We Are HAC! – Dawn Poel

At Holland Aquatic Center, our facilities are awesome and so is our staff.  In this We Are HAC! series, we’ll introduce you to the people who love to teach, coach, protect, serve and inspire here. Our amazing team, almost 100 strong, is passionate about empowering healthy, connected lives through aquatics and wellness programming. Meet them here in this blog series and in-person at Holland Aquatic Center!

With the best last name ever as a swim instructor at Holland Aquatic Center, Dawn Poel is a positive force of nature. Her love of teaching and serving exudes from every encouraging word she delivers to her students, not matter if they are six-month-old or an adult.

Dawn Poel teaches children of all ages how to swim at HAC.

Dawn has been teaching swimming since she was 16 years old and arrived to do so at bit more at HAC in 2021. A native of Hamilton, Michigan, and now residing in Saugatuck, she retired as a retail buyer recently and decided to return to teaching children at HAC because “it’s just so important. For them to like the water and to respect the water and to become comfortable in the water is my goal because it just might save their life. Plus, it’s fun too.”

Here’s a little more about Dawn:

Favorite color: Pink. “I just love it. When I wear pink, it makes me feel so lively.”

Favorite movie: The Blind Side

Favorite Place in the World: Anywhere with warm water and sunshine. “We spent four weeks in Puerto Rico recently, and it was wonderful.”

Bucket List Items I Most Want to Accomplish: Go to Israel and also learn to sail

Favorite sport (if not swimming): Canoeing and snorkeling

“I love the kids here and love my coworkers here. And I really love the sparkle and smile kids give when they discover the joy of swimming.”

Dawn Poel