Instructor Profile - Mrs. Jennifer Hill
My name is Jennifer Hill, and I was raised in Clayton County; many of you may have known me as Jennifer St. Jacques. I graduated from Mt. Zion High School in 1993. I attended West Georgia College where I received a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. I then went on to The University of Georgia where I received a master’s degree in Technology Education. I was a technology teacher at Forest Park High School for 7 years and coached the school's boys and girls swim teams. I then went to teach video broadcasting at Mt. Zion High School for one year before making the change to Henry County. There I taught drafting and work-based learning at Woodland High School in Henry County until 2012. Then, I decided to leave the teaching profession to run The Swim Center full time.
My faith and family are both very important to me. You cannot meet me without knowing a little about my family. In 1999, I married Jeff Hill. He was a Construction Teacher in Henry and Clayton county for a combined 14 years. Like me, he too has had his own business as a general contractor, building custom homes and doing remodeling work on the side. In 2012 he also took "early retirement" from teaching to run his business full time.
In May of 2003 we were blessed with the birth of our daughter, Sierra. In April of 2007, God blessed us again with a son, Bryson. When you come for lessons you are likely to meet them. As all mothers know, we like to brag about our children!
My personal swimming experience began when I was 3 years old. My parents moved to Georgia from New York and bought a house with a pool. Naturally, their first concern was for safety, so they enrolled me in a swimming program at a local day care. The instructor was horrible! She would sit on the side of the pool and throw 5 rings down. We were expected to get them all on one breath. If we came up for air she would reach out with her foot and push us back under. Let's just say, after the 2nd day of coming home in tears, my mother let me out of the class. I then spent a lot of time in a lifejacket with nose plugs. I still don’t really know just how I learned to swim.
In school, I never joined a swim team because I was too vain at that time to be seen without make-up. Once you get to know me, you'll see how ridiculous that seems because now I go all summer in the pool and never wear make-up! Instead I was a cheerleader. I went on to cheer in college for both West Georgia and UGA. In fact, my husband was also a cheerleader in college. That's how we met! Now having experienced competitive swimming from the coach's perspective, I wish I had joined the swim team back in high school.
My career in aquatics began when I was in the 11th grade. I went through the American Red Cross Lifeguard training program and worked for two summers at Dancing Waters (now Atlanta Beach). I then got certified as a Water Safety Instructor in 1993 and began working for Clayton County Parks & Recreation. It was then that I realized my calling and the direction that God was sending me. My passion lies in water safety and the thrill and satisfaction of seeing people of all ages learn to swim. In 1995, I decided to leave the county and provide private group lessons at my parent’s home. Then in 2007, I moved the classes to my home as I finally convinced my husband to let me put in a pool. Now, the program has grown to have additional instructors, who are mostly former kids and products of the program.
As it has grown, I have seen my role in the program change. I am now more of a Principal in the school, making sure the instructors have what they need. I hand pick and train each instructor to ensure we are all delivering a comparable experience. Supervising the instructors and handling all the administrative tasks doesn't leave me much time to teach anymore, but all of our instructors are REALLY good!
My goals and ambitions are to one day work in an indoor swimming complex. I would love to be able to offer swimming lessons on a larger scale, incorporate more programs for competitive swim teams and offer therapeutic programs for seniors and those with disabilities.
If you are new to my program, I welcome you. Over the years, I have met so many families and have become very attached to the kids and the parents. When I see so many families, year after year, I can’t help but to get to know the families. They become such a part of my life. This program is my baby and my passion. I welcome you to contact me any time with any questions or concerns you might have. Be sure to read Our History too, where I expand more on how the program started and changed over the years.
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