Meet Edina's Hometown Heroes

Edina is made up of people who pride themselves with making the city a great place for living, learning, raising families and doing business.

Kay Zuccaro

Ask Kay Zaccaro, and she’ll tell you that one would be hard pressed to find another recreational site that can boast the broad appeal – to all ages, and in all seasons – of a swimming pool.

And she’s in a good position to know. As Aquatics Supervisor for Edina Public Schools’ Community Education Services program, she sees the truth of it every week.

“Young children can’t get enough of their local pool -- learning to stay afloat, mastering a new stroke or just playing around with friends or family,” she says. “Seniors aren’t much different, really. They know swimming keeps them fit and healthy, and helps considerably with surgery rehab and things like that.”

Zaccaro’s affiliation with Edina’s aquatics programs began in 1986, when she began teaching water aerobics classes. She assumed her current role in 1998.

Water aerobics continues to be a perennially popular course offering among adults, but now, more than ever, it’s just a point of departure. “We have deep water exercises. We’ve added aqua zumba. There are diving lessons for all skill and experience levels.”

Classes geared toward area children and families are equally diverse and include both private lessons and public classes geared toward the development and refinement of various swimming skills. “It’s a real treat to teach kids – to see their self-esteem go up so high, so fast. The little ones just smile from ear to ear when they feel they’ve got the hang of the pool.”

Zaccaro manages scheduling, registration and other class logistics, but continues to teach several offerings, including Senior Water Aerobics and Water Stretch and Tone, herself.

She brings an impressively diverse skills set to the role of Aquatics Supervisor. She received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the College of St. Benedict, and holds certification as a lifeguard, lifeguard trainer and Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program instructor. Zaccaro got her professional start teaching water exercises at a Weight Watchers Camp in Florida before moving to Minnesota.

Zaccaro says her clients and colleagues feel Edina is an attractive place to live and play because it boasts not one, but several urban oases: the pool facilities at Edinborough Park, at South View Middle School and at Valley View Middle School. The Community Education Services program schedules classes at each.

“Edina is right in the middle of the big city action – the malls, the airport, the downtown districts. But it also has these hidden gems, open even in winter, that you would probably totally miss from the street,” Zaccrro says. If any of the above course offerings trigger your interest, Zaccrro encourages you to peruse the comprehensive seasonal program catalog available online at edinacommunityed.org.

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