Meet Our Aquatics Instructors!

Shari Peterson first became a Red Cross certified Water Safety Instructor in Canada in 1978. She volunteered as an assistant to certified instructors for 2 years before being old enough to become certified. Since then, she has taught all age groups - 6 months through 80+ years of age, and has worked with numerous mentally and/or physically handicapped individuals with various challenges.

In August of 2017, Shari became certified as a Y-USA certified swim instructor and led the coordination, implementation and evaluation of the Y's Safety Around Water program for 135 second grade youth from Alleghany County Public Schools. In the spring of 2018 and 2019, she implemented the same program for 80 second grade students from Covington City Public Schools.

Shari is well-known for swim instruction, whether it be through private or group swim lessons, or with the Dolphins Swim Team of the Alleghany Highlands YMCA . Shari has worked with more than 1,000 students in the 35+ years she has been teaching. She has coached for 25+ years and is a YMCA certified Level 1 Swim Official.

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Darlene Aquatics Instructor

Darlene Thomas, Health and Wellness Program Director for the Y, developed a love of teaching children how to swim through the Y's Safety Around Water program.  She became certified as a Y-USA certified swim instructor in 2018 and has assisted with every session of the program designed to teach 2nd and 3rd grade children the basics of being safe in - and around - water.

Darlene also teaches both Shallow and Deep Water group exercise classes, and utilizes the pool in one-on-one personal instruction classes designed to increase balance and muscle strength in clients who want to continue post-rehab work.



Work for the Aquatics Department

Learn about the opportunities available to teens and adults who have an interest in pools and people!