Swim Instructor Jennifer Huntington has had a passion for water sports all her life. She lived on Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota, as a child, swimming and water skiing from an early age. Family vacations always involved water – canoe trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area or sailing in the Apostle Islands. Jen enjoys all kinds of water activities, including competitive and synchronized swimming, water polo, water skiing, sailing, and both whitewater and quiet water kayaking.
Jen was a powerful competitive swimmer when at Minnetonka High School and summers in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). She was a member of both winning relay teams (freestyle and medley) when Minnetonka High won the State Championship.
Jen served as the Waterfront Director for five seasons at the summer camp Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. There she taught all levels of swimming and lifeguarding as well as canoeing, sailing, and water skiing to hundreds of kids. She was the assistant coach at the YMCA in Port Edwards, Wisconsin, for many years and for the Lincoln High School Girls Swim Team for 4 seasons.
During her college years, Jen worked as a Handicapped Children’s Aide in the Madison Public Schools, gaining insight and experience working with students with diverse abilities and disabilities. Jen found an amazing opportunity to be a live-in aide for six years to a brilliant quadriplegic boy. Working and living with his family cemented Jen’s core belief that people can accomplish great things no matter what their limitations are.
After graduating from UW Madison with a B.S. in Elementary Education, Jen has taught students of all ages during a full and rewarding career in education. A lifelong learner, Jen earned her Master’s Degree and has taken dozens of courses in special education. She is trained to facilitate support groups of students with alcohol and other drug abuse issues. She also volunteers regularly for The Family Center in Wisconsin Rapids, which shelters women and children in domestic abuse and dangerous situations. Jen teaches in an elementary school with a strong majority of students in poverty, and she has studied the special needs of these kids. She successfully works with challenging student behaviors, having supplemented her own years of classroom experience with coursework including “The Total Transformation Program.” Jen consistently strives to inspire others’ confidence in their own ability to take charge of their life and move in a positive, successful direction. Jen’s supervisors have commented:
“Perhaps Jen’s greatest strength can be found in her students’ comfort level within her classroom. Her students are continuously challenged yet demonstrate that they are extremely comfortable in the expectations she has placed on each of them individually…. Her greatest impact has been in making whatever content area she is teaching ‘relative’ and memorable for her students.”
“Jen has embraced every challenge…. Her students have benefited from her fun, genuine spirit. As the year goes on, the students seem to follow her model of focused, calm determination.”
Jen is thrilled to be joining “One with the Water” in the Central Wisconsin area and to tie her love of the water with her passion for teaching and learning. Jen understands the importance of water safety for everyone, whatever age or ability, and embraces this opportunity to share the fun and fitness of swimming, while empowering her swimmers to achieve their aquatic goals and beyond!