Aquatic director takes OSU safety position

He’s returning from whence he came.

James Mallein, School District 55 aquatic director since 1997, has taken a position as safety program director at Oregon State University.

Mallein, a Philomath High School graduate, was completing his degree in business administration at OSU when he came to Sweet Home.

Among his new duties, Mallein will be in charge of risk management procedures at the university, especially for the operation of its three swimming pools.

“I will be in charge of making sure lifeguards follow procedures and are up on their certification,” Mallein said. “I will also audit programs, provide staff instruction in CPR and First Aid, help with sports safety training classes within the department and the OSU community.”

Mallein said he excited about the new position.

“I made the first and second cuts and then I had an eight hour interview with people from six or seven departments,” Mallein said.

The new job is an opportunity for career growth and development, Mallein said.

“It’s a great opportunity to work for a university system,” Mallein said. “The benefits are huge. It’s an opportunity to work with college students, a different demographic. Plus, he will be able to complete his masters degree at a cost of just $15 per credit hour as an employee.”

Mallein said he has enjoyed his four years in Sweet Home and he and his wife, Jennifer, plan to remain living here.

“My goal when I took the Sweet Home job was to bring a new level of professionalism to the aquatic programs,” Mallein said. “I think we’ve done that.”

Mallein said pool usage is up 206 per cent.

“This summer, we provided swimming lessons to more students than any time in the last five years,” Mallein said. “Revenues have tripled.”

Mallein said his staff is diverse and has undergone extensive training over the last four years.

He will have a staff of 8-10 at OSU.

The pool is closed for its annual maintenance, Mallein said, and will open again August 27. He said the school district is advertising for his replacement.