Mary Keller’s face is likely familiar to many visitors to the Enfield Senior Center, or the town’s recreation programs, but her new role puts her directly in charge of the center’s programs, at a time when the center is again switching to hybrid (in-person and online) programming, and hoping to expand to more in-person gatherings in the near future.
Keller, an Enfield native, has worked for the town for 22 years – first as a teenage lifeguard and teaching swimming lessons. Later, after college, she was a part time recreation director, and that position eventually became her full time job. She later took jobs in Simsbury and Agawam, but then returned to Enfield where she’s been since.
Most recently, she was deputy director of recreation – a position which oversaw the senior center. When Senior Center Director Sheila Grady left Enfield to run the Ellington Senior Center, as of March 26, it was decided that the three positions should become two.
“I was named deputy director of Recreation Services when the recreation, library, and senior center departments merged three years ago,” she said. “I spent a lot of time here and I have my office here. Looking at my role in the senior center already, it was just an easy transition to move me here. They’re doing a little re-organizing. Allison [Alberghini], who is over at recreation will stay there, but will be taking on more responsibility.”
Keller said her first goal is to get the hybrid programs up and running, and find ways to get more programming in place.
“We have some in-person programming, some virtual programming, and some of the classes are both,” she said. “We have arts and crafts classes, and fitness classes. The billiard room opened up again, and the fitness center opened up again. We are offering quite a few classes that people are getting ready for.”
The in-person classes are requiring participants to wear masks and stay six feet apart. The center is not open for dropping in – participants must be pre-registered for classes or programs or have an appointment.
Keller said the center’s accreditation is due for renewal in March of 2022, so the center’s staff will be looking at what it needs to do, starting this summer. Keller said she’s also exploring several options for new and returning programs that can take place as the pandemic restrictions hopefully loosen.
“We still need to make sure that they’re safe for everyone,” Keller said.
Keller’s father, Bob, also had a history of working for the town. He was a physical education teacher at Kosciuszko and Kennedy Middle Schools and was also the aquatics director for the recreation department.
Keller said she enjoys working for Enfield, which is why she’s done so for so long, and the transition to the new role has been really easy.
“The staff has been really good,” she said. “We’re just kind of looking forward to opening up and getting everybody back here doing what they like to do. For now, we’re just trying to make sure everything we have for this month is up and running. We’re looking at next month, and hoping we can expand on programming. If there’s anything people think we should do, they can call us or email us.”
For more information, visit www.enfield-ct.gov/432/Senior-Center.