DeVries to be city recreation directorKevin DeVries hadn’t had a promotion since he joined the city of Mitchell. DeVries’ 18 years of patience paid off recently when he was named the Park and Recreation Department’s new recreation director.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Kevin DeVries hadn’t had a promotion since he joined the city of Mitchell.
DeVries’ 18 years of patience paid off recently when he was named the Park and Recreation Department’s new recreation director.
Billie Kelly, the recreation director for 34 years, is now the city’s human resources director.
Parks and Recreation Director Dusty Rodiek said choosing DeVries for the job was an easy decision.
“Kevin has been the recreation coordinator with the Parks and Recreation Department for 18 years and has been a key player in the success of almost all the youth and adult sports programs that we offer,” Rodiek said in an e-mail response to The Daily Republic. “He also has been involved with planning and coordination of many other events and programs in the Recreation Division, including the Aquatic Center. He is also very fiscally conservative.”
Rodiek said every major division of the department — the Rec Center, Recreation Programs/Aquatics, Sports Complex/Parks and Parks/Forestry/Lake Areas — has a supervisor responsible for that division and its budget.
“Each of them has similar responsibilities in their respective areas,” Rodiek said in the e-mail.
DeVries will be paid about $47,900 in the new position. He had served as recreation coordinator during his entire 18 years with the city.
DeVries, 41, is a Mitchell resident. He and his wife, Michele, are both city employees. She is a receptionist/accounting clerk at City Hall.
They have two sons: Sean, 20, a private in the National Guard who has been serving in Afghanistan since July, and Ryland, 12.
DeVries is a Wapheton, N.D., native who earned a degree in recreation at Northern State University in Aberdeen.
He said he was “lucky” to land a job with the city of Mitchell when he came out of college, since rec jobs are scarce in South Dakota.
DeVries said his goal is to continue to provide recreational and athletic opportunities for people in the community. Working with the budget will be an adjustment, he admitted.
“Just continue basically on the same path we have been on,” he said.
DeVries said the number of kids playing sports has declined slightly.
“There’s a lot more options for kids to choose from,” he said.
He said the youth programs can be competitive and also teach the sport without relegating kids to the bench.
“All of our programs are based on everybody getting to play,” DeVries said. “Our programs are geared more toward teaching them the fundamentals.”
The recreation coordinator worked with both youth and adult sports and activities. DeVries said he will continue to have a hand in that area.
He said he welcomes input.
“I love talking with people about ideas. All of our programs aren’t perfect,” DeVries said. “There is no one perfect program. Some don’t want to complain, but how else do we learn?
“That’s the only way we can fix them, if you come up and tell us about them. I want it to be the best program it can be, too.”
Jamie Hinkle is the new recreation coordinator and will start work Monday.
Hinkle, who has been working as a teacher’s aide, had worked at the Aquatic Center in the past and served as its manager. DeVries said they sought to hire someone who could handle the center and deal with those issues.
“She knows the pool’s ins and outs,” he said. “She’s going to be in charge of all the day-to-day operations.”
Rodiek said she’s a good fit.
“We are really looking forward to bringing Jamie onto the team,” he said. “She brings a wealth of aquatics experience, a lot of energy and a fresh outlook to the department.”