WINSLOW — Sitting Friday in her office, nestled in the corner of the recreational center behind the Town Office, Amanda McCaslin says she has always enjoyed helping people.

McCaslin, 33, is the new director for the Parks and Recreation Department in Winslow. Previously, she worked as a case manager at the Maine Center for Integrated Rehab in Fairfield from 2006 until 2008 and then ran her household, which includes her husband Johnathan, 9-year-old twins Abigail and Ethan, and 5-year-old Emma.

McCaslin and her family moved back to Winslow from Vermont two years ago. Her husband grew up in Winslow and always talked about how much he loved his time at Winslow High School, she said, so they decided to move to there so their three children could have the same experience.

McCaslin has been working as a volunteer for a number of town organizations. She’s the craft fair coordinator for the Winslow Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization, coordinator of Winslow Youth Cheerleading and vice president of the Winslow softball league, among other things. McCaslin decided to apply for the Parks and Recreation opening because she was already involved in some of its programs.

“My husband and I both feel that you should give back to the community,” she said.

McCaslin’s eyes light up when talk to turns to department goals and the ideas rush forward.

She wants to add more programs for adults, give the recreational center a “facelift,” landscape the town’s parks, increase outreach and raise awareness about Winslow’s community garden, she said. She’s started to work on the department’s outreach already, creating a Facebook page devoted solely to the Parks and Recreation Department.

She also wants to give schoolchildren tours of Fort Halifax Park to educate them about the fort’s history, how the town got it’s name and what flows in the river.

“Fort Halifax is an amazing park with an amazing, rich history,” she said.

This will all be on top of her day-to-day responsibilities, which include maintaining the fields, giving out permits, managing program directors, creating a budget and managing work crews. She also has a list hanging up in her office of things she wants to improve, which she’s tackling one item at a time.

“There are so many pieces to the puzzle,” she said. The government process is another thing she has to learn, but she said she thinks it’s important and she finds it interesting.

On Sept. 12 the Town Council voted unanimously to approve McCaslin as the director. The selection committee that interviewed four candidates also unanimously picked McCaslin, Town Manager Mike Heavener said at the meeting.

“I’m impressed, and I think she’s going to do a great job,” Heavener said.

The director makes a little less than $30,000 per year and works 30 hours per week, which means McCaslin is also eligible for the part-time benefits the Town Council just approved.

Jim Bourgoin, the previous director, said he thinks McCaslin will do a great job. He worked as director for almost two years before taking a job as athletic director of the Winslow Junior High School and High School this summer.

“She brings a lot of energy, which is important,” he said. He said she also knows the towns needs in terms of parks and recreation.

Bourgoin and McCaslin both said that the learning curve is the most challenging part of the job. The department manages more than 30 areas in town and runs multiple programs.

“Every day I find out there’s a different responsibility,” McCaslin said.

She said that while it’s “very nerve-wracking” going into a new job, everyone at the Town Office has been very supportive.

“I love this town,” McCaslin said. “I feel blessed to live here. I think this is an amazing opportunity for myself and I’m hoping to be a blessing to the town as well.”

Madeline St. Amour – 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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