Kevin has been with Scottsdale Aquatic Club since 2002. In
that time, he has coached
every level within the program. In August of
2007 Coach Kevin was named Head Coach and CEO of
SAC. During his time
leading SAC, he has coached a number of our Scottsdale
swimmers to National Age Group Records, Individual National
Champions, National Top 10 rankings in respective age groups,
numerous Junior/Senior National Qualifiers, Olympic Trials
qualifiers and Olympic Medallists.
In 2007, 2014 and 2016 Coach Kevin was named
the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA)
Arizona Coach of the Year. He is an ASCA Level 5 certified
coach (highest level inside
ASCA). In each year,
under Coach Kevin's leadership, the club has improved its stature
nationally. In 2013, SAC started its ascent to National
prominence, by winning the Senior Sectional Championship
for the first time, had its highest ever finish at Junior Nationals
(4th) and was named a USA Swimming Gold Medal Club (first time in
club history). Since then the club has annually won team
titles at both the Sectional level and the Arizona State
Championships. Additionally, the SAC women's team won the 2014
Junior National title; at the 2015 Winter Junior Nationals SAC
place second (2nd) overall, with both mens and womens teams placing
in the top three. In 2016 SAC won the Junior National overall team
title. Coach Kevin has been invited to speak at several
International Swim Clinics over the past few years as well as
invited to visit other National Team programs.
Prior to Coaching at SAC, Coach Kevin was the
Head Age Group Coach and Senior Assistant Coach for King Aquatic
Club in Federal Way, WA for 5 years. While at KING, Coach Kevin was
instramental in the development of National Top 10 swimmers,
Junior and Senior National Qualifiers, as well as several National
Age Group Relay Records.
Coach Kevin graduated from
Iowa State University in 1998, with a BS Degree in Finance. He was
a four-year letterman on the men’s swim team, team captain
during his senior year and is the school record holder in the 400
Individual Medley. Coach Kevin is happily married to his beautiful
wife, Tere, and they have a daughter, Kori, who is a
competing with SAC.
here to read Coach Kevin’s Philosophy
Head Age Group Coach--Gold Groups
Coach Maryanne has been an integral part of the Scottsdale Aquatic Club coaching staff since 2002 and was appointed as the head age group coach in 2010. In her time at SAC, she has produced a number of Far West and State Champions and record holders, in individual events and in relays.
In 2012, our 10 & under boys relay broke the National record for the 200 free relay, this was a 28-year-old record. She has had a number of her swimmers get NAG top 16 times. To date, ten 12-year-old girls have made sectional cuts from her Gold group. For her efforts around the pool, coach Maryanne was voted Arizona’s age group coach of the year in 2016; adding to her 2011 ASCA (American Swim Coaches Association) Age Group coach of the year.
Maryanne began swimming on a year round a USA swimming program when she was 14 and has been fortunate to have been coached by some of the best coaches in the world: Bob Gillette, Walt Schleuter, Ron Johnson, Mark Schubert and Mona Plummer. Coach Maryanne entered the international swimming spotlight as a member of the 1973 World Championship Team that competed in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In 1974, Maryanne made the elite squad of 12 women and 12 men that swam against the East Germans in a dual meet in Concord, CA.
Maryanne went on to swim at Arizona State University where she was All-American in 1974 and 1975 and was part of the 1974-75 National Championship team under Coach Mona Plummer. She was inducted into Arizona State University Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1996, Maryanne was selected to run with the Olympic Torch in Sun City with John Nabor. In 2004, she was inducted into the Mesa Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1976, while swimming for Mark Schubert and the Mission Viejo Nadadores, she broke the Olympic Trials record in the 100 meter Back. Maryanne made the Olympic team after winning the 200 meter Backstroke at the Olympic Trials, breaking the Olympic Trials record and the American record. At the 1976 Olympics, Maryanne placed 10th in the 200 meter Backstroke. From 1972-1976, she was one of the most well- rounded swimmers in the country, holding Top 20 World Rankings in the following events: 1972--100 Back; 1973--100 Back, 200 Back, 200 IM, 400 IM; 1974--100 Free, 200 Free, 100 Back, 200 Back, 200 IM; 1976--100 Back, 200 Back.
Maryanne loves coaching our swimmers and enjoys giving back to the sport. She tries to instill a passion in all of her swimmers and every swimmer is important to her. She had great mentors in her path during her swimming career, and she learned so much from every one of her coaches. She incorporates her knowledge of the sport every day in workout.
Maryanne has been happily married to John and they have three children, Josh, Sean & Sarah & Brayden & Lindsay, Eric & Michael. Coach Maryanne loves her new role of being a Grandma. “It has to be one of the greatest joys I have ever experienced”.
Coach Maryanne’s Interview with Swimming World
Director of Ops/Assistant Coach-National
Bob is a native of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania and Bob moved to AZ in September of 2004. In the fall of 2012, Bob joined the coaching staff Scottsdale Aquatic Club.
Bob attended the University of Maryland, College Park before graduating from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. During his time at Temple University, Bob participated in a year-long marketing internship with both General Motors and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
As a full time college student, Bob began his swim coaching career at a small community team outside of Philadelphia before being recruiting to be an assistant coach for Germantown Academy Aquatic Club under the direction of Dick Shoulberg, widely regarded as one of the best swim clubs in the world. While an assistant coach at Germantown Academy Aquatic Club, Bob had the experience of helping to place 4 men on the 1992 USA Olympic Swim Team. In the fall of 1992 Bob began his career as a head coach at Spirit Swimming in Newtown, Pennsylvania and would remain as the head coach for the next 12 years. After the 2004 Olympic Trials, Bob moved to Arizona where he became the Senior Program Director at the Southwest Valley Family YMCA in Goodyear, AZ.
Bob’s volunteer and community involvement have included supporting such non-profits as the American Cancer Society of Philadelphia, The AIDS Fund of Philadelphia, 1n10 of Phoenix and he is currently on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS.
Bob currently resides in Paradise Valley, AZ.
Laurel S Hill
Coach Laurel joined the SAC coaching staff in the fall of 2010, after she’d hung up her watch after coaching collegiately at Boise State for two years. While at SAC, she has worked with both the 10 & Under developmental programs (White, Red and Blue groups) as well as with the Senior level helping the 13 & Up swimmers get ready for the National training group. In her time at SAC, Coach Laurel has developed a number of Age Group/Senior State Champions and Record Holders, Sectional Qualified swimmers, National Age Group Top 16 athletes, and hopefully, many lifelong swimmers.
Prior to Boise State, she spent some time in a number of different programs. Spending time with Pleasant Valley Swim Team (Camarillo, CA), Santa Clara Swim Club, Irvine Novaquatics and finally, with the Goldenwest Swim Club in Huntington Beach, CA, as Head Age Group Coach and Head Coach. Along the way, she has worked with swimmers of all ages and developed and produced many JO Qualifiers/Champions, CIF Finalists, NAG Top 16 swimmers, as well as Sectional and Junior National level swimmers, several of whom went on to swim collegiately and at the National and International level. Overall, she has over 30 years of experience teaching swimming from lessons, to Age Group, Senior, and Masters.
Truly, she loves coaching and gets excited everyday about ways to combine her knowledge and technique based philosophy with the vast experience the SAC staff already brings to the pool. She believes in treating her athletes with respect and honesty while pushing them to where they want to be, teaching them the foundations of the sport and what it means to be a good teammate even within the context of an individual sport like swimming.
She currently competes with Masters and has been known to show up for an event or two at a home meet. Coach Laurel lives in Scottsdale with her husband, Peter Ney, two children, Kieren and Kylie, (both of whom swim for SAC), two dogs, two guinea pigs, fish, a frog, and a gecko. Life is never dull!
10&U Director-Silver A and Blue Group
Coach Crystal has been teaching swim lessons and coaching swimming
since 1997. Her passion for coaching started in high school, where
she began her love of teaching swimming at the local YMCA and this
passion continued throughout her college career. Since moving back
to the valley in 2005, Coach Crystal has assisted in starting and
developing recreational swim teams for the YMCA and Lifetime
Fitness in Scottsdale.
Coach Crystal has completed a B.A. in English Literature and a
Masters of Educational Leadership. She grew up as a competitive
tennis player, She developed a strong passion for swimming getting
into this sport “later in life.” Her love of both
education and swimming has afforded has given her the opportunity
to help young swimmers learn to enjoy the sport.
Often, children approach swim lessons and/or joining a swim team
with some apprehension. Coach Crystal believes, "I do my best to
help the young swimmers develop a love of the water and encourage
them to seek higher swim goals. Through this process, the swimmers
have forgotten any apprehension they had and have moved forward
with confidence in the water. I then move towards the technical
development of competitive swimming."
Through Coach Crystal's formative years of tennis, she has a unique
understanding of the process involved with development and has
shown to be a great teacher of the basic, fundamental skills of the
four competitive strokes. We have had many of Crystal’s
recreational swimmers join SAC over the past few seasons and they
were very capable from the outset.
Senior A and Senior B Group
Max Laney was born in Denver, CO. He
started swimming for the Univ. of Denver Hilltoppers when he was 11
years old. In his high school years Max was named MVP all four
years, was a two-time 5A Colorado State Champion in the 200 IM and
100 back, and earned seven All-American honors. After high school
he was recruited by ASU and finished his fourth year in March of
2010. Max was the Captain of the men’s team his senior
year and earned the 6th all-time ASU record in the 200 back and 9th
in the 100 back. He completed his Bachelors of
Interdisciplinary Studies in Math and Education from ASU in
His first step into club team coaching was
in 2010. He has learned a great deal of swimming knowledge
over the course of his own swimming career and from Kevin and
Maryanne over his tenure working for SAC. In the eight years
he has been coaching his main group of swimmers have been 10-14
years old whom have really stood out on the podium for their
individual AG State finishes.
Max recently got Married in August for
2017! They just closed on their first home in Scottsdale and
couldn’t be happier with the city and now being able to work
there as well!
Senior Coach - SAC South
Coach Scott is an Arizona native who grew up in the west valley where he attended Mountain Ridge High School and swam competitively for Arizona Gauchos. As a student-athlete, Scott attended Auburn University from 2004-2008. During his time at Auburn he was part of 3x national team championships, was a member of 4 NCAA winning relays and was 13-time All-American. In 2007 Scott represented the United States as a member of the World University Games in Thailand, winning a bronze medal in the 50-meter freestyle.
Scott began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Arizona State University in 2009 where his primary responsibilities were working with the sprint athletes and coordinating their recruiting efforts. In 2013 Scott was given the opportunity to move to Brazil to work with Cesar Cielo, the 2008 Olympic champion in the 50 meter Freestyle. During his time in Brazil, Scott oversaw Cesar's preparations for the World Championships in Barcelona where he won two World Championship titles. Cielo and Goodrich teamed up again in 2014 for the Short Course World Championships held in Doha where he helped Cielo earn a Gold in the 100 Freestyle and Bronze in the 50 Freestyle.
For the past 3 years Scott has been the head coach of Mesa Aquatic Club-West. Scott has a degree in Communications from Arizona State University. Scott is happily married to his wife Tara, and resides in Chandler.
Thomas J Cheetham
Age Group - SAC South
Coach TJ was born and raised in small-town
Hamilton, Montana where he attended Hamilton High School. With few
indoor pools throughout Montana, TJ started competitive swimming in
the Montana Federation of Swimmers, a summer only league for towns
without indoor pools, at age 9. He won State in the 50 Backstroke
his second year at age 10 and culminated his swimming career with a
state record in the 100 Backstroke at age 14 and multiple State
Championships, including high point honors at State his senior
season, winning the 50 Free, 100 Back, and 50 Fly (yes, he was able
to race the 50 Fly at age 18...it was awesome).
TJ began teaching swim lessons in 2002 and
started coaching at 2005 where he was a swimmer/coach with the club
team he grew up with at age 18. After high school, he attended
Montana State University and was introduced to USA swimming where
he got a job working with the Bozeman Barracudas as a lead coach of
their 10 & Under program for six years. After graduating with a
bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, TJ took some time off
for travel and even worked teaching swim lessons in Melbourne,
Australia. After returning for one more year to coach the
Barracudas, TJ and his future wife moved to Rochester, Minnesota
where he coached for three years with Med-City Aquatics. After his
first year, he was promoted to Head Age Group Coach and continued
coaching there for the next two years.
TJ and his wife Katelyn moved to Arizona in
November of 2016 where he decided to take a break from 10+ years of
swim coaching and pursue and passion for professional golf. After a
year of rigorous training he decided the dream was just not
financially possible and stepped away content with his decision.
Feeling refreshed with his time away from swimming and
reinvigorated to start teaching again, he reached out to SAC and
was hired on in October of 2017. As a coach and teacher of
children, TJ brings ample enthusiasm and an eye for technique to
each practice. His favorite part of coaching is breaking down
complicated skills into simple steps and watching the light bulbs
come on. TJ is a happy Scottsdale resident and at last content to
finally be living in sunny Arizona.
Margaret E Dana
Maggie has been a part of
the SAC staff since 2014. She has worked with multiple groups on
the team and has been a lead coach in the 11&12 age group for
Bronze. Maggie began swimming at the age of eight with Gulf Coast
Swim Team in Florida. She excelled in the 500 and 1000 freestyle
and the 100 and 200 butterfly, which are also her favorite events.
She was able to participate in the Distance Challenge Meet where
she was the National Champion for 13 year olds in the 3000
Maggie swam for SAC with
Laurel and Kevin as her coaches and Shadow Mountain High School
with Misty Hyman as her coach. She qualified for High School State
every year in the 500 free and 100 fly. During Short Course State
in 2012, she set the Skyline High School pool record in the 1000
free and placed top eight in her 500 free. She considers this the
most fun and rewarding meet of her career. She also started
teaching lessons and coaching at age 15. She has coached for Cactus
Shadows High School, Cicero Middle School, Melrose Paradise
Recreation Club, and SAC.
After retiring from
swimming competitively, Maggie decided to place her focus in her
education. She achieved her Associates in Applied Science in
Recreation Management and an Associates in Arts from Paradise
Valley Community College and Scottsdale Community College. From
there, she attended Arizona State University and graduated in 2016
with a Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies. In August of 2017,
she joined the Phoenix Police Department and was serving in the
Sunnyslope area. In summer of 2018 she realized her passion was in
swimming, coaching, and teaching and returned to SAC in August of
Maggie also married her
husband Colton in August 2017 and they reside in Mesa with their
one fur baby, Stormy. Colton paints cars for Gerber Collision in
Chandler while Maggie spreads her love and knowledge for the sport
of swimming here at SAC.
Coach Bob has been with Scottsdale Aquatic
Club since 2017 as lead coach for our Bronze Group. Bob
brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm having coached
swimmers of all ages including age group, middle school, high
school to adult masters swimmers. He enjoys coaching swimmers
new to swimming by providing proper stoke technique drills as well
as providing challenging workouts for all levels he
Bob has to his
credits coached multiple Masters National Champions across a
variety of events, along with being recognized as Coach of the Year
in his first High School coaching experience. Along with a
love for swimming, Bob has been recognized as “Volunteer of
the Year” for his work as Head Swim Coach with the Buehler
YMCA Masters Swim Team in IL where he was responsible for
rebuilding the program from a handful of swimmers to over 40
swimmers. This program has developed a number of National Champions
at the Masters Level under his leadership.
Bob is currently
Head Swim Coach for Scottsdale Prep Academy (Middle School and High
School) along with being an Assistant Coach for Swim Devil Masters
swim team and Lead Coach for our Bronze Group. He is also Western
Regional Sales Director for SportTech which produces a high tech
swim device called “Firebelly” that provides real time
verbal feedback (times, splits, stroke rate, stroke count) to
swimmers via bone conduction during their swims. Bob is also
Director of Operations Sales and Marketing for Raintree Apothecary
where he is a principal owner.
Bob also enjoys
the sport himself and is a High School All – American, in
addition to being a YMCA Nationals Top Ten qualifier.
Bob graduated from Edinboro University PA
with a BS in Health and Physical Education so is well versed and
studied in the principles of athletic training and conditioning.
Prior to moving into coaching Bob had a very successful career with
3 major pharmaceutical companies where he rose to the level of
Regional VP Sales.
Bob is married to
his lovely wife Marybeth and they have 2 daughters (Erin and
Christine) who live locally. Additionally Marybeth and Bob have 3
grand children and another on the way and are very active in their
In addition to
coaching Bob and Marybeth RPH have recently opened a new business
called “Raintree Apothecary” in Scottsdale AZ which
focuses on providing prescription compounded pharmaceutical
products to meet the unique and individualized needs of
Nikita I Denisyako
Pre-Power & Power Group
Coach Nikita joined
Scottsdale Aquatic Club in May 2018 after spending four years as a
coach at Gator Swim Club in Gainesville, Florida. While he
was in Florida he trained with the Florida Gators under Gregg Troy
in their international and professional group. When he was
not training he was actively involved in coaching the club team,
Masters program, and learn to swim lessons program. He was an
integral part of the coaching staff and was promoted to group
leader by the end of his time. Prior to joining the Gators he
spent a year at Canyon Aquatics Club under Coach Coley Stickels in
Santa Clarita, California. He attended and swam for Texas
A&M University where he competed at the NCAA level and was an
All-American. Nikita had a very successful career with the
Aggies holding school records and achieving national
recognition. He has experienced on the collegiate level,
national level, and international level and is excited to share
this experience with the swimmer of SAC and help them achieve their
goals. Nikita was born in Riga, Latvia but spent his childhood and
teenage years in Moscow, Russia. He competed at the
international level for team Russia for many years. He
currently resides in Scottsdale and is enjoying his time in the
Red & White Coach
Coach Cori has been a part of the SAC family since 2011 as a swimmer parent and joined the coaching staff in fall of 2015 as a volunteer coach working with our youngest athletes in the White group. Cori officially joined the coaching staff in fall of 2016 contributing to the development of our young athletes in the White and Red groups.
Cori started swimming at age 11 with the Palatine Park District (PPD) swim team in Palatine, Ill. Fortunate to have passionate, caring coaches who quickly developed her strokes and endurance she was able to contribute to both her club and High School team’s successes. Through high school Cori earned numerous All American, Conference, Sectional and State awards primarily in backstroke and middle-distance freestyle. Her swimming career highlight was joining her 400 Free Relay at Junior Nationals her senior year in high school.
Cori swam for two years at NCAA Division III powerhouse Denison University in Granville, Ohio before hanging up the goggles to focus on her academics. Post College Cori spent nearly 20 years in the private sector as Human Resources professional.
Cori is mom to two SAC swimmers and is honored to contribute to the team’s success working with our young athletes. She believes teaching the fundamentals of the sport in a way that is fun, engaging and interactive will lay the foundation for our young athletes to achieve unlimited success in the future. Cori has extensive training in working with special needs children and brings a unique eye to creating an inclusive and rewarding experience for all our athletes.
Tyler J Messerschmidt
Tyler Messerschmidt returns to the pool deck, this time as a coach
and hopefully once again as a swimmer. Tyler is an Arizona
native, attending Desert Edge High School and competing for both
Westside Silver Fins and for SAC during his formative years.
He attended University of California - Berkeley, earning his degree
in American Studies which focuses on history and pop culture in the
current developing society.
During his competitive years he was a 2x NCAA Div I Swimming &
Diving National Team Champion; 5x NCAA Div I National Champion; 15x
NCAA All-American in the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 free; 4x NCAA
Honorable Mention All-American; and Junior National Team Member,
Tyler is excited to be able to give back to a sport that afforded
him so many opportunities and mentor young athletes in their
development as athletes.
High School Development
Coach Scott began swimming in 2007 when he was 13 years old with the McDowell Mountain Ranch recreational swim team. After a month and a half and really enjoyed the sport and the following year he joined Scottsdale Aquatic Club. Coach Scotty swam High School all 4 years and qualified for state in the 100 backstroke in his sophomore, junior and senior years and the 50 freestyle my senior year.
Coach Scotty started coaching February of 2010 for the City of Scottsdale team, and because of his age, he officially became the youngest swim coach the city of Scottsdale ever hired. During the spring Scotty coached 5 - 7 year old swimmers and was a summer rec coach spot and would coach the 11 & Over age group all summer. In 2012 he started as the assistant coach for Desert Mountain High School. In August of 2013 he began coaching with Marryanne and has been with us ever since.
Coach Scotty is a firm believer that everyone has the ability and potential to be great and his job as a coach is to not only develop and improve the technique of swimmers but to also teach them that if they are willing to put forth high amounts of effort and are willing to work hard that they can be successful at anything. Teaching our athletes that hard work does pay off is the most important part of his job.
High School Development
Coach Kris Edwards is a Utah Native, but
found her love for Arizona in 1992 when she accepted a swimming and
Regency academic scholarship to Arizona State University. While
swimming with ASU from 1992-1995, Kris achieved the Athletic
Director’s Honor Role, received two Varsity Athletic Letters
and was the team’s Spirit Leader for two consecutive
Prior to swimming with ASU, Kris swam for
West High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was honored with MVP
for four consecutive years. She held numerous state records with
National Top 10 reportable times, received multiple All-American
honors and never lost a race, making her an eight-time Utah State
Champion. She also was inducted into the West High School Athletic
Hall of Fame.
Kris has always loved the sport of swimming
and started her coaching career in 1997 as Head Coach with the
Sports Academy Marlins in Logan, Utah. Kris has coached with
various age group, senior and United States Masters Swimming
programs in Utah including: Steiner Youth Aquatic Club, South Davis
Aquatic Team and the South Davis Masters Swim Team.
Coach Kris has developed many Age Group and
Senior State Champions, Utah State record holders, Sectional,
Junior and National qualifiers, and USMS Utah State and National
In 2000 Kris completed her Bachelors of
Science in Secondary Education with a Social Studies Composite from
Utah State University. Kris is happily married to Cody
Edwards and they have two children, Sadie and Jesse who currently
compete with SAC. The Edwards family recently moved from Utah
to Arizona and joined the SAC family in November of
PreComp A & B, Age Group Assistant Coach
Coach Weston started her swimming career at the age of 5 at a summer recreational program in Avon, Ohio. Where she learned to a love of the water. After leaving Ohio, her family moved a number of times around the country and through those transistions in here life she was fortunateto have the opportunity of working under several different programs. One of which included a brief time at SAC in her senior year of high school, where she trained in the national group.
After her time at senior year, Coach Weston was accepted to be a student athelete at New Mexico State University, this is where she found her love for all things exercise and wellness related, as well as the process of developing athletes. After two years at New Mexico, she decided she wanted to explore the physical training and rehabilitation process of sport. In July 2015, decided to come back to her last place of residence, Arizona, and began assisting coaches at Scottsdale Aquatic Club.
Coach Weston is studying at ASU and working towards her bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Wellness. She plans on using this degree to get her masters in Physical Therapy and work with athletes for the rest of her life.
Jane Trepp Rose joined the Scottsdale Aquatic Club coaching staff
in August of 2016. A native of Estonia, Coach Jane has enjoyed an
incredible swimming career both collegiately and
internationally. Swimming at LSU, Jane completed her
collegiate career as the most decorated women’s swimmer in
more than a decade, garnering first-team All-American honors in 3
of her individual events during a single season. Jane
graduated with 4 individual school records, 3 relay marks and an
SEC record. Jane also boasted a strong academic record, being
a two-time CSCAA Scholar All-American and a three-time member of
the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Internationally Jane received a silver
medal at the 2009 European Championships and participate in the
FINA World Championship final in 2010. Jane has continued to
pursue her swimming passion by applying her knowledge and
experience coaching at local clubs and colleges in
Jane is happily married to former LSU pole
vaulter, Dr. Kyle Rose, who is currently in surgical training at
the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. In 2015, they welcomed their
son Hendrik into the world.
Coach Sharon started coaching on SAC in the Fall of 2015. Coach Sharon, is a Native of Northern Ireland and was born and raised in Belfast (which is where the RMS Titanic was built). During her youth, she was apart of the Irish National swim team and was a former national champion in Breaststroke.
Coach Sharon moved to the USA in 1997 and swam collegiately at NAU, where she primarily swam breaststroke and sprint freestyle. It was while attending college, that she discovered coaching, whilst giving private swim lessons and working at swim camps during the summer months.
She enjoy's teaching kids and hopefully they can benefit from her experiences and become better swimmers by learning how to reach their goals, whether they be Olympic dreams, or to just to make a State cut. With her biggest hope for the kids is that they learn the value of hard word, dedication and perseverance, and develop friendships that last a lifetime.