Our Instructors

Caitlyn Verdugo 

Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer

"I have been teaching swim lessons since 2010, when I started at the City of Huntington Beach. Since then, I have taught swimming to children, teenagers and adults at private swim clubs, swim schools, and high school swim and water polo teams. In 2013, I started Caitlyn's Swim School, which then turned into Jump Start Swimming, LLC.

I am a Business Administration major with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship and a minor in Child and Adolescent Development at California State University, Fullerton."

Certifications: CPR, First Aid for the Professional Rescuer (Title 22), Lifeguarding, Water Safety Instructor, USA Swim Coach, Safety Training for Swim Coaches, NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching, NFHS Concussions in Coaching. 


 Alex Huynen

Co-Founder, Chief Financial and Operating Officer

"I swam for Splash Aquatics for 15 years. and then in 2009, I became a certified swim coach for Splash and I now specialize in stroke development and technique. I have also worked at a preschool/elementary school in Cypress that focuses on children with special needs. I have a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Arizona and I am currently working on my Masters in School Psychology at Alliant International University. 

My goal is to develop a swim program that is fully inclusive for all children. I have experience teaching children with different abilities and want to build a program at Jump Start Swimming that will work for any child. All children should be water safe."

Certifications: CPR, First Aid: Infant and Child, First Aid: Adult, Safety Training for Swim Coaches, USA Swim Coach

Jenn Lightbody.jpg

 Jenn Lightbody - Instructor

"I have been swimming for the past ten years. I began swimming with Green Valley Swim Team when I was ten and have swam every summer since. I also swam and played Water Polo all four years of high school. In 2012, I began coaching for Green Valley, teaching both group and private lessons, working on both basic swimming skills and proper stroke technique. This fall I will be a sophomore at California State University, East Bay working towards a degree in Kinesiology. 

Certifications: CPR, First Aid: Infant and Child, First Aid: Adult


Elaine Drexler - Instructor

"I have been competitively swimming for the past 12 years at Splash Aquatics. I swam all four years of high school at Edison High School on the Varsity level team and participated in one year of water polo. I have been coaching for Splash Aquatics since 2012 teaching stroke technique and basic swimming skills. Since 2013, I have also been coaching and providing private lessons for Advantage Aquatics. This fall, I will be a second year at San Diego State University taking part of their Honors Program pursuing a B.A. in Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences and a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. "

Certifications: Heartsaver CPR/AED, First Aid: Infant, Child, and Adult, 2014 USA Swim Coach


Sonia Djafri - Instructor

"I have been part fish/part human for the past 14 years. I started swimming when I was 4 on my local neighborhood swim team and when I was 7, I joined my first club team. I swam with Golden West Swim Club until my first year of high school and swam for NOVA for four years. I was a 4-year varsity athlete at Fountain Valley High School. Now that I no longer swim competitively, I have begun to teach instead. It is a fun way to teach the sport that I love to others and hopefully evoke in my swimmers, the passion I have for swimming or simply teaching them how to be safe in the water.  I am currently a pre-med biochemistry major and Chapman University."

Certifications: Heartsaver CPR/AED, First Aid: Infant, Child, and Adult


Marybeth Buckowski - Instructor

"Swimming has always been a confident strength and leisurely activity of mine. I have grown up in the water and at the beach, was a member of the Mater Dei high school swim team, and maintain my position as a seasonal lifeguard during the summers. I now attend Cal Poly Pomona as a Psychology major with hopes of working with children and those in need, while making frequent trips to the pool for lap swim.

I have been an open water lifeguard at Lake Mission Viejo since 2012 and have been trained as a First Responder for countless water related and other medical emergencies. My goal is to share the joy and love of water and maximize swimmers' strengths and enthusiasm for swimming."

Certifications:  Lifeguard USLA Open Water Lifesaving, American Heart CPR/AED and First Aid


Junelie Aguayo - Instructor

"I've been swimming for as long as I can remember, but only competitively for about 6 years. I was a member of the Varsity Swim and Water Polo teams at La Serna High School, and played for 3 years for both teams. I currently play water polo at the collegiate level at the University of Arizona, and have been a member of the team for 3 years. I will be receiving a B.S. in Physiology and a B.A. in Spanish and Portuguese with a minor in Biochemistry this spring at the U of A, and hope to continue on to medical school in the next year or two. I hope to make swimming a fun, not scary activity for swimmers and teach them the skills necessary for them to be comfortable in the water, and love being in the pool as much as I do someday!"

Certifications: Water Park Lifeguarding, Water Safety Instructor, CPR, AED/First Aid: Infant and Child, CPR, AED/First Aid: Adult


Anna Ransom - Instructor

"I have been swimming for the past 11 years. I started when I was 7 for Green Valley Swim Team and also swam for a couple years for a club team called, "Riptide." I swam all four years at Fountain Valley High School and got a lettering time for breastroke. I was a lifeguard for 3 years for my community pool and work great with kids. I am in my first year at Orange Coast College looking to transfer to a UC to study my major- teaching for elementary kids."

Certifications: CPR, First Aid: Infant and Child, First Aid: Adult, Water Safety Instructor, Lifeguard, Certified Babysitter


Phillip Tran - Instructor

“Since the age of 5, I have been competitively swimming at various programs including Nova Aquatics and the Mater Dei Swimming Program. During my four years at Mater Dei High School, I swam on their swim team and participated in the water polo team. This fall, I will be attending my third year at San Diego State University pursuing a B.S. in Business Management and hopefully graduating by spring. Also, I have been participating with San Diego State University’s Club Men’s Water Polo for the past two years and will continue for this upcoming season. My goal is to ensure safety for the children while also teaching and guiding them in a fun, safe, and learning enviroment.”

Certifications: Water Safety Instructor, CPR, First Aid, AED, and Lifeguarding