Hi. My name is Tim Renz and I am a SCUBA addict…
I was first certified with Scuba Schools International (SSI) in 1992 at A&E Aquatics, owned and operated by Walt Amidon. I then followed Walt to ScubaSet, then followed him to Underwater Sports store in Federal Way, then to the “new” ScubaSet, owned by Walt. I took a couple of years off of diving due to some now resolved medical issues and the addition of a new baby. When I was last instructing, I was an active diver, having completed nearly 200 dives in the last year of instructing. I am currently an inactive Instructor, but, I have progressed through the SSI experience and training levels up to the Dive Control Specialist Instructor (SSI DCSI #46687). I have also been previously O2 certified.
I have been involved in other SCUBA related activities, mostly through REEF (The Reef Environmental Education Foundation) based out of the Key Largo, Florida. I have progressed to the highest level of Surveyor for the Pacific Northwest Region achieving a Level 5 status and actively participate on the Advanced Assessment Team. I am one of a select group of divers who carry a special permit to ID and remove invasive tunicates from the Puget Sound and Hood Canal. I am also a Level 3 surveyor for the Hawaii region and have completed several surveys in Florida.
April of 2009, I was nominated and subsequently elected to the Washington Scuba Alliance board of directors. WSA is the voice of the scuba diver in Washington state, lobbying the legislature to keep, and expand, diver access. Served in this role for a couple of years.
I was also actively involved in the Puget Sound Depth Chargers Dive Club. I have led Club Dives and I also provided the Audio/Visual needs for the club meetings.
Besides SCUBA, I am a High School Biology teacher. I have almost 20 years of experience in the High School and another 7 years at the Elementary level. I have also facilitated in-service trainings with adults. I am a professional educator. I decided to combine two of my loves together. Being a successful educator and a successful diver, it just seems natural that I should be a Diving Educator. Although I am currently inactive, being a Diving Educator was a huge part of my story. It was such a joy to be able to introduce the underwater world to new divers.
I am the proud father of two wonderful sons and an amazing daughter. The oldest son, a trained Chef, completed his Open Water Diver certification with SSI the end of March, 2008 and finished his SSI Advanced Open Water program August, 2008. He was originally an SSI Scuba Ranger when he was only 8. He is quite the fish and has really enjoyed our snorkeling trips to Hawaii. He is such a great snorkeler that he just recently taught his grandmother how to snorkel. Her first comment “I wish I would have learned how to do this 40 years ago.” My other wonderful son is a college student. He has been a bit of a reluctant water person, but, before our big trip to Hawaii the summer of 2007, I taught him how to snorkel. What a difference that made. As soon as he could see and breathe underwater, his confidence soared. He absolutely loved snorkeling in Hawaii. He helped me ID many of the fish that we saw and definitely has an eye, and brain, for Fish ID. He completed his Open Water Diver certification with SSI in January 2016. He then was pretty inactive for a year or so and has just recently started diving with me again in December of 2017, which coincided with him getting his own gear. My daughter was born in March of 2016. We were having dinner the day before a planned dive trip to Hawaii when my wife, who was also my Dive Instructing Partner, announced that we were finally pregnant after a several years of trying. That changed our vacation plans, but, it has been worth it. Two years later, we are headed back to Hawaii, with the daughter in tow, to introduce her to the wonderful underwater world.
The following is still true, even if I’m not currently instructing.
I believe in the SSI Total Teaching System. I remember doing the research about the different agencies when I was first looking at getting certified. I believed then that SSI’s program was the best, and now, with the recently updated curriculum and finely tuned enhancements to the original Open Water Diver program (as well as the continuing education courses), I know that it is still the best.
If you want to be just a certified diver, then maybe a different program is right for you.