Y says goodbye to one gymnastics director, hello to another

  • Kelly Clevenger

  • Caityn O’Leary

Recorder Staff
Published: 6/8/2018 8:31:03 PM

GREENFIELD — The YMCA and the many families involved in the gymnastics program will be saying goodbye to a familiar face, while welcoming another into a new role.

Kelly Clevenger, the YMCA in Greenfield’s gymnastics director for the past 17 years, is moving back to Kansas to be closer to her parents. During her time here, Clevenger has directed the Y’s youth gymnastics classes from parent/child, starting children as early as 6 months, to PreTeam Gymnastics for 5- to 15-year-olds. And she has also been the head coach for the Y’s Tumbling Tigers Gymnastics Team.

“Our state of the art Gymnastics Center opened in 1999. Kelly arrived from Kansas in 2001, where she had coached at local YMCA’s for many years,” Bob Sunderland, YMCA executive director said in a press release. “Under Kelly’s leadership, several generations of kids have gone through her programs and participated on the gymnastics team. Most her staff were class and team members at one point ‘growing her own staff.’ Kelly started many programs for children with special needs, which is a real love of hers.”

“I cherish every experience, every parent, every child I have had the privilege of working on or with here at the YMCA in Greenfield. ... I have been extremely lucky to be able to love my job, to enjoy my co-workers, and to make a positive difference in people’s lives,” Clevenger said. “I leave with the knowledge that the gymnastics program will continue to grow, and be a place for kids of all ages, all backgrounds, to come and enjoy being active.”

The YMCA is planning to send off Clevenger with a “Good Luck Open House” on July 11 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Y.

Stepping into Clevenger’s shoes is Caitlyn O’Leary, who will be training the month of June with Clevenger and starting full-time as gymnastics director in July. O’Leary is no stranger to the Greenfield Y, having been an instructor and coach there for the past six years. O’Leary graduated from UMass-Amherst with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. She also has a certificate in Development Disabilities and Human Services. Growing up, O’Leary was involved in gymnastics for 11 years and a rower for 10 years, including her time at UMass.

“The YMCA in Greenfield has become a mental haven for me over the past six years, so the idea of putting more of my time into creating that safe space for our kids is thrilling. Kelly has poured a great deal of love into this program over the past two decades, and I can only hope to not only build upon her ideas, but also perpetuate that flow of love,” O’Leary said.

“We are very excited to be able to promote such a qualified, in-house, candidate to a director position,” Sunderland said. “Promotions to Program Director rarely happen at our YMCA, for example, four of our directors have been here between 15 and 30 years. In April, Sarah Smith became our new Aquatics Director, replacing Pam Mickiewicz, who had been here for 27 years.”

Greenfield Recorder

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