Dawson County Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Henson turned in her resignation on Friday, signaling an end to a more than 25-year career with the county.
Henson has been the director for 11 years. Prior to that she worked as athletic director and assistant parks director, coming from the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.
She had a 15-year career in law enforcement, working at the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office for 10 years before moving to Dawson. She worked as patrol supervisor and jail commander for five years, until she was married, and decided that two people in law enforcement wasn’t the best thing for raising a family.
“The opportunity came up to work (in parks and rec) and I took it,” she said. “I’ve loved it here, we’re like a family and that is the hardest part of this decision.”
In her letter dated May 25, Henson stated she had met with County Manager David Headley, County Attorney Lynn Frey and Human Resources Director Danielle Yarbrough on May 22 to discuss her pending resignation.
“After our conversations, and prayerful consideration of our discussions, I have decided to move forward with my plan to resign from Dawson County Parks and Recreation,” Henson wrote.
Henson said she has realized she often served at the expense of her family and her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that the time has come for this chapter to end.
“My favorite part has been to watch my first group of T-ball players grow up through our programs, graduate high school, get married, have children of their own and come back to coach their children at the park,” Henson wrote. “Witnessing this circle of life has been my greatest joy.”
Henson also listed the many accomplishments she and her coworkers have done at the parks during her tenure, including building and opening Rock Creek Park and the recreation center there, leasing War Hill Park and resurfacing and building a new bath house there, building a new pool house and installing new lights on the football field Veterans Memorial Park, initiating an online registration program for all activities and for War Hill Park camping reservations, as well as creating and distributing a totally self-funded Parks and Recreation activity guide for customers, among many others.
Personally, Henson completed Leadership Dawson, served on the Dawson Family Connection board, received the Dawson County Employee of the Year award and received a 20-year service award in 2013.
“Needless to say, I am satisfied with the mark I will leave behind,” Henson wrote.
The county began advertising for a replacement for Henson this week, and in her letter Henson stated she would stay until a replacement could be found.
“In the event this is not agreeable, my final day will be June 22, 2018,” she wrote. “I hope this allows ample time to secure my replacement and make a smooth transition.”