'Making a difference'


Name: Edward "Eddie" Cosentino.

Job description: In fourth summer as supervisor of the Columbia Neighborhood Swim League, which has 2,070 children - up from 1,650 when he took over job - competing on 14 teams each Saturday between June1 and the end of July. League has a few swimmers as young as 4 and as old as 18; most are 7 through 11. Works mainly with coaches and volunteer parents who serve as team managers and organizers. Coached Clemens Crossing neighborhood team for five summers, then opened the River Hill pool for the Columbia Association, for which he is a permanent part-timer, with long hours offset by far fewer in the off-season.

Age: 26.

Residence: Hawthorn neighborhood, Columbia.

Personal: Columbia native who began swimming when he was 6. Wilde Lake High, Towson University graduate. Single. Teaches fourth grade at Hollifield Station Elementary School in Ellicott City. Chose elementary education "mainly because of the experience I had with kids that age when I was coaching swim teams."

Most rewarding part of job: "The kids, without a doubt. I really enjoy making a difference with the kids. It's different for me now, supervising all of this after all those years of swimming and coaching in the organization. But going around to meets on Saturday mornings is what makes it worthwhile."

Most challenging part of job: "It's like a three-ring circus sometimes, helping coaches, managers and supervising the whole operation. We just couldn't do it without the volunteers. But the key is preparation and organization. I try to get packets and information to my managers as early as February so they can start doing their jobs, which is trying to make sure the kids have fun. That's the name of the game."

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