Saylin Paez, the new events coordinator for the Village of Palmetto Bay, has brought her skills in education and parks and recreation to the position that develops and directs a variety of programming and special activities at village parks.
A resident of unincorporated Miami- Dade, Paez initially joined the village staff in January and recently was featured in a summer camp video on Palmetto Bay’s Facebook page. She also recently became involved with a newsletter called The Village of Parks eNews.
“Prior to coming on board in Palmetto Bay, I was a teacher,” Paez said in a May 15 interview. “One of the reasons that I came to this position was that I felt that I had a taste of both worlds. I oversee all of the educational programming at Thalatta Estate Park, which is great because that’s my ‘neck of the woods.’ My certification was in biology, so I get to have my hands in that, and, of course, event planning. I’ve been doing that for several years now.”
Paez worked with the superintendent of Parks and Recreation for the City of Doral from 2004 to 2011. She was a recreation leader for the City of Hialeah Parks and Recreation, was a biology teacher at South Miami High School and got involved in parks programming as a junior leader while a student in junior high school. Her “second job” is as a junior girls volleyball coach.
“I was a park rat,” Paez said. “I grew up in the parks of Hialeah.”
She said that something she was aggressive about in Doral was working on relations with businesses in the community and having them become good corporate citizens, getting involved with sponsorships. Paez wants to continue that here for upcoming events, to further enhance programming and help with the costs.
“Now I’m looking forward to planning our spectacular stellar event for the Fourth of July,” Paez said. “We have a number of things lined up already and we’ve got a patriotic costume contest and a hula hoop contest.
“There’s something for everybody. We’ve got a great 18- to 20-minute fireworks show and we’re adding some laser lights on the stage this year. We have two bands booked and there will be some upgrades, some enhancements compared to the Fourth of July we had last year.”
Paez said she is determined to get the entire community involved in parks activities and special events programming.
“We’re trying to reach out to all groups, ability levels and interests in the community, not only the adults and the children but our teens and our older populations too, getting some innovative and creative stuff for them as well,” Paez said. “I had good programming with teens in Doral and it was successful. The moment you make them a part of it and they have a voice in what they would like to do and what they want to see, then that’s where you start getting the participation happening.”
She said that teen programming could include such things as kickball tournaments, dodge ball and a movie night just for them, perhaps called “Friday Night Live,” once or twice a month.
For information about special events and parks programming, visit www.palmettobay-fl.gov/ or call 305-259-1234.