MEET OUR TEAM
Ages Andrew Works With: 6mo. through Adult
Andrew's Schedule: Monday through Friday
Areas Andrew Teaches: West LA COOLIDGE Pool ONLY
One of our most popular male instructors, Andrew has been working as a lifeguard and swim instructor for over 15 years. Now in his 13th year of working with Head Above Water, Andrew has held certifications as a Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard and has worked with students of all ages and abilities. Andrew has gained much experience working in aquatics and has a true passion for instructing students in what he feels is an invaluable skill. He knows that the swimming instruction he provides helps promote fitness, fun and safety for people of all ages.
Ages Alex Works With: 2yr through Adult
Alex's Schedule: Monday through Sunday
Areas Alex Teaches: All West LA areas
Alex was raised in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He worked as a Swim Instructor at Santa Monica College with students ages 2-14 of all skill levels. As an instructor, he keeps students engaged and interested using a strong "personal hero narrative" to set them up for success. He is a dedicated coach with a keen eye for improvement and offers consistent encouragement to students. With this approach, he can inspire students to recognize and push through their obstacles to reach their goals.
Ages Ariel Works With: 6 months through Adult
Ariel's Schedule: Sundays
Areas Ariel Teaches: West LA COOLIDGE pool
Now in her 3rd year with HAW, Ariel is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago where she received a degree in Animation. She has been a swim instructor for over 7 years and she absolutely LOVES to help swimmers of all ages realize a love for the water. She likes to make her lessons fun with plenty of games and singing. She prides herself on making sure your child learns important life and safety skills and has a ton of fun doing it!
Ages Ashley Works With: 6 months through Adult
Ashley's Schedule: Saturdays
Areas Ashley Teaches: West LA COOLIDGE pool
We are so excited to welcome Ashley back for her 8th season with Head Above Water, after having taken a short hiatus from the pool. Ashley is a former professional Division I record holding swimmer. She has been teaching swim lessons for over 15 years and is experienced working with all levels and age groups, from babies through adults. She has a background in early childhood and elementary education and currently does freelance work in health and wellness industry. Her favorite skill to teach swimmers of all ages is floating! Her love of the water and incredible enthusiasm ensure every swimmer will not be able to wait for their swim lessons! When she is not in or around the water, you can find her hiking with her dog :)
Ages Caleb Works With: 2yrs through Adult
Caleb's Schedule: Monday through Saturday
Areas Caleb Teaches: All West LA areas
Caleb is a sophomore at Santa Monica College from Cleveland, Ohio. He started swimming at 6 years old, and went on to swim competitively through his elementary and high school years. He has spent several summers gaining experience working with kids in various environments as a camp counselor, lifeguard, and swim instructor for both group and private lessons. Caleb's personal experience with swimming drives him to teach children and create an engaging environment where students can both learn and have fun safely.
Ages Caroline Works With: 2yr through Adult
Caroline's Schedule: M/T/W/F/Sun
Areas Caroline Teaches: San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley (East and Central), and Central LA Areas
Now in her 2nd season with Head Above Water, Caroline was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She began swimming competitively at the age of 7 and continued throughout her high school years. She was a lifeguard for three years and has over five years of experience working with children in many environments, from camp counselor to swim instructor to piano teacher. She is a proud recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award. Caroline believes that the water is both therapeutic and a catalyst for character development. She thoroughly enjoys teaching new skills and being a part of a student's learning experience.
Ages Celia Works With: 6 months through Adult
Celia's Schedule: Sunday through Thursday
Areas Celia Teaches: MidCity, Central LA, West LA (East), Hollywood Hills
After a short hiatus, we are thrilled to welcome Celia back to the Head Above Water team for her 2nd season! Celia graduated from Emerson college in Boston and moved to Los Angeles a few years ago for a change of scenery (and weather)! She’s been a lifeguard and a swim instructor for over five years. She was raised at the pool and loves providing other kids the tools to enjoy water safely!
Ages Christina Works With: 6 months through Adult
Christina's Schedule: Monday through Friday
Areas Christina Teaches: All West LA areas and West LA COOLIDGE Pool (mornings)
After taking a short hiatus to start working on her doctorate in sustainability education, we are so happy to have Christina Merz back to work with Head Above Water for her 12th season! Christina graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in environmental studies and sociology and is now a high school science teacher. She started swimming competitively in middle school and continued to compete throughout high school. Christina has been a lifeguard and swim instructor for over 15 years. Christina is one of our most popular teachers and she is looking forward to teaching your child to swim and strengthen their relationship with the water.
Ages Giles Works With: 6 months through Adult
Giles's Schedule: Mon-Thurs evenings + Sundays
Areas Giles Teaches: All West LA areas and West LA COOLIDGE Pool (Sundays)
Giles is returning for his 13th year with Head Above Water! He is a graduate of Duquesne University with 15 years of competitive swimming background. While stroke technique is one of his specialties, he works with swimmers of all ages and even works with infants and toddlers as one of our Parent & Me specialists. Giles also has over 15 years of coaching experience. He is an avid tri-athlete and loves teaching kids to swim. As one of our veteran instructors who knows how to make swimming fun, your child is sure to have a positive experience in the pool with Giles!
Ages Jane Works With: 6 months through Adult
Jane's Schedule: Friday afteroons
Areas Jane Teaches: West LA COOLIDGE Pool
We are happy to welcome Jane back to HAW for her 3rd season! Jane was born in New York City, moving here with her family when she was 7 years old. She attended Woodbury University where she graduated with a degree in Interior Design with a minor in Art. She and her sister were avid swimmers; she did water ballet while her sister stayed with swimming freestyle in swim meets. In her twenties she began working with kids in the pool for Crystal Scarbourough in the West Los Angeles area and continued teaching privately after she left. She came back to the Beverlywood Swim School in 2012 and worked there until they closed their doors in January 2019. She has worked with babies 4 weeks old and up all the way through adults of any age. She is especially good at getting adults relaxed and comfortable in the water. But she also loves working with babies and watching them learn the basic blocks of swimming and the independence and joy it brings to them. She believes you should teach your child to swim at an early age---it is the cheapest insurance you could ever get for them!!
Kate Polich, LMFT106711**OWNER**
Ages Kate Works With: 6 months through Adult
Kate's Schedule: Tuesdays + Thursdays
Areas Kate Teaches: All areas
Kate Polich, the owner of Head Above Water, is passionate about aquatics! While Kate isn't in the pool full-time any longer, she keeps a limited amount of space available in her schedule to come work with a few select swimmers each year. For more information on lessons with Kate, click HERE!
Ages Megan Works With: 6mo through Adult
Megan's Schedule: Tuesday through Sunday
Areas Megan Teaches: San Fernando Valley areas (West and Central)
Now back for her 2nd season with Head Above Water, Megan is currently attending Cal-State LA as a first-year nursing student. She has 10 years of experience in competitive swimming and has been a lifeguard and swim instructor for 4 years. Megan has also coached a swim team for two summers with Los Angeles County. Her favorite part of teaching lessons is seeing a swimmer’s “Aha!” moment when they do something they thought they couldn’t. In her second season with Head Above Water, Megan will do her best to ensure her students can navigate safely through the water and have fun while doing so!
Ages Rebecca Works With: 6mo through Adult
Rebecca's Schedule: Monday through Sunday
Areas Rebecca Teaches: All West LA areas + the West LA COOLIDGE Pool
Back for her 2nd season with Head Above Water, Rebecca is currently a student at Loyola Marymount University where she studies graphic design. She began her aquatic career at a young age in her hometown of Los Gatos. She would compete on the swim team for her local aquatic club and high school. Since then she has spent her summers as a lifeguard and swim instructor for the recreation center in Los Gatos as well as lifeguarding at the LMU pool during the school years. Growing up near Santa Cruz allowed for her to develop a deep love for the ocean at a young age. Rebecca enjoys teaching people how to swim and helping kids develop a love for being in the water. She loves getting to see all her swimmers grow and progress throughout time spent in the water.
Ages Shanna Works With: 2yr through Adult
Shanna's Schedule: Mondays
Areas Shanna Teaches: West LA areas and West LA COOLIDGE Pool
Now in her 2nd season with Head Above Water, Shanna grew up in Santa Monica, CA and started to swim at the age of 2. She’s had five years experience as a junior lifeguard at the beach and four years experience teaching swim lessons at the Santa Monica Swim Center. Her freshman year of high school is where she started her water polo career, leading her team to a CIF championship and earning CIF First Team as well as Team and League MVP. She continued her water polo career with an athletic scholarship at Azusa Pacific University. In her free time she volunteers at the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter and the Westside food bank. She is excited to share her passion for the water with all of her swimmers!
Ages Spencer Works With: 2yr through Adult
Spencer's Schedule: Friday + Saturday
Areas Shanna Teaches: Beverly Hills and surroudning areas
Spencer was born in Long Beach, CA and started swimming young. He learned to swim in the pool built for the 1988 Olympic Games. At the age of 9 Spencer left the pool and jumped into the ocean. During this time he started Jr. Lifeguards and fell in love with surfing. Once high school rolled around he got back into the pool to compete for his School. During his high school years he lettered in Swim and WaterPolo. Now he's come to Head Above Water to share his love and knowledge of all things water.