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Park District’s Jackie Gonzalez Named Aquatic Professional of the Month

The Association of Aquatic Professionals (AOAP) has named the Naperville Park District’s Aquatic Manager Jackie Gonzalez the August 2019 Competitor Aquatic Professional of the Month. The AOAP is a national organization that promotes aquatic safety, education, research, design and professional development in the field of aquatics. The Competitor Aquatic Professional of the Month award began in 2017 as a way to highlight an individual who has risen above the competition.

Gonzalez joined Naperville Park District staff in 2018 as aquatic manager, a role that includes managing Centennial Beach. Prior to her Naperville position, Gonzalez served as aquatic manager and risk manager at Park Ridge Park District. Throughout her 19-year career, she has been recognized multiple times for her leadership roles in state and national organizations such as the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) and the National Park and Recreation Association National Aquatics Network. Earlier this year Jackie was honored with the Jim Berousek Distinguished Alumni Award from the Western Illinois Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration Alumni Association.

As the Aquatic Professional of the Month, Jackie Gonzalez’ biography is published here:  The biography mentions several of her accomplishments at Centennial Beach in 2019, which include a successful lifeguard recruitment plan, creation of a new shallow water guard position, a new, younger-age water polo team and a new paperless system for completing daily reports at the Beach.

“We’re extremely proud of Jackie’s accomplishments in the field of aquatics and in her role as aquatics manager for the Naperville Park District,” said Brad Wilson, director of recreation and facilities. “The recognition she’s received from several organizations, including the AOPA, is a reflection of the positive impact and leadership she continues to demonstrate in community aquatics.”

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On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
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