NEW ULM-Visitors to the New Ulm Recreation Center may have noticed two new faces working at the facilities.
This month, the Park and Recreation Department added two key full-time employees. Bryce Bachman began working as the new aquatics and fitness coordinator on March 10 and Joey Schugel took over as the new recreation program supervisor on March 19.
Bachman grew up in Virginia, and says that "recreation runs in the family." Bachman's grandfather was a former recreation director in his home town, and his father is the current Park and Rec Director in Virginia. Bachman earned his bachelor's degree at Minnesota State University, Mankato, in 2009. After graduating, he served as the aquatics specialist in Bismark, N. D. In 2012, Bachman took a position in Omaha, Neb., that would allow him to work towards a master's degree. Following graduation, Bachman hoped to return to Minnesota, and the position in New Ulm came along at the perfect time.
Staff photo by Clay Schuldt
The Park and Recreation Department added two key full-time employees this month. Bryce Bachman (left) began working as the new aquatics and fitness coordinator on March 10, and Joey Schugel took over as the new recreation program supervisor on March 19.
For Schugel, accepting the position as Program Supervisor was a literal homecoming. Schugel is a New Ulm native, graduating from Cathedral High School. Schugel decided early on that Parks and Rec was his area of interest, completing a degree at Southwest State, Marshall, in sport management. Schugel worked for several Park and Rec Departments in the Twin Cities and with a couple of Community Education Departments. Schugel was delighted to have the opportunity to return to New Ulm and program in the city he was raised.
Bachman and Schugel's first task for the Rec Department is the scheduling and organizing of programs for the upcoming season.
"In this field, we are constantly looking ahead," said Schugel. "As soon as you kick off the summer, you are already thinking about what you can do in the fall."
Schugel added that planning for the future is vital in the Rec Department.
"Our department goal is to keep being innovative in the field. There are so many things you can do. You just want to stay ahead of the curve, be in touch with what people want and give them what they want."
Another major goal is overall community health and well-being. Use of the Rec facilities is quite high, but there is always room for new members. Some insurance companies even offer discounts to individuals with Rec Center memberships.
Bachman hopes in the future to partner with USA Swimming's Make A Splash Initiative. The initiative is a national child-focused water safety campaign with the goal of teaching every child in the United States to swim. Bachman explained that through grant funds from the initiative, the Aquatics Department could expand programs and reduce the cost of swimming lessons for individual and families. "With all the lakes in Minnesota, it is definitely important to be able to swim," said Bachman.
Park and Rec's two newest employees agree that New Ulm has great potential and are excited to start working in the community. Schugel commented that even larger communities cannot compete. "Coming in as a programer is just a great situation to be in because you can put things out there that the community is going to enjoy and hopefully improve the quality of life."