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Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.

From The New York Times:

Her Parents Thought Swimming Lessons Were a Good Idea

Krystal Lara is one of very few Latinas in her class at Stuyvesant High School, and in the pool. She’s backstroking her way toward the Olympics.…

Former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka

Good video about former Yale swimmer Siphiwe Baleka


JOB ALERT! Aquatics Manager - Seattle Parks & Recreation

To apply visit:


Position Description

Seattle Parks & Recreation is recruiting an Aquatics Manager with experience operating public aquatic facilities; swimming pools, swimming beaches and small craft facilities. There are two main recruiting objectives for this position – the Department is looking for someone who will maintain a focus on the safe operations of our aquatic facilities while ensuring the safety for participants and user. Equally important, we are recruiting someone with ability to increase and expand the diverse participation and usership of aquatic programs and facilities. 

Main Functions:

The position reports to the Recreation Division Director, the Aquatics Manager is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and supervising 14 direct reports and 2 seasonal staff who operate public swimming pools and small craft centers. The Aquatics Manager is indirectly responsible for 72 full- time year-round staff and as many as 400 summer lifeguards and temporary intermittent staff. The annual budget for these operations is roughly $10 million. This position manages 8 indoor pools, 2 outdoor pools, 25 wading pools, 11 spray parks, 2 Rowing and Sailing Centers, 7 boat ramps and 9 lifeguarded summer beaches.

The Aquatics Manager will be responsible to manage day to day operations while developing strategies to increase the use of our public pools and aquatic programs for underserved communities; immigrant/refugees, and people from diverse backgrounds.    


Job Responsibilities

The position manages daily operations at all aquatics facilities, and ensure that all safety, health, and maintenance protocols are consistently enforced.

Manages and supervises subordinate supervisor with total direct and indirect supervision of approximately 500 employees. Recruiting, hiring, training, leading and evaluating a staff of aquatics coordinators, lifeguards and others that operate year-round aquatic facilities with expansion to add additional seasonal programs.  The position manages a staff of approximately 200 employees, year-round and an additional 300+ people in the summertime.  Monitors performance, evaluates and manages performance expectations.

Other duties includes:

  • Develop and implement strategies to build a diverse workforce, deliver aquatic programs and services consistent with the City's Race & Social Justice Initiative. 
  • Manages expense budget of about $10M with delegated authority to exercise substantial discretion in allocating financial resources, including budget adjustments, dealing with multiple fund sources and complying with fund source requirements (grants).  Manages all revenue streams, including collection, accounting, and routing of funds for recreation programs, facility rentals, contractual relationships, and merchandise sales; maintains accountability for all reports, reconciliations, and expenditures.  
  • Plans, develops, creates, implements and evaluates significant programs to achieve broad objectives; defines measurements;
  • Utilizes and applies "best practices" and national standards in risk management decision making.
  • Serves as the Department subject-matter expert on aquatic facilities and programs, especially identifying issues before they become larger problems that could potentially impair the Department ability to operate safely and effectively. 
  • Develops and recommends solutions to problems through a keen understanding of industry requirements and operating standards for public aquatic facilities; health department rules, required training and certifications for pool staff, understanding of operations related to wading pools, outdoor swimming beaches business practices and industry standards to ensure the safety for users and participants.    
  • Understands programmatic needs of swimming and boating activities. Ensures all aspects of aquatics operations are in compliance with all Washington State Health Department regulations, policies and industry best-practices; ensures all pools have adequate equipment and supplies, and that all procurement is compliant with and City policies.
  • Serves as a key contributor involving aquatic facilities, and capital projects. Proactive identification of routine maintenance needs and capital improvement requirements.  Works as part of a team to develop preventative maintenance closure plans.
  • Has some knowledge of pool chemistry and mechanical systems; has technical knowledge of the needs of swimming beaches, boat ramps, small craft centers, and other aquatic program areas. 
  • Manages and promotes external relationships/partnerships.   
  • Represents the organization at external meetings and committees throughout the city, as needed; and performing related duties as required.

Minimum Requirements:

  • A Bachelor's Degree in Recreation, Business Administration, Public Administration, Leisure Services or related field or four years of equivalent experience and/or education and/or training which provides an equivalent background to perform the work.
  • Five years of full-time recreation work with increasing responsibility for planning, coordinating, and implementing a variety of aquatics and/or recreation programs. At least three (3) years of this experience must have been in a management role with experience in business and large budget operations, project management, people management or human resources.

Licenses and Certifications:
A current, valid driver's license or evidence of equivalent mobility.  Applicants must have a good driving record as demonstrated by a complete driving abstract. A Washington State Driver's license will be required within 30 days of employment.

Current American Red Cross First Aid and CPR will be required within 30 days of employment.   

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of principles, methods, techniques and practices of contemporary, urban, public recreation programming and administration
  • Knowledge and demonstrated experience in motivation techniques and delegation skills
  • Knowledge of facility maintenance operations and planning
  • Ability to communicate both verbally and in writing in a variety of settings (e.g. public meetings, Commission meetings, with the media, staff reports, major studies, etc.)
  • Ability to manage and direct a professional staff by ensuring the quality and efficiency of work, the understanding of their responsibilities and the resolution of their questions
  • Ability to effectively communicate with the public, answer questions, and resolve problems
  • Ability to spark, manage, and lead, change with in a dynamic organization
  • Ability to quickly learn and put to use new skills and knowledge brought about by rapidly changing information and/or technology
  • Ability to work in an urban environment with people from a broad range of cultural backgrounds; experience with diversity including, but not limited to economic, ethnic, age, and gender
  • Competent with computer skills including MS Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint; operational knowledge of recreation registration software
  • Able to effectively manage multiple projects and assignments under time constraints and changing priorities
  • Able to demonstrate excellent internal and external customer service through verbal, written and electronic communications
  • Ability to research, develop and obtain grant funding and to complete a process of tracking and reporting of results and outcomes
  • Proficient spoken and written English; ability to speak a second language a plus!

Desired Qualifications

  • Specialized training in areas of aquatic management or operation including Better Beaches, Certified Pool Operator, NRPA Aquatic Facility Technical Training, Risk Management Schools, Budget and Finance 
  • Washington State Boater Safety certification. 
  • Red Cross certifications related to water recreation and water safety.
  • Certified Park and Recreation Professional Certification
  • Certified Park and Recreation Executive Certification

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