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Celebrating 30 Years: An Interview with the Founders

It all began in Tempe, AZ, in 1991 when Co-Founder Ron Sciarro was a lifeguard, teaching swim lessons alongside his girlfriend, Jane. These tenacious teenagers soon began a seasonal, mobile swim lesson business. By utilizing backyard pools and hotel facilities throughout the greater Phoenix area, they were able to provide quality swim lessons and a listening ear for parents who wanted to express their goals for their children in the water.  

Splash-forward sixteen years, through marriage and a few babies, and by 2005 public perception of swim lessons had evolved, and parents began craving swim lessons year-round. Good friends, Paul and Heather Preston, saw the potential and teamed up with the Sciarros to take Aqua-Tots to even greater heights. Together, the families opened their first year-round indoor swim school in Mesa, Arizona.  

With a combined passion for quality swim instruction, a proven, effective curriculum and dedication to serving families, Aqua-Tots soon began a franchising adventure. 2007 marked the opening of the first franchised swim school in Peoria, Arizona, and by 2011, Aqua-Tots was serving families worldwide with the first international location in Kuwait. Today, Aqua-Tots’ tried-and-true methods are used to teach four million swim lessons every year in over 120 communities in 14 countries around the world. 

As we embark on this 30-year milestone, Co-Founders Ron Sciarro and Paul Preston reflect on the journey of Aqua-Tots and what they envision for the future. 

We’re marking our landmark anniversary by taking our celebration social! Follow along with us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn as we thank the many people who have shaped Aqua-Tots into what it is today and highlight the progress and evolution of our Aqua-Tot families, franchise owners, facilities and program.  

We know that 30 years of wave-making achievements are only possible because of our entire Aqua-Tots family, and we would love for you to join in the celebration. Please share your own Aqua-Tots swimming success stories with us by emailing [email protected]. And as always, if you have yet to become a part of the Aqua-Tots family, our doors…and pool…are open to you. We’d love for your family to be a part of ours for the next 30 years. 

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