The ACA is proud to partner with Kokatat for the ACA Instructor of the Month recognition program.
Submit a nomination here.
April 2013 - Martha Muckleroy
Martha has been paddling for over twenty years and she teaches paddlesports at Texas A&M University. While in her late 20’s, she took a road trip from Texas to Western North Carolina, where she fell in love with the Nantahala River and other nearby rivers. Her favorite places to paddle are the Nantahala, Chattooga, Ocoee, the Boundary Waters, San Juan Islands, and Alaska. Martha has been influenced by Chris Port, Anne Sontheimer and Jimmy Holcombe from the Nantahala Outdoor Center and attributes her success to the support and encouragement that the river community has provided her over the years. Martha is a teacher by trade and is always happy to share beautiful rivers and places with new students and old friends.
Martha is from College Station, Texas and is an ACA certified Level 4: Whitewater Canoeing - Solo & Tandem Instructor, Level 5: Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Instructor, and a Level 4: Whitewater Kayaking Instructor.
March 2013 - Chuck Conley
Chuck Conley lives in Virginia Beach and is involved in many
aspects of paddling. Competitive paddling is his passion, and he races
surf skis, kayaks and outrigger canoes. Recently Chuck was elected as
President of the Mid-Atlantic Paddler’s Association, the competitive paddling
club in Southeast Virginia. He sells Stellar surf skis and kayaks,
and he is an American Canoe Association Level 4 Coastal Kayak instructor
as well as a Level 3 Surf Kayak instructor and Level 2 Surf Kayak Instructor
Trainer. Chuck has been an eco-tour guide and guide trainer for almost
twenty years. He is also the organizer for the Hampton Roads Kayak
Meet-up Group. In 2011 Chuck started Team River
Runner-Virginia Beach, a non-profit organization that takes wounded warriors
and their family members paddling. It has become his passion and he feels
it is some of the most important work he has ever done. TRR-VB has
recently become a Paralympic Sport Club which will help it reach an even larger
population of adaptive paddlers. Chuck is married to Annette, his
favorite shuttle bunny, and has two great kids for paddling partners.
February 2013 - Jose Gonzalez
January 2013 - Terry Hobbs
Terry is a Level 3: Coastal Kayaking Instructor with the adaptive paddling and camping endorsements. He owns Severn Kayaking, LLC in Safety Harbor, Florida. Here he enjoys the Tampa Bay area and the diversity of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida, teaching paddling and camping to newcomers in paddlesports and improving techniques for paddlers of all skill levels. He strives to remind them never to lose respect for the sea. He also works with veterans who have suffered loss of limbs and has started a quarterly program with the City of Safety Harbor establishing a place for people of all abilities to come and have fun on the water. He also volunteers with the City of St. Petersburg assisting with their Adaptive Paddling Program. Terry said people drive over fifty miles to paddle a kayak during these programs. His favorite comment from one of his students who lost an arm in Vietnam is, "I never in my life dreamed I could paddle across Tampa Bay!" Terry truly believes kayaking is a wonderful sport to pass on to anyone who wants to experience and develop seamanship skills.
December 2012 - Steve Jones
is a Level 4: Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor Trainer, Level 5: Advanced
Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor and Level 3: Essentials of Surf Kayaking
Instructor. He is the lead paddle sports instructor for Cascade Canoe and Kayak
Centers and is the Assistant Coach of the Cascade Canoe/Kayak Racing Team, a Youth
Olympic Development program. Steve enjoys the dynamic diversity the Puget Sound
offers. From Surfing to rock gardens and
from 8 knot currents to beautiful glassy flat water, there is nothing better
than being able to share this wonderful playground with paddlers of all skill
levels. There is something in paddle sports for everyone!
November 2012 - Susan Patterson
Susan is an ACA Level 2: Essentials of Kayak Touring Instructor who loves her P&H Scorpio LV. Her favorite things to do while paddling are expeditions, exploring and surfing. One of her favorite paddling trips was the circumnavigation of Cumberland Island in Georgia. She learned to kayak and was certified by the ACA Pro School Geneva Kayak. She enjoys being an ACA instructor because it allows her share what she has learned with new paddlers so they can feel confident, safe and skilled on their kayaking adventures.
October 2012 - Ande Oliver
Ande works with the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) as the Outdoor Recreation Coordinator for Youth Programs. Starting as a camp counselor in 2003 and becoming the Youth Coordinator/Camp Director in 2007, he has a passion for working with kids in dynamic environments in order to help build confidence and encourage positive and appropriate decision making. As an ACA Instructor since 2004, he has been able to bring his same joy and passion of paddlesports to thousands of children and young adults in the Charleston area through safe practices and exciting programs. Notably, he, along with several colleagues from CCPRC and the ACA, provided the opportunity of a lifetime for numerous children from rural and underserved areas of Charleston County to learn how to canoe and take a 6 mile cruise down the beautiful tannin rich Edisto River (the longest free flowing blackwater river in North America). The teenagers' maiden voyage was a tremendous experience for all involved! Ande is incredibly gracious and honored to be chosen as the Kokatat Instructor of the Month and admits this award is a true testament for the dedication of his paddling mentors from CCPRC and the ACA!
September 2012 - Beth Weigandt
Beth is an ACA Level 4: Whitewater Canoeing Instructor Trainer, a Level 2: Essentials of River Kayaking Instructor and servers as the secretary on both the Introduction to Paddling Committee and River Canoe Committee. ACA staffer Kelsey Bracewell caught up with Beth in between courses and had the following conversation: How long have you been in paddlesports? I have been paddling, teaching, and leading trips on the water for 24 years. I was intrigued by the sport when I was a camp counselor, hearing about all the fun and excitement the week-long adventure paddlers had on the river. That program pulled me in and I haven't looked back! What is your favorite paddlesports? River Canoeing is definitely my passion. Traveling down river and navigating rapids is my favorite way to spend a day (or 2 or 3). I am expanding my horizons by recently adding river kayak instructing and looking forward to exploring the SUP discipline to paddle when I spend time on the coast.
August 2012 - Becky Harger
Becky has loved the water all her life and began participating in water sports as a youngster in Louisiana. After retiring from a successful career in Land Developing, she moved to Pensacola Beach. A new passion was born when she was introduced to Stand Up Paddling by her friend and mentor, Yancy Spencer III, who was one of the pioneers for Gulf Coast Paddle Boarding. After stand up paddling for 4 years,she decided to attend the ACA SUP certification course. At 60 years old Becky became the first ACA certified Stand Up Paddle instructor in the Florida Panhandle. Since then she has formed Water Warrior, LLC and has passed on her passion to more than 200 students from all over the world, this summer alone. She is very proud of her certification and the knowledge that her students have been introduced to this sport with fun and SAFETY in mind.