With the Miracle League Complex pretty much complete, long-time Recreation Board of Commission member Kay Strickland has stepped down. At the Sept. 1 Board of Commissioner’s meeting, Chairman Keith Ellis announced the appointment of Scheree Howard to the commission.
“Scheree was a good fit [for the Recreation Board] to give a mother’s perspective, which Kay [also] brought,” Ellis said in a later interview. “Scheree is a good fit.”
Howard, who is the Administrative Coordinator for Newton County Fire Department, has been an active participant in recreation department programs. Husband, Tim Howard, has been a coach for the last 10 years, and an umpire for the over 10.
The couple’s four children have played at various sports offered by the recreation department since their eldest daughter, now 21, was five.
“I’ve lived here my whole life,” Howard said. “I just love the kids and the program and how important it is for our children to be involved.
“I hope that with my knowledge of the sports [programs] and the way things are run, I can have some type of positive influence with the board in supporting the staff. I’ve had great experiences with them.”
Department Director Anthony Avery said he has gotten to know Howard through her volunteer work and her family’s participation in various programs.
“She will be the voice from a parent’s perspective,” he said. “That will help us with the things we do with the Recreation Commission.”
“I’m honored to take Kay’s place,” Howard said, adding she has known Strickland since childhood.
Avery said Strickland had worked with the commission for years. “When she was reappointed last time, she had reservations about staying. I believe she wanted to spend more time with her family. Since we had started the Miracle League project, she wanted to stay on and see that through.
“I commend her for that,” he said. “It was good working with Kay. She’s a very thorough person. She always wants to see things done right for the kids.
“She helped a great deal,” he said.
The Miracle League Complex, which was dedicated earlier this year, is designed to all children, youth and adults regardless of any disability to play baseball, and access other facilities, including a playground.
“Right now, we have a field that’s not completed,” Avery said. “We are in the process of finishing. I’m looking forward to that.”
Avery said the other project that will be undertaken will be upgrades to all current park facilities.
Newton County Recreation is governed by a nine member commission, currently chaired by Danny Stone. All but one commissioner is appointed by the Chair of the County Board of Commissioners, with the ninth appointed as a liaison from the City of Covington, a position currently held by Shane Millwood.
The board meets the fourth Monday of every month.