Meet the Team

Russell Aquatics was founded by Kerri & Kristi Russell in the summer of 2004 as a children’s backyard swim school in Markham, Ontario. It was established with the assistance of the Government of Ontario’s “Summer Company” initiative. The hands-on coaching and mentoring from local community business leaders made a large contribution to the company’s initial and ongoing success. Russell Aquatics has steadily grown over the past decade. In the fall of 2011, Russell Aquatics began offering all-season lessons at the Cochrane indoor location. In April 2018, Russell Aquatics opened their first custom-built indoor swim facility at 66 Copper Creek Drive, Markham.

Hi! I’m Kerri Russell-Channer, Owner & Founder of Russell Aquatics Swim School. From as early as I can remember, swimming has always been a huge part of my life. I swam competitively with Markham Aquatic Club for 6 years and then started volunteering teaching special needs children how to swim at the young age of 12. At the age of 17, I started Russell Aquatics from my parents’ backyard pool in Markham, teaching neighborhood children how to swim. After attaining my Early Childhood Education Degree from Ryerson University and my Bachelor of Education degree from York University, I decided to take the leap and expand Russell Aquatics into a full time, year-round business. For over a decade now, I have owned and operated Russell Aquatics with my sister, Kristi. Kristi & I feel incredibly blessed to have created such an amazing team that are devoted and love Russell Aquatics as much as we do. Our growth and success is hugely attributed to our fabulous team and amazing clients that have been committed to the Russell Aquatics Family since the beginning.

When I am not at the pool you will find me with my wonderful family! I have two young children, Liv and Tye who have brought a whole new happiness to my life that I couldn’t have ever imagined. We are an active family and love to spend time outdoors with our dog Kevin! We are also a family that LOVE to travel!

Teaching kids of all ages and watching them grow as confident swimmers has been and will continue to be one of the most rewarding things in my life. I look forward to seeing you at the pool!

 


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Kristi Russell - CoFounder Russell Aquatics MarkahamKristi Russell - CoFounder Russell Aquatics Markaham

 

Hi, I’m Kristi Russell and I am one of the Owners of Russell Aquatics Swim School! Swimming has always been such a huge part of my life, swimming competitively with the Markham Aquatic Club for 7 years. I attended Guelph University where I completed my degree in Business Commerce. I enjoy working with children and adults, teaching them this incredibly important life skill and watching their confidence in the water grow. When I am not at the pool, you may find me chasing my little guy, Austin around the park. See you at the pool!

 

 

 


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Cassidy Caster – on maternity leave

Hi I’m Cassidy Caster! I am the General Manager at Russell Aquatics Swim School! I have been swimming as long as I can remember and have been working in aquatics for over 11 years! I love working with our parent and tot and preschool swimmers and you will often find me teaching and training our future lifegaurds and instructors! I attended Brock University and Niagara College where I took courses in Kinesiology as well as Nursing! When I’m not at the pool, I am an avid sports fan and love to spend time with my boyfriend, Justin and little dog, Bear! I can’t wait to see all of our little fish at the pool!

 

 


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Hi, I’m Alan Russell and you will find my smiling face at the front desk of our Boxgrove facility.Russell-Aquatics-Staff-Alan
More importantly, I am the proud father of our owners, Kerri and Kristi. For 14 years, each summer, my wife, Bev and I shared our backyard pool with the wonderful children learning to swim at Russell Aquatics. As I reflect back on the early years of the company, I can now sincerely appreciate the truly wonderful learning environment that our pool provided. As the girls have now achieved with their first permanent location, the backyard pool was a warm and welcoming environment where children were introduced to swimming by a team of caring and professional instructors. Over the years, I have met and spoken with many thoughtful parents who trusted us with the instruction and safety of their children. Although, I must admit that most of those conversations used to take place as I was preparing dinner on the barbeque. A number of those early students are now vital members of the staff and hold most of the leadership positions at the pool.
In retirement, I have been truly blessed that my daughters have included me in the operation of their swim school. Being the “old proud guy” at the pool, please have patience with me if at times, today’s technology somewhat overwhelms me. Make sure that you say hi the next time you’re at the pool.

 


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Hi there! My name is Kaitlin and I am the Marketing and Communications Director at Russell Aquatics! Although you might not catch me in the water, you will definitely see me snapping some photos and videos on deck, helping out at the front desk and doing all things creative for the swim school! I have an Advanced Certificate in Public Relations and have worked for municipalities and non-profits in their corporate communications and community engagement department. If I look familiar, it’s probably because my sister, Cassidy, is our General Manager! Outside of work, I am an avid reader, love to cook and have a passion for music and family. Make sure you follow us on social media and check out our website to see what I’ve been up to!

 


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Private Swim School Markham

Hi my name is Colleen, a Lead Instructor and Trainer at Russell Aquatics. I have 20 years experience in the aquatics industry. My aquatics career started as an Aquafit instructor and has evolved into being a lifeguard, swim instructor and pre/post-rehabilitation specialist. I particularly love teaching beginner adults. My speciality is building trust in swimmers to encourage their confidence in the water. If you can make the commitment, I will help you achieve your swimming goals! As a side note, I’ve been married for 28 years and have 3 sons aged 20, 23 and 25. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Russell Aquatics family and hope you take the opportunity to introduce yourself to me!

 


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Hello, my name is Angelina and I am one of the Supervisors at Russell Aquatics! I have been with Russell Aquatics since I was a little kid and they taught me everything I know about swimming! I have now been working here as an instructor, supervisor, and part of the management team working hard to grow Russell Aquatics. My favourite part about being part of the Russell Team is watching all your swimmers become strong and confident in the water while learning an important life skill. I love to spend time with my family and friends and I am on my way to becoming a teacher. Be sure to say hello at the pool!

 

 


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russell aquatics swim staff colinHi! My name is Colin and I’m one of the Supervisors at Russell Aquatics! I am so excited to be a part of the Russell family and can’t wait to get to know every student and family that I have the pleasure of working with! I have over five years of experience teaching swimming lessons and supervising pools. My favorite part of working in aquatics is meeting new people and seeing the progress that they make over the course of their time with us. When I’m not at the pool, you’ll probably catch me hanging out with my five cats and two dogs! Please don’t hesitate to come chat with me if you have any questions. I can’t wait to meet you all!

 


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Russell Aquatics Swim StaffHi! My name is Lauren and I am the Facility Manager at Russell Aquatics. I have always had a passion for aquatics and have been in the industry for nearly twenty years. When I’m not at the pool, you’ll find me on a hike or hanging out with my husband, two little ones and dog, Toby. Looking forward to seeing you at the pool!

 


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Hi! My name’s Carmela and I’m a Supervisor and Lead Instructor at Russell Aquatics! I have been swimming since I was young and I am very passionate about teaching swimming. My favourite part about teaching is watching our swimmers progress and have fun in their lessons! Fun fact about me is that I’m a certified scuba diver and I love to surf! When I’m not in the pool, I’m studying nursing or having coffee at Starbucks! See you at the pool!

 


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Hi there, My name is Heather and you will find me working at the front desk.  Although I am new to Russell Aquatics, my swimming background started quite a while ago.  I grew up swimming and became an instructor. While that was quite a while ago, I am so excited to be back in the swim industry and combining my passions together – swimming and administration. When I am not at the pool, I am spending time with my my son (15) and my daughter (10). My greatest joy is watching them do what they love – hockey and dance. I am so excited to be a part of the Russell Aquatics family and I look forward to meeting you all soon. 


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Katerina Kyriopoulos Russell Aquatics Swim InstructorHi my name is Katerina Kyriopoulos! I am a Supervisor at Russell Aquatics! I’ve been working at Russell Aquatics for several years now and I am very passionate about the work that I do here. I have loved swimming ever since I was little and it is so rewarding to be able to teach such an important life long skill to children. I have such a love for children and teaching that I am studying to pursue a career as a teacher and continue to make a positive impact on children’s lives. I love to spend my free time with my family and friends. I hope to see you all at the pool!  


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