Fish Factory Swim School swim lessons

About Us

The Patterson family has been teaching swimming in Albuquerque since 1990. The family business began with Betsy Patterson and grew to incorporate her family as it became apparent that she’d built a reputation for fun, quality lessons. Continuing the family tradition Betsy’s daughter, Ashley went on to teach at various swim schools throughout the country. In 2013 Ashley returned to Albuquerque where she convinced her parents and husband to help her open Fish Factory Swim School. Teaching children to swim well and enjoy the water has always been our family’s passion and we look forward to sharing in your child’s learning experience.

Click here to see what others have to say about us.

Expand all FAQs Collapse all FAQs
Expand for bioCollapse bio

Ashley & Taylor Burns, Owners

Ashley and Taylor Burns

Ashley grew up as a competitive swimmer in Albuquerque. She began teaching swimming with her mother, Betsy Patterson, during her high school years. Ashley attended Louisiana State University and holds a degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Fitness Studies and Pedagogy. She is also a certified USA Swimming coach.

Following college, Ashley worked at swim schools around the country, continuing to reinforce her love for teaching swimming. In 2013, after a series of dinner conversations and scribbled ideas on the back of napkins, Ashley and her husband, Taylor decided to pursue her dream of building a swim school in Albuquerque.

Ashley has been teaching and coaching swimming since 2000, specializing in helping kids and adults with water anxiety and parent/baby lessons.

Taylor graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with his Master’s in Business Administration. Drawing on his former career in site selection and economic development, Taylor handles the business side of Fish Factory Swim School. His business expertise allows Ashley to plan curriculum and teach lessons while he handles taxes and financials.

Ashley and Taylor feel truly blessed to be able to do what they love and work together each day. Fish Factory Swim School has been a labor of love built on family support, for which they are so grateful. When they’re not at work, Taylor and Ashley spend time with the next generation of swimmers (their daughter Adair was born in December 2014), spoiling their dogs, working out at Turning Point Strength and Conditioning, and tearing up the links over at Tanoan!

Expand for bioCollapse bio

Jesse Lucero, Deck Manager & Water Instructor

Jesse Lucero

Jesse is an Albuquerque native who has been teaching and coaching swimming since 2003. He has coached competitive swimming for Duke City Aquatics and Charger 505 Aquatics. Jesse’s positive demeanor and unlimited patience make him a natural when it comes to teaching children and an invaluable instructor at Fish Factory. Jesse is a certified USA Swimming coach and also holds his EMT license.

Jesse’s favorite aspect of working at Fish Factory Swim School is helping kids overcome their initial hesitation of going underwater. He enjoys teaching the early Guppy stations because of the confidence the kids gain when they learn how to voluntarily hold their breath and swim underwater.

In addition to teaching kids to swim, Jesse provides swimming training and instruction to UFC athletes training in Albuquerque. His training focuses on improving the fighters’ strength and conditioning in the pool as a form of low-impact, cardiovascular intensive cross training. Jesse has worked with fighters like Travis Browne, Jon Jones, and Andrei Arlovski.

Outside of Fish Factory, Jesse is an avid snowboarder and motorcycle enthusiast. He enjoys working out with our friends at Turning Point Strength & Conditioning. He’s also a proud dad to his pitbull, Bruno.

Expand for bioCollapse bio

Jordan Wray, Deck Manager and Water Instructor

Jordan Wray

Jordan is an Albuquerque native who grew up swimming competitively for Duke City Aquatics and Eldorado High School. Jordan competed at the varsity level for Eldorado for four years of high school. Jordan began her teaching career during high school and has been teaching with Charger Aquatics and Fish Factory Swim School since 2009. Jordan’s fun and energetic personality keeps her students engaged and learning during their class, making her an asset to the Fish Factory Swim School team. Jordan loves what she does and it is evident when you watch her teach any class!

Jordan holds her CPR/Lifeguarding certification. She is also a certified United States Swimming coach. Jordan is pursuing her undergraduate degree in biology with a minor in psychology at UNM.

Jordan loves the atmosphere in the pool during lessons when all the teachers and students are busy learning and playing. She enjoys getting creative and finding new ways to get kids to succeed in their swimming lessons. Jordan loves teaching all our curriculum stations…she couldn’t pick a favorite!

Expand for bioCollapse bio

Lauren Jaramillo, Water Instructor, Parent/Tot Instructor, Front Desk

Lauren Jaramillo

Lauren grew up in Albuquerque and swam for Sandia High School at the varsity level for her four years of high school. Afterwards, Lauren began her teaching career and has taught and coached various levels of swimming since 2006.

Lauren’s contagious laugh and constant energy make her lessons the perfect blend of fun and learning. Her knack for organization and her friendly personality make her a great fit for our front desk when she’s not busy teaching in the pool!

Previous to Fish Factory Swim School, Lauren worked as a paralegal and holds her Associate’s degree in paralegal studies. She also holds her CPR/Lifeguard certification.

Lauren loves the environment at Fish Factory Swim School, where the swimmers can learn and play in a fun, warm and happy environment. She particularly likes teaching Guppy Station 3 because the kids feel truly independent in the water for the first time!

Outside of Fish Factory Swim School, Lauren enjoys practicing yoga (with our friends at Sweat Yoga), photography, and hanging out with her family (this includes husband Adam and Corky their Chiweenie).

Expand for bioCollapse bio

Phillip Zima, Deck Manager/Water Instructor

Phillip Zima

Phil is an Albuquerque native and Sandia High School graduate. Phil swam competitively for Duke City aquatics and Sandia High School throughout his high school career. Phillip has been teaching swimming since 2010 and is also a karate instructor at NM Shotokan Karate, AIMS High School and the Jewish Community Center.

Phil enjoys making kids smile and happy to swim. His friendly, playful demeanor makes him an instant favorite among our swimmers. He’s always ready with a funny song or a silly metaphor to help young swimmers better understand the skills he’s teaching them.

Outside of work Phil attends UNM where he is pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Biology. He’s a 3rd degree black belt and spends his free time practicing and competing both nationally and internationally in karate. He also enjoys training his puppy, Dodger.

Expand for bioCollapse bio

Bridget Hoodless, Deck Manager/Water Instructor

Bridget Hoodless

Bridget grew up as a competitive swimmer in Los Alamos. She went on to swim collegiately at UNM where she specialized in distance freestyle and the 400 IM. Bridget started coaching swimming during college with Duke City Aquatics under head coach Betsy Patterson. From there, Bridget went on to continue teaching and coaching swimming in New Mexico and Kansas.

Bridget obtained her Bachelors degree in English and Spanish while at UNM. She continued her education at Boston College, completing her Masters degree in Elementary Education. Bridget’s swimming and education background makes her a perfect fit for Fish Factory Swim School. Bridget loves that the FFSS curriculum teaches necessary safety skills that young swimmers need to enjoy swimming as well as providing a good technical foundation to encourage kids to become successful life-long swimmers! She enjoys being part of a teaching team that is so personally invested in each child’s success in the pool.

Outside of work, Bridget enjoys doing anything active…running, weight training, yoga, etc! She and her husband Michael love spending time with their new poodle Roux. After living briefly in Boston, Kansas and Washington for both her and her husband’s graduate school programs, Bridget is happy to be back in the Land of Enchantment, and we’re more than enchanted to have her on board at Fish Factory Swim School.

Expand for bioCollapse bio

Tyler Kelly, Water Instructor

Tyler Kelly

Tyler is an Albuquerque native who grew up swimming for Albuquerque High School, TCA and Midtown Sports & Wellness. Tyler coached competitive swimming for five years before coming to Fish Factory. Tyler’s knowledge of stroke technique and coaching principles make him a great instructor for any eager swimming student.

Tyler holds his CPR/Lifeguarding certification and is also a certified United States Swimming coach. He is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in Biology from UNM with a minor in Spanish.

Tyler enjoys the structure of the teaching system at Fish Factory Swim School as well as the opportunity to get immediate feedback from the deck managers regarding the swimmer’s progress. Teaching swimming also strengthens Tyler’s abilities as a competitive coach.

Tyler enjoys teaching the Fish in Progress curriculum, specifically station 6 because he swam butterfly competitively and enjoys teaching new swimmers how to be successful in a difficult stroke.

Outside of Fish Factory Swim School, Tyler enjoys coaching and riding his bicycle.

Expand for bioCollapse bio

Kim Freeman, Front Desk/Office Manager

Kim Freeman

Kim traveled with her family and was raised all over the United States while her father served in the United States Air Force. She attended Sandia High School and unlike the other folks here; she wasn’t a swimmer. She was an active member of Sandia’s marching band as well as the Continentals show choir.

Kim comes to us from a strong background as an Administrative Specialist/Instructional Systems Designer/Multimedia programmer/Human Resources generalist (aka a jack of all trades) at two Government contracting companies where she worked for a combination of 5 years. Kim truly enjoys customer service and organizational development, making her a great asset moving forward. She brings many odd and creative skills here to the Fish Factory Swim School.

Outside of work Kim is working on her Computer Information Systems degree. Her many hobbies include a passion for motorcycles, vintage cars, sewing, music, and fire dancing. But above all she loves spending time cuddled up and playing with her puppy, Dodger.

Expand for bioCollapse bio

Alene Hardin, Front Desk/Office Manager

Alene Hardin

Alene was born and raised in Albuquerque, attending Del Norte High School (back in the dark ages according to her). She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from NMSU and a Master’s degree in Special Education from UNM. Alene retired from Albuquerque Public schools in 2014, where she taught elementary school for 26 years. She says 7 year olds still own her heart!

Alene is an invaluable asset to us here at Fish Factory Swim School. She’s usually the cheerful voice you’ll get on the phone when you call. She enjoys working at FFSS because it still gives her the ability to be around and laugh with all the kids. She also likes working with all the crazy instructors on our staff to keep her refreshed and alert!

Alene is a master at finagling our hectic class schedules. She loves the challenges of trying to accommodate multiple kids in one family or helping a family schedule classes around their crazy schedules. Alene also loves to engage and entertain all our swimmers and parents here at Fish Factory Swim School.

Above all else, Alene loves to spend time with her family, especially her grandsons, Brooks and George.

Expand for bioCollapse bio

Betsy Patterson

Betsy was a fixture on the New Mexico United States Swimming scene from 1990 to 2014. Betsy served as the head coach of Charger Aquatics 505 (formerly Duke City Aquatics) and Sandia High School from 2002 to 2013. As a lifelong swimmer, she taught her own children to swim and to love the sport with the same passion and dedication that she possessed. Betsy also taught and coached thousands of children from 1985 to 2014 and remained a mentor, friend and role model for many of her students and athletes.

Betsy passed away on August 22, 2014 after a long battle with breast cancer. Her talent, passion and love were the driving forces that inspired our staff and made Fish Factory Swim School possible. Although her untimely loss has left us heartbroken, she found fulfillment in the realization of Fish Factory Swim School, and we hope our teaching will continue as an extension of her legacy and love for the sport of swimming.