Friday Feature: Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Tara O’Shea

Tara O’Shea, assistant parks and recreation director, with her daughter.

Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Tara O’Shea first got involved in recreation as a teenager when she worked as a lifeguard. It was during this time when she became passionate about water safety.
“Part of the reason I’m so passionate about it is I have friends who were lifeguarding one day, and I should have been there. I was having finals, and I’d given up my shift; somebody drowned at the pool,” she said. “I feel that it (swimming) is an important life skill. I was lucky enough to learn how to swim early on. I feel like when you have been lifeguarding as long as I have, it’s just one of those things that you are passionate about. Because if you’re not, then why are you going to continue to do it?”
Tara earned a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Montclair State University in New Jersey and worked at a YMCA in the area as an EMT and community center director. She came to Fulton last year. Now she’s able to impart her knowledge of aquatics and water safety onto Fulton teens.
 “By working with my staff, that knowledge can go farther,” she said. “I was an athlete in high school and college. I wanted to be able to help people, but I didn’t necessarily want a 9-to-5 job or to be stuck in a building all day.”
In her new role, Tara oversees parks programming and activities, coordinates sport field usage, and manages the department’s aquatic facilities and programs. She’s looking forward to developing new programming for the Fulton community.
Outside of work, Tara is the mother of a 2.5-year-old girl.
“She’s my whole world,” she said.
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