Gurnee Park District employee Sue McDougle has been named Illinois Parks and Recreation Association's Recreation Section Professional of the Year for 2012.
McDougle is the park district's early childhood and youth programs manager. The statewide organization selects individuals annually who work for and support its mission of developing professionals in an effort to advance communities by providing the best parks, recreation and conservation resources and services.
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"Our park district is very proud of Sue and her passion for her career and the recreation profession. Sue has a long track record of addressing recreation needs, bringing people together through her position at the Gurnee Park District, as well as her volunteer involvement through out our community," said park board President James Goshorn.
At the Gurnee Park District, McDougle oversees a large preschool of more than 300 students. She also handles before- and after-school programs with more than 370 participants, a day camp with at least 830 enrollees and several general early childhood programs.
During her Gurnee career, McDougle has been involved in many districtwide initiatives including the planning committees for two strategic plans.
In her community, she is the Gurnee Park District's liaison with Warren Special Recreation Association that ensures people with certain needs get the proper inclusion services in programs. She also is a Woodland Educational Foundation board member and chairs the group's annual silent auction, which typically raises more than $13,000 for grants for teachers and students at District 50.
"Her exceptional dedication to the field, passion for people and leadership among her colleagues makes her an indispensable asset. We are very fortunate to have Sue as part of our team," said Lisa Sheppard, the park district's superintendent of recreation.