Faces of Fauquier: Her job all about fun in Warrenton
Margaret Rice has a law degree and a master’s degree in finance.
It’s a very cool job. I get to meet people in the community and I get to work in my hometown, which is neat. People are happy when they visit the parks.
Her varied experience in business, finance, and law prepared her for the job she loves.
Town Parks and Recreation Director Margaret Rice oversees budgeting, planning, marketing, grant writing and daily operations of the Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility and four parks within the corporate limits.
“It’s a very cool job. I get to meet people in the community and I get to work in my hometown, which is neat,” Mrs. Rice said. “There is always something going on at the WARF.”
She started at the WARF when it opened in 2007 and worked her way up to director of the department.
More than 2,000 children learn how to swim every year at Fauquier County’s largest aquatics, fitness, recreation and sports complex.
Mrs. Rice and her husband Robert, a native of the area, moved to Fauquier County in 1981. Their three daughters during high school competed in swim meets at the WARF.
“I think it’s been an amazing place to raise a family,” she said of Fauquier. “It’s a really nice place to live. You can walk into any store and see someone you know.”
In her spare time, she enjoys taking spin classes, walking the trails around the WARF and hiking.
Town of Warrenton Parks and Recreation Department director. In addition to the WARF, the department has four parks: Eva Walker, Rady, Sam Tarr and Academy Hill. She worked as director of business and information at George Mason University from 1985 to 1995, then as a stay-at-home mom for 10 years.
• Why do you do the job?
It’s a very cool job. I get to meet people in the community and I get to work in my hometown, which is neat. People are happy when they visit the parks. I got into the job because of my kids’ swim meets. We were always at a pool or a swim meet, and when the WARF opened they started swimming here. My kids were swimmers for 15 years.
Robert, husband; three daughters, Sarah, Jessica, and Morgan.
Law degree, George Mason University, 1991; master’s degree in finance, GMU, 1985; bachelor’s degree in music management, Shenandoah University, 1981.
• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Thirty-four years, since 1981. My husband grew up here, and his family is from here.
• Why do you live here?
I think it’s been an amazing place to raise a family. It’s a really nice place to live. You can walk into any store and see someone you know.
• How do you describe this county?
Wonderful is the first word that comes to mind. It’s home.
• What would you change about Fauquier?
I like it the way it is. I think it’s perfect the way it is.
• What do you do for fun?
Read. I like to go to the beach a lot. I go hiking on weekends — Whitney State Forest and Skyline Drive.
• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
The WARF! I like going to spin classes and walking around on the trails outside. My second favorite place is the library.
• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I suspect we are going to see more development in retail and residential. It seems to me the board of supervisors and the town council have a good grip on it and preserving the atmosphere.
• Favorite TV show?
“Downton Abbey” and “Madam Secretary”
• Favorite movie?
• Favorite book?
The “Outlander” series and I like to read books by local authors.
• Favorite vacation spot?
Chincoteague. It’s got the small-town feel like Warrenton.
• Favorite food?
I like trying new foods from different cultures. I like Nora’s Restaurant in Gainesville.
• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
Well it’s a standard piece of advice: Do something that makes you happy.
• Who’s your hero and why?
My dad, because he put himself through college and took care of his family the best he could.
• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Reality is: I would still keep my job, because I like it even if I didn’t have $1 million. I would give each of my kids a house and car to help them get started.
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