WHITMIRE — A student teaching assignment helped put Willie Jarman on the path to becoming the new director of Whitmire’s recreation department.
Jarman, who graduated in May from Newberry College with a bachelor of science degree in Physical Education and Teacher Certification, began work on Aug. 5. During his senior year, Jarman worked as a student teacher in physical education and as assistant wrestling coach at Whitmire Community School.
“In the student teacher program you have a mentor teacher and mine was Jared King, the head wrestling coach at WCS,” Jarman said. “He knew I was looking for a teaching job or something along the lines of physical education and he let me know that the director’s position was coming open and I applied.”
Jarman was hired to succeed Beth Broom, who was leaving the position after seven years to become the clerk to the Commission of Public Works. While she loved being director, Mrs. Broom said she wanted to get a job that had a more regular, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday schedule. The position of director often required her to work nights and on weekends.
“I thoroughly loved it; I loved working with all the people, especially the children,” Mrs. Broom said. “I just needed to get more stable hours and so when Jolene Maness decided to retire I jumped at the chance to become clerk.”
Mrs. Broom said she is confident Jarman will make an excellent recreation director.
“Willie will do a wonderful job,” she said. “He’s young and got a lot of fresh ideas. I’m confident he will keep all of the department’s current programs going and bring some new things to the community.”
Jarman said he will work to build on Mrs. Broom’s success and continue the programs she’s created and/or nurtured over the past seven years. His main priority during his first week has been completing football and cheerleading registration. He said he has been talking with several people including King about instituting new programs and reviving old ones.
As for new programs, Jarman, who was a member of Newberry College’s wrestling team, has talked with King about incorporating wrestling into the recreation department. He said he is thinking about holding a wrestling camp next summer.
The Annual Senior Retreat to Myrtle Beach in October is another program plans to continue. In a related matter, Jarman said a member of the town council recently asked him about bringing back the senior day trips the department used to hold every month. He said he will work to restart that program, which was discontinued because of a lack of participation.
Whitmire is attempting to obtain grants to finance the construction of a skateboard park. Jarman said to help promote it he would like to hold a “Skating Day” in which Main Street would be closed off for skating and skate boarding for the town’s youth.