Our Team consists of individuals with a broad variety of backgrounds but what unites our staff together is their passion for Teaching and Aquatics. At Planet Swim School we believe in finding like-minded people who have passion for helping others, enjoy working with kids, and understand the importance of creating a fun; safe; inclusive; and supportive environment.
Our Office Team:
Founder & CEO
Gus is an entrepreneur and a swimming enthusiast. He began his swimming journey soon after turning 8 years old and by the age of 14 he qualified for his first international swim meet representing the Brazilian Junior National Team. It did not take long for Gus to understand his passion for the sport and decide he wanted to swim in college in the U.S.
At the age of 18 Gus moved to Roanoke, Virginia, and while representing the Virginia Gators he won a few National Titles and broke a few state and YMCA National records. In 2003 he enrolled at Virginia Tech and began his collegiate swimming career. While at Vermont, he became the first All-American swimmer in the school history and earned four individual conference titles in the butterfly and distance freestyle events. In 2004 he represented his home country at the FINA World Championships and finished 9th in the 200m Butterfly.
After graduating in 2007, Gus continued his swimming career at a professional level and retired in 2010 after representing his home country at the Nation's Cup in Canada. During his final years as a competitive swimmer Gus founded Planet Swim and began his coaching career at the Bolles School under the guidance of former Olympic Medalist and Swim Coach, Sergio Lopez. Since then, Gus has focused on developing young swimmers and has had the opportunity to work with several world class athletes including World Championship/Olympic qualifiers and medalists.
With Planet Swim, Gus hopes to empower individuals to reach their full potential both in and out of the water while building long-lasting confidence to be carried out though life.
Director of Operations & Swim School
Born in Bratislava – Slovakia, Katarina started swimming at the age of 10. Soon after, results started showing as she became a National Champion at the age of 14. Since then Katarina broke many national records, competed at European and World Championships as well as the 2012 London Olympic Games. After graduating in High School from St. Paul’s Anglican High School in Brisbane – Australia, she decided to pursue a collegiate swimming career and joined the Virginia Tech Hokies. During her collegiate career Katarina broke multiple school and conference records, was awarded for her outstanding freshman and senior year, became an ACC champion as well as NCAA All-American.
Katarina joined our Planet Swim staff in 2014.
Swim School Coordinator (Ponte Vedra/Nocatee Location)
Coach Raquel has over 25 years of aquatic's experience. From teaching to coaching to managing, she is a well-rounded aquatics expert. She is an ASCA Level 3 certified coach who began her coaching career with Porto Ação Swim Club in Brazil. In 2004, Coach Raquel moved to Jacksonville where she was the Aquatics Director at the Winston Family YMCA in Ponte Vedra. Most recently, prior to joining Planet Swim, she served as an age group coach at the Episcopal Amberjax Swim Team and at the Loggerhead Aquatics; and was Coach Calado's assistant coach at Nease High School. Coach Raquel currently serves as the Teaching Curriculum and Instructors Coordinator at Planet Swim's swim school program and coaches our Sailfish 1 training group with Planet Swim's year-round swim team at the Ponte Vedra Beach location.
Swim School Coordinator & Pool Manager (Green Cove Springs Location)
Kathryn Saurborn is a West Virginia native born in the city of Fairmont. Her swimming career began when she was about 8 years old for a club team named Fairmont Area Swim Team, FAST. She attended East Fairmont High School and became state champion in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle. After high school, she went on to swim collegiately for Fairmont State University. During that time she earned Bluegrass Mountain Conference Swimmer of the Year. She became a 3X All-American in the 50 and 100 yard butterfly and a 2X Honorable Mention All-American in the 100 free. Once her senior year of college ended, she continue her swimming as a member of SwimMAC Team Elite in 2013-2014, where she got to train with Olympians Ryan Lochte and Cullen Jones. In 2018, she still continues her swimming career with Plant Swim Team of Ponte Vedra, Florida.
Coach Kathryn loves her Rottweiler named Shiloh and in her free time she likes to spend time with her friends and family. Kathryn has been a big help at Planet Swim where she teaches lessons as well as taking a position of Office Manager/Lesson Coordinator.
Front Desk & Pro Shop Coordinator
Our Technical Staff:
Kyle Berry – Swim Instructor & Coach
Lucas Pels – Swim Instructor & Coach
Ryan Rabalais – Swim Instructor & Coach
John Burke – Swim Instructor
I enjoy teaching swim lessons because I believe that every child should have the opportunity to be safe and comfortable with their swimming abilities. A fun fact about me is that I used to be a life guard at a water park!
Linda Lynch - Swim Instructor
Born July 18.1955
I am married with 3 children and 5 grandchildren
Grew up in Phoenixville,PA
B.S. in Physical Education from Ursinus College
Taught pre school swimming at the Phoenixville YMCA 1977-1988
Moved to Fort Meyers,FL 1988
Swimming teacher at Riverside School 1991-93
Moved to Jacksonville 1993
Taught physical education at Jacksonville Country Day School 1993-2013
Planet Swim- March 2021-present
Reading [especially mystery and spy novels], crosswords, crafts, and cross stitching