30 years of pooling talent; TI’s Israeli Film Fest

For 30 years Sarah Marx, affectionately known to her students as “Miss Sarah,” has been teaching swimming to hundreds of children and several generations. In 1980, after teaching one child to swim in a backyard pool, Marx then began instructing children in the Clayton Shaw Park pool.

It was at that time that she created Super Swimmers, a year-round learn to swim program, which later became today’s Super Swimmer Academy with instruction at two deliciously warm pools.


“Teaching swimming is more than a job. It is my passion. It fuels my soul. It’s an art.” Marx said. “The ability to make each child feel successful, focus on the process of learning, make adaptations and modifications in instruction as needed and to ‘think on my feet’ are skills that I have fine tuned to make me an effective teacher with children who are beginners of all ages and those with special needs.”

Marx has a Master’s degree in early childhood education and is an experienced and certified classroom teacher. She has been certified by American Red Cross as a Water Safety and CPR instructor. To sharpen her teaching skills, she has participated in workshops for specialized adaptive aquatic techniques.

Somehow she finds time to be a devoted member of Central Reform Congregation where she sings in the choir and participates extensively in the congregation’s myriad programs.

During her years as a swimming instructor “Miss Sarah” has collected a huge number of admirers who all but worship her — both parents and children. “My daughter Miranda had spent a couple years taking lessons from other instructors which left her afraid of the water. When she was five she started lessons with Miss Sarah and was swimming and enjoying it after two lessons,” said Michelle Siler. “My son, who was fearless at 3 and convinced he already knew how to swim when he started with Miss Sarah, is now getting ready for his third year on our neighborhood swim team.”

Working with children who have special needs is another area of expertise that “Miss Sarah” has cultivated. Pediatrician Alan Skoultchi shared his experience with Marx at the Super Swimmers Academy.

“My son, Ethan, is 8-years-old and has autism. We’ve been taking swim lessons at Super Swimmers for the last year and have found it to be a wonderful experience. Our goal for Ethan was to lose his dependence on his swim vest, and a year later he is able to swim independently across the pool. Miss Sarah uses a lot of creative techniques to motivate Ethan and is flexible enough to vary her lessons depending on his mood.” Rabbi Susan Talve of CRC knows first hand about Marx’s remarkable ability to teach children to swim. “For my family this was especially life saving. One of our children had a condition as a child that made it dangerous to be around water. Sarah taught our child to swim and gave us the security we all needed to feel safe. She was able to teach all of our children and countless others to love the water. Sarah’s ability to connect with each and every student, the confidence and self esteem she builds and nurtures, and her love of teaching continues to be a blessing for our St. Louis community.” Talve’s associate Rabbi Randy Fleisher, whose little girl and boy are students of Miss Sarah’s, agrees.

If all of Marx’s well-wishers and admirers were to gather to congratulate her on three decades of successful teaching, there would not be a swimming pool huge enough to hold them.

For information about enrolling your child or grandchild for lessons with Super Swimmers Academy, contact Miss Sarah at 314-989-0901 or visit online at www.superswimmersacademy.com.

THE THIRD ANNUAL TEMPLE ISRAEL ISRAELI FILM FESTIVAL on Sunday, March 14 sounds interesting. The afternoon film at 3 p.m., “Noodle” is a comedy-drama about an El Al flight attendant whose Chinese housekeeper unexpectedly leaves her 6-year-old son with her. The 6 p.m. film, “Time of Favor” is a tense political thriller and moving romantic drama, which takes place against the backdrop of Judean hills. While this film is best suited for adults, “Noodle” is recommended for ages 12 and older. At 8 p.m., following “Time of Favor” there will be a discussion with a panel of Israelis, and between the two films at 5 p.m. a light Israeli dinner will be served. The film festival, which will be held at Temple Israel’s May Chapel at the corner of Ladue and Spoede Roads, is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To reserve your place call 314-432-8050.