A self-assured, energetic young woman hit the ground running when she joined the Norwood Recreation Department as the new Program Director less than two months ago. Catherine Seastadt, or “Katie” as she prefers to be called, stepped into the slot left vacant when Travis Farley moved up to the Superintendent’s position.
Seastadt comes to Norwood from a 10-year stint at Hull’s Park and Recreation Department where she served as director of their summer hoops and field trip programs. She said her experience really started in 2003 as a camp counselor. Seastadt earned a B.S. from Curry College in Communications and Education, and a M.Ed. from Northeastern University.
During her last two years at Hull, she also worked at Mount Ida College teaching education classes and advising students adjusting to college life.
Prior to her position in Hull, Seastadt worked in the Brockton Mayor’s office on the AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service programs that connect over 70,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, health, and homeland security. AmeriCorps’ members serve with more than 2,000 non-profits, public agencies and community organizations.
Why leave Hull for Norwood?
“Norwood is amazing,” Seastadt said. “Very welcoming. I’m excited to be a part of this very active community. I don’t think people realize just how involved Norwood residents are with the town. From organizations to individuals, there is a collaboration here that is really special…and that I have not seen anywhere else.”
One thing that surprised and impressed her was the yoga classes offered at the Civic Center.
“There are not only people in their 20s and 30s who participate, but people of all ages up to their mid-70s," Seastadt said. "That is unusual … and really exceptional."
Seastadt feels there is a good balance of programming at the present time, from tots to seniors. She plans to work to expand these programs, making them available when and where they are most needed.
“My objective is to figure out how we can best service families,” Seastadt said.
Seastadt said that even in her short time here, she’s learned there is no “typical” day. Her week is spent making site visits to camps and pools, and making sure all logistical issues are in place (for example, counselors available, each has sufficient supplies for the day’s activities, and the camps are ready to go). She also does a lot of social media work and customer service, informing the public of events and fielding many questions each day. Seastadt is also responsible for the recreation calendar which lists all programs and activities at the Civic Center.
Even though her days are incredibly busy, Seastadt makes time for family, competitive basketball, crafts, theater and travel. She is currently part of the Quincy recreation league which is gearing up for a championship basketball match. She also tries to get to a couple performances on Broadway each year. In fact, she stepped onto the stage in lead roles while in high school.
She has also traveled to every state in the United States except Alaska and Hawaii and plans to add them sometime in the future. Unfortunately, scheduling vacations is a bit difficult because her schedule and that of her husband’s are diametrically opposed. Hubby is a Brockton physical education teacher who is off during the summer; while for her, summer is crazy-busy for recreation departments and not conducive to taking time off.
Sports, theater, crafts, travel … is there anything this girl doesn’t do?
“Yes, I don’t cook,” Seastadt said. “I could probably whip up a dessert if I had to, but don’t ask me to put together a spaghetti dinner.”
One gets the sense that this gal could accomplish whatever she sets out to do – even cooking – if she wants to. Her people skills are excellent and she enjoys interacting with all ages.
“I’d love to meet and hear from people as to what ideas they have, how they feel about current programs and what they might like to see that we don’t currently offer," Seastadt said. "I invite people to come down to the Civic and talk with me.”
One can envision her borrowing Ernie Boch Sr.’s famous line … “come on down!”
Donna Lane is a Norwood-based writer, lecturer and designer. You can reach her at [email protected].