Meet the Staff
Noemi Zaharia – Director of Aquatic and Fitness Center
A two-time Olympian (1988 and 1992), and two-time Olympic medalist (silver and bronze) in swimming, Noemi Zaharia brings over 17 years of Aquatic experience to MDC North campus. Her coaching expertise includes Division I competition, qualifying four swimmers for the 1996 Olympic Games, and training an NCAA champion and numerous Academic All American swimmers. Noemi has a Bachelor's of Arts in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University and a Master's of Science in Sports Management and Physical Education from Florida International University.
- USA Swimming Coach
- ASCA (American Swimming Coaches Association) – Level 5
- ASCTA (Australian Swimming Coaches and teachers Association) – Level 5
- USA Red Cross – CPR, First Aid and Coach's Safety
- Florida PE Teacher certification
Johannes "John" Thompson – Pool Manager
John Thompson returns to the Miami Dade College family, where he graduated from North Campus in 1988. Previously, he ran his own underwater maintenance company and worked for the Miami Shores Aquatic Center. A South Florida native, he grew up swimming, surfing and diving the local waters.
- Red Cross lifeguarding
- Red Cross first aid, CPR, and AED
- Red Cross oxygen administration
- CPT - Certified Pool Technician
- AFO - Aquatic Facility Operator
Alexander Garcia – Lead Lifeguard
Alexander Garcia was born in Miami, Florida. Raised in Galicia, Spain, until the age of 10, Alex is now the Lead lifeguard at the Miami-Dade College- North Aquatic and Fitness Center. He currently holds an EMS (Emergency Medical Services) degree and is pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant where he can utilize his skills to diagnose and treat people in their time of need.
- AFO (Aquatic Facility Operator)
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support
- Advanced Life Support
- Advanced Pediatric Life Support
- Basic Life Support
- BloodBorne Pathogens
Frank Valdes – Fitness Coordinator
After serving his country proudly for 8 years in the Marine Corps and government contracted agencies, Frank Valdes has turned towards his real passion in fitness and training. Being in the special operation community, Frank understands the discipline and importance needed of a healthy diet and lifestyle, and enjoys spreading his knowledge to all who seek advice and willingness to improve. He is currently seeking a Master's in Sports Management at FIU. Frank believes through hard work and sacrifice, one will be rewarded.
- NSPA National Strength Professionals Association Certified Personal Trainer
- Red Cross- First Aid CPR Certified
Andy Calixte – Health And Wellness Assistant
Andy is a hard working, enthusiastic, and dedicated individual who likes fitness. Graduate from North Miami Senior High School where he played basketball, run track and cross country. Current, Andy is a Miami-Dade College North campus student, studying Exercise Science. He is working towards becoming a certified personal trainer.
Shannon Peruyero – Health and Wellness Assistant
Shannon Peruyero is a freshman at Miami Dade College North Campus, studying pre-physical therapy/athletic training. She played a variety of sports at Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School, including volleyball, softball and soccer. In addition, she has played travel soccer for the Miami Lakes Optimist and Miami Lakes soccer clubs for 10 years.