When the Huxley Parks and Recreation director position came open this summer, it didn’t take long for city leaders to realize the perfect person to assume the vacancy, Heather Denger, was already in the building.

Denger has worked for Huxley Parks and Recreation in various capacities since the fall of 2014, after she and her husband, Tim, and their three children moved to Iowa from Muskegon, Mich., which was where she grew up.

Denger is energetic, smart and has a vision. She’s well trained in her field, and she loves a challenge. It made the decision an easy one for the Huxley City Council as they unanimously approved her for the position at their Aug. 14 meeting.

She graduated from Cornerstone University in 1997 with a degree in physical education and minors in coaching and business. Over the course of the last 20 years, Denger has taught physical education, been an athletic director, taught a variety of group exercise classes, done personal training and coached volleyball for over 15 years. Prior to moving to Huxley, she worked for the Muskegon YMCA for nine years as its fitness director.

After moving to Huxley, Denger took multiple part time positions, teaching Group Exercise at the Ankeny YMCA, Huxley Parks and Recreation, Ames Racquet and Fitness and also as a personal trainer at Fitness by Design in Ames, before assuming a full-time position with Huxley.

“When the full time administrative position opened up, I applied, knowing it would be nice to work so close to home,” said Denger.

In her time with Huxley Parks and Recreation, Denger’s workout classes have been a hit with the public. She’s anxious to build off of that success and she has even bigger aspirations for her new position.

“I’m excited to bring positive changes to Huxley,” said Denger. “I want to be vested in my community and help others become vested as well… to be able to look back in 20 years and be able to show my grandchildren what we’ve been able to accomplish here. I want community. I’m hoping to help bring a Splash Pad, pool, dog park, better trails, gaga ball and so much more to this town.”

In her spare time, Denger loves working out and staying active. She is grateful for the opportunity to serve the community in her new role and is excited to see what the future holds.

Heather’s first big event with the community will be the Fall Family Festival at the Centennial Park shelter on Sunday, October 7 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. It’s a free event with pumpkin decorating, family photos, hay rides around the park, and free cider and donuts from Center Grove Orchard.