Director of Recreation and Club Sports Karen Waterbury is teaching the Red Cross Lifeguard class to SUNY Plattsburgh students who want to earn their lifeguard certification.

Last spring, news was given that Memorial Hall’s pool would be closing to turn the space into another gymnasium. Waterbury said renovations were expected to start in November or  December or even in January. The pool has stayed open because SUNY Plattsburgh was late in hiring a contractor. The pool will remain open for one more semester. After the fall 2019 semester, it will be gone.

Waterbury said students who have earned their certification in lifeguarding skills made them more aware of their surroundings and how to deal with a potential crisis.

“Water is always around you and when I became lifeguard certified, I realized the potential dangers that always exist,” Waterbury said.  “So I’m always aware and so conscientious, even when I’m not lifeguarding I’m aware and conscientious of hazards that might exist, what drowning looks like and how to prevent drowning.”

Senior social work major Jordan Feliciano gained her certifications.

“It’s something that you can go back to every year. It’s a state job you can get retirement from it,” Feliciano said. “It’s a good thing. There’s always a lifeguarding job somewhere, like gyms are a Plants Year-round job. It’s a good solid job.”

Senior management information system major Cameron Ashe-Kollar gained his certifications in not only lifeguarding but in teaching these skills to prospective students. He points out that this experience has given him leadership skills that have helped him not only in his experience as a lifeguard but as an instructor to others.

“It definitely shows that I have leadership skills out there that I never thought I had,” Ashe-Kollar said.  “I always thought I was just always going to be a team player, I was never going to be in a leadership role at all. This made me feel that I’m someone more than just someone as a part of a team.”

Ashe-Kollar also conveyed how this has helped him in his personal growth.

“Teaching a course and seeing a lot of my students having a successful rate of passing is outstanding knowing that I did something right,” Ashe-Kollar said. “I used to have self-doubt a lot by thinking, ‘Am I doing it right? Am I doing it wrong? But in the end, I’ve been doing it right all along.”

Students interested in earning their certification can take a three-credit course offered for the spring 2020 semester taught by Waterbury. The title of the class is PD203A.

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