MIDWEST CITY -- Parks and Recreation Department Supervisor, Fran Gilles, recently completed the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Director’s School, a two-year program designed to advance parks, recreation, and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people.
For the past two years, Gilles has joined other parks and recreation professionals from across the country by attending the one week session that focused on all phases of park and recreation management and programming.
“Each weekly session included about 40 hours of classroom work that dealt with such issues as risk management, finances, goals, and park development and more,” Gilles said. “The classes were very intense and we ended each week working on a case study with fellow classmates,” Gilles added.
Gilles said the reason he attended the school was to gain additional training on how to run and operate an effective parks and recreation department and to get new ideas for his department. “Networking was an important part of the school. We were able to visit with our peers from across the country to learn what they are doing and how those good ideas could possibly be implemented into our community,” he said.
Gilles, the first parks and recreation professional from Oklahoma to complete the program, supervises a staff of 7 who oversee 35 parks, numerous youth and adult sports programs, events and activities on a year-round basis.