SOMERVILLE – Somerville’s newest Superintendent of Recreation is off and running. Jill Lathan, a Recreation Director from Casco, Maine, took the reins from Acting Director George Scarpelli on Nov. 3, and has gotten off to a successful start in the City.
Lathan comes to Somerville with over 20 years’ experience of administrative management, program development, recreational and athletic operations, and facility management. She is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Most recently, Lathan served as Recreation and Lifeguard Director at the Point Sebago Resort in Casco, Maine, and the Director of Recreation, Fitness, and Intramural Programs at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine.
“Jill is a rock star in the Recreation world, and she has a stellar resume to prove it. Somerville is extremely fortunate that Jill has decided to make this great city her new home, and to bring her skills, knowledge, and commitment to all of our residents, both young and young-at-heart,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Jill has a track record for using data and best practices to inform policy and program creation, and her advanced degree in the clinical field will further allow her to serve our residents in a variety of ways. We are excited to continue to introduce her to our community, and to growing and enhancing the programs we provide for residents.”
“Having had the honor of being a member of the interview panel, I have no doubt that Ms. Lathan will prove a welcome addition to a city committed to working, playing and raising a family,” said Alderman at Large and Chair of the Youth Services Committee Mary Jo Rossetti. “Ms. Lathan exemplifies all the important qualities we look for in a community leader, and I’m excited to continue working with her to ensure Somerville remains an exceptional community for our families.”
“I am very excited to be part of this vibrant and innovative City,” said Lathan. “Over these first few weeks, I have had the honor of meeting with several community members and organizations, and I am amazed and humbled by the passion, dedication, and fortitude that is Somerville. I have been searching for the chance to work in a community of character such as Somerville and I am wholeheartedly committed to this City. We can and will succeed because we are Somerville and we are destined for greatest!”
Lathan was a unanimous frontrunner in the nationwide search for a Recreation Director by an eight person interview committee. The search was guided by criteria and analysis conducted by the Mayor’s Recreation Task Force, which was created in Spring 2014. The selection panel cited Lathan’s experience and strong program background for all ages (toddlers to senior citizens, and underserved age groups) that spans not only athletics, but arts, music, and theater. Lathan’s extensive clinical and health background and her proven ability and commitment to recreation programming as a prevention tool serving at-risk populations and promoting mental health was also highly desirable.
For more information on the Somerville Recreation Department and its programs, visit http://www.somervillerec.com.