The Maryland Park Service recently graduated 20 new State Park Rangers after they completed four weeks of training. The graduation ceremony took place on February 24, 2023, at Elk Neck State Park and NorthBay Adventure Camp. This is the 13th class of new State Park Rangers since the modern ranger school program was established in 2009.

Ranger school focuses on the primary jobs of the Maryland Park Ranger, which include operations, maintenance, interpretation, and customer service. During the four-week training, students participated in intensive practical exercises and written exams. The training was designed to simulate real-world scenarios, allowing rangers-in-training to execute emergency response, park operations, search and rescue missions, resource management, and more.

Rear, left to right: Matthew Gregory, Kirby Brown, Noah Manges, Ryan Keller, Riley Schwertz, Andrew Ogle, Brian Bokulic, Travis Anthony, Michael Fray, Samuel Behrens, Nicole Staab, and Ranger School Dean Curtis Dale Front, left to right: Assistant Dean Mary Ironside, Assistant Dean Rachel Temby, Erin Swale, Christine Smith, Aubree Moore, Scott Offutt, Calvin Ogburn, Ashley Brown, Emily Hendershot, Margaret White, Cecilia Melton. Credit: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

To become fully certified, rangers must also complete one year of operational experience. The new rangers will work in different regions, and they are as follows:


  • Nicole Staab, Rocks/Susquehanna State Park
  • Margaret White, Rocks/Susquehanna State Park


  • Brian Bokulic, Janes Island State Park
  • Ashley Brown, Pocomoke River State Park
  • Kirby Brown, Assateague State Park
  • Michael Fray, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park
  • Erin Swale, Assateague State Park


  • Samuel Behrens, Point Lookout State Park
  • Matthew Gregory, Southern Maryland Recreational Complex
  • Aubree Moore, Southern Maryland Recreational Complex
  • Calvin Ogburn, Southern Maryland Recreational Complex
  • Riley Schwertz, Point Lookout State Park


  • Travis Anthony, Cunningham Falls State Park
  • Emily Hendershot, Rocky Gap State Park
  • Ryan Keller, Herrington Manor State Park
  • Noah Manges, New Germany State Park
  • Cecilia Melton, South Mountain Recreation Area
  • Scott Offutt, Cunningham Falls State Park
  • Andrew Ogle, Deep Creek Lake State Park
  • Christine Smith, Deep Creek Lake State Park

“Maryland Park Rangers represent the vanguard of the Park Service mission – ‘to manage the state’s natural, cultural, historical, and recreational resources, to provide for wise stewardship and enjoyment by people,’” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz. “I thank each of them for their commitment to their duties, sharing and preserving our most treasured lands and waters now and for future generations.”

The Maryland Park Service takes pride in their ranger school program, which ensures that their rangers are highly skilled and competent in their duties. With the graduation of the 13th class of new State Park Rangers, the Maryland Park Service continues to maintain the quality of service they provide to the public.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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