Meet Our Team

It’s Our Mission…

…to provide safe, effective, and fun aquatic instruction for children and adults of all ages and skill levels. Our instructional techniques foster positive results through appropriate developmental skill progression. Our systematic desensitization techniques aid in the reduction of fear and inspire personal liberation.

It’s Our Vision…

…to continue to expand our services and programs to best serve the communities in which we operate our schools. We are focused on increasing our knowledge and certifications as well as becoming a full service aquatic organization, offering programs and services that are unparalleled within our industry.

It’s Our Team…

…that makes us who we are.  We hire and train the most kind, caring and energetic individuals to deliver our program to our families. We strive to provide the most innovative training techniques and continuing education platform in our field.  Our team is always our most valuable asset.

Joe Oehme

President and Founder

Joe Oehme was born and raised in the New Jersey Shore area where he grew an affinity to aquatics. Growing up “down the shore” provided Joe with the opportunity to engage in many activities. Swimming, boating, surfing, & fishing became second nature and he embraced the “waterman” lifestyle.

At age 15 Joe was certified by the American Red Cross as a lifeguard and worked on an ocean rescue squad for 3 seasons. This gave him a true appreciation and respect for water. At 18 he was certified as a Water Safety Instructor and began teaching swimming lessons at one of the East Coast’s premier centers for health education and recreation.

Joe got involved in coaching age-group swimming and was one of four coaches for children ages 6-18 yrs. The following season Joe was given the position of Head Swim Team Coordinator where he enjoyed three successful swim seasons and introduced “Stroke Technique” courses for swimmers to enhance their skills and build endurance.

During this time, Joe was introduced to Pierre Gruneberg of France, whose innovative swim breathe training and fear-reducing techniques provided a new approach for adult swim instruction. Joe incorporated “Le Methode Gruneberg” into his own teaching style and developed a systematic desensitization technique to reduce fear and anxiety as it related to swimming. This soon became his passion, and his studies continued formally at the Richard Stockton College New Jersey, where Joe received his BA in Psychology.

Upon graduating college, Joe’s new “learn to float” philosophy took him to Encinitas in Southern California where he taught and coached swimming. Here he introduced his innovative instructional techniques and fear-reducing methods. Joe was able to share these methods with adults while consistently assisting his students to overcome their fear of water and attain personal liberation.

In 2001 Joe developed New Jersey Swim Schools, Inc. and opened his first private swim school for children and adults in West Orange, NJ. He soon moved the program to Brooklake Country Club in 2002 where it is still operational today.  In 2010, Joe opened Njswim Sparta and in 2011 Njswim Warren. In 2014 Joe and his team built Njswim Lakeside in the Landing section of Roxbury Township. And in September 2015, Njswim added its Manasquan, NJ location.

Joe is an active member of the United States Swim School Association, Stop Drowning Now and the Safer3, and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. Joe and his beautiful wife Katie have 3 children Emma, Eli Joe, and Luke and reside in Brielle, NJ. Joe enjoys sharing his methods with others while enjoying his time in and around the water with his family.

Joe is on the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization STOP DROWNING NOW, a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to save lives through water safety education. Through a range of programs and events, this group works with water safety advocates by providing them with the educational tools needed to combat the epidemic of drowning and providing a drowning prevention curriculum for school age children.

Christine Howe

Director of Swim School Operations 
Partner Njswim Lakeside

Christine has been working both in the water and with children through coaching swim team and teaching swim lessons for the past 15 years and with Njswim since 2009.  She swam competitively for over 13 years  and graduated from Fairfield University in May 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Marketing. 

Christine lives in Morristown with her husband, and in her spare time she enjoys reading, working out and spending time at the beach.

Julia Eckhardt

Highlands Regional Manager Roxbury & Sparta 
Partner Njswim Lakeside & Njswim Brick

Julia attended Cerro Coso College and studied Business Management in Mammoth Lakes, Ca. She now lives locally with her husband and daughter. Julia began working at Njswim in early 2012 and now oversees Njswim Sparta and Njswim Lakeside. She loves the mission behind Njswim and is proud to continue to be a part of its growth and evolution.

In addition to her passion for swim education, she is also a Certified Pool Operator and a Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer. Julia enjoys triathlon and any sport that will aid in enjoying the great outdoors!

Stephanie Lilly

Midlands Regional Manager 
Njswim Florham Park
Njswim Warren

Stephanie resides in Morristown, NJ although she grew up on Lake Hopatcong. She attended County College of Morris for 2 years and studied Criminal Justice. Her passion for leading and helping others is one of the many reasons she loves her job here at Njswim. Stephanie is the mother of one son who is also one of our swimmers at Njswim!

In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, and spending time with her son.

Jacquelyn Rodriguez

Location Manager 
Njswim Lakeside

Jacquelyn has been with Njswim since 2016, starting her journey as a camp counselor and working her way up to become a Location Manager. After obtaining a college degree in Anthropology, she found her life-long passion in teaching swim lessons and managing daily operations for Njswim.

Jacquelyn has been involved in swimming almost her entire life starting lessons at the age of 2. In addition to swimming, Jacquelyn is also a retired classically trained ballerina. Currently residing in the historic Mid-Hudson Valley New York with her dog, Hudson and her future husband, John – the three enjoy spending their free time on/in the water, hiking/biking wherever they can, and traveling around the world.

Maria Heredia

Location Manager 
Njswim Brick

Maria is the Location Manager at Njswim Brick. She is an original team member from the opening of Njswim Manasquan where she has worked since 2015.

Maria graduated from Kean University in Union New Jersey, with a BA in Communications Studies.

Maria grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Manasquan, New Jersey. She was captain of her high school swim team her senior year. Her passion for swimming and teaching are just a couple reasons why she loves her job here at Njswim.

In her spare time, Maria enjoys spending time at the beach with her family and friends.

Justine Hoagland

Location Manager 
Njswim Manasquan

Justine is the Location Manager at Njswim Manasquan located at the Atlantic Club in Manasquan New Jersey. She has worked for Njswim since the summer of 2015.

Justine graduated from the University of Central Florida in Orlando Florida, where she studied Elementary Education.  She grew up going to the beaches of the Jersey Shore. Her passion for swimming and children are just a couple reasons why she loves her job here at Njswim.

In her spare time, Justine enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Janie Knapp

Location Manager 
Njswim Sparta

Janie is the Assistant Manager of the Njswim Sparta location.  She grew up in Roxbury NJ, with many years on swim teams. She swam for 10 years on the Shorehills Lake League, and she swam all 4 years of high school on Roxbury’s team, leading as team captain for 2 years.

Janie has always had a passion for the water. She has been lifeguard certified since she was 15 years old, being on guard at various lakes and pools. She is now also a Certified Pool Operator.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time outside, playing guitar, and enjoying time with her family.

Teghan Pecherski

Assistant Manager 
Njswim Brick

Teghan graduated from Kean University where she studied special and elementary education. She also played soccer there for 4 years.  Teghan was an original team member since 1995 at Njswim Manasquan, she also has worked at Florham Park and Warren where she was deck supervisor.

Teghan has always been interested in working with children, which makes Njswim a great match.

In her spare time, she enjoys sports, music and hiking with her 5 dogs (not all at once!).

Kerry Anne McFadden

Social Media Coordinator

Kerry grew up in Andover and attended Newton High School. She was a member of both the high school and Newton Sharks Swim teams.

After her freshman year of college in 2016, she applied to Njswim, thinking it would be the perfect summer job! She began as a lifeguard, and trained to be a teacher, which she quickly fell in love with. In 2019, she pursued her passion in marketing and was promoted to Social Media Coordinator.

In her spare time, Kerry enjoys the beach, creating art, drinking coffee and spending time with friends and family!

 

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