Faces of FOSS: Donalee Olson

Donalee Olson
Teacher & Enrollment Specialist
Plymouth, MN


How long have you worked for FOSS?

Since April 2019!

What is your favorite part about working for FOSS?

Being able to work and play with kids while still helping them learn such an important thing.

Tell us your favorite FOSS story.

My favorite FOSS story is about my own children—how comfortable FOSS has made my girls in the water, and how far my oldest has come in this quarter alone!

What is your favorite level to teach and why? 

I love teaching the 4- to 7-year-olds. They still really love and respond to all the silly, goofy tricks in our bags.

What is your personal favorite water activity?

I love anything involving water with my kids. Swimming, using the sprinkler, bringing out dishes and washing rocks in our backyard. We just love playing in any water!

As a child, how did you feel about the water?

I loved the water and took many years of lessons. Knowing how important that was for my confidence around water is part of what makes me love doing this job.

Can you recount a student of yours who experienced a major breakthrough moment when you were with them? 

I had a girl who didn’t even like getting her face wet and always needed a backpack. One day I “forgot” her backpack and she put her face in and swam all the way to the island! She and mom both jumped up and down! It was so much fun!

What is your favorite swim lesson activity to do with kids and why?

I love doing scoops and kicks—the kids have so much fun scooping their “favorite snacks” off the bottom of the pool, so it’s easy to keep pushing them to keep going!

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

How much I really appreciate them trusting me with the most important people in their lives. I’m so thrilled to help teach them such an important, life-saving skill.

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