Meet Our New Aquatic Specialist, Grace Cruz!

MPCC Indoor pool 2

Happy new year!

I’m excited to introduce myself as the Aquatic Specialist for Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation.

I worked as a head lifeguard here at the Community Center a few years back and I’m so happy to return to the MPCC and Signal Bay Waterpark family. I look forward to seeing all our wonderful patrons once again!

My professional experience with aquatics began when I was 15 years old. I started out as a shallow-water lifeguard at Splashdown Waterpark. Over the next two summers, I became a deep-water guard, a supervisor, and then a pool operator. My experience at Splashdown was formative, as I learned the value of hard work and gained practical experience on the operation of an aquatic facility. I learned to be proactive about both patron safety and fun, became confident in leading and mentoring my staff, and maintained the operation of safety and aquatic equipment.

The experience prepared me for my subsequent positions as a lifeguard at Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center, and head lifeguard, pool operator, and water safety instructor here at the Community Center. I worked at MPCC from 2015-2018 and always knew I wanted to return; not only did I grow personally and professionally, but the MPCC is a fun and lively workplace which sincerely cares about its staff and patrons.

During this time, I also acquired administrative and customer service skills through various editorial internships. After graduating with a BA in English language and literature from Christendom College in 2018, I began working full-time at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). I started as a project assistant providing administrative and logistical support for a technical assistance delivery project. Within my first year, I was promoted to a project coordinator with IACP’s Law Enforcement Policy Center, where I worked with multidisciplinary groups of subject matter experts to facilitate the development of policy and guidance documents for the law enforcement field.

I’m pleased to be back in Manassas Park. In my capacity as Aquatic Specialist, my goal is to support and empower the aquatic staff as they strive to provide you with a fun, exciting, and safe experience! From regular safety training to increased oversight of facilities, my job is to equip our lifeguards to do what they do best. We take pride in our friendly, safety-conscious staff, well-maintained facilities, and aquatic programs – and my goal is to maintain and improve our high standards.

I look forward to seeing you all on the pool deck!

For those of you looking for your first job or a summer job, thinking about switching things up, or simply interested in a fun, active workplace with opportunities for advancement, consider joining the aquatics team! Benefits include:

  • Opportunities for seasonal or year-around employment, with flexible scheduling depending on your preferences and availability
  • Be a lifeguard year-around at Manassas Park Community Center and we will adjust your schedule to accommodate your other obligations.
  • Join in the summer fun at Signal Bay Waterpark. Seasonal lifeguards are an in-demand position, and receive competitive hours!
  • Working in small, tight-knit teams with an emphasis on mentorship and growth opportunities.
  • Bolster your resume for future opportunities! Lifeguard skills are a valuable addition to any resume, and include customer service, time management, teamwork, leadership, and more.
  • Competitive pay.
  • Free lifeguard certification, including the opportunity to receive a “shallow-water” certification which teaches all the requisite rescue and first aid techniques without the pressure of having to be a competitive swimmer.

Additional job benefits and details, as well as how to apply, include:

If you are still on the fence about which position you want to apply for, come to our annual Job Fair on Saturday, March 7th from 10:00am-2:00pm at the Community Center. We will have supervisors there from each division that can answer any questions you may have about the day in the life of a summer employee!

Grace Cruz is the Aquatics Supervisor for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703.335.8872 x or via email at

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