Laurie Marzolf began teaching swimming lessons in New Hampton in the 1980s.
"I really don't want any child to fear the water," she said. "I think everyone should learn to swim and to have fun."
One of Marzolf's former students is this year's swimming lessons coordinator, Michelle Nystel.
"I love swimming because she started it out as a positive note, and she does that for so many kids in the community," Nystel said.
Marzolf teaches Level One, which includes basics like putting faces in the water, kicking and floating.
Marzolf puts the lessons in terms the children can understand.
"Fly like superman," said Marzolf.
The lessons are about getting kids comfortable in the water.
Fellow instructors said the best part about Marzolf is she truly loves teaching kids to swim.
"When a fearful child puts a face in the water and comes up, and you can see the lights go on and how much fun it is for them now, that's my best part," said Marzolf.
"She keeps coming back," Nystel said. "She still acts like a 16-year-old in the water. Excited to be with kids. Everybody knows her."
Nystel said Marzolf is the reason so many kids in and around New Hampton learned to swim.
"I've worked at different pools, and they're like, 'You're really good at what you're doing,' and it's because I learned from her," said Nystel.
Marzolf said she is just the first step in teaching kids important skills that could save their lives.
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