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New Recreation Director Aims to Strengthen, Improve Department

Amanda Deni was recently promoted from Interim Recreation Director after several years working as an assistant for the department.

Life working in the Sharon Recreation Department is nothing new for Amanda Deni. 

But in the last several months, Deni has had the chance to see the department from a new light, having taken on the role of Interim Recreation Director last summer prior to being appointed as the new full-time recreation director on Dec. 1, 2012.

"It was a great learning experience," Deni said of her interim role. "I got to learn about the director's role more than I did being an assistant. We do a lot of similar tasks, however being a department head is a little different. It was crazy, but good."

Sharon officials said Deni was an easy and welcome choice for the role, which was left vacant by former director Brett MacGowan last summer.  

"She ably demonstrated the confidence that I and the selectmen had in appointing her to the interim role," Sharon Town Administrator Ben Puritz said of Deni. "And since she has the ongoing experience as the assistant, and the five months of the interim position, there's a high level of confidence that her appointment will be very beneficial to the town and the growth and development of the recreation department. The appointment was very welcome and received."

Deni's career with Sharon Recreation began in September 2008, when she arrived as an assistant director. But her experience with marketing and recreation stretches back even further. 

Deni came to Sharon after working at Look Park in Northampton, where she interned and worked as a supervisor during the summer, overseeing various programs and activities. 

"It was something that I have related experience with," she said. 

And now, having climbed the ranks from assistant director to director, Deni plans to strengthen the programs and culture previously maintained by MacGowan. 

"There are a lot of things that I hope to improve upon moving forward," Deni said, citing such examples as the department's camps, sailing programs, and basketball program, among others.

Specifically, she said she hopes to boost the department's marketing.

"It's something that I'd like to bring back to light," she said. "We definitely would like to do some kind of mailing."

She added, though, that it's unclear if any new mailings or newsletters would be sent out on a seasonal basis. or on a semi-annual basis for the Winter/Fall and Spring/Summer portions of the year. 

"Everyone seems to be very well connected in this town," she said. "It's a competitive audience for us."

Deni is currently in the process of interviewing candidates for a new assistant director, the role for which she hopes to have finalists soon.

For more information on Sharon Recreation, visit sharonrec.com

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