I graduated from Texas A&M University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Journalism. In 1996, I obtained my teaching certification and taught in a small border town for 3 years. I returned to Texas A&M in 1999 and graduated in 2001 with my Masters degree as a Master Reading Teacher and Reading Specialist. I spent the next 12 years working in Bryan ISD, College Station ISD, and at Still Creek Christian Academy in various capacities.

I've been married for nearly 19 years to my husband Mark who is a Bryan/College Station native. We own a commercial construction business called JMF Landworks that does pipeline work, underground utilities, land clearing, and pond & lake construction and repair. We also run about 250 head of commercial cattle.

My Why

When I became a mother to 4 precious little boys, their safety in the water was of the utmost importance to me. I began looking for a program other than Mommy and Me classes that would actually teach my children lifesaving skills but could not find anything. I accidentally stumbled across a video from a survival swim school in Australia that showed a baby rolling and floating. I was absolutely fascinated and instantly hooked! I just knew there had to be something similar in the US. And there was! Unfortunately, there were no instructors in my area, so I began researching what it would take to become certified.



... is to end childhood drownings...

I completed my training in October 2012 and have been an official Certified Survival Swimming Instructor for 9 years. However, I have been teaching swimming of all kinds for over 35 years, including stroke work, adult learn to swim lessons, open water swimming, and training triathletes.

After going through the rigorous 8-week training program and seeing the amazing results, I became even more passionate about water safety and ending the epidemic of childhood drowning. And make no mistake….it is an epidemic. Sadly, in 2018, childhood drowning passed up even congenital birth defects as the LEADING cause of death in children 1-4 years of age.

Education is the key to changing the narrative around childhood drowning and putting an end to it.

I am now a passionate advocate for drowning prevention in the Brazos Valley and surrounding areas. It is truly rewarding to give back to my community through drowning prevention education, CPR classes, and teaching children survival swimming skills. I am thankful and blessed for the opportunity to do so.

Just recently, I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors for the Judah Brown Project, a drowning prevention organization that provides education and scholarships for survival swimming lessons. In September 2016, Mark and Christi Brown lost their 3-year old son Judah to drowning and despite their grief are doing everything they can to end childhood drowning and make sure no other parent has to live the nightmare they are. They have become dear friends over the years as I became their niece’s instructor just weeks after Judah’s drowning. I am beyond humbled and honored to team up with JBP.
You can learn more here: JUDAH BROWN PROJECT

We’ve had a great experience with our son. He has now finished his second sequence and can float, swim and float again. Shellie teaches your child to float for safety. This summer when we were wading at the beach, my 2.5 year old was knocked over by a small wave and he immediately floated, even though he could touch the bottom!

Emily Little Stewart