CRISFIELD, Md. (Friday, February 20, 2009) The Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Park Service, Friday morning recognized the newest graduating class of the Maryland Park Service Ranger School. The class of 16 includes 3 from So. Maryland. This ceremony marks the first class of new Maryland Park Ranger graduates since 1996.
The three new rangers who hail from the local area are: Patrick Bright, Jr., Newburg; Wanda Sandy, Scotland; and Meghan Sochowski, Lexington Park.
The four-week academy was held at Janes Island State Park in Crisfield, incorporating classroom instruction with practical park experience through the operation of the hypothetical Julie Schweikert State Park, named in memory of Ranger Julie Schweikert, the recently deceased manager of Janes Island State Park. Park employees from across the state, both veteran and relatively new, completed training in various aspects of park operations to develop and enhance the skills needed to be responsive to the resources and visitors to Marylands 65 State Parks. Students experienced real life scenarios and instruction involving resource management, search and rescue, campground operations, park maintenance, resource interpretation and diversity in education.
Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina attended the ceremony, along with Deputy Superintendent Chris Bushman and other Maryland State Park and DNR officials. Ranger Steve McCoy, Assistant Dean for the School, was the emcee for the morning.
Maryland State Parks allow people to experience some of our States most cherished treasures and most beautiful places, said Superintendent Settina. For more than a century our Rangers have been the guardians of these places, serving as mentors protecting our visitors and enriching their experience.