Top Instructors Recognized by NSPF

Colorado Springs, Colo.--Nine certified instructors with nonprofit National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) were recognized for exceptional performance and their commitment to work together to keep pools safer, healthier and open.

Instructors who attended the Annual Instructor Meeting held on October 16 were honored with an award, just prior to the 10 World Aquatic Health Conference in Indianapolis, Ind.

“We are proud to recognize these nine individuals who take their role seriously and embody the characteristics that make an exceptional educator,” said Fontaine Piper, Chair of the NSPF Education Committee. “The Committee encourages each instructor to become a role model for those entering the field as well as those currently working in the industry. This is vital to them accomplishing the mission of assisting others to improve public health by continually aiding pool safety, professionalism and profitability,” he added.

Studies cited in the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) reinforce that minimum training helps operators prevent health code violations. Furthermore, there is a poor track record for complying with public health codes, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. “For these reasons the NSPF is dedicated to growing its instructor base to educate more pool and spa operators helping protect millions of swimmers by reducing hazards at aquatic facilities and residential pools,” said NSPF CEO Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D.

The following distinguished instructors were recognized:

Robert R. Freligh, Nationwide Aquatic Consulting, Chestertown, NY, earned his award for the most certified individuals ever by an NSPF Instructor. Since 1995, Mr. Freligh has been teaching and certifying pool professionals through the Certified Pool/Spa Operator (CPO ) certification program. Mr. Freligh found his way to instructing by way of working through college, and afterwards in gunite construction, and instructing facilities how to start-up and operate, including Rutgers University and the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. “In 1995, economic conditions were changing so I decided to go out on my own. Armed with my CPO certification, I became an NSPF Instructor and haven’t looked back,” he said.

Taylor White, Langley and Taylor Pool Corp, Nashville, TN. As a first-year NSPF instructor, Mr. White is enthusiastic about his responsibility to help keep pools safer, and open. He set a record for the number of students who earned CPO certification through his classes. In 1995, he launched his business, after having having started a small pool service business to generate income while in pursuit of a doctorate in medical sciences. “We have dedicated our entire company culture to a commitment of excellence and professionalism in the commercial swimming pool industry.”

Scott Ford, Tropical Aquatics Pool Education, Dunedin, FL was given his award for teaching and certifying the most number of pool professionals during the year. With a legacy of teaching passed down by his father, since year 2000, Mr. Ford has been a leader in certifying operators through the CPO certification program. “Every student I teach and certify in a state where we see a large number of new pool pros, means that many more pools will be safely and correctly cared for,” he commented.

Connie Centrella, Connie Centrella Consulting, LLC, Nashville, TN was recognized as the greatest supporter of the Pool Operator Primer online program. “I find that the students who take the Pool Operator Primer, and go on to take the CPO certification class, have a better understanding when they come to the one day Fusion class,” said Ms. Centrella, who has been an NSPF Instructor since 1982. “Being an instructor gives me such a sense of accomplishment. I feel I am making a difference.” Ms. Centrella adds that her involvement with the NSPF Instructor Education Committee “gives me the ability to reach out to new instructors, raising the awareness of the value of sharing knowledge with others."

Swim Pool & Spa Consultants, Reno, NV received an award in the Pool Math Workbook category. Instructors Phil Reynolds, Steve Lintz, and Michael Freeman , assisted in the teaching for the company, who set a record for the number of students who have purchased and used this helpful educational tool for those that struggle with math. All three instructors are passionate about the water, and besides their teaching career with NSPF, they are involved in training lifeguards, coaching swimmers of all age groups, participating in Masters Swimming, Polo, S.C.U.B.A., and more.

Both Phil and Steve are also members of the NSPF Instructor Education Committee. In addition to his work with Swim Pool & Spa Consultants, Mike is a Recreation Specialist V for the City of Reno.

Shane Anthony Ince, Aquatics Information, Moana, Adelaide, South Australia was recognized for his dedication to pool operator training, having certified the most individuals through the CPO certification program outside the United States. Mr. Ince has been providing pool operator training as an NSPF Instructor since 2010. In addition to his work with Aquatics Information, he provides classes for the CPO certification in south Australia, Thailand and India, and advice and support to the South Australian Health Department and Environmental Health Officers in South Australia. “I am looking to expand into other Australian states to provide NSPF courses to ensure as many people within the aquatics industry are provided with opportunities to increase their knowledge,” he commented.

Asociacion de Profesionales de la Piscina, A.C., Mexico City, Mexico. Lidia Cepeda Cano, Board President, and Humberto Abaroa-Lance, Director of Education , attended the 10th annual WAHC. Humberto, a member of the NSPF Instructor Education Committee, accepted an award on behalf of his Association for the most certified with the Spanish CPO certification program. The Asociación de Profesionales de la Piscina” “APP has a team of 15 qualified and highly professional NSPF instructors that every year invest their time and sometimes economical resources to teach the class in order to accomplish their commitment for service and education to elevate the aquatic field in Mexico,” explained Mr. Abaroa-lance. The organization has been teaching with NSPF educational programs since 2011.