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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    Amber Schneider Deck Supervisor
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    Amber Schneider Deck Supervisor

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

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    Alessandra Sorenson Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Alessandra Sorenson Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Ms Alessandra is a student at Aquinas College and is pursuing a degree in exercise science. She is the 2nd of four kids in her family. Her favorite animal is a shark and her favorite season is fall!

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    Ali Shirzad Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Ali Shirzad Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Mr. Ali is from Afghanistan and grew up in Turkey! He can speak SEVEN languages! Mr. Ali loves to play soccer and track and field. He also loves cars and would love to open his own car dealership that sells really nice sports cars. His dream job though is to become a neuro(brain)surgeon or a professional soccer player.

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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 Benton Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Amber Benton Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

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    Audrey Sleder Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Audrey Sleder Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

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    Carrie Steffen Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Carrie Steffen Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Ms. Carrie grew up in Grand Rapids with 2 younger brothers! She teaches piano lessons and loves music. Last summer she got to visit Ireland! The best part, when she grows up she wants to be a pirate!

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    Catie Sattler Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Catie Sattler Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Ms Catie loves swimming! She swam for 4 years at Forest Hils Central and 1 year in college at Campbellsville University in Kentucky. She can't wait to teach kids to swim and be safe in the water! Ms Catie lived in London, England for a year and a half. She also hiked 100 miles in ONE day!

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    Colin Hanberry Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Colin Hanberry Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Mr Colin is 19 years old and not in college even though all of his friends are. He hopes to be a famous singer one day! It should come as no surprise then, that music is his favorite thing in the whole world! Mr Colin's favorite animal is a coral snake!

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    Emily Ferris Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Emily Ferris Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Ms Emily is from Portland, Michigan. She is living in Grand Rapids because she goes to GVSU and is studying Special Education. In her spare time she loves to kayak and hang out with her two cats, Rusty and Baby Penny. Ms Emily showed hogs and cattle in 4H. There are 7 kids in her family!

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

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    Erick Melton Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Erick Melton Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Mr Erick has traveled all over the world because he was in the United States Marine Corps! He learned to swim his best when he lived in Hawaii. He got to go surfing, and swim with sea turtles! He has always loved swimming though, he had to, growing up in Michigan with all of our Great Lakes. Mr Erick LOVES movies so much that he named his French Bulldog, Darth Vader, and his Shar-Pei, Groot! Mr Erick also loves superheroes, especially Marvel ones.

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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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    Kenzie Kowalewicz Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Kenzie Kowalewicz Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

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    Makayla Delaat Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Makayla Delaat Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    Ms. Makayla is a student at GRCC. When she was 12 she was diagnosed with diabetes. She has 2 cats named Ivy and Luna. Ms. Makayla loves being active and hiking in the mountains, she also loves to do crafts. She has played indoor volleyball for 12 years and started beach volleyball 5 years ago.

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    Molly McBride Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Molly McBride Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

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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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    Rachel Dennen Swim Instructor/Lifeguard
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    Rachel Dennen Swim Instructor/Lifeguard

    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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    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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    Brianna Maurer Lifeguard
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    Brianna Maurer Lifeguard

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    Charlee Hamming Lifeguard
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    Charlee Hamming Lifeguard

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    Elena Folkert Lifeguard
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    Elena Folkert Lifeguard

    Ms Elena is a Junior at Forest Hills Central High School. She has swam competitively for 6 years. She loves to draw and paint. She would like to go to Hope College.

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    Emalie Osborn Lifeguard
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    Emalie Osborn Lifeguard

    Ms Emalie loves spending time outside with her friends and family, but only when it's nice out! She loves animals and taking walks to new places!

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    Emma McDonald Lifeguard
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    Emma McDonald Lifeguard

    Ms. Emma has been swimming for 8 years and has three little siblings that also love to swim! She has a dog named Lucky.

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    Jasmine Dawson Lifeguard
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    Jasmine Dawson Lifeguard

    Ms Jasmine is a student at Forest Hills Central High School! She enjoys hanging out with her friends and swimming! Ms Jasmine has a carapoo puppy names Charlie who is 6 months old! Her favorite type of candy is chocolate. If you add caramel to it, it's even better!

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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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    Lauren Hathaway Lifeguard
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    Lauren Hathaway Lifeguard

    Ms Lauren was born in North Carolina and moved to Grand Rapids when she was 8 years old! She was raised on the west side and graduated from West Catholic in 2018. She is currently a full-time nursing student at Aquinas College. Ms Lauren has a golden retriever puppy named Abel that she loves so much! She says he is crazy energetic but also so cuddly! Ms Lauren recently went on a medical trip to Haiti which is what made her want to be a nurse!

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    Maria Tenuta Lifeguard
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    Maria Tenuta Lifeguard

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    Paige Sembach Lifeguard
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    Paige Sembach Lifeguard

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    Taylor Koetsier Lifeguard
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    Taylor Koetsier Lifeguard

    Ms Taylor is a student at Forest Hills Central High School. She loves spending time with her friends and family and has enjoyed making new friends at Goldfish Swim School! Ms Taylor has two dogs, a 7-year-old Maltese poodle, and a 1-year-old great Pyrenees. She loves to run and participate in Cross Country at school!

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    Adrianna Stone Front Desk Representative
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    Adrianna Stone Front Desk Representative

    Ms Adrianna is a Junior at GVSU, studying Communication Sciences and Disorders for Pre-Speech and Language. She would love to work in an elementary school. Her favorite color is pink and she loves riding her bike when she can. A special talent she has is the ability to lick her elbow!

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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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    Jordyn Dubrock Front Desk Representative
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    Jordyn Dubrock Front Desk Representative

    Ms. Jordyn is from Marinette (a very small town in Northeastern Wisconsin). She moved to Grand Rapids so she could attend GVSU and pursue a degree in Criminal Justice. Her favorite animal is a corgi! In her free time, Ms. Jordyn loves to draw and paint.

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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!

Give your kids the platform to make waves in life.