Tuesday, 11/8/2020 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Achee brings more networking, knowledge to Parks and Rec

By Shannon Myres
Evening Star

Jeff Achee, Harker Heights Parks and Recreation, recreation superintendent brings more education and exposes the City of Harker Heights to a new network of knowledge and skills to better serve the community and the surrounding areas by becoming a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP).
“It helps you build a network. There are a lot of certified parks and rec professionals across the country that you can talk to, get advice from, give advice when you have it,” said Jeff Achee, CPRP.
Achee became certified by the National Certification Board (NCB) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NPRA) by meeting the educational and experience requirements and passing the certification exam.

Jeff Achee

Jeff Achee

The CPRP tested over a wide range of program planning, operations, administration, and management.
“It’s not only benefitial for me, but it’s benefitial for the city. If we have an issue that we’ve not dealt with before or a new program, I can reach out to other CPRPs and see how they’ve dealt with things,” said Achee.
Achee started his career as a parks operations trainee for Texas Parks and Wildlife.
“It started out as a lucky break and then it developed into a passion of mine,” said Achee.
Achee has been with the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department since 2013 and has performed in his current position as recreation superintendent since 2015.
“I’ve just really enjoyed the community, the people. People really have an interest in our programs, our athletics during my time here. It’s really fun,” said Achee. “They have an interest in making sure the programs are as good as they can be for their kids and the adult programs. They want to make it’s a family atmosphere. Everyone is just as interested in making sure our programs are as successful as we want them to be,” said Achee.
Achee said one of the more distinctive aspects of Harker Heights is due to the transient nature of the area. Many of the programs HH Parks and Rec provided are usually offered through volunteer groups in other areas.
“The fact that we actually run all of our youth sports in house is fairly unique. There’s not a lot of cities that do that,” said Achee. “It’s hard to build a volunteer base a lot of times because it’s a very transient area. It would be difficult to maintain continuity,” said Achee.
The Harker Heights Parks and Recreation team offer a wide range of programs, events, and opportunities for youth and adults.
“It’s not just building the community of Harker Heights, it’s also building a community within our programs. That’s been the most fun thing about working here,” said Achee.
Approximately 3,300 youths and 600 adults utilize the programs offered through Parks and Rec.
“It really is an honor to work in a place where people really care about the programs. It can be tough to get people involved, especially in the municipal government, and it’s tough to get volunteers,” said Achee. “But here, we have such a huge group of people that are so willing to help and really care about making things successful and making things fun. It’s awesome to see people step up like that,” said Achee.
Achee hopes the Parks and Recreation staff, volunteers, and he can continue serving and improving the quality of life for individuals in the Harker Heights area.


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