PHD SWIM SCHOOL

Dr. Katie Cleary is a former competitive swimmer and coach in both South Carolina's Swim Association Invitational League and North Carolina's Chapel Hill Summer Swim League.  Dr. Katie is a 2013 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's doctoral program in Neurobiology.  Her dissertation work focused on auditory sensory processing differences in children with autism and other developmental delays.  Katie has a strong background in behavioral neuroscience.  During her doctoral program she completed rigorous academic coursework in biological psychiatry, neurobiology, child development, and electrophysiology.  She received intense training in working with human research subjects, including young children and infants of both typical and sensitive populations.  Katie also has a strong knowledge of the administration, data collection and analysis of electroencephalography (EEG).  Additionally, Katie is a graduate of UNC's Translational Medicine program.  She is also a 2008 graduate of College of Charleston's Honors College with dual degrees in Psychology and English.

A lifelong swimmer, Katie began competitive swimming in South Carolina at age six and started coaching and teaching swimming at age sixteen.  Katie has twelve years of competitive swimming experience in summer league, high school, and USA Swimming.  She was named Most Valuable Player in high school swimming and was especially skilled in distance freestyle, Individual Medley, and butterfly.  As a teenager, Katie was trained by a certified Total Immersion coach, and this heavily influences her current teaching style.  In 2004 she was the youngest head coach in the swim league and recipient of its inaugural senior scholarship.  She has coached swim teams ranging from sixty to over 300 swimmers from ages four to eighteen, including supervision of multiple assistant and junior coaches and program design and implementation.  In addition to her extensive work with toddlers and children, Katie has been working with infants in the water since 2009. 

Katie created a program combining her knowledge of behavioral science and the best ideas from worldwide swim schools.  Her unique interest is the intersection between survival swimming and competitive-level stroke technique.  She believes that correct technique and survival skills are not mutually exclusive and that an understanding of both is necessary to teach swimming properly.  She strives to provide a program where the skills students learn will grow with them from skills necessary to save their own lives to ones that can provide a lifetime of enjoyment, as well as competitive success if they so choose.

Katie's heart beats for warmed concrete and chlorine.  She can't wait to see you at the pool.

Owner & master instructor

Katie Cleary: 

Teaching the science of swimming since 2003!