SILER CITY — Two recent hires within the town’s Parks & Recreation Department will provide additional support in expanding programs and recreational facilities as Siler City grows.
Tylr Stinson and Jenny Clark have joined the department as the recreation coordinator and athletic programming supervisor, respectively.
Clark began working for the town just over a year ago as SCP&R’s administrative assistant. While working there, the athletic programming supervisor position became available.
“My background is largely in administrative work, but specifically, facilitating youth sports for quite a number of years,” Clark said. “And I thought that [new position] would be a good fit for me.”
Clark previously worked as a volunteer coach and commissioner for the youth soccer league in Holly Springs. She oversaw scheduling games and assigning referees, and also co-founded the Holly Springs Football Club. While there, Clark worked closely with the Holly Springs Parks & Recreation Department.
“Once you start volunteer coaching, it just kind of snowballs from there,” she said. “We just enjoyed it, and it was just a great way to kind of get involved in our community and give back to our community.”
Crossing over the county line, Clark said she is making it her mission to give back to the Siler City community. The department is working to develop a Parks & Recreation Master Plan, which will lay out a set of goals and plans for improvements and additions to the department.
One of Clark’s main goals is to start what she started in Holly Springs: a town-sponsored soccer league.
“I hope I can get some support from this community to create a youth soccer program here at Siler City,” she said. “I know there’s a lot of interest here. I know with the amount of people that are coming into the area, I personally would love to see that.”
Clark added the growth coming creates a need for more recreational facilities and athletic programs for youth and adults.
“I think it’s important to offer these types of programs to the community,” she said. “Children need things to do — it’s great community involvement, and there’s just so many things that sports bring to the table. I think it’s important that any town try to provide a robust set of options for their citizens.”
Stinson works as the recreation coordinator, organizing the town’s special events, maintaining the community pool and overseeing ongoing programs. He came to Siler City from Winston-Salem, where he’d worked as a recreational therapist at Salemtowne Retirement Community. In his hometown of Level Cross, Stinson said he and his siblings helped their father with his business, Stinson Electric.
“We grew up helping our dad with his own business as an electrician and learned many skills, including the importance of a strong work ethic and having a passion for what we do for a career,” Stinson said. “Ultimately, this led to me attending Randolph Community College to figure out what it is I truly wanted to do for a career, and strategies for how I planned to get there.”
Stinson graduated from RCC in 2019 with two associates’ degrees, then transferred to UNC-Greensboro to finish his undergraduate degree — earning a bachelor’s of science in recreation and parks management in 2021 with a concentration in therapeutic recreation.
Originally, Stinson wanted a career in healthcare, and after graduation, he got the job as a recreational therapist. But Covid-19 changed the way Stinson felt about the healthcare field.
“I truly enjoyed working with the geriatric population,” he said. “However, with all the death that corresponded with working in geriatrics and the strict Covid-19 polices, it became too much to handle … I was losing my passion for what I do as a career.”
Around the same time, Stinson met former Siler City Parks & Recreation staff member Randall King. He said King told him about upcoming opportunities in Siler City, specifically within King’s department.
“He (King) informed me about the opportunities Siler City had in store, and the much-anticipated growth expected to come to this small N.C. town,” Stinson said. “This is where the recreation coordinator position fell into my lap … the only questions I had: Is this a sign? Could this be my passion?”
The decision to switch careers was a scary one for Stinson — he had just married his high school sweetheart, Kayla, and bought a new home. The couple ultimately decided that Stinson would pursue the Siler City-based job.
“I knew this was the choice for me,” he said. “I’ve only been with the town a little over a month and can already tell this was a great choice. Not to mention how the whole town staff just welcomed me right in, as if I was a part of the family already.”
Stinson has been busy planning the town’s Easter Eggstravaganza (held last Saturday) and the Spring Chicken Festival (May 6).
“I may not know what’s ahead,” he said, “but I’m sure it’s where I’m meant to be at this point in my life.”
Reporter Taylor Heeden can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.