June 2 will mark the end of a long career of service for Mount Rushmore National Memorial’s superintendent Cheryl Schreier. She retires after a 40-year career that began with an internship at Jewel Cave National Monument.
“I chose to retire at this point in my career because the timing was just right,” she said. “I had started working nearly 40 years ago in early June 1979 and I was ready to transition to the next chapter of my life. All the stars were aligned in the realm of planning for a successful retirement and I was personally prepared for new adventures.”
She is the first female superintendent of Mount Rushmore, a position she “will always be honored and humbled” to have had.
Although a native of Minnesota, Schreier plans on an active retirement in the Black Hills.
“I look forward to spending quality time with my husband, Bill, who retired from the National Park Service 14 years ago, my dog, Jewel, and family and friends. We plan to stay in the Black Hills and I am also looking forward to traveling throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.
“I plan to thoroughly enjoy those perfect summer days throughout the Black Hills paddleboarding, kayaking, bicycling and hiking. I would also like to have the time to cross country ski, snowshoe and ice skate more during the winter months and not be limited to just weekends off to play. I may dabble in watercolor painting, play guitar, cook more creatively and volunteer for those causes near and dear to my heart,” she added.
Schreier, who has worked in some of the country’s biggest and busiest parks, including Yellowstone, Death Valley and Bryce, is most proud of “carrying out the National Park Service mission of preserving and protecting the significant natural and cultural resources and providing for the enjoyment of these special places for our visitors.”
A steward of Mt. Rushmore since 2010, Schreier feels the memorial “truly symbolizes the ideals of our country, which include democracy, freedom and patriotism, as well as a symbol of all that is possible here in the United States of America. It is also a welcoming site for those who have served in our military, both active military and our veterans,” she said.
As for her successor, Schreier said, “my advice to the next Mount Rushmore superintendent would be to engage with the outstanding work force of the park, continue the strong partnerships and relationships with park partners and local communities to provide the best possible visitor experiences without negatively impacting the outstanding natural and cultural resources of the park.”