Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Aquatics Director Didn't Plan for a Career in the Water

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Aquatics Director Didn't Plan for a Career in the Water

Article excerpt

Jamie Nathan of Scott had hoped to pursue a career as a sports columnist or photographer, but her career path took an entirely different turn.

After graduating from California University of Pennsylvania in 2003, where she worked in the sports information department, she had trouble finding a job in her field.

To make ends meet, she took a job as a lifeguard at the South Hills Jewish Community Center in Scott. Four months later, she was promoted to assistant aquatics director at the center's Squirrel Hill location.

Ms. Nathan said she never dreamed she would work in aquatics, but she continued to pursue opportunities as they became available.

This month, she was named aquatics director for the center's Scott location.

"I thought it was just a fun job you have in high school or college," she said. "I never thought I would make a career out of it, but I really enjoy it."

Ms. Nathan grew up in Scott and landed her first job at age 16 teaching swimming at the Scott pool. Two years after she graduated from Chartiers Valley High School in 1996, the South Hills Jewish Community Center built its Scott location next to her parents' home.

Convenience is what drew her to apply for a lifeguard position after college, but Ms. Nathan said it was a love of people and teaching children how to swim that kept her there. She has been teaching swimming for 20 years to all ages and skill levels, from babies to adults.

During her tenure at the center's Squirrel Hill location, she met and married Taylor Nathan, who ran the center's children, teens and family department.

Ms. Nathan remained assistant aquatics director until 2009 before taking a job as aquatics manager at Club One Fitness in Castle Shannon. She said she took the position because it was a step up and offered her an opportunity to run a club on her own.

Although she said club owner Chris Labishak often told her things she didn't want to hear, she said he gave her good advice and taught her to how to be a good manager. …

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