Huntley, IL, MARCH 15, 2022 –Throughout the month of March, the Huntley Park District has hired Wesley Peete as their next Director of Parks and Facilities, and Jillian Kowalyszyn as a Recreation Manager within the Recreation Department.
Huntley Park District's long time Director of Parks and Facilities, Paul Ostrander, will be retiring at the end of March this year after more than three decades spent at the district. Over the course of his 32-year career, Ostrander played a crucial role in the construction, development, and growth of all Huntley Park District parks and facilities. Ostrander's successor, Wesley Peete, joins the Huntley Park District executive team after working as a Parks Operations Supervisor for the Fox Valley Park District in Aurora, Illinois for the past four years. Over the course of his career, Peete has been responsible for overseeing up to 68 total parks and managing a variety of staff within the parks and recreation industry. He completed his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois – Chicago in Criminology and Pre-Law and completed his master’s degree in Public Administration from Aurora University. Peete is also a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP), among other professional certifications he has obtained. Peete has been a resident of Huntley for the last 6 years, where he lives with his wife and daughter.
When asked about Peete's hire, Executive Director, Scott Crowe stated, “The Park District has been fortunate to have such steady leadership in the Parks and Facilities Department for over 30 years. With the departure of our current Director, there are big shoes to fill. I’m confident that Wes will bring his experience, education, and skills to the department to guide us into the next decade of park and facility developments, improvements, and updates.”
As the Director of Parks and Facilities, Wesley Peete will be responsible for maintaining and providing professional oversight to all Huntley Park District parks and facilities to ensure high maintenance, cleanliness, and safety standards for the community. Upon starting in his new role, Peete shared his feelings on starting his new role, “I’m excited for the opportunity to continue growing this District's amazing parks and facilities and take our services to the next level. I appreciate the opportunity to continue to work in my hometown. I don’t want to do a few things good, I want to do some things great.”
The Recreation Department made a key change to its team as well, with the addition of Jillian Kowalyszyn as a Recreation Manager. Kowalyszyn replaces Joe Patterson, who took over as the Director of Recreation for the agency in January of 2022. Jillian joins the Huntley Park District with extensive knowledge of working in athletics within a school setting as both a coach and as an assistant athletic director. Within this school setting, she has successfully managed, coached, and organized multiple sports teams, leagues, events, tournaments, and programs. Kowalyszyn has been responsible for developing a multitude of different athletic and recreational programs, while leading a team of coaches, part time workers, and volunteers. Jillian graduated with a bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University in Public Health. Professionally, Jillian is a Registered Athletic Administrator through the NIAAA. She lives locally with her husband and two daughters.
Recreation Director, Joe Patterson, shared the following when asked what the addition of Kowalyszyn means for the district, "We are excited for Jillian to join the team here at the Huntley Park District. Jill’s experience with running sports within a school setting will translate extremely well for our Park District sports programming. I feel her outgoing personality and willingness to learn are key attributes that will play an important role in successfully organizing and developing our sports programs and events for the community.
Jillian will be the manager directly in charge of athletics for the district, while also overseeing a variety of contractual programs. A large part of Kowalyszyn's new role will include managing a variety of full-time and part-time staff, including the Fitness and Special Event Supervisor. As she continues to transition into her new role, Jillian expressed her feelings on joining the Huntley Park District, "So far the Recreation Department has been fantastic. Everyone has been supportive and excited to get our Spring season going. I’ve been settling in great and I’m really looking forward to meeting families and watching kids take the fields outside!"
The Huntley Park District prides itself on providing recreation for generations and with the additions of Wesley and Jillian as a part of the staff, the district looks forward to continuing its high-quality service to the community.
For more information about the Huntley Park District, current activities, and opportunities to become a part of the team, visit www.huntleyparks.org.