The mission of our team is to promote an interest in competitive swimming/diving and to develop the fullest potential of the swimmer/diver. We encourage good sportsmanship, enjoyment, individual integrity, self-discipline and team play. Swimming/Diving is one of the few sports that is both an individual and a team sport.
Please feel free to e-mail coaches at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Our Coaches...
Coach Santowski joined the Berkmar Swim & Dive Coaching Staff in 2015. She has served as a head coach in the Atlanta Swim League for 18 years. She has coached numerous teams throughout her coaching career. She is a certified special education teacher with her masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction as well. Currently, she teaches an ASD 3 class at Berkmar High School. In addition to teaching, she previously was the head coach of the Alpharetta High School swim team , Windward swim team, and an age group coach at Dynamo Swim Club.
She extremely excited about helping your child expand their understanding of the great sport of SWIMMING/DIVING! As their coach, her first emphasis will be on what she calls FUNdamentals. She will work with your child to further develop their fundamental skills and hopefully we will have a lot of FUN learning together. She believes that kids gain confidence and a love for the sport through positive feedback from parents, coaches, and other athletes . Skill level develops at different rates for athletes, but effort and having fun can always be achieved. She tries to always provide positive feedback for effort. She believes in trying to make practices as fun and entertaining for the athletes as possible, while providing the practice and instruction that they need to improve. She has discovered that athletes expect and respond to well structured and organized practices. Competition is an important element of any sport and as athletes grow they naturally become more competitive. She doesn't talk to the athletes about "needing to win a meet" or "how important it is that we win". She feels her role and that of the parents is helping the athletes develop the ability to deal with competition in a healthy way. Effort and attitude is heroics. If we can achieve that, then chances are we'll win the number of meets that we are capable of winning.
I am very excited to start my 2nd year at Berkmar High School! I currently teach Special Education Language Arts at Berkmar where I coach swimming and cross country. I have been involved in swimming since I was a little girl and I love to share my love of this sport with new swimmers. I am currently the Neely Farm Head Swim Coach and in the past, I have been a summer league coach in Ohio at The Country Club of Muirfield Village for the past six years. This was my first year in Georgia and I am excited to see what this next year brings!
I began swimming at the age of 5. I swam for the Westerville Aquatic Club and Olentangy High School in Ohio growing up. I was fortunate to gain a Division 1 swim scholarship from Cleveland State University. Unfortunately due to an injury, I was unable to swim all four years, however, that is how I ended up at Miami University where I recently graduated. Swimming takes dedication and perseverance, which are the values that I try to instill in all of my swimmers. We have some very exciting plans for the upcoming season and I am very excited for this season to begin!
Coach Melinda Heaton was a member of the Beaver Hills Swim Team beginning at the age of 6 years old. She was a member of their swim team for 12 years and helped coach during her high school years. During High School she was a member of the Berkmar High Swim Team and Assistant Coach for the Huntington Hills Swim Team. During those years she excelled in making the All Gwinnett County Championship team, and qualified for State Finals as a High School swimmer. This was accomplished by hard work, dedication, and developing strong fundamental skills. She encourages everyone to do their best, set goals and give 100% during practice and swim meets. She is excited to be coming back to her Alma-mater.