Endorsement Letter from Rick Flanagan for the Aquatics activities


Rick Flanagan
Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation (retired)
1635 El Paso Street
Pittsburgh, PA  15206

ESSER and Out of School Time Office
Pittsburgh Public Schools
Pittsburgh, PA

Subject: Endorsement of Coach Mark Rauterkus and Support for Expanding Aquatic Programs

Dear Committee Members,

I am writing to offer my wholehearted endorsement and unwavering support for Coach Mark Rauterkus's proposal to expand aquatic programs within Pittsburgh Public Schools. Having known Coach Rauterkus for many years through our work together in a city youth jobs program, I can attest to his dedication, leadership, and the positive impact he has had on the lives of countless young individuals.

Our collaboration within the youth jobs program allowed me to witness firsthand Coach Rauterkus's commitment to empowering and supporting youngsters seeking employment opportunities. As the swim camp director for Bloomfield Garfield Corporation, Mark played a pivotal role in hiring numerous young workers, showcasing his ability to identify talent, nurture potential, and provide meaningful opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Coach Rauterkus's visionary swimming programs, rooted in his extensive experience and passion for aquatic education, present an exciting opportunity for our school district. His ability to motivate and inspire students is unparalleled, creating an environment where not only swimming skills but also essential life skills are cultivated. Mark's programs go beyond the pool, instilling discipline, teamwork, and resilience in the participants.

Recognizing the current absence of systematic swim lessons for second-grade students, particularly due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Coach Rauterkus's proposal through U CAN Swim is a timely and critical initiative. It addresses a gap in our students' education, ensuring that they have access to essential swim lessons that contribute not only to their safety but also to their overall well-being.

Mark's innovative game play and teaching methods have proven to be highly effective in engaging and educating young minds. His approach aligns seamlessly with the district's goals, offering a transformative addition that will benefit our students for years to come. The positive impact of Coach Rauterkus's programs extends far beyond the pool, fostering personal development and creating well-rounded individuals.

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly endorse Coach Mark Rauterkus's proposal to expand aquatic programs within Pittsburgh Public Schools. His proven leadership, dedication to youth development, and track record of success make him an invaluable asset to our district. I am confident that his initiatives will not only address the current void in swim education but also contribute significantly to the holistic development of our students.

Thank you for considering this endorsement, and I look forward to witnessing the positive impact of Coach Rauterkus's programs on our students and our community.


Richard Flanagan
1635 El Paso Street
Pittsburgh, PA  15206

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