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.
Nocatee Office Coordinator
Meet Raleigh, a North Carolinian who found her way to Jacksonville after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill. With a wealth of experience in the service industry spanning a decade, Raleigh brings a unique perspective to her endeavors.
Beyond her professional pursuits, Raleigh enjoys the beach, jamming to music, or hanging out with friends and her cats. No frills, just genuine moments. Join Raleigh on her journey, where a mix of beach vibes, good tunes, and the company of loved ones creates a laid-back, yet fulfilling, everyday adventure.
Our Technical Staff:
Ryan Rabalais – Swim Instructor
Hey there, I'm Ryan Rabalais, a recent graduate from Wingate University in North Carolina.
Swimming has been my passion since I was a young kid, diving into competitive waters at the age of seven. The pool has always been my sanctuary—a place where I feel at home and find my escape. Swimming, for me, is all about having fun in the water and enjoying the camaraderie it brings. Whether refining techniques or just goofing around, the water is a constant source of joy and relaxation.
Now, as a swim school instructor, my goal is to pass on that joy to kids. I want them to revel in the water, have a blast, and, most importantly, learn life-saving skills. Let's make the pool a place of laughter, learning, and endless possibilities. Join me in the journey of discovering the wonders of swimming!
Linda Lynch - Swim Instructor
Morgan Jones - Swim Instructor
Kendall Engman - Swim Instructor
Hey there! I'm Kendall, born in June 1992, and I've got a thing for swimming and flying. Currently in flight school, aiming to be an airline pilot someday. Besides that, I enjoy fishing, motorcycles, and anything related to air and space. Once an engineering kid, always an engineering kid.
My big dream? To create a crew of awesome swimmers – or at least help people become water-safe so come join me for a splash!
Nikki Miller – Swim Instructor & Coach
Juliana Gomez - Swim Instructor
Kyla Hotter – Swim Instructor
Brandon Yudin – Swim Instructor
Morgan Collins – Swim Instructor
Frank Conversano – Swim Instructor