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About Us

Jan Emler had two passions in her life as a young adult…teaching children and swimming. Her dream came true when she launched Emler Swim School in 1975 in Arlington, Texas.

The joy of more than 50 years as a swim instructor combined with the assurance of customer satisfaction has resulted in a happy and satisfied professional life for Jan. Additionally, the blessing of her husband, Dave, and her children, Paige, Tyler, and Katie have resulted in a joyful personal life.

Early on, the culture of Emler swim lessons was supported by two founding principles.
1. Every child should experience a fun lesson that caused him to fall in love with the water.
2. Every parent should receive a guarantee her child will learn to swim.

In the first four decades of Emler Swim School, it has become the premiere swim school in the United States receiving multiple national awards from the US Swim School Association, including: Most Innovative Curriculum, Guiding Light Award and Hall of Fame Award. For a full list of awards click here.

Asked why parents should trust the experience of Emler for their child’s water safety, Jan responds; “Your Emler location may not always be the closest swim school…but it is always the surest way to make their child safe. Emler Sure!”

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40 Years of Emler Swim School History

Emler Swim School Timeline
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Emler Today

Since our beginning, we’ve taught thousands of children and adults to be safer swimmers. Today, we teach more than 45,000 students every year the life-saving skills they need to be safer in the water, using our award-winning curriculum that helps every swimmer gain confidence and achieve their goals.

When you observe the Emler staff, you will notice open communication, mutual respect and a team that’s 100 percent committed to each child’s success.

That commitment shows in everything we do – from the moment we greet your child by name, to the ongoing investments we make in our facilities, to the in-depth training we provide to every instructor and team member.

We want you and your child to be Emler Sure.

Emler Sure
Happy kid in pool
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Customer Core Values

We love kids.
We promise 100% customer satisfaction.
We solve conflicts graciously and on the spot.

Professional Core Values

We are committed to be consistent.
We hold ourselves and each other accountable.
We actively search for and embrace changes that make us better.

Business Core Values

We create jobs that are financially and personally satisfying.
We run a profitable business.
We provide safety with a splash of love.

Our Leadership Team

Jan Emler

Jan Emler

Founding President

Jan, who began her career in swimming instruction at the age of 13 as a lifeguard and swim teacher at the YWCA in Kansas City, has devoted almost 50 years to her students and the swim school that she founded in 1975 with 16 students in a backyard pool in Arlington, Texas.

Today, Jan remains actively involved with every one of Emler’s eight Swim Schools. She has also taken Emler Swim School’s award-winning curriculum to other swim schools, working as a consultant to teach others the techniques that result in a 99 percent goal achievement rate at every level.

Jan is a charter member of the U.S. Swim School Association and a three-time member of its board of directors. She is also a frequent speaker at national and international aquatic education conferences. Jan lives in Colleyville with her husband, Dave, and she loves spending time with her three grown children, Paige, Tyler, and Katie, and three grandchildren.

Email Jan
Kendra Walker

Kendra Walker

Vice President of Operations

Kendra joined Emler Swim School in the early 1990s, during a crucial expansion time for the business. She jumped right in and implemented the business systems, reporting procedures, computer registration, and online capabilities that have helped Emler Swim School thrive, grow, and teach lifesaving skills to countless children.

“I have a genuine love for babies and children, and I derive great joy from watching them be successful in the water and seeing them explore and play in the pool,” Kendra says. “I am truly blessed to have a job I love, working with people I consider part of my family.”

Before becoming a vital part of the Emler Swim School corporate team, Kendra worked for seven years as the director of public relations for a non-profit children’s residential care home. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration with a minor in business management.

Kendra served on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Swim School Association and is frequently sought for her advice and opinions about registration software and business systems.

Kendra and her husband, Randy, are most proud of their two grown children, who swam at the university level for Texas Christian University and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Email Kendra
C. J. Reynolds

C. J. Reynolds

Director of Finance

C.J. says that she loves the accounting and event planning work she does for Emler Swim School, along with the many other opportunities to witness the positive results of her work. “I enjoy the small family atmosphere,” she says.

C.J. joined the Emler team in 2005 after working with the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County for 10 years as executive vice-president and director of operations and finance. She also served as manager of the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. Although her educational background is in accounting, she was instrumental in organizing all special events and raised $1.5 million a year for granting to local arts organizations.

Prior to her tenure with the Arts Council, she served as operations manager and event coordinator for the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and the Mental Health Association.  A Fort Worth native, she loves spending time with her daughter, Tiffany, and granddaughter, Lexi.

Email C. J.
Vilma Dayoub

Vilma Dayoub

Director of Quality Control and Training

Since 2009, Vilma has been a Site Director and Corporate Teacher Trainer for Emler Swim School.  She was the Site Director at Emler’s Preston Forest, Southlake, and Allen locations.  Vilma first joined Emler in 2007 at the Arlington facility as a teacher. Prior to coming on board, she worked in California as a nanny and HR Assistant for Office Depot.

“I love and enjoy my job, and the major driving force in my life is my ability to help others,” she says. “The best parts of my job are the smiles, challenges, accomplishments, joy, and rewards that every day brings.”

Vilma was born and raised in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a major in organizational communications and a minor in business management. Always one to stay busy, she went to college full-time while holding down a full-time job. She loves English bulldogs, working out, fishing, and traveling.

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Jessica Dansby

Jessica Dansby

Operations Director

Jessica began her career with Emler Swim School in 2007 as an assistant customer service manager. Prior to joining the Emler team as part of her quest for a fulfilling career, she was a branch manager for a bank.

“I wanted to have a job working with children and making a difference in people’s lives,” she says. “I am proud that I get to have a job that makes a difference: We save children’s lives. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

Along with ensuring a positive experience for students at Emler Swim School, Jessica is proud of her outstanding work developing other managers and helping to recruit new staff members. A talented coach, she enjoys mentoring and developing Emler staff and watching them grow. Every day, she contributes her own perspective as a mother to her job, and has witnessed the Emler difference first-hand with her own children’s swim classes.

As a working parent, Jessica graduated from University of Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor of Science degree in speech and language pathology. An identical twin born in Billings, Montana, Jessica loves celebrating her four children’s milestones with pictures, reading, shopping, and spending time with her kids.

Email Jessica
Jen Brown

Jen Brown

Operations Director

Jen’s career at Emler Swim School started in the Fall of 2011. She became the Aquatic Director at the Austin Anderson Mill location starting in 2012.  In 2014, Jen was promoted to the Site Director position at the Austin Westlake facility, and one short year later, she moved back to the Anderson Mill location as Site Director. In 2016, Jen was promoted to her current position of Operations Director.

Aquatic education and working with children is a family tradition for Jen Brown.

“My mother was a swim instructor and taught me how to swim at 6 months. I was a lifeguard for four years and a nanny and babysitter for many more. I cannot imagine working without kids and I am so lucky to be able to share my love of the water with them. It is like God tailored made this job for me!”
Born and raised in both southern California and Texas, Jen grew up around beaches, rivers, lakes, and pools.

“We are surrounded by bodies of water and the need to protect our children is great. This is an awesome responsibility for which I am proud to be a part of everyday.”
Jen attended Texas State University in San Marcos and worked full-time while completing her studies for a Bachelors degree in Business Management. Jen is a newlywed who enjoys spending time with her family and friends, swimming around Austin, curling up with a good book, and heading to the movie theater with her husband.

Email Jen
Christina Harris

Christina Harris

Human Resources and Special Projects Manager

Christina is a Human Resources Generalist with over 20 years of marketing, training and human resources experience. She said she feels fortunate her career spans many interesting and rewarding industries, including manufacturing, training, retail, national defense and nonprofit. She’s said she’s always been passionate about connecting potential customers and employees with the companies she believes in.

Christina, a Texas Longhorn, earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and holds certifications as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) and SHRM-CP from the Society for Human Resources Management. She served on a board of directors for SHRM when living in Virginia, and is a member of local and national human resources organizations.

As the wife of a 26-year Air Force pilot, Christina is pleased to be once again living in Texas, and to have been referred by family to Emler – a company with a culture like none other. She and her husband love spending time with their nephews, attending college football games with friends, golf, and travel.

Email Christina

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