Since 1981, Jim has developed the Masters swim concept and is currently part owner of the Dallas Aquatic Masters Swim Club, one of the top adult fitness exercise programs in the country. From 1988-1990, Jim was responsible for the design and start up of the Baylor Aquatic Center located at the Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center in Dallas, Texas. It was the first facility ever built with the primary focus on adult fitness swimming and aquatic medical programming and research.
From 1990 through 1999, he served as director of the Baylor Aquatic Center. Since 1998, Jim has served as aquatics director and head varsity swim coach at Greenhill School in Dallas, Texas. Jim is the author of the book Mastering Swimming.
Jim has been a consistent champion throughout his swimming career. He has held 10 world records and won 9 World Championships, 14 Masters World Championships, 14 national titles and 7 N.C.A.A. titles. As a member of the 1976 U.S.A. Olympic Team, Jim won three gold medals and one bronze medal, and was the first man ever to break 50 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle. Read more about Jim and watch his record breaking Olympic Swim.
Jim became a certified adult fear of water instructor in 2008.
Ellis is the Early Childhood Coordinator at the Jim Montgomery Swim School. She enjoys teaching lessons and sharing her love of the water. She was born and raised in Dallas, where she graduated from Highland Park High School. Ellis earned a degree in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis on Early Childhood Development from Texas Tech University. She received her teaching certificate in Early Childhood through sixth grade and Special Education.
Ellis previously taught kindergarten and enjoys incorporating learning into all aspects of lessons. She taught private and group lessons during her summers through high school and college. Ellis will be teaching baby classes through Early Childhood and loves to encourage kids to do their best and watch them grow.
Born and raised in Los Angeles CA, Cheryl loves the water and has been a life-long swimmer for fun and fitness. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz and working for the US Navy in administration, she began teaching swimming in 2007. She has been a certified Water Safety Instructor for the YMCA and Red Cross and has taught lessons for children and adults in Fort Worth. She also volunteers for the Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition. She loves teaching and is inspired by her students perseverance in overcoming their fears and learning to swim as adults.
Cheryl has been with the JMSS team since 2010 when she became a certified adult fear of water instructor.
Donna came to Jim Montgomery Swim as a student in June 2010. She devoted that summer to swimming classes and overcame her fear of water. She assisted classes regularly for the next year, and developed a passion for helping others conquer their fear of water. With encouragement from the Jim Montgomery coaches, she completed the training to teach adult overcoming fear of water classes.
Donna became a certified adult fear of water instructor in 2013.
I am originally from St. Louis but my family moved to Frisco, TX when I was in middle school. I have been swimming competitively since I was 5 and currently swim with the club team at Saint Louis University where I’m studying neuroscience and writing. I love working at JMSS because swimming is a huge passion of mine and being able to share my love for the water is extremely rewarding.
Born in Dallas, but grew up in Kansas City.
I love seeing the kids’ smiles as they check in, ready for another awesome day of swim class. JMSS is home to a great group of families who make coming to work enjoyable every day. Along with the students, the JMSS staff is always a fun bunch to work with and makes the swim school a great place to be.
Hi, my name is Michele Pappas. I am originally from Oklahoma, but have lived in Dallas since college…40 years! I have been a springboard diving coach for the past 28 years and enjoy teaching all ages. I believe that we were put on this earth to make a difference in other people’s lives and that’s what I am doing at JMSS. I truly enjoy working with each and every child teaching them the importance of water safety and the joy of swimming.
I grew up in Flower Mound, Texas and began swimming on the club team LAC when I was 7. After graduating high school I decided to continue my swimming career at Centenary College of Louisiana located in Shreveport, Louisiana. I competed all 4 years and graduated in 2016 with my bachelor of science in Geology. I enjoy teaching swim lessons because I love the sport of swimming and hope to instill that passion in others. I also think it’s extremely important that everyone knows how to swim and be safe in and around water.
I went to school in San Antonio and moved here in 2016. I love coaching because you have an opportunity to really make a difference in the kiddos lives. Whether I am taking a scared child and helping them become confident and safe in the water, or taking a confident swimmer and helping them gain skills to swim competitively, seeing their progression is my favorite thing.
Hi, I’m Hannah. I’m from the Cayman Islands and I’m currently majoring in Environmental Engineering at SMU. Growing up, swimming was one of my favourite sports and I found myself confidence and passion in the pool. I coach kids in hopes that one child will identify with the water like I did and still do.
I was born and raised in Dallas, TX. I enjoy working at JMSS for its family values and environment that is not only extended to their customers, but it’s extended to the employees. The swim school allows for one to help make a positive impact in children’s lives; e.g. teaching water acclimatization and safety.
I’m from Tyler, Texas. I have been involved in competitive swimming as a competitor or coach for almost twenty years. Learning to swim is a fundamental skill, whether the goal is survival or competition. Coaching is important because it enables a child or adult to overcome fears or better themselves in pursuit of a lifelong skill.
Garrent spent 4 years in the Navy and received an honorable discharge after which he chose to pursue a job with the Jim Montgomery Swim School. “I really love working at the swim school because it gives me a chance to connect with the people and teach them vital water skills that could save a life. I am really glad i get the opportunity to work with such a diverse and knowledgeable staff.”
Judy started swimming competitively at age 7 in Chicago and continued through college where she was Captain of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign women’s swim team. She has continued to swim with Dallas Aquatic Masters and has added cycling into the mix. Before coming on board with Jim Montgomery Swim School, Judy coached for the Dallas Mustangs for four years where she concentrated on developing young swimmers and coaching them to attain USA Swimming time standards. She finds coaching very rewarding and believes she gets as much out of working with the kids as they do with her.
In-between coaching Judy spent 20 years as a technology salesperson for several companies, most notably Microsoft. She received a Masters in Liberal Studies from SMU in May 2011 and she holds a BA in Economics from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has two children, a son, who recently graduated from college, and a daughter who is a junior in college.
I grew up in Nashville, TN, and currently live in Richardson, TX. I go to the University of Texas at Dallas, and am persuing a career in Sound Design. I hope to transfer to Austin College, after I get my masters to go to Seminary. I love working with children, and coaching them in what I love to do. I hope to not only teach them a life long skill, but also have them love the water as much as I do.
I’m from Plano, Texas, finishing up my last semester at Collin Creek Community College and transferring to University of Texas at Dallas to major in either Accounting or Supply chain management. I have always enjoyed working with kids because they’re usually energetic and happy it’s contagious at times. I have worked with kids in the past through PASAR (after-school daycare program) and PSA (summer sports camp). I love working at JMSS because I’m able to help my students build up confidence not only in the water, but in themselves.
Gabby is one of our front desk staffers who is from Dallas, TX. In her free time she likes to walk on trails, bike, have game nights, and take photos. She likes working at the Jim Montgomery Swim School because she enjoys the people who work here and seeing the kids faces everyday. Some of her favorite things are Starbucks, volunteering, alligators and great company.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and recently graduated from Baylor University. I am now in graduate school at UNT. In my free time I enjoy taking my black lab, Paisley, to the dog park and attending Baylor sporting events. I previously taught at a swim school in the Bay Area for the past 7 years. Now that I have moved to the Dallas area, I like working at JMSS because I have always loved to swim and be around kids. Swimming is such a vital life skill, and I love teaching it.
I am a senior at Highland Park High School. I am the middle of five kids: two older brothers, and a younger brother and sister. Growing up in a large family has taught me great ways to interact with kids of all ages. My most important rule in class is always safety and to have fun!
I’ve lived in East Dallas my entire life born and raised. I am graduating from Parish Episcopal School and will be headed to Austin College to Major in early childhood education. I’ve swum on a school swim team and club team since I was old enough to compete. I have had a passion for working with kids, from a young age. I’m always seen helping the education director at my church or volunteering in younger age classrooms at my school. I love working at JMSS because I am able to combine my two passions into one and watching the kids get more confident in their strokes makes my day.
I grew up in Murphy, Texas and graduated from Midwestern State University in the class of 2018. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Care and will be working in a pediatric hospital soon where I will be able to take care of newborns and kids of all ages! I love to go camping and exploring the great outdoors! My favorite hobby is woodwork as I’ve built quite a few things with the good ’ole hammer and nail as there’s no limit to what you want to design and build yourself! Just like swimming, there’s no limit on how amazing you can be as long as you have the dedication and the desire to learn! Kids are our future and they deserve the best and so I wish to teach them the skills they need to swim safely and to have fun!