themselves.
Brie enjoys going to the shore, camping and going on hikes. She loves animals and has two cats and fish, and is hoping to get a dog soon. She hopes during your swim sessions together she can teach you how to have fun and be safe in a pool!
Sophia is originally from the San Diego California area and now attends school at Hatboro Horsham High School. She started swimming as a baby and continued swimming on the Rancho San Dieguito swim team until moving to Montgomery County in 2020. We were so lucky to find her as an instructor through her brother taking lessons at KSS.
In her spare time, Sophia enjoys acting, video editing, playing with her dog Jasper and being with friends and family.
Laura grew up in Bucks County, and swam for her local swim team and CB South. She has been teaching swimming for over 15 years, and coached for USA Swimming for over 10 years. She currently works in data acquisition for the pharmaceutical industry.
In her spare time, Laura enjoys doing yoga and working on home projects.
Carl was born and raised in Jenkintown PA and has always been very athletic. He played varsity basketball in high school and continued to play in college.
He started working with children at the Abington YMCA as a camp counselor. There he participated in their adapted programs, learning how to work with people who have diverse abilities. He then moved toward the aquatics world as a lifeguard and teaching swim lessons for children who have special needs. With that experience, he continued to pursue a career working in the education setting and currently works as a paraprofessional for a private school.
Carl enjoys spending time with friends, working out and video games. His goal is to ensure people of all abilities have the opportunity to swim in a safe and fun environment.
Annalise is from Newtown PA and is a graduate from Neshaminy High School. She has worked all the in’s and out’s of aquatics for the last 10 years. She holds her Certified Pool Operator certification, has 5+ years as a General Manager, and specialize in working with children with special needs.
Annalise is married and has two young son’s Hunter and Hudson. If she has any spare time, she enjoys spending time at the beach or Sesame Place with her family, or trying out new recipes in the kitchen. Her aquatic motto is “All children can learn to love the water, some just need an extra splash of time.”
Zoe was born and raised in Yardley PA and currently attends the George School. She loves caring for, teaching and mentoring young children. She started working in the aquatics world as a lifeguard when she was 15, and progressed to become a group and private swim instructor. She has been teaching swim lessons for over 2 years.
Zoe has an older brother, five chickens, and two toads. If she has any spare time, she enjoys reading and photography. Her aquatic motto is “Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is when you achieve your biggest accomplishments.”
Jade Van Gilder
Jade is a Montgomery County resident and proud mother of 2 young ISR graduates. After watching her own children become skilled swimmers, a passion for ISR, water safety and drowning prevention was born. Formerly an elementary school teacher, she trained in 2019 and is now a certified ISR Instructor working to aid in the mission that “not one more child drowns”.
When not teaching Self-Rescue, she enjoys the beach, traveling, biking, camping, kayaking, and volunteering in her children’s schools.
Katherine grew up in Doylestown, swimming on the Fanny Chapman Swimming Pools and CB West swim teams. She started teaching swim lessons while in high school at Fanny Chapman, and has taught with Barb at KickSmart for years. She has her degree from Notre Dame and is currently in law school at Temple University.
If she has any spare time (which is hard to find in law school), she enjoys reading and trying new cookie recipes.