About us

Our highly trained, caring swim instructors use practiced and proven water safety techniques to provide swim instruction to young children to the best of our ability.

Desert Swim School (formerly Waterworks On Wheels) was founded in 1985 by Janice Jaicks, owner and president. Janice began offering backyard swim lessons around the city of Mesa, AZ and was the sole instructor. Now Desert Swim School employs approximately 12 part-time summer instructors for backyard swim lessons serving the entire East Valley, as well as a staff for year-round indoor lessons at three health club facilities in Arizona.

In addition, Desert Swim School provides adult swim lessons in Chandler, Arizona. Adult swim lessons are available for all levels, from beginners to triathletes!

Meet The Team!

Janice Jaicks

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Desert Swim School/FitnessFest Janice Jaicks is the owner

of Desert Swim School, and teaches lessons every Tuesday

at StaFit Health Club (Chandler Blvd. & Dobson Rd.). Janice

began teaching swim lessons in 1985 at the Mesa YMCA and

found that she had a real knack for it. She immediately sought

additional training and received her Lifeguard Training

Certification and WSI (Water Safety Instruction) Certification. She

then started teaching children all over the East Valley in their own

backyard pools. Janice became so busy with this endeavor that

she started training and hiring other instructors to join her team.

From that time forward, Desert Swim School blossomed into the

outstanding business it is today! Janice adds: "All kids are unique

I try to take their individual temperaments, including any fears or

anxieties and learn for that child how to best teach him/her to

swim and be water-safe. As for my instructors, I choose my staff

based on experience with all ages and abilities, as well as his/her

ability to understand a child's strengths, weaknesses and psyche

- when to push, when to hold back and what step to take to

achieve our goals is key! The final ingredient to an outstanding

instructor is someone who genuinely cares about each and every

child and has patience. I personally enjoy teaching the Parent/Tot

class at Fitness Forum. It thrills me to see the little ones, even at

15 months old, going underwater and kicking their little legs to get

through the hula-hoop. I also love to see that child a year later

doing well enough to join the "big boy/gir!" class!"

Christina Haneghan

Swim Instructor Christina Haneghan, BA Kinesiology (Exercise

Science), has been with Desert Swim School for over 10 years.

When she isn't working for Desert Swim School, Christina works

for a cardiac clinic in Phoenix, AZ. Some of Christina's other

interests include health and wellness and sports medicine.

Christina spends her free time exercising, watching sports,

listening to music, and hanging out with friends and family.

Recently, one of our clients shared a wonderful note with us about

Christina:

"We wanted to drop a note about our children's swim

instructor, Christina. She is such a phenomenal swim instructor.

She is very aware of the kid's abilities and challenges each child

to his own level even within the same class. She is also firm, yet

gentle, and so very patient. Kids will often try to get out of doing

things that are challenging (e.g. by whining) but Christina never

falls for this; she has a very gentle but firm way of getting the kids

to participate. The other parents also always comment on how

patient and good she is. She always stays calm even with the

frequent whining or disruption (the kids that scream through entire

sessions or won't sit still). I don't know how Christina does it! We

believe that Christina is truly an asset to your school. We really

appreciate having her and our kids look forward to going to swim

class each week mostly because of her." -Viviana

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Claire Dana

Hello! My name is Claire and I have been a swim instructor and lifeguard for the past  5 years. I am passionate about teaching and helping kids learn how to be safe in the water. Outside of my aquatic jobs, I love to sing and cook with my siblings. One cool fact about me is that I worked at Walt Disney World! Besides that, Swimming has always been a huge part of my life, and I’m grateful that I can share that with others. 

Jess Ratz 

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Hello! My name is Jess Ratz and I have worked in the aquatics industry for the last eight years. I have three years of experience teaching swim lessons as well as training other swim lesson instructors. I've taught students of all ages, and specialize in getting younger students comfortable and proficient in the water. I absolutely love watching my students grow and improve from lesson to lesson all while learning how to be safe around the water, and I cannot wait to meet your kiddos!