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GHS Student Spotlight

Glenwood High School junior, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Tomko says that she’s always enjoyed swimming and working with young kids, so why not marry the two interests?

Late last spring, she sought and received approval to offer swim lessons to youth at the Hyde Park Pool, close to her home. Being both lifeguard and swim coach certified, she was confident in her ability to teach, but wasn’t sure how much interest there would be. She created, then hand-delivered flyers to the neighbors in the area to advertise her new business. Ten children showed up initially, and by August she had 20 enrolled!

She offered both group and individual lessons, teaching nearly every day. “I first started teaching kids to swim two summers ago, using my next door neighbor’s pool,” she says. “I learned quite a bit about how to teach in a way that young kids could relate to and learned how much I enjoy working with that age group,” she says.

Lizzie has been on the Glenwood High School swim team for three years, and says that freestyle is her fastest stroke. The GHS Swim Coach, Michaela Wheeler, believes her talents extend beyond just swimming, though. “Lizzie has helped the team blend really well this year. No matter who you are, Lizzie brings a friendly, welcoming character to the pool deck.” Michaela adds, “I know that Lizzie will have many opportunities ahead of her after graduating high school. Not knowing exactly where she is headed, I know that her enthusiasm for what she does will carry her a tremendous way in life.”

When asked if she would like to teach or coach as a future career, she said she wasn’t inclined to pursue either of those, but would like to major in neuropsychology. She says she’s looking at SIU Edwardsville to begin her journey after graduation.