Therapeutic Recreation Program Staff

April Rosenthal, MS, CTRS – TR Unit Manager

April Rosenthal

Current Responsibilities:  April supervises the Therapeutic Recreation Office in the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). She is responsible for oversight and management of programs for individuals with disabilities, along with inclusion support in general recreation programs. She started as a TR Programmer in 2010, and has been the Unit Manager since March 2015.

Education and previous experience: She graduated from Green Mountain College, VT with a BS in Therapeutic Recreation (TR). After 4 years in clinical TR at various rehab centers in Boston, she attended Southern Illinois University and graduated with an MS in TR Administration with a minor in Outdoor Education. She previously worked in Lakewood, CO as the manager for Recreation and Inclusion Services for Everyone (R.I.S.E.) program and prior to that as the Outdoor Adaptive Recreation Specialist at Cleveland Metroparks in OH. Before being promoted to the Unit Manager she worked as a Programmer II in the TR unit with an array of responsibilities including supervising adapted classes and social clubs, leading outdoor recreation programs, coordinating inclusion support, running social skills playgroups, offering ADA consultation and supervising and directing various summer camps.

Up close and personal: April and her family currently reside in Annandale, VA. April’s favorite leisure activities are being outdoors in nature with her family, volunteering for anything to do with animal welfare organizations and a deep appreciation for the art of comedy, anything that makes her laugh and smile is a good thing.

703-228-4741  or Email

Nicholas Johnson - TR Programmer II

Nicholas Johnson Bio Pic.jpg Current Responsibilities: Year-round, Nicholas is a Programmer II in the Therapeutic Recreation Office in the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and supervises a combination of adapted classes, programs, and inclusion services. Nicholas has been a TR programmer since Fall 2022.

Education and Previous Experience: Nicholas graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2014 majoring in Recreation and Sport Management, with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation. After moving to Maryland in 2014 to complete an internship with the City of Greenbelt, he began working with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission with Inclusion Services, supporting children and teens in summer camps and aftercare programs, and adults in evening sports classes. From 2017 to 2022, he worked on the Therapeutic Recreation team in the Special Programs Division, running his own summer camps, two licensed aftercare programs, year-round sports classes and leagues, and a Performing Arts Club. He introduced several new classes during his time with the Special Programs Division, including karate, Tai Chi, yoga, and soccer. He is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP).

Up Close and Personal: Nicholas was raised in Nashville, TN and still travels there for the holidays. He is a coach and competitor in the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, teaching both kids and adults, and competes regularly at competitions on the weekends. When he is not training at his gym, he loves mountain biking, backpacking, camping, and spending time with his friends and family. 

703-228-4734 or Email

Caitlyn Shann, CTRS – TR Programmer II

Caitlyn Shann

Current Responsibilities: Year-round, Caitlyn is a Programmer II in the Therapeutic Recreation Office in the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and supervises all the adapted class and program offerings. During the summer, Caitlyn supervises the Therapeutic Recreation adapted camp: Camp Discovery. Caitlyn has been a TR programmer since Spring 2020.

Education and Previous Experiences: Caitlyn graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Therapeutic Recreation with an emphasis on pediatrics, geriatrics, physical disabilities, and mental health. After graduating she received her National certification as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). She spent the first 4 years of her career working for inpatient behavioral health centers facilitating group activities and therapeutic recreation interventions with youth, teens, and adults. Caitlyn has 2 years of experience working with Military Veterans at the Arizona State Veterans Home as a Recreation Therapist. Caitlyn is looking forward to making a positive impact in Arlington County through adaptive recreation and providing sources of healthy activities for all community members.

Up close and personal: Caitlyn is a Michigander, born and raised! Looking to escape the cold winters, she moved to sunny Arizona in 2017. Caitlyn loves the warm weather, going on hikes, exploring new places with friends, running, baking/cooking, spending time with her dog, and craft projects. She relocated to Alexandria, VA in 2020. Caitlyn and her boyfriend have been enjoying getting to know the DMV area by exploring the dog parks, bike trails, local shops, restaurants, and most recently- going on scenic drives.

703-228-4738 or Email

Cat Trovato, MS, CTRS – TR Programmer II

Cat Trovato

Current Responsibilities: Year-round, Cat supervises inclusion staff and coordinates inclusion support for DPR programs.  In the summer she is one of the Inclusion Coordinators for camps, specifically focusing on elementary, contracted, and specialty camps. Cat has been a TR Programmer with Arlington since Spring 2015.

Education and previous experience: Cat began her career in Therapeutic Recreation at the Rochester Rotary Sunshine Camp where she spent 13 amazing seasons providing campers of all ages and abilities summers filled with fun memories. After graduating from The State University of New York at Geneseo with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology and minor in Sociology she made her first move to Virginia working at a small college in Residence Education.  While there she decided it was time to go back to school to pursue a Master’s degree and enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  While attending UNCG she was the Coordinator of a peer companion program that helped people of varying abilities in the Greensboro area explore inclusive recreation.  To finish up her Master’s in Recreation and Parks Management with a Concentration in Therapeutic Recreation she traveled to Colorado to intern with the EXPAND (EXciting Programs, Adventures, and New Dimensions) team with the City of Boulder. Following her internship with the City of Boulder she became an Instructional Assistant at The Joshua School, a private school for children with Autism and other developmental disabilities.

Up close and personal: Cat currently resides in Fairfax, VA and is excited to explore all of the hiking, biking, camping, and kayaking that the area has to offer!

703-228-4736 or Email

Robyn Mitchell, CTRS – TR Programmer II

Robyn Mitchell

Current Responsibilities: Year-round, Robyn supervises inclusion staff and coordinates inclusion support for DPR programs including DPR Aquatics, Office for Senior Adult Programs, Early Childhood Programs and Teens, as well as classes and break camps. In the summer she is one of the Inclusion Coordinators for camps, specifically focusing on early childhood, teens, and specialty camps. She is also responsible for the coordination of Sign Language and CART services. Robyn has been a TR Programmer with Arlington since Fall 2015.

Education and previous experience: Her career in therapeutic recreation began when she started her first summer working in a therapeutic recreation summer camp. After completing that first summer of camp, she made the switch from a fine arts degree to the field of Therapeutic Recreation. She completed her first internship with Arlington County Therapeutic Recreation Services and then completed a second internship with the Northern VA Training Center. She graduated from Longwood University with a B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation, with a minor in the fine arts. In her time with Arlington, she has focused on inclusive services, as well as managing various therapeutic recreation community programs.

Up close and personal: She was born and raised in Fairfax County and currently lives with her longtime boyfriend. In her free time, she enjoys working on art, reading and spending time outdoors.

703-228-4731 or Email

Mary Barnes – Program Support Coordinator

Mary Barnes

Current Responsibilities: Mary is the Program Support Coordinator for the Therapeutic Recreation Office. Mary’s primary responsibilities are customer service, program registration, and coordination support for inclusion management and social clubs.

Education and previous experience: After graduating high school, Mary attended the Washington Business School and completed their Medical Secretarial program, following which she took a job working for a Plastic Surgeon in Washington, DC, where she worked for 7 years, as a medical secretary. Mary’s interests then led to the insurance field, and she took a job working for the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, where she worked for over 7 years as administrative support for the Wash, DC Group Health & Pension Sales Manager in Arlington, VA. When this office relocated to North Carolina, Mary took a position with the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company in Arlington, VA as a Marketing Services Coordinator, where she worked for 2 years. She was then contacted by the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York and was offered her position back in an office in Maryland. It was a deal that could not be refused and she accepted. She then worked another 8 years for the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York as an office manager and insurance agent for an affiliated financial planner. After 8 years of commuting to Maryland, Mary decided to look for job closer to home, so she accepted an administrative assistant position with Arlington County Parks and Recreation in their Registration Office, assisting with summer camp registration. One thing led to another and Mary moved from registration to working for Community Services and Therapeutic Recreation. Mary’s passion has always been working with Therapeutic Recreation and in 2016, Mary was transferred to a position with the Therapeutic Recreation Office as their Program Support Coordinator.

Up Close and Personal: Mary grew up in Arlington, VA, attended Yorktown High School, and has lived in Arlington most of her life. She has a husband of 43 years, two daughters and two granddaughters. Her hobbies are baking and crocheting. What she loves best is spending time with her family.

703-228-4740 or Email