Mary Hayes DeRiemer was born and raised in the country of Panama where living in two cultures at once was normal. She graduated from college in the US and started a career in nursing. A couple of docs she worked with paddled whitewater. Reluctantly she was convinced to give the sport a shot. Six months after that first lake session Mary quit nursing and moved to the mountains of North Carolina to be near the rivers.
After a summer of freedom, based out of a tent along the Nantahala River, she hired on with the Nantahala Outdoor Center. For eleven years Mary taught kayaking to all ages, guided trips in the Grand Canyon, Chile, Honduras, and started NOC's Costa Rica kayak program, once again putting her Spanish to use. She served as the Assistant Head of Instruction for six years at NOC, the largest kayak school in the nation. While working and playing in NC, Mary won two US National Wildwater Championships and boated throughout Europe.
"Being a teacher, I know what effective instruction can
do. As Mary's student, I was awed by my own abilities! My kayaking lesson
became a "life" lesson
as Mary helped me connect with myself, trust that self, and move beyond
my perceived limitations."
- Linda Eastman, CA
As a teacher, Mary is known for her unique ability to communicate her passion for the sport and technical wizardry to others. Students comment on her ability to infuse them with confidence in an atmosphere of low pressure and high fun.