Michael Kirschman Elected to the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration

Thursday, October 10, 2019

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Michael Kirschman, director for Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation has been elected to the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration. Kirschman was recently inducted at the Academy's Annual Meeting during the 2019 National Recreation and Park Association Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. 

The Academy is a group of distinguished practitioners and educators who are leaders in the field of parks and recreation. They must have served for at least 15 years in a high level of administration in a park and recreation agency or as a recognized educator in parks and recreation administration or they must manage a park and recreation department for an agency with a population of more than 500,000. They also must have demonstrated outstanding ability in administration, management or education in the profession; displayed broad interest with a direct service benefit to the advancement of public parks and recreation or assumed leadership with a keen desire to contribute to the advancement of the field. The Academy is limited to 125 active members. 

Established in 1980, the Academy was formed to advance knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; to support and encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators to enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; to promote broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and to conduct research, publish scholarly papers and/or sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration. 

"The Class of 2019 is a great addition to the Academy," said 2019 President Carolyn F. McKnight of Dallas, Texas.  "It is one of the largest classes the Academy has ever inducted which represents a diverse group of professionals and educators – all with superior career experience and a dedication to improving the quality of life through the provision of high-quality parks and recreation opportunities. We welcome our 2019 Fellows." 

 More information on the Academy is available at aapra.org.

Bio for Michael Kirschman

Michael Kirschman is the director of Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation. The department is a national leader in the provision of parks, facilities, and recreational programs and includes more than 290 park sites on over 7,000 acres, seven community recreation centers, a municipal marina, and an athletic complex.

Prior to coming to Virginia Beach, he served as deputy director for Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation, where he was responsible for the department's administrative services including budget and strategic planning. Before serving as deputy director, he spent 7 years managing the award-winning Nature Preserves & Natural Resources Division of the department.

Before joining Mecklenburg County in 2006, he worked for park districts in both Illinois and Ohio. He has also consulted for the National Park Service, worked for the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency, and served as an educator for a county Soil & Water Conservation District.

Michael received his bachelor's degree from Westminster College and earned a master's degree from Antioch University. He is a Certified Park & Recreation Professional, speaks extensively throughout the country on park and recreation topics, and has instructed at a variety of professional schools. He currently serves as an instructor at the National Recreation & Park Association Directors School, a two-year program for new or aspiring directors.

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About Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation strives to promote healthy lifestyles and protect the City's coastal environment, as well as to ensure all residents – regardless of their physical, social and economic circumstances – can access Parks & Recreation programs. The department's vision is to be the national leader in providing enriching and memorable lifelong experiences. Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For more information, visit VBgov.com/parks or call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 757-711 Virginia Relay). Sign up for Parks & Rec email newsletters at VBgov.com/eNews. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/VBparksrec.

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