A peek into the job of Georgetown Aquatics Coordinator
Stephanie Darimont’s love for aquatics dates back to childhood when, each summer, she’d fly to Illinois to spend time with her dad. Together they’d spend each day at the neighborhood pool or at the lake, splashing around and creating some of Stephanie’s fondest childhood memories.
Now Stephanie experiences the joys of summertime aquatics year-round: After six years directing aquatics in North Texas, in 2009 Stephanie made a home for herself here as Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department’s aquatics coordinator. Today, she oversees the six public pools and from fifty to ninety aquatics employees, depending on the season.
Stephanie took time from her busy schedule to give the View a glimpse into her profession.
Originally, I was an elementary education major; I wanted to be a teacher. I didn’t even know there was a degree in recreation until my sophomore year in college. I was lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons, and one of my supervisors suggested that I major in it. So I did. I got my degree in recreation and leisure studies with a concentration in program management. To work in [the field of] parks and recreation, typically, we have degrees in that field.
How many people use the city’s pools each year?
Oh, my goodness—thousands. Last year alone, we had over 2,000 in swimming lessons. That, and there’s probably almost 1,000 more when you add up all of our swim teams: East View, Georgetown, Aquadillos, Texas Gold, our city swim teams in the summer, Gateway, the Masters program. And I can’t even put a number on our daily pool visits; during the summer, it’s hundreds.
What types of skills do you teach your lifeguards?
There are a lot of things you learn in lifeguarding that you’ll use forever. I cannot tell you how many people have called me years after working for me—I’ve been an aquatics coordinator for ten years—saying they were a first responder at a car accident and helped on the scene. Or they saved someone in their family from choking.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Investing in our youth and making sure they have life skills. I want to equip [my staff members] to be well rounded, make good decisions, and have qualities and skills that will be useful in life. . . . I figure they’re the leaders of tomorrow.
For more information on the Georgetown Parks and Recreation’s aquatics programs, pools, and offerings, visit parks.georgetown.org/aquatics.
For an inside scoop on what it’s like to be a lifeguard, watch this short YouTube video by the City of Georgetown Lifeguards.