Paula Sloat Gordon

Profile Updated: July 12, 2014
Residing In: Sioux Falls, SD USA
Spouse/Partner: Rick
Occupation: Elementary PE Teacher, Swim Coach
Children: Step-daughter, Kelli Gordon Wagner, Husband Jeff, Children Chase, 6, Abby 3
Paul Gordon, 19, Sophomore, More…University of Iowa, Electrical Engineering, member of Hawkeye Men's Swim Team
Haley Gordon, 17, senior Washington High School, plays viola at WHS, swims for Snowfox Swim Team
Jack Gordon, 15, sophomore Washington High School, plays baseball for WHS and Sioux Falls East VFW, swims for Snowfox Swim Team, writes for WHS NOW, founder of WHS Rubix Cube Club
Attending Dinner (07/12/14)



OK Barb-thanks for the call-I'm on...
Jim and committee members-thank you for all the work on the reunion and the website! Had I any inclination what the next 10 years would hold, I never would have volunteered to organize this reunion. Thank you for stepping up to the plate!

A brief synapsys of the past 30 years:
Graduated from SDSU '83 BS in HPER, Athletic Training. Moved to Sioux Falls and began as Athletic Trainer at Brandon Valley in '83, began teaching PE in '85. In '84, I married Rick Gordon. In '89, shortly after the 10-year reunion, Paul was born, in '92 Haley joined us and in '94 Jack joined the family.

The first decade or so was spent at BVHS games, amatuer baseball games and raising small kids. In '91, Rick sustained a severe head injury after being hit in the head by a line drive in a baseball game. Raising small children and caring for an injured husband forced me to resign my athletic training, but I continued to teach at Brandon Valley.

In '98, Paul joined the Snowfox Swim Team and in '99, I began as an assistant coach for the team. Eventually all three kids joined the team and my role changed from very part-time to interim head coach, assistant swim coach, swim mom...I would have never guessed where that little black line on the bottom of the pool would take us!

Swimming is unique, as there is always another level and you can compete the best of your ability. It wasn't long before the Gordon kids became a well-known name in SD swimming. We began traveling the midwest, finding competition for kids. We've put hundreds of thousands of miles on our cars and in the air and spent our retirement income on airlines, hotels and restaruants. It has been an exciting journey, with 2007-08 the most exciting year so far!

As Paul moved up the ranks of USA Swimming, swimming at the Junior National level, he surprised everyone by qualifing for the 2008 US Olympic Trials! Timing was perfect, as he was being recruited by colleges across the country. With that same swim, he also qualified to be a member of the '07-'08 National Junior Team! Before we knew it, we were making plans to watch him in his first international competition in Melbourne, Australia.

With all the swim meets, we took very few family vacations, so the trip to Australia was the big event for all of us! Swimming is a big deal in Australia, so nothing beats cheering "U-S-A" and waving an American flag!

Summer of '08 was a blast! A week in July in Omaha at the greatest swim meet on American soil-the 2008 Olympic Swimming Trials! Omaha put on an exceptional meet and we were there to see all of it! Many of our Junior Team friends and thier families came together for a lunch and more friends were made. In fact, three of these former Jr. Team swimmers are in Rome right now for the World Championships.

We went to several other national level meets with Haley and Paul, such as Grand Prix's, Junior Nationals and Senior Nationals. To be a part of this level of competition (yes, I've met Phelps, but I'm friends with Ryan Lochte ;-) is just amazing! As I write, I'm trying to book flights and hotels for US Open and Junior Nationals (Paul and Haley) in August... We have also enjoyed watching Paul compete at the college level for Iowa in the Big 10 Conference.

Haley is now preparing for her senior year and going through the recruiting process herself. Jack is playing VFW baseball, so whenever I am not at a pool, I'm at a ball field! Very busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way!!!

As far as my personal life, all is going well there. Rick and I celebrated 25 years of marriage in April. I run on a daily basis, swim when I can and jump on a bike every now and then. I will be teaching k-5 PE in a brand new elementary, as well as continuing k-5 PE at Valley Springs, were I've been teaching for the last 26 years! I did a few years as an elementary computer teacher and 24 years in middle school PE as well. My passion is teaching to the whole child, encouraging them to take care of themselves and look to the future, including exploring college through PE (see my blog at

I wish I could attend the reunion, but I will be coaching a group of our top swimmers at the U of Minnesota Wednesday-Saturday. That meet is very important to Haley, so I need to be there! I hope that we don't wait another 10 years to reunite, but I will not be volunteering to organize the next one....

I wish all the best to each of you and encourage you to register on Facebook as well, where many of us are already regulars...

Have a great time,

Paula Sloat Gordon

Paula's Latest Interactions

Hide Comments
Paula Sloat Gordon has a birthday today.
May 25, 2018 at 3:33 AM
Paula Sloat Gordon has a birthday today.
May 25, 2017 at 3:33 AM
Paula Sloat Gordon has a birthday today.
May 25, 2016 at 3:33 AM
Paula Sloat Gordon has a birthday today.
May 25, 2015 at 3:33 AM
Hide Comments
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:33 PM
The Gordons and the Wagners, Christmas, 2008
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Kelli (seated), Paul, Jack and Haley
Christmas, 2008
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Chase & Abby Wagner
Christmas, 208