Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  SPORTS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
home  |  archives

Rob Potter | Democrat

Michael Greco, who is the new Director of the Village of Monticello Parks and Recreation Department, encourages village residents to take advantage of the programs which the department offers.

Michael Greco enjoys new job as Monticello Parks and Rec. Director

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — November 23, 2010 — Even though he only became the Director of the Village of Monticello Parks and Recreation Department about seven weeks ago, Michael Greco is thoroughly enjoying the job.
“Things have been going well,” Greco said as he sat at his desk in his office at the Ted Stroebele Recreation Center last Tuesday morning.
Greco spend a great deal of time volunteering to help Pedro “Pete” Tweed, who was the former Director of the Village of Monticello Parks and Recreation Department. When Tweed retired in August, Greco became the department’s interim director.
He then interviewed for the job with village officials. In early October, Village Manager John Barbarite informed Greco that he had the job.
“A lot of people interviewed for this job,” Greco said. “And a lot of them would do very well with this job. But I am glad to have this job and work with kids.”
Many of the Monticello Parks and Rec. programs and events are geared toward youth. Greco feels that working for a year and a half as a Hall Monitor at Monticello Middle School prior to coming to Parks and Rec. helped prepare him for the job.
“As a Hall Monitor, you see kids when they are not at their best – they are mad or they are sick,” Greco said. “You try to talk with them and help them if you can. Ms. Wood, Mr. Doyle and Mr. D’Ambrosio really helped me learn how to work with those kids.”
The helpers Greco spoke of are Monticello Middle School Principal Deborah Wood and Assistant Principals Greg D’Ambrosio and Jason Doyle.
Greco also worked with the YMCA of Sullivan County for a couple of months. He noted that YMCA Associate Program Director Ross Miceli helped him learn more about organizing programs for children.
“If a child is playing, they are not getting into trouble,” Greco said.
Greco is determined to offer as many youth programs as possible. For example, Monticello Parks and Rec. is partnering with Teen Link to Community to present a 10-week program which offers whiffleball, basketball, indoor soccer, kickball, dodgeball and arts and crafts. The arts and crafts sessions are held at the Stroebele Center, while the other activities are held at the Cooke and Rutherford Elementary Schools. The fee to participate in any or all of the events is $10 for Village of Monticello residents and $20 for non-village residents.
Monticello Parks and Rec. recently held the NBA/WNBA Fit Dribble, Dish & Swish, a timed basketball skills event for youngsters. Next year, the department will hold two more youth competitions sponsored by professional sports leagues – the NFL’s Punt, Pass and Kick and Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit and Run.
In addition, Monticello Parks and Rec. held a dance for teenagers last Friday night at the Stroebele Center featuring music by DJ Smooth. Greco hopes to hold similar dances every month at the center.
“It’s a safe, fun place for kids to come and dance and enjoy themselves,” Greco said.
Monticello Parks and Rec. also has programs for senior citizens, including shuffleboard. And a seniors group meets at the Stroebele Center every Thursday.
“The seniors are great,” Greco said. “It’s been nice getting to know them, even though they beat me in shuffleboard.”
While shuffleboard may not be his best sport, Greco brings a good sports background to his job. He played baseball for Coach John Spear at Monticello High School. After graduating in 1986, Greco returned to Monticello High School the following year to serve as a volunteer coach for Spear. Greco then spent nearly 20 years helping Spear with the Panthers’ baseball program.
In 2009, Greco was the coach of the Monticello modified baseball team. He also coached modified baseball at Fallsburg Central School for one season.
He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in organizing and operating sports programs. In 1989, he began running the Monticello Men’s Softball League. Seven years later, he began coordinating the Monticello Parks and Rec. Flag Football League. In 2008, he started an adult men’s basketball league in Monticello.
Greco’s love for sports began when he was a boy. He was born in the Bronx and recalls driving with his parents up to Sullivan County to visit his grandmother, who had a house on White Lake. When Greco was 8, he and his family moved into a house on Cottage Street in Monticello.
“My friends and I played a lot of sports,” Greco said. “We played Little League and we played football right on Cottage Street. I can remember being 9 or 10 years old and keeping a book of stats for our games.
“As soon I got home from school, I would do my homework and then go out and play sports,” he continued. “I think kids should do more of that today. They need to stop sitting in front of the Playstation or computer and go out and play.”
Family is very important to Greco. His parents, Joseph and JoAnne Greco still live in the same house on Cottage Street. Joseph, a retired corrections officer, is a co-host of The Bop Shop with John Manzi which is heard every Sunday night on WVOS-FM. JoAnne worked at the Raleigh Hotel for 25 years.
Michael Greco has three children. His 20-year-old son Eric Shambley is currently serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq. His younger children, 14-year-old Kayla Greco and 11-year-old Joseph Greco reside with him in Monticello.
Michael Greco’s girlfriend Adrianna Mayson is the Head of Student Activities at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake.
“Her job is similar to mine, so we like to share ideas with each other,” he said.
When talking with Greco for a few moments, one can clearly see how much he enjoys his job.
“I drop my kids off at school at 7 a.m. and then I am here until the last program of the day is finished at about 8:30 p.m.,” he said. “We have great programs here and I want to make them even better.”
In the future, Greco would like to make time in his busy schedule to return to school. He earned some credits at SCCC after graduating from Monticello High School, but had to put his college studies on hold in order to work and provide for his family.
“I would like to go back and get a degree in sports management at Sullivan,” he said.
He also plans on keeping his current job for a while.
“My plan is to retire from this job,” the 42-year-old Greco said. “So that would be in about 23 years.”
Greco has a lot of respect and admiration for the two people who served as Director of Village of Monticello Parks and Rec. immediately prior to him, Tweed and Betsy Conaty.
“I’m just following in their footsteps,” he said. “Pete did a lot of great things while he had this job and Betsy did a great job before Pete took over. I am just trying to do the best I can.”

top of page  |  home  |  archives