Top Instructors Recognized By NSPF

Colorado Springs, COLORADO­—The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) has announced the winners of its annual Instructor Awards, presented to active NSPF Instructors whose diligence over the previous year marked a significant contribution to advancing NSPF’s mission. Just prior to the 2018 World Aquatic Health Conference (WAHC) in Charleston, South Carolina, NSPF formally recognized the top instructors and companies in this very competitive field.


Among the portfolio of programs taught by NSPF Instructors is Certified Pool Operator® (CPO®) Certification, the world’s leading verifiable pool and spa training credential. According to CEO Tom Lachocki, “NSPF Instructors are responsible not just for extending the reach of NSPF’s mission and brand, but for bringing a measure of reliability and safety to the local communities they service. They’re ambassadors of a message of safety in pool operation, and it’s our pleasure to honor their high standards and hard work.”

The following instructors and companies were recognized this year:


Most Certified Individuals in First Year as an Instructor – Brian Alexander Stewart of Pool Training Academy received the award after certifying an impressive 508 new students in his first year. Roberto J. Marquez and Scott A. McElroy of Leslie’s Poolmart, Inc.—who certified 152 and 130 new students, respectively—were also recognized in this category.

Most Certified Individuals by a Company – Two companies were recognized for their outstanding work in the past year: Pool Operation Management, which certified 1,712 people, and Leslie’s Poolmart, Inc., which certified 1,018 people. Founded in 1980, Pool Operation Management offers consulting, training, education, and management services for residential and commercial pool clients. Leslie’s Poolmart, Inc. was founded in 1963 and, in addition to certifying pool operators, runs over 900 retail centers and five distribution centers throughout the country.

Most Certified Individuals in a Blended Format – Receiving this award for the second year in a row was Ecolab, Inc., which certified 374 students in an online format, more than doubling the number of students they taught using Pool Operator Primer™ during the previous year. Ecolab’s pool and spa solutions include a wide range of support services and programs, as well as products and equipment for safe pool operation.


Most Certified Individuals by a Company in Spanish – Asociación de Profesionales de la Piscina (APPAC) of Mexico certified more students in Spanish (372) than any other company outside the USA. APPAC has been using NSPF educational programs since 2011, elevating the aquatic field in Mexico by teaching CPO® Certification courses.

Additionally, two U.S. instructors were recognized for their many Spanish-language certifications. José Miguel Torres—owner of Paraiso Pools in Debary, Florida—certified 273 students. And Josep M. Veciana of Miami’s Dadeland Pool Plus certified 204 students.

The Milestone Awards – NSPF’s Milestone Awards honor active instructors with the highest total number of certifications during the year. Steve Scheuer of Certified Pool Trainers, Inc. topped the list, receiving a Milestone Award for certifying 804 students. Instructors who certified more than 200 students were recognized by NSPF with an honorary Milestone plaque. The top ten instructors all certified over 500 students this year:


Steve Scheuer (Certified Pool Trainers, Inc.) 804

Tim Auerhahn (Aquatic Council, LLC) 710

Rick Stewart (Pool Training Academy, LLC) 702

Scott W. Ford (Tropical Aquatics Pool Education, Inc.) 682

Robert R. Freligh (Nationwide Aquatic Consulting) 678

Armando Esparza (Aquatics by Armando) 652

David L. Turnage (Turnage & Associates) 611

Trevor A. Sherwood II (Pool Operation Management) 604

Rudy Stankowitz (Aquatic Facility Training & Consultants) 523

Chad G. Storley (Horizon Pool Supply) 509

NSPF Instructors certified a total of 34,270 students worldwide during the awards period. To date, instructors from the organization have certified over half a million students. For more information on NSPF’s CPO® Certification, visit For a full list of Instructor Award winners, view this release on our news page.