The City of Clinton announced on Friday that Jonathan Allen, a Goldsboro native who taught in Sampson briefly years ago, will be the city’s next Parks and Recreation director after beating out 57 other candidates for the job.
Allen will begin in the director’s capacity next month.
The new hire holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from East Carolina University and has served as the athletic program supervisor for the town of Clayton for the past 11 years. Originally from Goldsboro, Allen attended Rosewood High School. Not a complete stranger to Sampson County, prior to his time in Clayton, Allen taught and coached at Hobbton High School for one year.
Reached in Clayton following Friday’s announcement, the new rec director said he is excited about what the future holds.
“I’m excited about a community that’s excited about recreation, and you can tell in Clinton that there’s a lot of excitement there,” stressed Allen. “I’m ready to get in there and take a look at everything and see what’s there and see how it can be improved. Not to say it needs to be improved, but there is always room for improvement.”
He succeeds former recreation director Judi Nicholson, who stepped down in July after nine years in the position. City officials focused on filling the recreation director post in the months that followed, saying that an athletic director vacancy would be evaluated after the rec director position was hired. Whether it was filled or absorbed by existing staff would be based on the strengths of the new rec director, they said.
Allen brings more than a decade of experience in supervising athletics programs, which city of Clinton managerial staff have touted as a focus of the local recreation department going forward — notably youth athletics.
On Friday, city manager John Connet formally announced that Allen was selected from 58 candidates, having been rated as the top candidate in the Recreation Director Assessment Center exercises.
“Jonathan was one of our top candidates from the beginning of the selection process and he performed very well in the assessment center exercises,” said Connet. “The assessors were impressed by his knowledge, vision and ability to stay calm in stressful situations. During my background checks, I spoke to eight different individuals and each of them commented on Jonathan’s professionalism and ability to calmly deal with difficult situations.”
Allen is married to Virginia G. Allen, a teacher at Margaret Hearne Elementary in Wilson, N.C. and he is the father to 5-year-old daughter Mary Katherine. He will begin serving as the City of Clinton’s Parks and Recreation director on Dec. 11.
“I am excited about the opportunity and I am ready to get to work on continuing the great service, programs and facilities that the city of Clinton has provided for many years,” Allen said. “My family and I are looking forward to moving there and becoming a part of a great community base.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.