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February 18, 2015

Faces of Fauquier: Her job all about fun in Warrenton

Photo/Cassandra Brown
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.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
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.

• Age

• Home

• Work
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.

• Family
Robert, husband; three daughters, Sarah, Jessica, and Morgan.

• Education
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.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• Robert Sturgeon has built his 70-employee businesses in Bealeton from scratch.

• 4-H leader Zach Woodward relishes the lessons of farming.

• Hospital auxiliary volunteer Alison Lee also earned fame in drag racing circles.

• Highland School veteran staff member Lise Hicklin always wanted to teach.

• As 9-1-1 dispatcher, Kateland Rich works to maintain calm during crisis.

• Chaplain Liz Danielsen finds a giving community.

• 9-1-1 response in Rodney Woodward’s bloodline.

• Fast talk a tool of the trade for auctioneer Kathy Shumate.

• Sam Poles takes care of varmits.

• Diane King mentors student performers at Fresta Valley Christian School.

• Lewis F. Lee Jr. followed his father into taxidermy business.

• Edward Payne returns to Orlean and to photography with passion.

• Janet Metzger’s Old Town Warrenton shop a hub of creativity.

• Pablo Teodoro bakes to build community.

• Community trails have become passion for retired VDOT engineer Bob Moore.

• Teresa Reynolds makes transition from butcher to museum director.

• After working in New York and Italy, Christine Fox moved home to open fashion boutique 25 years ago.

• Steve Lewis develops hunting reality show on Dish Network.

• Julia Trumbo grew up in the family grocery business.

• Tax preparer Renée Turner enjoys owning a business in Old Town Warrenton.

• ICU staff Carol Jones values patients’ trust.

• Wilson Sanabria grew up working in his family’s Warrenton restaurant and learning to box.

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.

• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.

• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.

• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”

• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.

• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.

• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.

• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.

• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.

• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.

• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people

• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.

• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.

• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.

• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.

• Pastor a constant in Calverton.

• She keeps the courthouse spotless.

• He loves working working outdoors at the park.

• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton

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