Lake in the Hills parks director to retire

LAKE IN THE HILLS – The village is looking for a new director for its Parks and Recreation department, as current director Trudy Wakeman is scheduled to retire on Aug. 31.

Wakeman, who is a Lake in the Hills resident, also has a house in North Carolina to spend the winters. Her husband, Itasca Police Chief Scott Heher, also is planning to retire.

Wakeman has been with the village for 16 years, and had worked in Wheeling, Arlington Heights and Libertyville prior to working for Lake in the Hills.

She was the second full-time employee in the village's parks and recreation department and helped oversee the facilities grow from a handful of ball fields, tennis courts and basketball courts, to 80 to 100 acres of athletic fields.

She said the hardest part of the job was establishing the identity of the Parks and Recreation Department.

Now the department is able to provide recreational activities and "I think we're a viable force in the recreation area," Wakeman said.

Village Administrator Gerald Sagona said the village has added many park improvements and camps during Wakeman's tenure.

"Her name is associated with many of those items," Sagona said.

Whoever takes over the department, will oversee a $1.8 million budget and the villages park and recreational programming and facilities.

The village has 31 parks, two beaches and numerous other facilities, as well as youth camps, preschool and enrichment programs, after school care, and special events for youngsters and adults.

The parks and recreation director oversees four full-time employees and two part-time employees, as well as 75 seasonal staff members, according to the job posting.

According to the job posting, the village is looking for someone with a bachelor's degree in recreation, recreation administration or a similar field, with at least six years of progressively responsible recreation administration experience. It would be "ideal" if the the next director was a certified parks and recreation professional, the job posting says.

The position will pay between $85,259 and $117,738, depending on the person's experience, Sagona said.

Sagona said he hopes to have the position filled within three to four months.

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