A                                    program

~what Do our clients Say?

  • Initially, I tried group lessons, thinking it would save me money but at the rate she was learning, it would have taken all summer and ended up costing more. (Assuming she even learned as much) I wanted her to be able to keep up with her brother and cousins in the pool. She just hated sitting on the steps. After two weeks in local group lessons, she was just putting her head under water and not really progressing. After a week (at Aqua Tots), she learned to swim all over the pool and boy did she! We went on vacation and I couldn't get her OUT of the pool. This summer, it took her a few times in the water but she retained what she learned. We are SO happy with the results and looking forward to doing lessons again."-Maegan M.
  • Aqua Tots worked with my daughter Autumn (20months) last summer. In one week she went from not swimming at all to swimming under water to the steps, moving along the wall with her hands and floating on her back with assistance. It was a great program and it was nice that I could watch Autumn without her seeing me." -Jordan W.
  • "I was very apprehensive about my child learning to swim, however the instructors were aware of my fear and were able to keep me calm and not let it have any effect on my child. They are really attentive, patient, and skilled to handle my anxiety and my child's "no fear" of the water when he couldn't swim at all! It is truly amazing what they are able to accomplish in a week and I am thrilled to have had this experience with them. My son will be going back for another session this summer and we are both looking forward to it!" -Andrea H.
Kristina Ringley

Kayla Coats is a Lakeland native who loves working with young children.  Over the last 15 years  Kayla's experiences have ranged from daycare teacher to personal nanny, and children's pastor.  Kayla joins us part-time as her primary focus is at home with her 5 beautiful children. Her hobbies include anything outdoors, but most of all she loves camping, fishing and bon-fires.

Rachel Ringley

Meet the instructors:

Susan Saunders
Rae-Lynn Sheffield

OWNER / INSTRUCTOR

Sarah has been a swim instructor with Aqua Tot since 2011.  Sarah loves swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, canoeing, and almost anything on the water!  She was on the swim team in high school and loved to swim the backstroke.  With degrees in both Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Sarah is highly qualified to work with young children in any learning environment.   Sarah is licensed and insured through ASCA and the SwimAmerica program and holds current certifications in American Red Cross Lifeguard, CPR and First Aid.  She also enjoys spending as much time as she can with her 2 children and husband, Josh.


  • "My toddler daughter, Molly, went from scared of the water to excited to swim in one week! Our instructor was firm with expectations but was caring at the same time. N, she is proud to be such a good swimmer and loves to "teach" her little brother to swim. Other parents will routinely notice how well she swims and I get to brag about Aqua Tots!" -Heather H.
  • Our instructor "was so awesome with my 2 year old son. Now, I cant keep him out of the pool at home. He is improving so much. I tell people all the time about you. He always has to tell me to chugga chugga with him or ride his boat, just like he's the teacher now! A big thank you to RaeLynn and the rest of your team. This program is a must for children. I will be back next year." 
  • Our instructor was so good with Kate and pushed her to do more based on her ability level ("pushed" in a good way, very kind, supportive, and encouraging). I loved seeing Kate's increasing skills, while Ms RaeLynn encouraged her love of swimming! We will be returning!
  • "Swimming by the end of the week...HA! I must admit that this was my thought going into swim lessons with Aqua Tots. I also had doubts whether the staff was capable of handling a 3 year old like mine, terrified of the water. Now that my child has finished his week of lessons, I am completely amazed! Ms Sarah was absolutely fabulous at calming his nerves and pushing him into success. It's only been a week since my son started these lessons and now he is swimming like a fish. I'm singing Aqua tots praises everywhere we go. I can't thank you enough for what you've done for my son."
  • "We had just recently bought a house with a pool and my mom was petrified that my son would fall in the pool and not know what to do. My son was only 18 months at the time and was fascinated with the pool. We decided to try aqua tots. After a week with working with Ms. Sarah, who was absolutely wonderful, he was able to swim a brief distances,find the side of the pool if he fell in, and use the wall to move around the side of the pool. Now,even a summer later, he remembers exactly what to do and enjoys the pool. I would highly recommend this for any family who has a pool and young kids who have not yet learned to swim."
  • "Signing my son up for swim lessons at Aqua Tots has been one of the best thing I could have ever done for him. I would recommend them to anyone. My son started at 18 months old and after a week he was able to swim underwater to find the side of the pool or the steps to save himself if he were ever to fall in a pool. He is now 2 1/2 and swims like a fish. I love that the instructors take the time to calm and comfort my son when he does get aggravated or upset, and gives me the piece of mind that if he were ever in a situation where he fell into a pool he could find safety." -Saretha M.
  • "We tried for 3 summers to teach our daughter to swim. We did private lessons and group lessons and none worked because she was so scared of letting go of a grownup in the water. We signed up for Aqua Tots and within 4 days, Aqua Tots had her swimming like a fish with confidence and diving underwater to retrieve sinkers. We highly recommend AquaTots. All staff were kind and professional. The pools were clean there was always nice uplifting music playing in the background. Thank you so much for teaching our daughter age 6 to swim. We are having fun watching her swim with her friends and feel a great relief that she knows how to be safe in the pool!" -Andrea S.
  • "After paying for several classes for my 5 year old son at the YMCA with no improvement and still scared of the water, we tried Aqua Tots. On the 2nd visit he started to love going to swim class and by the 4th class he was swimming 30 feet by himself. Thank you Sarah and the entire Aqua Tots team." -Dirk
  • "Aqua Tots worked with our son (age 4) his first year, and our daughter (age 3) her second year. They knew just how to challenge and encourage our young swimmers, helping them master their new skills while soothing their fears. We appreciated her genuine interest in our kids too." -Laura M.
Sarah Swartz

History

Aqua Tots began in 2008, under the direction of Diane Sherrard.  Diane and her husband, Duncan, moved to Lakeland with a vision for the swimming community.  They immediately brought their noteworthy past experiences and wealth of knowledge of the sport to life through Aqua Tots Swim School and Lakeland Area Swimming.  Their goals,  within the SwimAmerica Framework of progression, teaching points, and advancement goals, set a model that provided all students with the opportunity to learn. They approached the swimming community with goal-driven, technique-oriented, safe and fun learning environments. Using positive reinforcement as the main modification source, their first emphasis was placed on safety and the enjoyment of water. Thousands of Lakeland families have learned to swim and swim well, thanks to Diane and her passion for swimming.  Now under the ownership of Sarah Swartz, we strive to keep a learning environment consistent with the model originally set in place for Aqua Tots!

Rae-Lynn Sheffield is a graduate from Florida Southern College with a degree in Physical Education. She works as a PE teacher at Rochelle Academy and coaches the Sante Fe High School Swim Team. As an athlete in college, Rae-Lynn was an NCAA All-American, school record holder, and Sunshine State Conference champion. She has become very popular among Aqua Tots families since she first came on board in 2009.  She is a tremendous asset to the Aqua Tots team.

(863) 808-0189

Swimming@lakelandaquatots.com

PO Box 6276
Lakeland, FL 33807

Rachel Ringley has been around the water for quite some time.  Rachel has been a competitive swimmer for the past 7 years.  She has used her knowledge of the sport as a summer swim coach for Lakeland's local club swim team, LAS and as a swim instructor.  Currently, Rachel is attending college at Florida Southern and swims at the collegiate level for the Mocs.  She plans to major in Finance and Economics.

Allison Greenwood is a Business Administration student at Florida Southern College where she swims at the collegiate level.  Allison has an in-depth knowledge of the sport and has been swimming competitively for seven years.  She is current in her Lifeguard/ First Aid/ CPR/ AED certifications and has taken on the Aqua Tots role easily, as she has prior experience teaching individual swim lessons for swim teams across Tampa Bay area.

Allison Greenwood

Kristina Ringley started swimming at 16 months old and loved the water from the beginning. She enjoyed competitive swimming from the age of 10 up to her senior year of high school. Kristina has served our community as a swim coach for LAS, a local club swim team and had the honor of being recognized by Senator, Kelli Stargel for her leadership in the Lakeland community.  Kristina comes to us with much knowledge of the sport and with certifications in CPR and First Aid, AED and WSI - water safety. 

Susan Saunders has proven to be a great addition to the Aqua Tots team.  Susan has a lifetime of experience working with children in the pool and out.  She is a former elementary school teacher and collegiate swimmer.  She has helped children learn the joy of swimming most of her life.  We are very excited to have Mrs Susan on the team.  Susan holds current certifications in American Red Cross Lifeguarding, CPR and First Aid.  These certifications, along with her loving heart, passion for children, and positive attitude make for an amazing instructor!

Kayla Coats