06/10/07 — City names new director for parks and recreation

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City names new director for parks and recreation

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on June 10, 2007 2:00 AM

After months of reading through applications, conducting interviews and discussing potential hires, Goldsboro officials have secured a replacement for outgoing Recreation and Parks director Neil Bartlett.

Sonya Shaw, current community celebration arts and cultural programs supervisor for the city of Chapel Hill, has been named to the post.

Her first official day of work is scheduled for July 11.

The position became vacant when Bartlett applied for, and was named, retiring General Services director Joe Sawyer's successor.

Sawyer retired last year but has been serving on an interim basis.

Ms. Shaw, a Washington, N.C., native, said she is looking forward to moving "back east."

"I love the facilities that are in Goldsboro," she said. "I think they have some potential."

And she is excited about the prospect of a new Paramount Theater and Community building, too -- facilities she said will allow for more programming from the Recreation and Parks Department.

"They will give us more space and having more is a great thing," Mrs. Shaw said.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, it was Shaw's additional credentials -- two master's degrees and 14 years of experience -- and personality that made her a perfect fit to lead Recreation and Parks, Huffman said.

"She has a considerable amount of education," he said. "And she has an unbelievable amount of enthusiasm. She's the kind of person who will be able to really get out there and work with people."

Mrs. Shaw will likely be trained by Bartlett for a few days, which will allow her to get to know the staff and city better, Huffman added.

"I think (Bartlett) will certainly help her with the transition," he said. "He has the local knowledge."

Goldsboro's Recreation and Parks Department facilitates athletics and instructional programs. Additionally, it overseas operations and programming at Herman Park Center, the W.A. Foster Center, several city parks and the Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course.