Renowned Clovis swim school shutting down

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After 59 years of teaching more than 60,000 kids how to stay above the water, parents are devastated to hear the Jan Thomas Swim School is closing. (KFSN)

It's time to say goodbye to the Jan Thomas Swim School in Clovis.

Jan Thomas has built a legacy here in the Valley, but after almost 60 years of business and being inducted into the United States Swim School Hall of Fame, the school is closing.

"Her swimming skills, I would say have gone from a 0 to a 10," parent Kristin Eachus said of her daughter.

Parents call the Jan Thomas Swim School magic and find it hard to believe how fast their little ones have learned to swim.

"Both of our girls, who are five and then this is Alex, she's three, were afraid of the water before coming here," Crystal Kelley said. "And now they're little fish."

After 59 years of teaching more than 60,000 kids how to stay above the water, parents are devastated to hear this Clovis staple is closing.

Kelley saw her daughter dive for the first time Monday afternoon and says there is just no comparison.

"We're at the point of what do we do now?" she said.

President and owner Jan Thomas has had kids visit her school from all over the country, and she says it's the largest seasonal swim school in the United States.

"The people we train here, we don't look for swimmers, we look for character and standards," she said. "So, we've trained for the character and teach the skill."

And at 80 years old, Thomas says she never wanted to quit but feels like the time is right to finally close this chapter of her life.

"We want to teach as many as we can, and we've had so many letters and calls over the years of close calls where children got out of dangerous situations alive, that's so rewarding," she said.

But she doesn't plan to stop giving back, Thomas is going to spend her time teaching others how to grow a successful business, and will even be giving out scholarships to the five Clovis high schools.

The first week of August is the last week the Jan Thomas Swim School will be open.

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