News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Linn County hires new parks and recreation director

Linn County Communications Officer

Linn County Communications: 

New Linn County Parks & Recreation Director Stacey Whaley and her predecessor Brian Carroll share a love of the outdoors dating back to family backpacking trips, his on the East Coast and hers 3,000 miles away on the West Coast.

Whaley, 47, was recently hired to succeed Carroll, who retired at the end of December after 25 years heading up Linn County Parks.

“Stacey brings enthusiasm and a broad base of experience that will help move the Parks Department forward for many years to come,” Linn County Administrative Officer Darrin Lane said.

Although she has spent more than 20 years as a school teacher and administrator, Whaley has a degree in Parks & Recreation Management from the University of Utah, where she played volleyball.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about this,” Whaley said. “It’s a phenomenal opportunity.”

Whaley and her family live near Springfield and she is Director of Student Services for the Marcola School District. She has several friends who live in Linn County and one of them posted the parks job opening on their social media account.

“I grew up near Coburg and my parents were PE teachers,” Whaley said. “We did lots of outdoor activities. We hiked, camped, went whitewater rafting, kayaking, you name it.”

While at the University of Utah, Whaley worked several jobs including working with the college outdoor program, being a river guide and working hospitality at local hotels that catered to the ski crowd.

Now, her family focuses on water sports, camping, and four-wheeling.

But teaching has been Whaley’s focus for many years, mostly at Springfield High. She was the principal at Mohawk High before landing her current job for Marcola School District.

“I think many of the same skills I have learned and used here will transfer over into the parks job,” Whaley said. 

The Whaley family already has a link to Linn County. Her husband, Garth, is a mechanic and works at Advanced Mechanical in Brownsville. Daughter Brooke, 17, is a junior at Mohawk High and a volunteer cadet at Marcola Valley Fire District. 

Whaley said she can’t wait to get going, work with Carroll for a bit and meet the folks who make the parks system run.

“This is a tremendous opportunity,” Whaley said. “It’s my dream job.”

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