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Sistersville Pool Opens for Season

By Randy Rutherford - Staff Writer | Jun 16, 2021

Welcome Summer - Sistersville Pool Opening Day

Members of the Sistersville Park and Pool board knew they had an important job this spring. They had to find the right manager to organize, open and run the pool this summer. In 2020, after a summer closure due to the pandemic, the park and pool board knew they needed a homerun. After all the Sistersville Park and Pool is headquarters for kids in the area to spend hot summer days cooling off and having a great time with friends and family. It isn’t an easy job managing the pool. The well known hot spot is showing her age and often struggles with worn out equipment and broken pipes. The pay is not great either. After many discussions about the kind of person the board wanted to find, all answers kept coming back to one thing. We want someone who knows and loves kids!

Where is the best place to find a qualified adult knowledgeable about kids? About keeping kids safe and keeping order? About communicating at a kid’s level while giving directions to young adults trained to watch over every guest on the pool deck and in the water?

Don’t forget handling unhappy guests, scheduling lifeguards’ hours and planning evening pool parties all while keeping the 1960s built structure clean and in top working order? Sounds almost impossible, doesn’t it?

Luckily for all area residents there are people like this in our community. Many are employed by the Tyler County Board of Education.

And thanks to a blanket email sent to all school employees informing them of a summer job opportunity for the right candidate, a special applicant emerged. Karrisa Buck, an employee at Sistersville Elementary School, came highly recommended by her supervisors.

She had a solid interview with the Park and Pool Board.

She has jumped in with both feet getting the pool up and ready for the summer season. This enthusiastic lady has done everything from interviewing lifeguard applicants, cleaning bathhouses, unpacking storage crates, ordering supplies and planning new and exciting activities for the kids at the pool this summer. Her enthusiasm about making this summer a priority as one kids will enjoy and remember is just what our community needs after a long season of going without.

Pool Board President Connie Boyd is delighted with their new hire. “Karissa is the perfect person for this important job. First of all, she knows almost every child that walks in the door and calls them by name! Their faces light up when they see her,” explained the president.

Connie went on to share that one of Karissa’s strengths is her ability to talk to kids. It doesn’t matter if they attend her school or are high school students hired to lifeguard. She has a way with all of them. President Boyd feels extremely lucky to have such a qualified manager guiding the fun and safety at the pool this summer.

We wanted to get to know Karissa a little better so we touched base with her before the pool opened which was on Monday, June 7th to a large crowd of happy swimmers.

Please tell me a little about your family.

My husband Joe, my son Trenton, our dog Ruger, and I live in Sistersville. Joe and I have been married for 11 years. My husband is an Air Force veteran. While in the Air Force, we lived in Homestead (outskirts of Miami), Florida, but we wanted to come back to our home among the hills in beautiful WV to be with our families. My husband now works in the oil and gas field. My son Trenton is 14 and will be a freshman in high school. He is active in school. He is a member of National Junior Honor Society, 3 year member of the golf team and a 2 year member of the Silver Knights Marching Band’s drumline. He has also spent his summers playing baseball in community leagues. My dog Ruger will be 8 this fall. He loves watching out our windows for all the different animals that wander into our yard.

Could you explain your job and how you work with children?

I work at Sistersville Elementary School. I am the facilitator in the telespeech program at our school. The children and I meet with a Speech Language Pathologist over the computer to receive their services. The children really enjoy telespeech and their therapist. It is great to spend some one on one time with these children. I also work in the special education department. Those children are very near and dear to my heart. Any other time, you can find me throughout the school. I always knew that I wanted to work in the school system. I didn’t realize how important this job would be to me. I have built some pretty awesome relationships with my kids at school. They will keep ya on your toes!!!!!

When not working at SES, what activities keep you busy?

I enjoy family time! Some of the best times in my life have been in the company of our very own family. I also enjoy tending to my house plants and flowers. I love watching scary movies and I enjoy reading and listening to music.

Why did you want to be a manager at the Sistersville Pool?

The children of our community are very important to me. Last year with COVID, they missed out on a swim season. That’s a big deal when you are a kid! I wanted to make sure that this year, I did everything in my power to help make this year’s and future swim seasons a success.

Do you have memories of the pool growing up?

My summer memories are FULL of pool memories. Things like pool birthday parties, swim lessons, swimming on hot, hot days and being super bummed when nasty weather would come through. If someone would ask me to think back on my childhood summers, my first thought and memory will always be the pool. I am thrilled to be doing my part to make sure our kids today have the same chance to fill their memory bank full of spending their summers at the pool.

What are your greatest hopes for the pool and park this summer?

I would love to see the park and pool FULL of children, teens, and adults. I would really like to see our community come together this summer and take part in the fun activities that we are planning. We all have had a rough year living with the pandemic. It’s been isolating, wearisome and very humdrum. I am ready for togetherness and fun!

The Sistersville Pool is open 7 days a week from 12:00 noon until 6:00, Monday through Saturday and 1:00 to 6:00 on Sunday. Cost is $3.00 for admittance for those 4 and older. 3 and younger are admitted free. Private Pool Parties can be held in the evenings from 7:00 to 9:00. Visit their Facebook page to contact them and see all pricing.