Caledonia, Pine Grove Furnace state parks to welcome new class of DCNR Rangers

31 May 2024- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn recently visited Little Buffalo State Park for ceremony honoring the 2024 graduates of the department’s ranger trainee academy. 

“We are proud of our 2024 class of graduates and look forward to seeing their impact at our parks this summer and beyond,” Dunn said. “Our rangers and park managers are key in providing positive visitor experiences, in addition to their duties as sworn law enforcement officers. I am confident that their hard work during training has prepared these graduates for long and successful careers within our state parks system.”

DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks employs park rangers to oversee law enforcement in state parks and forests. State park ranger and manager trainees must complete a 19-week academy that includes training to learn to provide visitor services, educational programs and information, specifics of equipment use, enforcing rules and commonwealth law, and more.

Ranger graduates for 2024 include:

  • Lucas Sottolano, Bald Eagle State Park
  • Matt Colson, French Creek State Park
  • Maija McFarland, French Creek State Park
  • Joshua Jones, Shawnee State Park
  • Katherine Kelly, Little Pine State Park
  • Dan McEachern, Moraine State Park
  • Peyton Bontz, Moraine State Park
  • Shane Sikora, Keystone State Park
  • Leah Woytek, Keystone State Park
  • Benjamin Trexler, Ridley Creek State Park
  • Thomas Meyers, Neshaminy State Park
  • Kyle Yacyk, Neshaminy State Park
  • Nick Patitucci, Nockamixon State Park
  • Jill Parisien, Nockamixon State Park
  • Cody Conrad, Delaware Canal State Park
  • Dalton Treon, Prince Gallitzin State Park
  • Genevieve Babetski, Ricketts Glen State Park
  • Makala Eberly, Pine Grove Furnace State Park
  • Madison Kyle, Greenwood Furnace State Park
  • Ethan Joseph, Ohiopyle State Park
  • Juan Rosado, Tyler State Park
  • Emily McCoy, Gifford Pinchot State Park
  • Kyle Kaminsky, Lackawanna State Park
  • Kelle Halfpenney, Caledonia State Park
  • Brian Poffenberger, Caledonia State Park
  • Christopher Karasweicz, Promised Land State Park
  • Vanessa Wolf, Promised Land State Park

Manager trainee graduates include:

  • Scott Morgan, Lyman Run State Park
  • Benjamin Bender, Northcentral region
  • Mack Hawkins, Western Region
  • Liam Goldbach, Eastern Region

“I am proud of our 2024 graduates and the commitment to service the have demonstrated through the academy,” State Parks Director John Hallas said. “Completing the ranger academy is a tremendous accomplishment, and I am excited to see them demonstrate what they have learned at their respective parks this summer and going forward.”

Those interested in becoming a park ranger must:

  • Be a Pennsylvania resident
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Must possess a valid certificate or its equivalent in first aid and adult, child and infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as provided by the PA Department of Health for professional rescuers or health care professionals at the time of the interview.
  • Complete the State Civil Service Commission exam

For more information about becoming a ranger trainee or for other Pennsylvania employment opportunities, visit

DCNR manages 124 state parks, 2.2 million acres of state forest lands, and is tasked with conserving and sustaining Pennsylvania’s natural resources for present and future generations’ use and enjoyment.