NRPA Certification Benefits District and Staff
After 11 years with the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, Cathi Ellis’ career was at a crossroads.
She excelled at her position, knew THPRD’s processes and operations, and was ready for the next level. But how could the then-program coordinator prove it?
“Deb Schoen, my direct supervisor at the time, challenged me to get a CPRP,” Ellis recalls. “She said it’s what I need to do to show I am serious about a career in parks and recreation.”
The Certified Parks and Recreation Professional designation tests a candidate’s knowledge on five competencies: communication, finance, human resources, operations, and programming. Offered through the National Recreation and Park Association, it’s the industry standard for excellence.
Ellis was one of the first to earn a CPRP while employed at THPRD. That was about 2 1/2 years ago. Since then, more than 20 staff members have obtained the designation, driven by an organizational commitment to staff development and best practices.
“We place a high value on the certification,” said Aisha Panas, THPRD director of Park & Recreation Services. “It shows that our employees are the best of the best.”
Shortly after earning her CPRP, Ellis was promoted to supervisor of the Garden Home Recreation Center. Along with proving her diverse skill set, the certification connects her to colleagues both districtwide and nationwide.
“You join a larger circle of professionals,” she said.
The process also boosted Ellis’s confidence in THPRD as an organization.
“This is a pledge to our patrons and colleagues that we follow nationally established best practices,” she said, “and is a great opportunity for staff development and engagement.”
Formed in 1955, THPRD is the largest special park district in Oregon, spanning 50 square miles and serving about 250,000 residents in the greater Beaverton area. The district provides year-round recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Offerings include thousands of widely diverse classes, 95 park sites with active recreational amenities, nearly 70 miles of trails, eight swim centers, six recreation centers, and about 1,500 acres of natural areas. For more information, visit www.thprd.org or call 503-645-6433.
Director – Communications
|Date: April 18, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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