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Meet one of our FFAC Managers Gracie Cheville

Age and year of graduation? 20, graduated in 2019 from Collins-Maxwell High School

Parents? Doug and Marcy Cheville

What are you doing since high school? Attending University of Iowa. I will be a junior this fall. I’ve been majoring in Spanish, but am also looking to go into pediatric nursing.

What is your job at FFAC? Manager, one of four.

What have you previously done at FFAC? I was a lifeguard for three years and two years ago, I was the head lifeguard.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your experience as a lifeguard? Being alert and reading signals from people’s attitudes and body language. As you get more experienced, it’s instinctual. You know when someone’s struggling. You have to be here 110 percent every time you’re working. You can’t be half here – it has to be all of you here.

What do you enjoy most about FFAC? The atmosphere we all create. I want to have good relationships with all of the lifeguards. We know when it’s time to do the job and when we can have fun. The kids who come here make the job fun, too. In fact, it’s because I love kids that I want to go into pediatric nursing.

Did you have a brother who worked here? Yes, my older brother Jack was a lifeguard here for a number of years. He’s very experienced. I still ask him questions about lifeguarding. Now Jack is doing an internship this summer in chemical engineering. He’s also a student at the University of Iowa.

How many swimsuits do you own? Probably between 25 and 30. I have four work suits.

What is your favorite water-related activity? Laying out, doing laps in the pool, and just being with family while outdoors.

Do you have a favorite item at the FFAC concessions stand? Any ice cream.

What is it you have to say most often to the kids who are at the pool? “Get off the ropes.” “No diving (from the sides of the pool). Feet first.”

What else would you like to say about working at FFAC, which has been here since 2001? It’s still a great place. In the past, we’ve had some really great people working here. Tonya (former manager) was great. She was our pool mom. I really enjoyed working for her.

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