Greetings to our NFS Families -

I hope everyone is well and enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday. I just wanted to take a few minutes to update everyone on some recent changes to the Parent Board, make a few introductions and share a little news.

As many of you know, Mike Johnson recently resigned as the President of the Parent Board. Mike served the team as President for about 14 months, during which he oversaw a coaching change and was instrumental in bringing Coach Mel to our team.  Our board is extremely grateful to Mike for his hard work so please make sure you pass along your appreciation as well.

Other recent changes to the Board have been the departure of Laura Bowes, Trescha Nichols, Kathy Devine and Amy Balducci. Laura, Trescha and Kathy each served your Board for over 2 years and I can assure you, our team would not be where we are without their contributions and tireless commitment to our team. Amy’s tenure was cut short due to the relocation of her family to Wisconsin but her efforts as we upgraded to the electronic registration and billing system were a huge benefit to the growth of our team.

On behalf of the current Board, and all the NFS families, we thank each of you for your hours of dedication towards making our team what it is today.

Which leads me to the “introductions” of the new Board members. We have had quite the turnover the last few months. We currently have a Parent Board consisting of 5 members. Joining Eva Wagner (Secretary), “Coach” Mel (Vice President) and myself are Steve Szymczak (Treasurer) and Shefali Vashi. I have been elected to take over the President position and am honored to do so.

As you know, 2011 has been a very busy year for NFS. We said good-bye to a beloved Head Coach and have embraced a new one.  Our team has experienced unprecedented growth and record-setting swims. We are also working on hosting a Holiday Party so keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks.

2012 is shaping up to be our best year yet! We are co-hosting a meet in January (with Julington Creek) at our home, the UNF pool. We will need lots of volunteers so be on the lookout for a sign-up list in the very near future. We are also working towards (re)establishing some committees (social, travel, awards, web-site, just to name a few) - so there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone to help out and make a difference.

In January we will have a meet in Savannah, GA.  If you haven’t traveled to a meet I would highly encourage you to make the Savannah meet your first. The pool is outstanding and NFS always represents well.  Bring the entire family, as there is usually some downtime to explore the city and get to know the other families. Hotel information will be available soon.

Just a few more quick things of note; for the new families I would encourage you to explore our website, as well as the Florida Swimming site ( and the USA Swimming site ( There are several of great features that will familiarize your with the sport. Of course the best way to learn is to ask. In addition to the Board, there are many NFS “veterans” that will be glad to help out.

Thanks for your time. 2012 is going to be a great year for NFS.


Mark Watson

(Tyler and Jake’s dad)