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Miller named new national park superintendent

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Hot Springs National Park will have a new superintendent by the end of the summer.

Laura Miller, currently the acting superintendent of Buffalo National River in northern Arkansas, will assume the position in Hot Springs this August, according to a news release from the National Park Service.

Miller replaces Josie Fernandez, who retired from the position at the end of March.

"I am very excited to be coming," Miller told The Sentinel-Record via phone on Tuesday. "I am very familiar with the park and with the area. There is a lot of really good energy there."

Miller, originally from Texas, has served as Buffalo National River's deputy superintendent since 2014. She also worked on the establishment of the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site and President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site, both of which are now designated as National Park Service units. She said she worked closely with Hot Springs National Park staff who provided expertise and other support for the two projects.

Miller said she plans on developing new programs that will engage the community of Hot Springs with the national park, citing the examples of music festivals, concerts and races that have been developed during her time at Buffalo National River.

"I am used to working with partners in the communities," she said. "I am looking forward to getting there and getting to know folks in the community to see how we can fit in better and play a bigger role."

Miller also served as president of the Arkansas Historical Association, the Arkansas Museums Association, the Little Rock Museums Consortium and the Arkansas Women's History Institute.

"Laura is an exceptional leader who knows how to listen and foster collaboration both within and outside of government," Cam Sholly, National Park Service Midwest Regional director, said in the release. "She will be a strong partner to the community of Hot Springs and work with the outstanding NPS staff to continue taking the park in new directions."

Pete Swisher, who heads up Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in Iowa, is serving as interim superintendent in Hot Springs.

Local on 05/16/2018

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