Hoover named as parks and rec chief

Jared Hoover

Jered Hoover stepped up to the plate this week to take over Shenandoah County’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

The longtime county resident and athlete began his duties Monday, replacing Pam Salokangas who resigned in November. Hoover receives a salary of $58,449.

Hoover served as sports supervisor, a position he held since joining the department in 2004. As supervisor, Hoover oversaw the development and implementation of youth and adult sports leagues. Hoover also supervised the maintenance of the county park in Maurertown.

Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass said the department will try to fill the vacant full-time position created as a result of Hoover’s move. County officials picked Hoover from a pool of more than 20 candidates.

“It simply validates his selection, to have done a search and to have interviewed some very, very well-qualified candidates, and that Mr. Hoover was selected speaks to his experience, his capabilities, his understanding of the parks and recreation field and of Shenandoah County Parks and Rec in particular,” Vass said.

Hoover graduated from Central High School in Woodstock. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Bridgewater College in 1997. Hoover also played basketball at Bridgewater College.

“I’m a local guy and I’m definitely glad for the opportunity to stay local and continue serving the citizens of Shenandoah County and beyond for that matter,” Hoover said Wednesday.

Past and future recreational projects remain on Hoover’s radar.

“We just want to continue offering quality programs at a high level and making sure we’re serving everyone’s needs, from the preschool age to the seasoned citizens, so to speak – mainly programming needs, assessing what the county wants and needs as far as recreational opportunities, is something on my agenda,” Hoover said.

The Board of Supervisors accepted a gift of 300 acres from the estate of Zula Wagner in March 2013 for use as a public park. The county has not yet adopted a master development plan that would outline how the department would use the property. Hoover said “realistic goals” for the use of the land include “passive recreation” activities that the department plans to implement this summer.

“We’re definitely going to utilize the space that’s been given to us and making sure we’re putting things to good use out there,” Hoover said. “But I think it’s down the road as far as development of any sort.

It’s a great opportunity for passive recreation because of where it’s located at,” Hoover said. “Outdoor recreation – there’s a huge demand for that now in the recreation world.”

The good relationship between the department and the county school system plays a major role in providing recreational activities to residents, Hoover said. Agreements between the two entities allow the department to use school facilities for many of its programs.

“They’re a great group of folks to work with and each school definitely takes all of our needs into consideration,” Hoover said.

Hoover, 40, and his wife, Angela, have four children and live in Edinburg. Hoover participates in the department’s activities and plays in the softball and basketball leagues.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com