The Orcas Island Park and Recreation District (OIPRD) has hired Marcia West, a former Army Major, Landscape Architect project manager and teacher, to serve as the first-ever Director of OIPRD.
“Marcia (pronounced Mar-see-ah) has had three incredible career moves, each involving skills we see as integral to the success of OIPRD. We feel so lucky to have her on board,” says new Board Chair Bob Eagan.
Marcia completed a career in the Army and Washington National Guard as Major in Engineering and Logistics, which gave her management skills and budgeting expertise. After active duty she returned to school to get a Masters in Landscape Architecture which led to 20 years in the private sector working as project manager for a variety of large scale parks, plazas and ecological restoration projects including the Seattle Civic Center and The Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ landscape redesigns.
She also served as project manager for developing a master plan and environmental restoration program for Arches National Park in Moab, Utah requiring interagency and consensus building with a large number of interest groups, state and federal agencies.
Six years ago Marcia made a decision to try teaching and returned to school for middle school teaching certificate. She became a middle school Math and Science teacher at Brighton Middle School part of the Nobel Learning Community of Schools, which includes 168 elementary, and middle schools across the country. In 2010, Marcia was honored as Middle School Teacher of the Year within that system.
Marcia was born in Bellingham and one year old later moved to Orcas Island along with her mother and father, June and Father Johnson West, Episcopal minister at the Church in Eastsound. From the age of 7 on, Marcia went to school all over the country as Father West completed his career as a Chaplin in the Air Force.
Marcia is sister to Deborah Hansen, local realtor and community volunteer, and her mother June West and aunt Thelma Kallem live in Olga.
Nine years ago Marcia, and her partner Cynthia Fugate, purchased a cottage at Sea Acres, which will be their retirement home. Cynthia is currently the Senior Associate Dean of Libraries at the University of Washington. Adjusting to island life is their 3 –year old Corgi, Dinah.
When asked why Orcas, why now, and why OIPRD, Marcia replied, “The Park and Recreation position blends all my past experiences and gives me the opportunity to serve Orcas. It allows me to focus on things I love; Orcas, seniors to kids, park development and recreation activities. Plus, I am an admitted computer wonk and the opportunities of a start-up, online registration systems and accounting—all those systems set ups are challenging and actually fun for me.”
The public will be invited to a welcome reception for Marcia at the new OIPRD offices at the Funhouse Commons on September 16.