Faces of FOSS: Alexa Ihrke

Alexa Ihrke
Head Receptionist
Blaine, MN

How long have you worked for FOSS?

Almost two years!

What is your favorite part about working for FOSS?

I love that I am teaching kiddos a life-saving skill while showing them how to have fun at the same time.

What is your favorite group to teach and why?

I love teaching classes for kids with special needs. The progress in those classes can seem small, but for the student they are huge victories. I love being able to celebrate those victories with them and their families.

What is your favorite skill to teach and why?

My favorite is “mama bird, papa bird,” because it’s the safety stroke. When students try to swim farther than “normal” with this skill, when they reach the island or bench their faces light up with pure joy! 

Can you recount a student of yours who experienced a major breakthrough moment? What was it?

I was teaching a Middle 3, and we were working on stop breath. It was the middle of winter quarter. It was the student’s third time in this level, and as we were working, he stopped on the island and told me, “Hey, when I breathe, I am just really doing pirate eye!” The joy when it clicked for him was amazing, and after he had that realization, stop breath was no longer an obstacle. 

Anything else you really wish you could tell parents about you as they bring their kids to FOSS? 

I really love children! I worked in childcare for 12 years prior to working at FOSS, and I have 13 nieces and nephews!

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