First person: Parks director sets youth activities as top priority

CNJ photo: Liliana Castillo Bill Bizzell of Clovis is moving from education to parks and recreation after 38 years in schools.

Bill Bizzell of Clovis is the new parks and recreation director in Clovis.

Bizzell has lived in Clovis since 1972. Currently, he is the superintendent of Bovina Independent School District.

Bizzell’s first official day on the job is May 17.

Change it up: This is a refreshing change. Early in my education career I coached and taught physical education for 16 years so yes, I’m familiar with parks and recreation. I was in education for 38 years. Parks and recreation is a passion for me.

What’s ahead: Youth activities and programs are a priority for Clovis. It’s a goal that we need to tackle as soon as we can. We should provide opportunity for our youth. I believe we should enhance the leisure and activities for youth. We’re looking at some type of youth recreational facility or youth center and a Boys and Girls Club and of course they come with a price tag.

I will be pursuing various funding opportunities out there. Clovis is lucky in that the economy hasn’t affected us as much. We want to place a walking, jogging and biking trail at Goodwin Park. We’re in the process of getting that funded.

I also want to work on some kind of community pride. I want kids to take pride in our parks. We have great parks. The graffiti and vandalism is getting out of hand. We want to provide a safe haven for our kids at our parks and areas. I hope when I’m through, I’ve made a difference with our parks and recreation department.

Family ties: My wife, Stacey, is a native of Clovis. She has gone to and taught in the Clovis Schools. We have two kids. My son, 32, is a pharmacist in Dallas. My 21-year-old daughter is attending Texas Tech University.

Hobby time: I play golf and enjoy all sports. And home and yard improvement is something we spend our time doing.

What of Clovis: I love Clovis. That’s the reason I’ve never left. I’m proud of what we have. Every community has its problems but I wouldn’t live anywhere else. It’s just the right size. It’s great to raise kids here. I was born in Roswell. I went to school at Eastern New Mexico University and stayed in the area. I began teaching and found a home.

— Compiled by CNJ staff writer Liliana Castillo