Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Oscar Rodriguez Named TRAPS Part-Time Employee of the Year

After eight years of exceptional work in Southlake Recreation, Oscar was named Part-Time Employee of the Year by the Texas Recreation and Park Society North Region.

The TRAPS Part-Time Employee of the Year Award honors individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to their department, community and profession. Employees are nominated by their peers, so it’s no surprise that Oscar Rodriguez received such special recognition: His leadership, professionalism and genuine passion for recreation endeared him to colleagues and the community throughout his time with the City of Southlake. Although Oscar ended his tenure with the City earlier this year, his presence is still felt by everyone who was lucky enough to work with him.

A full-time special education teacher during the school year, Oscar consistently devoted his time and expertise to Therapeutic Recreation (TR), a City initiative dedicated to providing recreation and leisure activities for participants with mental and physical disabilities. The award-winning program has grown immensely over the past few years, and Oscar’s whole-hearted commitment was essential to its success.

As the 2018 summer season came to a close, TR hosted an event to celebrate Oscar’s significant contributions to the growing program. Nearly 100 parents and participants attended the event to thank him for his service. In keeping with his generous nature, Oscar couldn’t let the evening be all about him—instead, it became “Night at the Oscars”, an opportunity for TR participants to dress up and enjoy a glamorous evening with friends and loved ones.

Oscar’s natural ability to make those around him feel loved and included cemented him as the heart and soul of TR. The Recreation team could think of many more ways to express Oscar’s positive impact, but we think these kind words from parents and participants truly capture what made him special:

  • “You have been the biggest blessing to our family. Your compassion, dedication and passion for our kiddos have always been remarkable.”
  • “Thank you so much for your awesome and inviting smile that welcomed us into the room every evening that Teresa came for Club Metro. Your personality and gentle spirit have always been a highlight of the evening.”
  • “Thank you so much for the many years of caring and loving on Andreas. You have been such a positive influence. I personally have never ever seen you without a smile on your face.”
  • “Thank you, Oscar, for your kindness, patience and loving attention to the kids each and every week.”

In the Recreation Department, we teach our teams to leave each facility better than they found it. Oscar embodied that philosophy in every aspect of his work, inspiring team members and program participants alike with his kindness, enthusiasm and generosity. After eight years of outstanding service, he leaves us better than he found us, too.