J.P. Gallagher picked to lead Butte-Silver Bow Parks and Rec

J.P. Gallagher will be the next director of the Butte-Silver Bow Parks and Recreation Department.

Chief Executive Matt Vincent announced Wednesday that Gallagher was selected to replace Jay Ellington, who resigned recently to take a similar position in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The move is pending confirmation by the Council of Commissioners at a special meet tonight. The meeting will start the conclusion of the Council’s Committee of Whole meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m.

Gallagher will take up his post on Monday, July 27.

“I am pleased with the selection of J.P. for this position,” Vincent said in a statement. “Growing up and living in Butte for most of his life, he knows the facilities and outdoor opportunities Silver Bow County has to offer. His passion in recreation and previous professional experiences in education and management make him the ideal choice to lead our Parks & Recreation Department.”

Gallagher will resign his position as principal at Whittier Elementary in Butte.

“It is a bittersweet moment to be leaving Whittier Elementary, where the students and staff made coming to work a privilege and honor every day,” Gallagher said. “I have to follow my passion, which from a young age is sports and recreation. My goal in this position is to continue to improve our first class parks and recreation facilities and grow the fantastic outdoor opportunities within Silver Bow County. I cannot wait to get started.”

Gallagher’s previous professional positions have included: Physical education, health, and history teacher, head golf, and assistant track coach at Butte High School (2003 – 2010); Physical education teacher and Recreations Director at RYO Juvenile Detention Center (2002 -2003); Independent sales representative at Jostens, Inc., Butte (1997 – 2002); History teacher and assistant football coach at Flathead High School (1995 – 1997); and Physical education, and health teacher, head football, assistant wrestling, and assistant track coach at Choteau High School (1992 – 1995). Mr. Gallagher holds a Bachelor Science in Education from the University of Montana, Western (1992), a Master of Education from Graceland University (2008), and an Education Leadership Certificate from the Principal Certificate Program at Montana State University (2011).

The search committee for the job consisted of Commissioner Cindi Shaw; Commissioner Dennis Henderson; Director of Public Works Dave Schultz; Director of Community Development Karen Byrnes; Director of Human Resources Ron Stormer and Parks Superintendent Kelly Dennehy.

Update: County commissioners unanimously approved the selection of Gallagher Wednesday night.


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  • Colleen Sologub-Sobering
    July 22, 2015, 3:13 pm

    Congratulations to JP. I know you’ll probably miss Whittier but further adventures await. Last weekend I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and they did a piece on the World Series of Blind Baseball (aka Beep Ball). I couldn’t help but think that Butte could host this event. Just an idea for something incredibly competitive and inspiring that could be another event in the southwest Montana region.

  • Craig Mills
    July 22, 2015, 4:14 pm

    Congrats JP. I will be in Butte tomorrow. Maybe hook up for a cold one.

  • Larry Peterson
    July 23, 2015, 8:35 am

    Great selection! Congratulations JP.


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