National Park Service Superintendent Gordie Wilson told Historic City News local reporters in St Augustine that he is pleased to announce the selection of Jon Burpee as the chief of interpretation for Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments.
Burpee will lead the park rangers and dedicated volunteers who bring the stories of these ancient historic sites to life.
“Jon Burpee brings a wealth of leadership experience with him to his new assignment,” Superintendent Wilson said. “His energy and passion for our park stories and this community make him a perfect fit as we build to the 450th anniversary of the founding of our nation’s oldest city.”
Burpee has served in the National Park Service for fifteen years. Past assignments include diverse parks like Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Death Valley National Park and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. He most recently served as the chief of interpretation at Fort Frederica National Monument in coastal Georgia. Throughout his career, he has also served in acting positions in parks ranging from Puerto Rico to Louisiana, Florida and Kentucky.
Burpee’s background is in academic history. He graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor of arts in American history and is working on a master of resource interpretation at Steven F. Austin State University. After graduation, he worked as a staff member for the Washington State House of Representatives.
He says 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 that now brings him to St. Augustine.
“The opportunity to help tell the stories of the people who built and served at the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas is a dream of a lifetime for me,” “Burpee told reporters. “To live in St. Augustine, work with this talented staff and play a part in the 450th anniversary commemoration of the city’s founding is an absolute honor.”
Burpee will make his home in St. Augustine with his wife Julie and children Thomas and Susannah.