21-year NPS veteran Michelle Wheatley selected as superintendent for Mount Rushmore National Memorial

KEYSTONE, S.D. — National Park Service Regional Director Bert Frost announced on Monday that 21-year National Park Service veteran Michelle Wheatley has been selected to serve as the superintendent at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, effective late March.

“Michelle has an extensive and successful background working with park gateway communities, partner organizations, tribal leaders, tourism partners, and managing large-scale national special events,” said Frost. “She has proven herself to be an accomplished leader, intently focused on helping the American people find deeper meaning and connections with their national parks. Michelle is sure to add tremendous value as superintendent of Mount Rushmore.”

Wheatley has worked in national parks across the western United States and currently serves as superintendent at Jewel Cave National Monument. Her other assignments include superintendent of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and Chief of Interpretation at Colorado National Monument. She has also served in a variety of visitor service positions in Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Parks. Wheatley was also acting superintendent at Colorado National Monument, Grant Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, and at Wind Cave National Park.

Michelle Wheatley C

photo courtesy: NPS

Before joining the National Park Service, Wheatley was a seasonal employee with the U.S. Forest Service and worked as the Outdoor Education and Science Coordinator for YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. She also served as the Environmental Compliance and Safety Program Assistant for the City of Colorado Springs Environmental Services Division.

She is a graduate of Colorado State University, having earned a bachelor’s in recreation and business administration, and later receiving a graduate certificate in natural resources and environments from CSU’s Division of Continuing Education.

“It is truly an honor to be selected as the superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial,” Wheatley said. “I look forward to working closely with park staff, partners, and engaging with community members to protect the incredible resources and tell the many stories Mount Rushmore has to offer.”

Wheatley and her husband, Hal, live in Custer and spend their free time exploring the Black Hills with their two dogs, Millie and Bobby.

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