Letter to the editor: Departing rec director grateful for time in Middlebury

As I ponder my departure from Middlebury on Feb. 24, I am taken away by so many fond memories of moving here from the Pacific Northwest. As a public servant, it has been my honor and delight to serve so many community members in Middlebury and Addison County. Becoming the Middlebury Parks & Recreation director in January of 2013, I soon realized what a daunting task lay ahead of me. However, I knew that this was the place to put all of my skills, experience, knowledge and energy towards creating a premier and respected Parks & Recreation Department that could and would serve so many people over a short period of time and into the future.
Much to my delight, about nine months into my tenure, the selectboard charged a group of citizens and town employees to become part of a Facilities Working Group to help formulate plans to build a new town office building and a new recreation center. Much went into working through ideas and plans for these buildings, which would serve Middlebury for decades to come. I remember being overwhelmed with the amount of work ahead and the excitement of actually getting out of that old school building, which I had neither history nor an affinity for such a poor space for town employees to work and serve the public.
Today, joyfully, two years later, the Middlebury Recreation Center is a beehive of activity on Creek Road. So many powerful, productive and creative programs take place at this “new” center, and I am the proud director who will soon sail into the sunset with much fulfillment and gratitude for being part of a great endeavor to improve the lives of kids, families, active adults and seniors in this town and county.
Serving as the Parks & Recreation director for Middlebury has brought me extraordinary experiences of living and becoming part of the Vermont culture. This is a part of my life that will not be forgotten and I have so many people to thank for these experiences and memories.
My heart resides in the Pacific Northwest, where I will return to take my final position before retirement as the deputy director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services for the city of Edmonds, Wash., once a sleepy little hamlet just north of Seattle and now a burgeoning suburban city with great views of Puget Sound and people who love parks and recreation as much as I do.
Please know I am forever grateful that Middlebury would have me in their midst these past five years and it is my pleasure to leave you now with a fully functioning, well-known and active Parks & Recreation Department that I know will move into capable hands to carry on in new ways.
With gratitude,
Terri Arnold

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