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About Us

Learn the philosophy, principles, and core values of Sea Otter Swim Lessons.

There is no other place like Sea Otter and the instructors make it the best place for your child to learn to swim.

Lori H.

Why Sea Otter

We believe that children learn best when instruction is consistent, caring, and clear. We are committed to providing an environment where your child feels safe enough to try new things and accomplish goals. We delight in the opportunity to love, invest in, believe in, build up, and teach each swimmer who comes to our pool.

Our small group instruction gives swimmers individual, focused attention, allowing them to learn swim and safety skills quicker than in traditional group classes.

Teaching Principles


We are committed to building trust with each swimmer through consistency, patience, positive language, and follow through. Trust is the foundational building block in the relationship between instructors and swimmers. Swimmers are more likely to try new skills and conquer fears when trust has been built.


We are committed to providing a safe learning environment for all swimmers. It is important for all swimmers to feel comfortable, wanted, valued, accepted, and secure in their learning environment. We do this by showing respect to all swimmers, using appropriate tone and language, and speaking to each swimmer’s level of understanding. Instruction will be clear and simple to set each swimmer up for success. We are also committed to providing the physical safety of each swimmer during lessons by maintaining full attention on each swimmer, ensuring teachers and swimmers are positioned safely in the pool, and requiring all staff members to maintain a current CPR/First Aid certification.


We are committed to continued education for all instructors through ongoing trainings and shared experiences. We are members of the United States Swim School Association (USSSA), which provides updated support and training on the latest teaching ideas and techniques. Members of our staff also attend yearly national conferences hosted by the USSSA.


We are committed to change to fit individual needs or changed circumstances. Children often go through roller coaster learning or spurts of growth followed by regression. This is normal and expected as part of the learning process. This can be caused by a number of factors such as a new baby in the house, sickness in the family, getting water up the nose, or just having a bad day. Our teachers understand this and will help swimmers work through their challenges in a nurturing and positive way.


We are committed to show great interest in our swimmers and their accomplishments. Teachers will share a lot of encouragement, praise, high 5’s, hugs, and smiles. Even the smallest accomplishments will be praised. When a swimmer overcomes a fear or masters a skill, parents may notice a joyful expression on both the swimmer’s and the teacher’s faces.


We are committed to being imaginative and original. Our teachers will take the time to discover what a swimmer likes, and use that information to motivate swimmers to try new things. Examples of this would be a young girl using her ballerina kicks across the pool, or a boy who loves Superman to do a superman flying through the water. A fearful child may pretend to be a giant marshmallow to help relax during a back float.

Core Values

Our core values reflect what is important to us as a company. These values are the groundwork of our company culture.

Be the Best

We strive to be the best that we can be individually and collectively as a company. We hold ourselves to a standard higher than anyone expects. With determination, passion, and drive we seek to rise above the competition to provide the best to our customers, each other, and ourselves.

Big Picture

We believe each staff member is an important part of helping create and shape the future of Sea Otter Swim Lessons. We are open and prepared for change, advancement, and growth into a world of possibilities. We look not only to our interests but also to the interests of others. We seek to see the bigger picture.

Create Delight

We want to create delight, be set apart, exceed expectations, be above average, bring joy, be innovative, and make a positive impact to those we encounter. We find joy in what we do and share that passion with those around us.

Own It

This is our business. We encourage our employees to take ownership of every situation. When there is a problem, we want to be part of the solution. We all have a personal, financial, and professional investment in the success of Sea Otter Swim Lessons.

Be An Educator/Be A Student

We believe improving ourselves is the greatest investment of our time while investing in others is the greatest reward. We strive to be experts in our field and educate those around us. We embrace opportunities for ongoing education, change, and professional growth.

Be A Hero

We have a unique opportunity to make a difference, so we strive to make a big difference in the lives around us. We connect with others to unlock their potential and inspire them to become better. We try to find the little or big things that make someone’s day.

Everyone Is Family

Student, parents, and staff—each and every person who walks into our facility, walks into our family. We welcome them with genuine warmth. We want to demonstrate an ongoing interest in people and their lives. Family sticks together.

Be A Spark

We want to light up every person, situation, and space with passion, drive, enthusiasm, and innovation. We pour passion into everything we do, leaving nothing the same. We seek to inspire daily and create new ways to imprint on the lives around us.

Our History

Sea Otter Swim Lessons began as a backyard swim program more than 30 years ago in Southern California. In July 1999 we opened our Loomis facility on Brace Road, after owners Paul and Rebecca Sassenrath were settled in the Loomis area.

With a passion to see every potential swimmer become safe and enjoy the water, Rebecca developed a teaching method that took each individual’s unique characteristics including physically, mentally, and emotionally into account. From babies to older adults, and all levels of abilities, it was her intent to see each swimmer enjoy the water safely. The building blocks included comfort in the water, breath control, balance and buoyancy, and fun.

Our program still begins with these basics and continues with developing and refining techniques so that all swimmers can reach their full potential in the water.