Westfield Area Y is pleased to announce their Head Coach of the Aquaducks, Kate Johnson, was recently awarded the 2013 East Coast Zone Coach of the Year award at the Senior Zone Championship in Binghamton, NY. 

Kate has been Head Coach for five years and a member of the Y coaching staff since 2003. She was a former synchronized swimmer for the Aquaducks from 1991-1999. While on the Aquaducks, she earned many national placements along with her teammates, including 1997 US Open Trio 2nd place, 1997 AG Nationals Trio 3rd place, 1998 AG Nationals Duet 3rd place, 1998 Sr. Zone Duet Champions, 1999 Sr. Zone Trio Champions.

She then went on to swim on scholarship for Canisius College where she helped her team earn two third place and two fourth place national titles while also coaching for the Orchard Park Penguins. Kate was named to the All-American team in 2000 and was an Academic All-American from 2001-2003. She was team captain from 2001-2003 as well as the team representative for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. She was voted team MVP in 2003. After college, Kate came back to the Aquaducks both as a swimmer and coach. She competed at Phase 3 and 4 of the National Team II trials in 2004. Kate has a BS in Elementary Education and Special Education. She currently works as a Special Education teacher, teaching children with autism. She is pursuing her Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. Her background as a special education teacher has helped her recognize the individual learning styles of each swimmer and apply the strategies needed to help them grow as athletes. 

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Kate was so excited to receive this award and states, “I love this sport, and I know what it has done for me in my life. I strive to foster a positive environment to make all my swimmers love this sport too.  This sport requires a large commitment from the swimmers and they spend a lot of time at the pool. It is important that the girls learn how to push themselves and encourage their team mates, how to communicate with their coaches and other swimmers, how to manage their time, how to set goals and achieve them, and how to be responsible. These are lessons that we teach as coaches.”

On behalf of the Westfield Area Y, we congratulate Kate on her achievement and continued success with the Westfield Area Y Aquaducks. 

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Visit westfieldynj.org to learn more about Westfield Area Y programs.  Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.