Our Team

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    Matt Watson Owner & Manager
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    Matt Watson Owner & Manager

    Matt has been teaching swimming since 2003 and at Goldfish since 2006. He was a high school swim coach from 2003-2011. He loves swimming and helping kids have fun in the pool! He graduated from the University of Michigan in 2003. matt.watson@goldfishss.com (616) 275-3086

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    Will Alberts Owner & Manager
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    Will Alberts Owner & Manager

    Will has been swimming since he was one year old. He has been teaching lessons at Goldfish Swim School since 2006. He also swam for Eastern Michigan University for four years. will.alberts@goldfishss.com (616) 275-3086

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    Brie Ricketts Assistant General Manager
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    Brie Ricketts Assistant General Manager

    Brie has lived in Michigan all of her life, except for the first two years, as she was born in England. She has been swimming and coaching since she was 10 years old and has always loved distance freestyle. She graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Degree in English Education. Her dog Tilly is her world and they do almost everything together.

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    Lauren Ledford Assistant General Manager
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    Lauren Ledford Assistant General Manager

    Lauren grew up in Royal Oak on the east side of the state, where she started working at the Birmingham Goldfish, in 2010. She joined our Grand Rapids team for our opening in 2012 and loves her job! Before Lauren worked at Goldfish she attended Cosmetology School. Now she cuts Mr. Matt and Mr. Will’s hair. Lauren has a dog named Barkley that she absolutely adores. She adopted him in 2013 and they have been soul mates ever since. lauren.ledford@goldfishss.com (616) 275-3086

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    Laura Boice Lifeguard Trainer
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    Laura Boice Lifeguard Trainer

    Laura graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Kinesiology. She swam in high school and started teaching swim lessons in 2011. She is a Big Ten Champion!

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    Amanda Spiller Deck Supervisor
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    Amanda Spiller Deck Supervisor

    Amanda graduated from Rockford High School. She is interested in pursuing a career in the legal field. She is currently attending Grand Rapids Community College and is planning on attending Grand Valley State University. She has swam her whole life and used to be on a competitive swim team. She has two cats named Zeus and Shadow and loves writing and craft projects.

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    Ashare McSwain Deck Supervisor
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    Ashare McSwain Deck Supervisor

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    Kaitlyn Weesies Deck Supervisor
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    Kaitlyn Weesies Deck Supervisor

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    Kelsey Kocher Deck Supervisor
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    Kelsey Kocher Deck Supervisor

    Kelsey is a student at GVSU, hoping to receive a spot in the Graduate Physical Therapy school at GVSU. She is from Dewitt, Michigan, and swam competitively for 12 years. During the summers in Dewitt, she would teach swim lessons.

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    Samantha Kerkstra Deck Supervisor
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    Samantha Kerkstra Deck Supervisor

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    Taylor Cross Deck Supervisor
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    Taylor Cross Deck Supervisor

    Taylor is attending school for veterinary technology. She loves her two dogs and two cats! Taylor also love water sports like tubing, wake boarding, skiing, and kayaking. She grew up on her family’s farm and can milk a cow or goat.

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    Breanna Johanson Swim Instructor
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    Breanna Johanson Swim Instructor

    Bre is a Grand Valley student who loves the outdoors and spending time with her family. She has a secret talent...Painting! She is Disney's biggest fan (Moana is her favorite), and she loves playing with her puppy.

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    Madison VanderHoof Swim Instructor
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    Madison VanderHoof Swim Instructor

    Madison is a student at Calvin College, studying Special Education and Elementary Education. She loves working with kids and is a huge dog person!

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    Rachel Dennen Swim Instructor
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    Rachel Dennen Swim Instructor

    Ms. Rachel graduated from The George Washington University in 2018. She studied psychology and Spanish. She has never broken a bone!

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    Abigail Stritzinger Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Abigail Stritzinger Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

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    Alyssa Bentley Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Alyssa Bentley Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Ms. Alyssa believes swimming is an amazing way to incorporate healthy habits into your life. She is passionate about staying healthy and caring for animals and children. Her goal is to become a wildlife veterinarian and work at a rehabilitation center. Ms. Alyssa can play the cello! She has a dog, Nala, named after the lioness from The Lion King.

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    Amber Schneider Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Amber Schneider Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Amber is currently going into Sonography Ultrasound. She loves spending time her family and friends. She coaches 8th grade volleyball at Lowell Middle School. She also loves spending time with the kids at Goldfish Swim School.

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    America DeGraw Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    America DeGraw Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    America is currently studying English Writing at Aquinas College. She hopes to one day receive a Master's Degree in Library Science. She loves spending time with her family and her two cats, Suki and Minna. She has been working with kids for 9 years and has loved every minute of it!

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    Emma Pohlad Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Emma Pohlad Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

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    Gabby Smith Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Gabby Smith Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Gabby is a sophomore at Cornerstone University and is studying Communications. In her free time, she sings, dances, or watches musicals. Her favorite color is purple!

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    Greg Metzner Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Greg Metzner Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

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    Hannah Wolford Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Hannah Wolford Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

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    Jordan Royce Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Jordan Royce Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

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    Kaitlin Weaver Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Kaitlin Weaver Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

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    Katie Kucharski Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Katie Kucharski Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Katie graduated from High School in 2017, she lived in Canada for 5 years and studied piano for 2 years. She was also in a choir for 6 years.

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    Katie VanDop Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Katie VanDop Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Ms. Katie loves musicals and singing. Her favorite subject in school is science. One day Ms. Katie hopes to be a doctor. An alpaca is her favorite animal and Ariel is her favorite Princess.

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    Lindsey Hain Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Lindsey Hain Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Lindsey is currently in school to become a Medical Assistant and hopes to one day work in Pediatrics. She has a 3-year old daughter and enjoys just about everything outdoors. Her favorite color is blue!

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    Olivia Nichols Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Olivia Nichols Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Ms. Olivia is a student at Aquinas College. She is studying to become a child life specialist. She swam competitively until she started college and loves working with kids. In her free time, she enjoys vegetarian cooking, traveling and going to concerts. She has a BIG dog, a fluffy cat, and TWO goats!

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    Sam Lacey Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Sam Lacey Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Ms. Sam's full name is Samantha. She is an English major in college and spends all of her free time reading books and writing papers. She has been a lifeguard for kids at summer camps since 2013. Ms. Sam has taken a ride on elephants in Thailand and pet lions in Zambia! She loves to read and feels like there is never enough space on her bookshelves for all of the books she wants.

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    Sarah Bentley Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Sarah Bentley Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Ms. Sarah loves working with kids. When she is not at Goldfish Swim School, she also works at Central Autism Services. Her favorite animal is an elephant and favorite color is yellow.

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    Saskia Guikema Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Saskia Guikema Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Saskia has 2 puppies, 1 fish, and 4 chickens! She loves the outdoors, traveling and going on mission trips! She currently attends North Pointe High School. Her favorite thing to do is sing and she loves snakes because of how cool they are.

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    Scott Showers Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Scott Showers Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

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    Tammy Zylstra Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Tammy Zylstra Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Ms. Tammy grew up with a pool in her backyard and she loves to swim. She also loves working with kids. Ms. Tammy has 9 kids of her own, her youngest daughter is a senior in high school. One of Ms. Tammy's favorite things to do is watch her daughter play basketball. In 2018, she went to Florida to play and won the championship! Ms. Tammy also has a dog named Paisley.

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    Ali Shirzad Lifeguard
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    Ali Shirzad Lifeguard

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    Alyrica Diffenderfer Lifeguard
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    Alyrica Diffenderfer Lifeguard

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    Autumn Durand Lifeguard
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    Autumn Durand Lifeguard

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    Danielle Shaykin Lifeguard
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    Danielle Shaykin Lifeguard

    Ms. Danielle is a freshman at GVSU, studying nursing. She is from Chicago and was the captain of her high school swim team. She has visited 5 countries!

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    Jennifer Brinks Lifeguard
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    Jennifer Brinks Lifeguard

    Ms. Jennifer is a sophomore at Calvin College, she is studying physical education and Spanish. She loves going to the beach! In high school, Ms. Jennifer played softball and was on the swim team.

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    Katie Smith Lifeguard
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    Katie Smith Lifeguard

    Katie has been dancing since she was little and she enjoys theater and drawing. One day she hopes to be an animator. Her favorite color is blue and her favorite animal is a monkey.

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    Kyle Faulds Lifeguard
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    Kyle Faulds Lifeguard

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    Aide Lamas Front Desk Representative
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    Aide Lamas Front Desk Representative

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    Bailey Price Front Desk Representative
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    Bailey Price Front Desk Representative

    Bailey is currently studying at Ferris State University in hopes of gaining a degree in Early Child Development with a Certification in Special Needs. Her favorite animal is a tree kangaroo and she started college at the age of 16!

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    Carianne Okopski Front Desk Representative
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    Carianne Okopski Front Desk Representative

    Carianne recently graduated for GVSU. She is originally from Canton, on the east side of the state. She has an identical twin and her biggest fear is birds!

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    Clarissa Howell Front Desk Representative
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    Clarissa Howell Front Desk Representative

    Clarissa love to swim with her son at Goldfish. She graduated from the University of Michigan. Clarissa favorite color is sea foam green and she love bearded dragons. Clarissa has a cat named Acorn and one named Squash.

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    Darcie Way Front Desk Representative
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    Darcie Way Front Desk Representative

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    Elizabeth Kozicz Front Desk Representative
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    Elizabeth Kozicz Front Desk Representative

    Ms. Elizabeth is from Ann Arbor but she moved to Grand Rapids for college. She rides horses competitively. For the last 14 years, Ms. Elizabeth has been riding and showing horses. Ms. Elizabeth has a dog named Fredy, a cat named Smokey and a horse named Ruby.

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    Haley Mattson Front Desk Representative
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    Haley Mattson Front Desk Representative

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    McKenzie Moore Front Desk Representative
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    McKenzie Moore Front Desk Representative

    McKenzie is 25 years old, she grew up in the U.P. and is currently studying Business at GVSU. She loves to run and play sports. McKenzie can speak Spanish and is a certified scuba diver!

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    Morgan Halligan Front Desk Representative
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    Morgan Halligan Front Desk Representative

    Morgan is currently attending Aquinas College in hopes of attaining a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She is on the soccer team there! Morgan's favorite place to vacation is her family's vacation home in the Upper Peninsula. Her favorite food is Mac n' Cheese!

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