March 16, 2023

Jake Atchoo recognized at annual conference honoring entrepreneurs’ outstanding efforts


TROY, Mich. (March 8, 2023) – The International Franchise Association (IFA) recognized Goldfish Swim School franchisee Jake Atchoo with its prestigious annual Franchisee of the Year Award at its 2023 convention, held Feb. 28-March 1 in Las Vegas.

The Franchisee of the Year Award, sponsored by IFA’s partner, Paychex, recognizes leading franchise owners from IFA member brands whose outstanding performance and contributions help protect, enhance and promote the franchise business model.

Nominated by their parent company, individuals are selected for their service to their communities, fostering a strong and vibrant workforce, opening the doors for career growth and entrepreneurship and supporting their fellow franchisees. 

“It’s truly an honor to see one of our Goldfish family franchisees recognized for standing out in the industry and living our brand’s values,” said Chris McCuiston, CEO and co-founder of Goldfish Swim School. “Jake’s Gaithersburg school was one of the first that piloted and adopted the Golden Learners program, which is just one example of how the school celebrates, goes above and beyond, and promotes diversity, equity and inclusivity while teaching their community to be safer in and around the water.” 

Jake Atchoo, who worked with Fortune 500 companies and as a licensed real estate agent before becoming a Goldfish Swim School franchisee, opened his first school in 2018 in Centereach, New York, and opened two additional locations in Rockville and Gaithersburg, Maryland, in 2020.

“Five years ago, I became an entrepreneur and entered into the world of franchising with Goldfish, allowing me the opportunity to both grow as a businessman and follow my passion for swim safety and education,” said Atchoo. “As a Goldfish franchisee, I help children overcome their fears, teach them to respect the water, have fun swimming and celebrate their accomplishments along the way.”

Last year, Atchoo was honored with Goldfish’s 2022 School of the Year Award for his Gaithersburg swim school as the top in the system that embodies the brand’s core values. Those core values are: Creating a Golden Experience, Providing Wow! Customer Experience, Treating People with Integrity, Compassion & Trust, Meeting & Exceeding Expectations so you see Extraordinary Results, and Making a Big Deal Out of Life’s Accomplishments by Remembering to Celebrate.

Consistently outranking its competition, Goldfish Swim School continues to prove itself as the top-rated and most established swim school franchise in the space that is hungry to dive into the world of franchising.  Franchise opportunities remain available in California, Dallas and Portland, Oregon, as well as throughout Canada.

For more information on Goldfish Swim School and its franchise opportunity, please visit or call 248-801-1850.

About Goldfish Swim School

Founded in 2006 by husband-and-wife team Chris and Jenny McCuiston, Troy, Michigan-based Goldfish Swim School provides swim lessons and water safety instruction to infants and children aged four months to 12 years. Classes are led by specially trained instructors in a safe, child-friendly environment using a research-based philosophy called The Science of SwimPlay®. Since opening its first franchised location in 2009, the brand has grown to more than 140 schools in over 30 states, with an additional 150+ in development. Goldfish is ranked No. 69 overall in Entrepreneur’s 2023 Franchise 500® and has been recognized as the #1 children’s fitness franchise for seven consecutive years, was named to Franchise Times'  Top 500 for 2022 and is rated as a Top Franchise by Franchise Business Review for 2023. Goldfish Swim School is currently in the process of expanding franchise opportunities throughout North America. For information on franchising, go to