City bids farewell to long-time parks employee
Susan Edward served in the City of Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Department since the city was in its infancy.
So, when Edward retired as Four Freedoms Park program supervisor on Friday, her replacement knew she was going to have huge shoes to fill.
Myri Del Leon, senior recreation specialist, a 12-year employee for the city who served at Lake Kennedy Center before moving across town, is the one who will receive the torch.
Steve Pohlman, Cape Coral’s Parks and Rec director, said Edward started as a contract worker at the tennis center, but it was when she came to Four Freedom’s that she really began to shine.
“She really embraced and developed our preschool and VPK program. She said the thing she will miss most are the children she saw grow up to become great individuals,” Pohlman said.
Del Leon said she knows she has a hard act to follow.
“She is incredible. She is a great leader as well as a team player. She really made a big impact on the community with her work at Four Freedoms Park,” Del Leon said. “I have big shoes to fill in the ways of leadership and creating a friendly environment she did.”
Edward and her team played an intricate role in preparing young children for their future education with early learning opportunities such as VPK, Tiny Toads, summer camps, extended learning opportunities and more.
Edward also led in offering many inexpensive recreational programs and maintained a park that is a landmark within the community.
Edward’s position will be filled in house by Del Leon, who recently earned certification as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional by the National Certification Board and the National Recreation and Park Association.
Del Leon graduated in 2011 with a Master’s degree in public administration from Strayer University, and just attended the first year of a two-year management program at the Oglebay Revenue and Development Management School in Wheeling, W.V.
Del Leon has been with the Parks and Recreation Department for 12 years and will continue to serve, educate, empower, and enrich the lives of many at her new location as Program Supervisor at Four Freedoms Park.
“Myri has always wanted to advance within the department, and during the interview she did a great job showing she had the ability and skills to get the job done,” Pohlman said. “I’m confident we’ll be in good hands.”
“I want to continue the great leadership she offered in the community,” Del Leon said.
Pohlman said another woman, Cher Bell, the city’s fine arts supervisor, will be retiring at the end of the month after nearly 30 years with the city.