RALEIGH – Sean McElhone, formerly the superintendent at Lake James State Park, has been promoted to west district superintendent for the state parks system, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
McElhone succeeds Tom Jackson, who retired in September after a 27-year career.
As one of four district superintendents, McElhone will be responsible for operations, resource management, environmental education programming, law enforcement, safety and facility maintenance for 11 state parks and seven state natural areas in western North Carolina.
“Sean has done an outstanding job directing the development of Lake James State Park, which was expanded by more than 3,000 acres,” said Lewis Ledford, state parks director. “His administrative abilities and practical experience at five established state parks will be invaluable as we develop other new state parks in the west, including those at Chimney Rock, Grandfather Mountain and Elk Knob.”
McElhone has served as superintendent at Lake James in Burke and McDowell counties since 2007. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., he earned an associate degree in forest technology and a bachelor’s degree in recreation and parks management, both from Penn State University in 2000.
McElhone was an intern at Mount Mitchell State Park, before joining the state parks system in 2000 as a ranger at Hammocks Beach State Park. He was a senior ranger at Jones Lake State Park and in 2006, was named superintendent at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. He is a certified environmental educator.