The City of Leander has a new recreation supervisor who will be dedicated to managing and creating community events.
Heather Taylor, who has helped develop programs for young people at 10 military bases from California to Virginia, was introduced to the Leander City Council Thursday. She comes to Leander from Arlington, where she was the city’s recreation facility manager for the past three years.
“With Heather's background and experience, not only with local community recreation and special events, but her military recreation background, she will definitely take us to the next level and beyond," said Mark Tummons, Leander Parks and Recreation director.
Taylor, a single mother of two daughters, spent eight years developing programs to hold the interest of first-time soldiers and sailors prior to accepting the recreation supervisor role.
“She is incredibly creative and innovative, and I believe she will develop the types of recreation programs and events that will continue to expand to capture the interest of most every Leander resident," Tummons said.
Taylor will be in charge of managing Leander’s events, including the 12th annual Leander Bluegrass Festival, which is scheduled for Sept. 22 and 23 at the Mason Homestead on Bagdad Rd.
Taylor said she accepted the Leander position because it offered her the opportunity to help people. Along with raising her daughters, she said that has been her life's calling.
"Leander's growth is exploding," Taylor said. "There are going to be a lot of people coming here and they are going to be looking for things to do that are welcoming. We will provide those opportunities."
A native of Pottsboro, Texas near Lake Texhoma, Taylo, played basketball, softball and volleyball in high school. She attended the University of Texas at Arlington and then graduated from Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. with a degree in recreation.
It was in Springfield, where her husband was stationed at the Army's Ft. Leonard Wood, that she first developed her skills welcoming people and developing activities for young members of the military who were away from home for the first time.
"Basically, we developed programs for kids who were away from their families that created activities and a little community on the base," Taylor said. "It was just like the recreation department for a city. We just offered the young soldiers opportunity to get involved in activities and also to get to know us and the community and to develop friendships, and it worked."
Taylor later worked to develop similar programs for young servicemen and servicewomen at military bases across the country, including the Naval Air Station at Corpus Christi.
Leander officials are enthusiastic about what she can accomplish in their city.
"She and I have already been visioning on the types of programs that we can accomplish in the next few years to include enhanced summer camps, Christmas activities in Old Town, health and fitness fairs and classes, a kids triathlon, a sports fest, and specialized pet programs to name just a few," Tummons said.
“We are extremely fortunate to have Heather on our team," the parks and recreation director said.