Teacher Trades Chalk For A Job With Parks & Rec

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After 17 years as a business teacher at Payson High School, Teddy Pettet has resigned to accept a job as a Town of Payson recreation coordinator. Pettet officially took over the job July 1.

In addition to teaching at Payson High, Pettet has been the Longhorn baseball coach since 1989. In 1998 after leading the Longhorns to the state championship, he was named the state's small-school coach of the year.

He has been told by school officials, he said, that he will be allowed to continue as the Horn baseball coach.

As the town's second recreation coordinator along with Beth Kreider Pettet will focus on individual and team sports.

With another coordinator in place, Kreider will now be in charge of events and activities, Parks and Rec Director Bill Schwind said. Adding a second coordinator to the recreation staff, Schwind said, was a must due to the growth of his department.

"We now offer about 200 programs ... we're going through the roof," he said.

Prior to Pettet's hiring, Kreider's duties included overseeing all the town's programs, which was a job too big for one person, Schwind said.

The new sports coordinator said his hiring will allow the department to continue to expand its sports and recreational offerings.

His duties will include overseeing all youth and adult sports, including assigning and training of officials and coaches.

He'll supervise youth sports camps held annually in basketball, wrestling and tumbling. His duties also include coordinating all fall/winter basketball and volleyball leagues, summer softball offerings and the youth soccer program.

Included in his jurisdiction, he will also oversee T-ball, Punt Pass & Kick, Diamond Skills and other youth sports competitions, as well as scheduling league games and tournaments.

Assuming the reins of the new position, Pettet said, will be a challenge he's looking forward to. "We can now make improvements in most all areas, allowing the recreation program to have a greater impact (in the community)," he said.

One of the biggest obstacles Pettet will face is finding enough gym and field space to conduct the sports.

"There is no doubt we are limited in the amount of programs we can run because of that," he said.

His goal will be to work in conjunction with the local school district to effectively coordinate use of the athletic fields and gymnasiums the Town depends on to conduct its programs.

As a former teacher and current coach, Pettet could have the school ties to serve as aneffective liaison between the recreation department and PUSD.

Pettet's hiring, Schwind said, was not a difficult choice. "He brings a wealth of sports knowledge and has deep roots (in Payson)," he said.

The son of H. Ted Pettet the first mayor of Payson and former PHS multi-sport coach, the new Recreation Coordinator was a Longhorn basketball and baseball standout from 1974 to 1977.

Following his graduation from PHS he attended Grand Canyon College in Phoenix, where he earned a BS degree in 1982.

For the past eight years, he's worked part-time as a town recreation leader, supervising many of the same activities he will oversee in his new job.

In addition to teaching, coaching and serving as a rec leader, Pettet has been a longtime high school football and basketball official.

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