Emily VanderwiltA new staff member recently started with the Jefferson Parks and Recreation Department.

Jefferson native Emily Vander Wilt is the new Assistant Director. She is a 2014 Jefferson-Scranton High School graduate. She is also a 2018 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa where she earned two bachelor degrees in Spanish and Health Promotion with an emphasis in fitness and wellness. While attending UNI, she was a fitness instructor and facility manager of the campus Wellness and Recreation Center for two years, and she recently completed an internship at the Cedar Valley Sportsplex in Waterloo.

She was hired as the assistant parks and rec director following the resignation of Sean Ostendorf this past spring. Vander Wilt talks about why she wanted to come back to her hometown to take the job.

“I had like dreams of living in like Colorado or in like California. But it actually came down to when I would come home. And it’s actually my parents neighbors, who they actually live next door to their parents and they have children of their own, so the grandparents get to see their children. I just didn’t want to have my parents go through the long distance (thing). My boyfriend got a job in Jefferson. And then everything just kind of fell into place.”

Her responsibilities will be mostly programming and she would like to implement some classes that teach Spanish and utilize the language. She officially started on August 6th.