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Begins Work In August-New Rec Director Named



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Begins Work In August—

New Rec Director Named

By Kendra Bobowick

Resident Amy Mangold’s first day on the clock as Newtown’s new Parks and Recreation Department director will be August 27.

“Great. It’s wonderful,” said assistant director RoseAnn Reggiano. First Selectman Joe Borst is also pleased. Considering the points on her résumé and history of work with the recreation department, he said, “I think she is well qualified for the job. I think she is a good choice.”

As just one of two internal applicants interested in filling the spot held by Barbara Kasbarian for 35 years, Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Edward Marks noted that the committee of three commission members and three out-of-town recreation professionals found the decision “very, very tough.” Two impressive candidates faced the hiring committee.

“We had two strong candidates and both had compelling cases,” Mr Marks said this week. Despite the difficult choice, Mr Marks is pleased to soon welcome Ms Mangold to the job. “She showed a passion during discussions” that encouraged the chairman. The end of August promises the beginning of a career boost in the recreation department for Ms Mangold, formerly the Teen Center supervisor, but as Mr Marks noted, “She’ll need to hit the ground running.” What will be the toughest part of the new job in his view? “Getting on board with things we’re planning for next year.”

Capital Improvement Plans including repairs to the maintenance building on Trade’s Lane are among projects she will be facing. Another project looms. A community/senior center slated to go up in Fairfield Hills adjacent to the new Newtown Youth Academy is another long-term project tugging hard at the recreation department’s attention.

The multiphased community center must pass rounds of approvals, from funding to design phases, while maintaining its appeal to youth, a sector of the public relying on recreational facilities, and seniors. Yearly department budgets also await the new director.

Mr Marks expressed his hope that retired director Barbara Kasbarian will continue to ease Ms Mangold into the job and remain the “resource” she has been in a part-time capacity as Ms Mangold sets herself up in the corner office in Town Hall South.

Meet Amy Mangold…

Ms Mangold has 21 years of supervisory involvement with the recreation department. Currently she is the Teen Center supervisor, and her résumé includes a bullet list of 13 strengths, including “Strong relationships with town leaders,” “Teen Center programs became a model for Connecticut towns,” and “Recognized by Connecticut Magazine for Teen Center’s success.”

Ms Mangold’s experience for the post reaches back to college, where she earned a degree in recreation and leisure from Southern Connecticut State University. She is certified, trained, and qualified in areas including CPR, outdoor leadership, canoeing, rock climbing, basic water safety, and playground safety. Her town and public involvement is extensive. She is the executive board treasurer of the Newtown Republican Town Committee, a member of the Chamber of Commerce Tree Lighting Committee, a Newtown High School Band Parent Cooperation member, and member of the PTA, National Parks and Recreation Association, and more.

Her job requires that she plan, develop, promote, and manage a comprehensive Parks and Recreation program, and take responsibility for school field and grounds management. She will work with the recreation commission and under the first selectman’s supervision. Ms Mangold will be responsible for managing personnel, activities, contract services, preparing short- and long-term plans for recreational needs, preparing the annual department budget, coordinating the department’s work with other government, commercial, and private agencies, and standing as a department representative.

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