Historic City News learned that Jon Burpee, who has served as the chief of interpretation for Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments since January 2012, is leaving to begin a new adventure as a Bevinetto Congressional Fellow on January 13th.
The two year training and development position is attached to the Legislative and Congressional Affairs Office of the National Park Service in Washington, DC.
“Jon will be leaving us effective today,” Acting Chief of Interpretation, Andrew Rich, told local Historic City News reporters. “The fellowship he is perusing is one of the best career-building opportunities the National Park Service offers. Most former Bevinetto Fellows hold positions as park superintendents, or program chiefs, or are in other leadership positions after the two-year program is completed.”
Burpee told Historic City News two years ago that he found his true calling as a volunteer for the National Park Service. It was at Fort Vancouver that he first felt the thrill of sharing history with visitors from around the world. Beginning with the simple act of signing up as a volunteer, he has had an award-winning National Park Service career.
“The opportunity to help tell the stories of the people who built and served at the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas was a dream of a lifetime for me,” Burpee told Historic City News local reporters. He was disappointed that he would not have, what he called, “the absolute honor”, to play a part in the 450th anniversary commemoration of the city’s founding next year.
During the first year, the Bevinetto Fellow works as a staff member to a Member of Congress, a committee, or a congressional support agency — he will most likely be involved with the Senate sub-committee on National Parks.
“Jon’s exact assignments are not yet confirmed,” Rich said. “During the second year, the Bevinetto Fellow works as a legislative affairs specialist in the Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs or as another staff member; but Jon will likely receive an assignment with the Office of the Director of the National Park Service.”
Burpee graduated from the University of Washington with an undergraduate degree in history. He is currently pursuing a Master of Resource Interpretation from Stephen F. Austin State University.
His wife, Julie, formerly worked as a park ranger in six different national parks. Together they have a son, Thomas, and a daughter, Susannah. The entire Burpee family participated in living history events around the Castillo and Fort Matanzas, and will be missed.