Aquatics coordinator is in her element
The person hired to oversee Glenwood Springs’ new municipal pool has taken to her job like a duck to water.In Kristi Brewer’s case, she was just following the family flock.Brewer is from the suburbs of Chicago, where her mother was an aquatics coordinator – the same title Brewer now holds. Her grandfather, Don Drumm, was a swimming referee for 35 years. He worked with kids 8 and under, and his efforts led him to be honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame.”Basically I’ve kind of grown up around the pool,” Brewer said.Brewer just graduated this spring, earning a recreation administration degree with a program management concentration from Aurora University in Illinois. But as she goes about her job at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, she speaks with the confidence and authority of someone who has been in her line of work for years – which she has.She began teaching swimming lessons at age 14. She went on to become a lifeguard, coordinate swim lessons, and eventually manage a pool. She has competed in swimming first as a youth, and later as a masters swimmer.Brewer visited Montrose on a spring break and ended up serving as the aquatics coordinator at a pool there on an intern basis this summer before being hired by Glenwood Springs.”This job is what I’ve always wanted to do,” Brewer said.It involves diverse responsibilities. Brewer will supervise a staff of some 40-45 people. She oversees the pool’s filtration systems, is responsible for training and managing a crew of about 20 to 25 lifeguards, and puts together an array of swim programs for the public.Just the filtration work looks intimidating. In a room filled with a jumble of tanks, pipes and controls, Brewer must know how to operate an ultraviolet system for the pool play area, a chlorine system for the main pool and an ozone system for the spa. But it’s nothing new for Brewer.”This is kind of where I grew up, around the filters and all that,” she said.While confident about some things, she’s as quick to express humility when it comes to areas where she’s lacking in expertise.”Ask me about basketball. I have no idea about that,” she said, motioning to those shooting baskets in the gym adjacent to the pool.When it comes to pool management, however, the training Brewer received in college may have been somewhat of a formality.”My professors always told me that I knew too much about it,” she said. “These are things that I really take a personal interest in.”But she said she works hard to keep up with the latest developments in her field. She wants to make sure that her lifeguards are trained enough that they can handle an emergency in her absence. She wants the pool to look as clean in five years as it does today. And she looks forward to offering programs that will appeal to the public.”That’s the fun side of the job, is being able to create programs that people really enjoy,” she said.Doing her job requires knowing those programs inside and out, and having a good mix of experience and organizational skills, Brewer said.Howard Jay, a coach of the Sopris Barracudas youth swim team, praised Brewer’s efforts in getting the pool open and managing the facility.”It’s nice to have her on board,” he said.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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Visual Journalist Chelsea Self can be reached at 970-384-9108 or firstname.lastname@example.org