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Update: Former Principal To Head Parks

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) announced today that Ximena Hartsock, former principal of Ross Elementary, will replace Clark E. Ray as director of Parks and Recreation. Hartsock will assume her position as acting director next Monday.

Hartsock, 39, has been deputy chief for the Office of Teaching and Learning within D.C. Public Schools. Under schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, Hartsock has been in charge of summer school, afterschool and Saturday school programs - skills that Fenty said he was looking for since he wants to have a new focus on programming within parks and recreation.

Fenty said he has known Hartsock since he was a council member and that he did not interview any other candidates for the job.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  April 20, 2009; 1:07 PM ET
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I happen to know Ms. Hartsock and from the dynamic work she has done in the school system, I believe she will do a great job in this position.

Posted by: njoseph | April 20, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I think it is great to have someone working in Parks and Rec that has experience in schools. So much of the services they provide revolve around youth and Ms. Hartsock’s previous experience is directly related.

Posted by: robygeegee4 | April 20, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Hartsock brings to the job unflaggable vitality and a vision that is inclusive of all communities. She has demonstrated her ability to bring to fruition programs and goals that require great courage and dedication - and which benefit all people of the City.

Posted by: drdan2 | April 20, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Is everybody posting on this website also on Fenty's payroll?

Posted by: forgetthis | April 20, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

She may have been a wonderful principal and run an effective program for DCPS, but how does that qualified her to run an entire department that is as much about after school programming as it is about making sure the trash gets picked up in city parks and the grass gets cut.

Posted by: AdamsMorganChick | April 20, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

If Doctor Hartsock can bring the energy and never quit attitude she brought to Summer School to DPR they're in good hands. DCPS will likely be worse off without her though.

Posted by: dcbooks | April 20, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I had my godson in Saturday School and he really liked it. I am excited to have him attend programs at the parks if Ms Hartsock is running that now too.

Posted by: huilyn48 | April 20, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I too have met Dr. Hartsock and know her professional reputation quite well (I'm in education but not in DCPS.) While an unusual selection, she is committed to providing the best programming possible to the youth of the city. They can only benefit from her leadership of DPR.

Posted by: Rach70 | April 20, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The mayor is an idiot! Why wouldn't you interview anyone else?...oh because you know she will be your flunky and do your dirty I get it.

Posted by: wardt30 | April 20, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Hartsock is quite competent, but an educator. Though she had been princiapl of Ross for a minute, she most recently has been in charge of summer school and Aftercare, now part of the out of school time office. I just don't see the fit between an educator and someone running parks and recreation. More for her than Fenty. Wonder why she wanted to leave DCPS, which seemed a better fit for her skills and educational background, though I wish her the best of luck.

Posted by: chelita | April 20, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I know Dr. Hartsock and, as someone who has worked with her, she is completely incompetent. I don't know what the other commenters are talking about. She doesn't communicate and is difficult to get a hold of. Lots of broken promises. It won't belong before she is also fired. And why wouldn't Fenty as least interview someone else? The number one rule of hiring: never interview just one person!

Posted by: concernedcitizenindc | April 20, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Fenty fires another "good guy" He really hates people that have other ideas than his own.Fenty is so shallow!

Posted by: DCWatcher3 | April 20, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

As communities -- even nations -- proverbally are made on playgrounds of one's youth, putting an educator in charge of the D.C. Recreation Department may well prove to be a very good idea.

Indeed, if that gap between the end of the school day and the return of parents from work could be filled with programs that integrate recreation, health conservation, and education beyond the classroom, one might reasonably expect strengthen the school, the community, and the individual.

At least, I hope it works out that way and wish Dr. Hartsock the best.

Posted by: CodeVoyager | April 21, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Okay, I am really concerned. Doesn't Parks and Recreation serve constiuients other than school-aged children and young people? What could Dr. Hartsock--- the ONLY person interviewed--- say that convinced the Mayor that she has any background in working with the needs of adults and seniors who also use the facilities and participate in the programming? I, too, have had interactions with Dr. Hartsock, and frankly, while she may have had some ideas, her ability to manage effective wide-scale programming and have people around her who can implement effectively was not a strength, in my observation. And did the Mayor bother to look under the rock called fiscal management to see how Dr. Hartsock fared there? I suspect one might be surprised at what comes to the surface as I understand that those programs in DCPS under Dr. Hartsock were ALWAYS having "cost overruns." Really, isn't this just another ploy to have the Chancellor be in control of more pieces of the city's resources as it relates to children and youth in this city? Think about it.

Posted by: AshakiGoodall | April 21, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

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