Globe Local


Newton brings on new director of parks, recreation, and culture

The city of Newton has hired a new commissioner of parks, recreation, and culture, according to a statement from Mayor Ruthanne Fuller.

Nicole Banks, who previously led the recreation department in Westwood for seven years, took over Newton’s department in February, Fuller said.

“Nicole brings years of experience, a collaborative approach, and positive energy to this important role in Newton,” Fuller said.


While in Westwood, Banks led capital improvements and oversaw fields management, working closely with staff, local boards, and other departments. Banks also worked on activities from aquatics, fitness, arts, and sports, Fuller said, as well as “Westwood Day” — an event that includes music, a road race, an antique car show, and fireworks.

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Banks also worked as the director of recreation in Milford, N.H., for nine years before coming to Westwood.

“She knows it takes a team of engaged experts and dedicated volunteers to effectively and efficiently bring initiatives to fruition,” Fuller said.

In Newton, Banks replaced former commissioner Bob DeRubeis, who retired after 43 years of service, Fuller said.

Banks is also the president-elect of the Massachusetts Recreation and Park Association. Fuller called Banks a leader in her field and noted her credential as a certified parks and recreation professional, which is granted by the National Parks and Recreation Association.


“She is seasoned and knows how to lead. Her quiet confidence and ability to relate well to a wide range of people will be invaluable to all of us,” Fuller said in a statement.

John Hilliard can be reached at