NRPA Completes Fourteenth Year of Directors School with Thirty-Four Graduates

(September 11, 2020)

Directors School provides exclusive two-year leadership program for park and recreation directors nationwide

Ashburn, Va. (September 11, 2020) — The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is proud to announce the completion of its 2020 Directors School with 34 graduates from across the country. The Directors School, offered for the first time in a completely virtual format over the course of two and a half weeks, was a great success.

The NRPA Directors School is a premier, exclusive two-year professional development opportunity that prepares new and potential park and recreation directors to be effective leaders. The pinnacle school offers top-tier learning and a capstone experience for the park and recreation professional’s journey. Students who complete the program leave with the knowledge and confidence to face emerging challenges, improve operations and maximize positive impacts on their communities. This year’s students participated in both simultaneous and non-simultaneous course facilitation, with the opportunity to engage in optional office hours with instructors and other social interactions.

“The NRPA Directors School prepares new and emerging park and recreation leaders for the future. The faculty comprises some of the field’s best minds, bringing their experiences and lessons to students,” said Kevin Roth, Vice President of Research, Evaluation & Technology at NRPA. “Parks and recreation is essential — the NRPA Directors School helps today’s leaders make that case to government leaders, key funders and the general public.”  

“This year 75 students participated — including 34 graduates,” continued Roth. “The students were enthusiastic and engaged throughout the two and a half weeks, which included working together on creating and presenting case studies on a real-life challenge facing park and recreation professionals.”

NRPA congratulates the 34 graduates of this year’s Directors School: Carrie Anderson, CPRP, Larry Barabino, Jr., Peter Bardou, CPRP, Christopher Bass, CPRP, Michael Blomer, Monique Breaux, MPA, CPRP, CYSA, CPO, Beau Breunig, Jennifer Bruggeman, CPRE, Jessica Carpenter, CPRP, Robert Diaz, CPRE, Chelsey Dumas-Gibbs, Lisa Goorjian, Tracee Hall, Brian Holt, Christopher Horrigan, CPRE, Brittany M. Jones, Hunter Jones, CPRP, Alice Kinner, Adrienne Lacy, CPRP, Matt Lorion, CPRP, Fred Lowery, CPRP, Edward Matthews, MLS, CPRP, AFO, Avalon Mays, CPRP, Lisa McLeod, CPRP, AFO, Elisabeth K. McNiel, D. Seabrease Morsi, CPRP, Jamie Neldner, CPRE, Jason Olsen, CPRP, AFO, Corey Povar, CPRP, Chuck Ramm, CPRP, Eric Schneider, CPRP, Kimberly Shelton, CPRP, Annie Thomson, and Nicole Vickers, CPRP.

Ideal candidates for the upcoming 2021 Directors School include current park and recreation directors and assistant/deputy directors, along with mid-level managers working towards park and recreation director positions. Over 20 key subject areas were covered in the Directors School this year including leadership development, leadership for diversity and cultural awareness, environmental sustainability and climate, creating a high-performance agency and more.

Through the generosity of The Toro Company and The Toro Foundation, 20 student scholarships were granted in 2020.

For more information about the NRPA Directors School, click here

To learn more about NRPA, visit


About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit