Adult Learn-To-Swim Instructors


Lori Adelson

Lori became a certified lifeguard and water safety instructor late in high school when her school added a pool. Her swim teacher made her join the newly formed swim team. She helped run a waterfront and pool at a summer camp in Maine, and worked as a lifeguard while in college in Michigan. A retired physician, she volunteers in health care advocacy and also leads educational nature hikes. Lori has been swimming regularly for fitness and stress reduction all her adult life. She joined Indy Aquatic Masters about ten years ago. She competes in sprint triathlons, indoor swim meets, and open water races. Her goal is to challenge herself and better her own times versus trying to win. She became certified in ALTS in 2016 and has been teaching in the program whenever her schedule allows.

I enjoy teaching adult beginners the most, even those who fear the water. There is nothing as gratifying as seeing a true beginner take their first swim strokes and seeing their face beam with pride. My goal is for them to be safe around water and share some of my joy for swimming.


Herman Arrivillaga

Herman is a USMS Level 3 Coach, CPR certified, and Adult Learn-to-Swim certified. Herman has been coaching for 5 years in various capacities (pool and open water), primarily as an ALTS coach and a private coach. He began swimming for fitness about 13 years ago. Eventually he began to enjoy open water swimming and completed several 5 kilometer swims as well as participated in US Masters Swimming competitive events. An educator by training, he began helping beginner swimmers informally at swim practices which grew to include becoming a formal instructor. Herman has vast logistical experience including swim clinics, swim meets, open water, and safety support for long distance swimmers. He believes the ALTS program has allowed him to grow as a coach and hone his coaching skills with every student. He strives to provide students with a way to stay active into their senior years both recreationally and competitively while emphasizing water safety skills.

In working with the Adult Learn to Swim students, I feel great joy in helping my students reach their goals. I am providing my students with recreational and life saving skills and an opportunity to become part of a swim club.The energy I get from seeing my students progress is very rewarding. I am on cloud nine while teaching whether my students are 6 years old or in their 60's.

Jeremy Forst - ALTS Program Coordinator

Jeremy began taking swim lessons at a very young age (too old now to remember how young!) and immediately went on to compete for various Michigan and Indiana-based swim clubs as an age-group swimmer up until the age of 13, at which point he took a break…until joining Indy Aquatic Masters (“IAM”) in the summer of 2013.  He began volunteering as a swim instructor for IAM’s Adult Learn-to-Swim (“ALTS”) program in July 2015 and have served as the volunteer coordinator for our ALTS lessons at Warren Central High School since August 2016.  Along the way he has picked up various coaching and instructor designations including USMS Level 2 coaching and ALTS instructor certifications as well as American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED certifications. He participates in as many USMS-sponsored stroke clinics as possible.  

Although I have a soft spot for beginner students I truly enjoy working with students of all skill levels because I find that all adults - regardless of skill level - make progress, and no amount of progress made is too little when it comes to helping adults learn how to both be safe and have fun in the water!  I greatly look forward to teaching ALTS classes at Warren Central as that facility is tailor-made for our ALTS classes since it has three separate pools – shallow instructional pool, medium depth competition pool, and deep-water diving well – that allows students to gauge their own progress as they “graduate” from one pool to the next.  Hope to see you on deck soon as part of our next ALTS class!

Cheryl Gettelfinger

Cheryl joined U.S. Masters Swimming in the late 1980s after participation in a fitness swimming class at the Jordan YMCA.  Primarily a competitive swimmer, she has participated in many stroke clinics.  She also taught pre-school children to swim for five years gaining unique skills for teaching proper breathing and balance while swimming. She has been an ALTS teacher since 2016, participating in most teaching sessions and subbing for other teachers when needed.  In addition to her ALTS certification in January 2015, she achieved USMS coach certification levels 1 & 2 in September 2015.

I like all aspects of swimming and coaching with an overriding goal of making swimming easier and more pleasant for everyone.


Donel Hakes

Donel has been swimming the Indy Aquatic Master since 2011. She swims mostly for fitness, and has been instructing adults for one year through the Adult Learn-To-Swim program. Donel received a B.A. in psychology in 1993, followed by another two year graduating in 1995 with an A.S., as a Physical Therapist’s Assistant (PTA). As a PTA she has worked with a wide variety patient populations, including inpatient/outpatient, home health, First Steps, and with Central Indiana Parkinson’s Association. Donel is also a certified Adult Learn-To-Swim instructor.

As a Physical Therapist Assistant, my love of helping people become their best physically carries over in my approach as an ALTS instructor. I strive to individualize each lesson to the needs of the student, while adhering to the ALTS program. I enjoy working with all levels of swim ability, with a special interest in instructing individuals with an injury or disability. Each ALTS participant makes me a better swimmer myself, and I look forward to share in their success in and out of the pool.


Perry Heath

Perry has been a Masters swimmer for eighteen years and an Adult Learn-To-Swim instructor for two years.  He is a triathlete and an open water swimmer. Perry works with students at any level of experience. 

I enjoy working with swimmers at any ability level to help them improve their swimming.


Stephanie Long -ALTS Coordinator

Stephanie has been an Adult Learn-To-Swim instructor and swum Masters for about 3 years.  She started swimming competitively as a kid and has continued with it most of her life. 

I really enjoy watching our swimmers in the program gain confidence and trust in themselves throughout the session.  Its really amazing to see the reaction of someone with no swimming experience learn to swim across the pool or tread water.  I also enjoy teaching the intermediate swimmers more technique when they are swimming.  Its also cool to see them improve their stroke and become faster over the course of one session.  

Shawn Patrick

Shawn swam for two years competitively in high school and has swum two years in Masters Swimming. He has certifications in both Adult Learn-To-Swim and SCUBA open-water (NAUI). 

I love working with swimmers to accomplish their goals-whether it is to be comfortable and safe around water, or they want to learn to swim. I enjoy watching people's confidence grow as we progress through lessons. I like to provide regular encouragement, and allow my students to progress at their own pace and comfort level. At the end of our time together, we will celebrate your successes together! 


Pat Schenkel - ALTS Coordinator

Pat was a competitive age group swimmer for five years, and has been a Masters Swimmer for twenty five years. She has an Adult Learn-To-Swim Certification and serves as the ALTS Coordinator at the Butler University location. Pat has worked with all levels of the ALTS program since 2014.

The best part about being an ALTS instructor is seeing each swimmer realize they CAN learn to swim and be safe in the water at any age. 

Rachel Stutsman
My name is Rachel Stutsman. I've been teaching ALTS for two years and am a certified ALTS instructor. I have been swimming all of my life. I started swimming competitively as a 6 year old and have managed to compete at least once in every decade of my life thanks to the Masters program. I love working with beginners because the change in skill sets is so dramatic.

It's really fun to watch people's confidence grow as they master new skills. 


John Weiss

John has been an Adult Learn-To-Swim Instructor since 2014. He learned to swim as a baby before he learned to walk. John competed from the age of 5 through high school, and has been a Masters swimmer since 2005. His experience includes: Coaching, Water Safety Instructor, Swimming Official with National Credentials, and a parent of swimmers several years. John is also a certified Adult Learn-To-Swim Instructor and SCUBA Diver. 

I find that helping others gain water safety skills and learning to swim is very humbling. Some of my fondest memories are having students jump into deep water for the first time or completing a full length of the pool without stopping. Participating with students who are willing to get out of their comfort zone and learn these skills is very inspiring to me.