Who We Are

Nurturing Water Therapies’ mission is to nurture the human body and spirit of those who are health challenged. Our services complement your existing therapies and treatment.

We help people of all ages with sensory, developmental, neurological, physical or other health challenges.

We know what it’s like to have loved ones who require life-long care and we are impassioned to help you.

Our Team


Sandy Karlek, Owner She/Her

Sandy Karlek, owner of Nurturing Water Therapies, has a BA in Communication/Recreation and is certified in Aquatic Therapy, Exercise Therapy and Ai Chi. She has over 30 years of experience in aquatics working with a diverse group of clients, across all ages, with various congenital or acquired health challenges. With a child of her own with special needs, she also has firsthand experience in behavioral, sensory and developmental challenges. Sandy’s innovative water-based therapy, water safety techniques, and exercise programs are individually created to best fit the needs of each individual. For more about how Sandy got started and more, please read her blog.

photo for website

Jackie Cavins, Office Coordinator She/Her

Jackie is the Office Coordinator for Nurturing Water Therapies. Her education and initial career path was a paralegal, and she worked for numerous family law and criminal defense attorneys in Tacoma; but life and her special needs kids took her into a different direction in 2012.  In her spare time she is a PTSA President, HOA President, and manager of her son’s soccer team. Jackie lives in Renton and loves spending time with her husband and two boys,  and she is a huge Seahawks and Sounders fan!

Jenny 2019

Jenny Petty, Program Coordinator She/Her

Jenny Petty has been teaching swim lesson for over 30 years.  She grew up a swimmer and loves the water and has a passion for teaching kids how to swim. Her patience and enthusiasm while working with clients in incredible. She is motived to give people of ages and abilities a quality water experience, designed to meet their specific needs. Her specialty is working with children with special needs and more than anything loves seeing when they accomplish a skill and the light bulb comes on and they feel safe and confident in the water. Jenny is currently the Program Coordinator for Nurturing Water Therapies and we are thrilled to have her on our team!

PIC 2022

Angie Hobby, Instructor, She/Her

Angie Hobby grew up living near the ocean most of her life.  Before marriage and kids she was on her way to being a marine biologist.  She has years of experience working with kids of all abilities.   She spends every summer at a camp with her family and is either cooking or teaching beginner swimming to young campers. She and her husband are licensed foster parents. In her spare time she hangs out with her husband and 3 daughters and works at her families catering company.

Charlie Margolis

Charlie Margolis, Instructor, He/Him

Charlie Margolis has returned back to NWT after leaving due to closures due to Covid-19. Charlie’s experience working with people of all ages and abilities, both in and out of the water makes him an invaluable part of our team. Along with his graduate degree in nutrition education, Charlie is certified in Watsu and also has a teacher certification and has been an emergency department technician. Charlie has  worked as a certified nursing assistant, carpenter, landscaper, histologist (anatomic pathology) and a jack-of-all trades guy. Through it all, Charlie had always enjoyed keeping his feet in the water. He was an infant and toddler water safety swim instructor; assisted with an MS water aerobics class; and continued his training and education in aquatic therapy and adaptive swim lessons.


Jordan Harnar, Instructor, She/Her

Jordan Harnar has been swimming for several years. She has been on multiple swim teams and has played water polo. She is experienced in teaching swim lessons to kids of all abilities. She’s a peer coach and assists in a social skills class at her high school. She is lifeguard certified and has taken the course Children with Challenges through USA Swimming.  She enjoys being in the water, working with kids and meeting new people. In the future she hopes to work in the psychology field.


Ashley Thompson, Instructor, She/Her

Ashley Thompson is a West Seattle native that has a strong background in early childhood development. She has worked in childcare for many years and has done volunteer work for the Red Cross disaster relief program. She has a passion for physical movement and is currently a dance teacher to pre-k students focusing on motion, rhythm and building confidence through creative expression with an emphasis in movement. Aside from her training in adaptive swimming, Ashley has experience working with different levels of children on the spectrum and has family and close friends with disabilities. Ashley has always had a strong connection to water and enjoys sharing that connection with others.


Carlie Vasquez, Instructor, She/Her

Carlie Vasquez began working with Nurturing Water Therapies in 2018. She has coached high school swim teams for over ten years, Special Olympics teams for three years, and assisted in creating adaptive swim programs for high school athletes, and dry land/kinesiology exercises for a local synchronized swim team. She has worked with kids of all ages and abilities. She is currently completing her degree in Kinesiology to enhance to expanse background in sports and fitness therapy, swimming and nutrition. Carlie enjoys working on improving biomechanical deficiencies in water to increase proper technique and time drops, and is great at meeting her clients where they are, setting goals and progressing their swim skills.

Cooper Profile pic

Cooper Brandli, Instructor, They/Them

Cooper has been swimming since they were 7 years old as a member of the Somerset Rec. Club swim team. They also swam competitively as part of Issaquah Swim Team’s Steelhead program and for the Olympic Cascade Aquatics swim team. They are a senior at Newport High School, where they participated on Newport’s varsity water polo and swim teams. Cooper was an assistant coach for Somerset Swim Team’s Sharkies pre-competitive swim team, and served as a lifeguard and swim instructor at Somerset and Edgebrook Swim Clubs.


Rebekah Sweeney, Instructor, She/Her

Bekah Sweeney has been swimming as long as she can remember, growing up she practically spent her entire summers in the pool. As Bekah got older, this didn’t change much as she stayed busy in the water participating on swim-team, working shifts as a lifeguard, and teaching lessons to all levels. She enjoys sharing her passion for swimming with others and being able to help others excel. She has experience working with all sorts of children with various needs including ASD and ADHD. She is currently enrolled as a student at WGU and hopes to graduate with a certification in elementary and special education within the next few years.


Zara Mecklai, Instructor, She/Her

Zara is a senior at Mercer Island High School and aspires to be a pediatrician. She has been an artistic swimmer for nine years. She has several years of experience assistant coaching and has worked with children ages 6-12. She is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair for Washington state and has advocated for athletes with disabilities rights in artistic swimming. She enjoys working with kids and she is excited to help them grow. She loves to read and she is a passionate Formula 1 and football fan.

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