RALEIGH -- Nora Coffey, a veteran park ranger, has been named superintendent of Lake James State Park in Burke and McDowell counties, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. She succeeds Sean McElhone, who was promoted to west district superintendent in 2012.
A superintendent is the chief of operations and administration at a state park or state recreation area with wide-ranging responsibilities for staffing, training, law enforcement, visitor services, natural resource protection and environmental education.
Coffey has been a ranger at Lake James State Park since 2007. A native of Chicago, Ill., she earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry from Southern Illinois University in 2000. She worked as an environmental educator at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and Aquatic Research Interactive Inc. and as a seasonal naturalist at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. She is certified as an N.C. environmental educator.
“Nora has played an integral role in the ongoing, major expansion of Lake James State Park and has helped to shape and lead a dynamic education program that has enjoyed community involvement and support,” said Lewis Ledford, state parks director. “Her leadership qualities will be highly valued as the state park and the community continue this partnership.”
Lake James State Park was established in 1987 and encompasses 3,514 acres on both the north and south shore of the lake. The park recorded 390,110 visitors in 2012.
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