Meet The Team

Annie Scott (Babicz)

Owner & Instructor

Annie grew up swimming for the Sarasota Sharks, where she became one of the best age group swimmers in the country. To this day, she remains the 2nd fastest American swimmer of all time in the 11-12 girls 100 breaststroke and is one of the youngest Olympic Trial Qualifiers ever. She won the Rookie of the Meet award at 1998 National Championships alongside Ryan Lochte, and went on to compete at UC Berkeley where she competed internationally and was Pac 10 Champion and a four time NCAA scorer. ​

After graduating, Annie went on to coach at the club and college level, while also teaching private lessons to kids and adults of all ages and abilities. Her philosophies stem from her time at Cal, where unconventional training practices led to a more holistic understanding of the water.  She is excited to bring a fresh new perspective to the Sarasota swimming scene!

Josh Scott 

Owner & Instructor

Josh joined his first swim team when he was 6 years old, shortly after his family had moved to Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia.  While he wasn't a "natural" swimmer at first, he did have a love for the water and a strong desire to improve.  

 

After moving back to the United States, Josh went on to become a top age group and high school swimmer in California, competing in both Junior and Senior Nationals, and earning a swimming scholarship to Syracuse University.  While at Syracuse, he was a school record holder and honored by his teammates by being voted both Team Captain and MVP.  His athletic pursuits continued after college, where he became a U.S. Masters Swimming National Champion in multiple events.

 

Josh found his true passion in life as a coach, helping others "understand" the sport he loves so much.  He is an American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) Level 4 Coach.  He has coached multiple National Record setting relays, a U.S.A. Swimming National Team member, and a Junior National Champion.

 

Josh is known for making a complex sport "simple" to those he is teaching, and focusing on the RIGHT things that create massive improvement.  He believes the only thing a swimmer is limited by is their technique and their heart.

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Ben Whitaker
Instructor

Ben's love for swimming began in high school, where Ben swam competively for the LRHS Mustangs, as well as the Lakewood Ranch Lightning and Sarasota Sharks club teams.

Though Ben wasn't naturally talented at the sport, swimming represented a new challenge to conquer, and provided focus and structure.  Ben recieved the Most Improved Scholar Athlete award his first year swimming, displaying the leadership and work-ethic that lead to becoming a team captain and a state champion the following season.

Ben began his coaching career at Middle Tennessee State University where Ben wrote practices as a Student Coach.

Little did Ben know that his passion would turn into a career.  Ben never got out of the pool upon graduation and watched his obsession grow into over a dozen years of coaching USA Swimming, US Masters Swimming, and directing aquatic programs and facilities.  

When Ben's not in the water, he can be found tending to his horses with his beautiful family. 

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Linda Bruno

Instructor

Linda was born and raised in the Bronx.  Her love of the water started early, swimming and snorkeling the local waters.  Moving to New Jersey and working for the U.S. Customs Service Linda spent her vacations scuba diving in remote locations such as the  the Fiji Islands and Roatan. 

Linda moved to Long Island and enrolled her daughter Gabrielle with the 3 Village Swim Club. Then moving to Sarasota, Gabrielle swam for the Sharks Swim Team.  It was then that Linda became a swimmer. She was discovered by the YMCA and asked to teach swim lessons.  For ten years she taught swim lessons to a variety of groups.  She established the first Adaptative Aquatics Program, and the 3 and Me classes.  Linda has instructed swim lessons for the community with the BUDS Program and  Robert Taylor Park. 

She has volunteered for the Oak Park Schools assisting special needs children discover the aquatic environment.  She is also a Special Olympic Coach. 

Linda holds a variety of certifications in the Aquatic Field.  She is a certified WSI Red Cross Instructor and Trainer.  She is certified in ALTS (Adults Learning to Swim), as well as certified for the Special Olympics Swim Coach.  She is also certified in Water Aerobics, as well as Hydro Ryder, (aquatic bicycling in the water). 

 

Linda enjoys teaching all levels, stressing safety in and around the water.  She brings her creativity and variety to her lessons keeping the children focused with fun filled skills.  

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Kim Calhoon

Instructor

Kim was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. She learned to swim as a baby and grew up in the pool when she wasn’t in the dance studio. Kim is trained in ballet, jazz, tap, modern and street dance and studied with Dance Masters of America and Dance Educators of America. She danced professionally for 15 years and received numerous awards as she toured the US. She later created her own dance company and began to teach children and adults throughout Atlanta. She formed several dance programs throughout the inner city to serve at- risk youth and give them an outlet during after school hours. Seeing the enormous needs, she volunteered in several youth shelters as a certified counselor.
Kim moved to Sarasota in 1997 with her two adopted boys and got immediately in the water and continued counseling in local youth shelters. She fell in love with open water swimming in the Gulf and
it also helped with the several injuries she sustained from dance.
Kim has always been a believer in doing whatever you are passionate about in your life. This entrepreneurial spirit, which she accredits to her mom, has created a space for her to live her life to the fullest. So, after arriving in Sarasota, she began studying art at Ringling and currently paints and has a gallery and studio in Nokomis. Having applied stage makeup for years for her and her dance teams’ performances, she re-discovered the art and became a professional makeup artist 17 years ago. She
specializes in television, theater, and bridal and has worked for the Sarasota Opera’s wigs and makeup department and youth camp for 6 seasons. Kim was diagnosed with Lupus several years ago and decided to focus more on swimming which has
been very healing to her joints. In 2017 she decided, with her love of the water and natural ability to teach, to get certified as a swim instructor. She became certified with Swim America and has been
teaching ever since. Many of her students have advanced to swim team with Tsunami, including her 7-year-old granddaughter. “Swimming has given so much to me my whole life and I want to share my love for the sport with as many as I can.” She believes that teaching swimming not only saves lives but teaches a valuable lifelong recreational sport and aids in physical healing as she has experienced so greatly.

Jenn Hart

Instructor

Jenn began swimming competitively at 8 years old in North Carolina. During her age group years and throughout high school, she had the opportunity to represent North Carolina at the National Junior Olympics, compete at the Senior National Level, and swim in the Olympic Trials. Following high school, she was a Gator student-athlete at the University of Florida.

 

Since graduating from the University of Florida, she has continuously taught swimming lessons and coached. While living in Jamaica for several years, Jenn established and coached the Negril Waverunners Swim Team. Jenn returned to the United States and settled in Sarasota with her son and daughter. For many years, she taught swimming lessons for the Sarasota Family YMCA and coached age group swimmers for the Sarasota Sharks. During this time, her two children swam for the Sarasota Sharks, competed internationally for Jamaica, and swam for their respective universities.

 

Now, Jenn is more than thrilled to join the Swim SRQ Team. Her passion is teaching  swimming technique and showing young children the joy in mastering new skills in the water.

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Samantha Cahoone

Instructor

Samantha grew up swimming for the Sarasota Sharks Swim Team where she swam for 13 years. Her love of serving others, swimming, and the outdoors led her to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. While participating in the Coast Guard Academy's swab summer program, Samantha became injured to the point where she was no longer able to participate and was differed to restart the next year. Back home in Sarasota, Samantha stayed in school enrolling in classes at USFSM. One afternoon in 2016, while studying at the YMCA, Samantha was recruited to teach swim lessons and has been teaching ever since. By the time she was able to return to the Coast Guard Academy, Samantha had created a network of clients who she tutored academically and was enjoying her time teaching swim lessons at the YMCA and Robert Taylor Community Center so much that she continued her classes at USFSM where she graduated from in 2019 with a degree in Biology and a concentration in Psychology. Samantha considers herself a lifelong learner and since graduation has continued her education, obtaining a teaching certificate in 2021 and is planning to pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology ASAP. Samantha has a strong desire to help all children become happy, healthy, and empowered adults, which led her to become a Mental Health Tech at Palm Shores Behavioral Health Care Center in Bradenton, FL. This experience as well as her experiences teaching swim lessons and tutoring students academically has given Samantha a great understanding of the intricacies that go into the psychology of individual children. Samantha's teaching philosophies are driven by the principle that she is not simply teaching a child how to swim but rather is "teaching the whole child".  

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Daria Paulis

Instructor

Daria was born in raised in Miami, Fl. Learning how to swim before she could walk, she has always loved the water and has been doing water sports her whole life. At age 7 she went to Swim Gym where she began open water swimming, competing in the Nike Youth Open Water swim for two years before going to Hurricane Aquatics where she swam until age 10. In middle and high school she played lacrosse and continued swimming to cross-train.

She began working as a kayak and sailing instructor in 2018 when she first became lifeguard certified. Attending New College of Florida, she joined the swim team her second year and became captain for the following two years. She has also returned to open water swimming since moving to the Sarasota area. As an instructor, Daria 

aims to not only teach water safety but also instill a joy of the water to her students.

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Casey Keiber

Director of Aquatics & Instructor

Casey is from Easton, PA and learned to swim at a young age, started competing at 9 and, at 14, competed in US Olympic Trials in the 100 breaststroke and just missed top 16. She competed for Team USA as part of the National Junior Team in 1993, was a two-time state champion in the 100-yard breaststroke, and swam collegiately for the Penn State Nittany Lions. As a freshman in high school, Casey broke the state and pool record at Penn State’s Natatorium.

 

After a long break away from the pool, she found joy in the water again through teaching many private lessons and discovered U.S. Masters swimming. She coached for Pikes Peak Athletics in Colorado Springs and competed in the 2016 USMS Summer Nationals in Oregon and has been competing in masters meets ever since. She achieved her Level 1 & II U.S. Masters Swimming Coach Certification last year and also has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, emphasis in schools and communities. 

 

She loves swimming and competing on her own terms for the full mind/body balance the water provides. Casey  is excited to be part of Swim SRQ to help young swimmers find joy and safety in and around the water. 

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Nicole Cooper

Director of Training & Instructor

Swimming has always been an important part of Nicole’s life. At age seven, she joined the YMCA team where she swam competitively for eleven years. But it did not end there! While attending college at Seton Hall University for elementary and special education, Nicole’s mother became the proud owner of a swim school. Together, Nicole and her family ran the swim school and taught lessons for everyone, from infants to adults.  

 

Recently, Nicole and her family moved down to Sarasota from New Jersey. It was not even a question of what she wanted to do when she began looking for jobs. Luckily, she has found SwimSRQ to continue her love of teaching swimming. Her ultimate goal is for every child to learn how to swim.

 

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Miles Newmeyer

Instructor

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Luci Lozano

Instructor

Miles spent much of his youth around pools in Tallahassee, Florida. His time as an instructor was as a counselor at his local boy scout summer camp. There he also received his first Red Cross lifeguard certification, he worked part-time as a lifeguard throughout high school and college. He is currently CPR certified. During high school, he started his competitive swimming career. He swam for James S. Rickards Highschool in the Fall, and the Area Tallahassee Aquatics Club during the Winter and Summer seasons. 

 

In college, Miles continued his work as a lifeguard at the New College of Florida fitness center. During his second year, he joined the fledgling New College of Florida swim team and became its captain the following two years. Miles graduated from the New College of Florida in May 2020 with a degree in Russian Language and Literature and History. He wrote a thesis on "The State of Becoming," an analysis of masculine hero figures in Soviet propaganda of the 1930s. 

Born and raised in Sarasota, Florida, Luci quickly established a love for the water at a young age despite not knowing how to swim. After attending swim lessons, her parents signed her up for the Sarasota Sharks. Luci began competitively swimming at 8 years old and then went on to spend 10 years with the team where she predominantly trained
IM and butterfly. As a high school swimmer, she contributed to the FHSAA State Championships as well as YMCA Nationals all 4 years.
After graduating from high school, she then went on to attend the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. At USAFA, she became a prominent addition to the IM and butterfly groups. She recently transferred back home to pursue a career in the medical field.
Growing up around the pool deck, Luci has always had a profound love for the water, and she hopes to instill that same passion in others as they build their confidence and safely learn their way around the pool.

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Taylor Tyle

Instructor

Taylor began swimming with the Sarasota Sharks at age seven. Throughout her twelve years with this program, her proudest accomplishment was becoming a YMCA National Qualifier in the 200-yard Breaststroke. While training with the Sharks, she was also a 4-year Varsity swimmer and Captain for Sarasota High School. During her time as a Sailor, she was able to be on the State podium twice! The silver medal she earned at States with her incredible 400-yard Freestyle relay was her most memorable as they only missed the Gold by less than a second! Her senior year high school season was an amazing experience for Taylor and her most enjoyable time as a swimmer as the Lady Sailors brought home both the District and Regional Championship titles for their school. 

 

Taylor believes her journey as a swimmer taught her many valuable life skills such as determination, perseverance, and the true definition of hard work. She is very excited to be able to introduce a new generation of swimmers to their own journey through her work with SwimSRQ. 

Kim Hazelton

Instructor

With over 30 years of experience, Kim is an overly qualified premier swim instructor. Back in New Jersey, she is the owner of KimSwims, a  family owned and operated swim school where she teaches lessons to people of all ages. Now a snowbird living in Florida, she is ready to get back in the pool and teach more lessons on her time off. 

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Miss Riah

Instructor

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Andrew Corter

Instructor

My name is Miss Riah and I have loved swimming since my Grandad taught me in his pool! I spent the first 12 years of my childhood homeschooled in Arcadia, FL and moved to the Parrish area around 5th grade.

 My earliest memory of the ocean is my first snorkeling experience in the Florida Keys with my brother and dad - I thought the water was kool-aid! In my adult life, I have an obsession with Sea life ( Reefs in particular). My father has had a massive positive impact on my confidence in the water and life! I have had some wild adventures so far - with plenty more to come! In my free time I love to paint the creatures I swim with, kayak, be a good plant mom, fossil hunt for sharks teeth, sew, and spend time with my family. I am currently CPR certified for adults and babies and have teaching experience . 

 I am elated to join the SRQ family and look forward to meeting everyone at the pool!

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Nicole Buckley
Instructor

My first swimming memory was at age 4, jumping off a 10 meter platform while my father stood on the pool deck.
My second was of failing my first formal swim lesson at age 8. The solution, according to my instructor, to this lack of endurance and ability was to join a competitive swim team.
I have never looked back.
Swimming has saved me more than once in life; not only can it create a life long sport,  it forms  character,  provides skills of teaching and understanding of others.
My high school years were of swimming endless laps in a pool, traveling to swim meets each weekend,  lifeguarding, and teaching swimming lessons to children.
I became a RN and chose pediatrics as my specialty. While working over 20 years in acute care, I raised 2 beautiful girls, who of course swam before they could walk and each competed in swimming. During these years, I volunteered pool side with lessons and endless swim parent responsibilities.
Fast forward to 10 years ago, where I had a multitude of health issues and needed to make personal changes to become well. Where better than in swimming, aquajogging,  and aqua aerobics?
8 years ago I was challenged to try open water swimming. The sea became a healing place. I began a routine of swimming sunrise at Siesta 4-5 times a week and have continued to do that since. Our sunrise group and social media has grown tremendously since that time. Beginning from a group of 10 to over 800 members from around the world. Because I know how powerful swimming is I try to include and encourage all to join us, watching the sun rise and the dolphin call, all while swimming the beautiful sea.

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Susan Hanus
Instructor

Susan has been in the water her entire life competing in pool meets, triathlons, aqua bikes, general fitness swimming, teaching swimming and lifeguarding.

She spent most of her life on Massachusetts’ South Shore swimming in Cape Cod and Duxbury Bays.   She holds a level one certificate in the Burdenko Method for functional training.  While her four children attended Burke Mountain Academy (ski racing school), Susan worked with ski athletes in the pool to restore, retain and improve functionality, and holds a level one Burdenko Method certificate - the program used for athletes. She also enjoys scuba diving, sailing, boating and an assortment of other water sports. 

After raising four children (who chose ski racing over swimming), Susan recently moved from Northern Vermont to the Sarasota area and is excited to return to living in a coastal town.

Susan believes swimming is a foundational sport that is worth learning at any age, and swimming confidently allows for many opportunities to experience joy in life.