Trusted local news leader for Williams AZ and the Grand Canyon
Tue, March 31

Northup family moves on<br>to Great Smoky Mountains

GC VILLAGE — Dozens of friends of Jim and Phyllis Northup and their two daughters gathered Thursday evening at the Rotary ramada near the Grand Canyon Community Recreation Center to say good-bye to the family.

The Northups, from left, Amy, Jim, Phyllis and Erin.

The Northup family left Grand Canyon for a new job at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. Jim leaves his job of five years at Grand Canyon National Park as chief of ranger operations while Phyllis moves on after working as art teacher at the local school.

"It has been a great privilege to be associated with the ranger program at Grand Canyon," Northup said. "But I am also very excited about my new position."

Judging by the number of people who turned out for the farewell party, the Northups were a popular family. Both Erin and Amy were very active in school activities, both academically and athletically.

"Grand Canyon has some of the finest rangers and staff specialists in the Service," Jim Northup said. "My family and I leave with many fine memories."

Jim Northup will serve as the chief ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most-visited national park in the entire system.

The Great Smoky Mountains is also one of only six parks in the country designated as both an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage site.

"Few parks offer as many interesting challenges to those of us focused on visitor and resource protection as the Smokies," Northup said.

Phyllis Northup moves on from her art teaching job at Grand Canyon School. She served in that position or four years and built an exceptional program. The artwork of Northup’s students could often be seen around the park through displays and shows. She got the Artist of the Week program going in the local newspaper.

Besides her work at the school, Phyllis also worked as a seasonal naturalist for the park, blending her passion for art and environmental education.

The Northup’s oldest daughter Erin, who graduated this June as co-salutatorian of Grand Canyon High School and has also worked as a seasonal naturalist, will be a freshman at Colorado State University this fall.

Their youngest daughter Amy, an employee at Verkamp’s this summer, will enroll as a sophomore at Gatlinburg-Pittman High School in Tennessee.

During his tenure with the park, Jim Northup supervised the full spectrum of ranger operations on the South Rim and within the inner canyon as well as the park’s backcountry and river permit program.

He played a leadership role in the design and implementation of the park’s award-winning preventative search and rescue program, worked on river and backcountry use management planning, worked with the Hualapai Nation on joint operations within the lower canyons and served on the Grand Canyon Community Recreation Center board of directors.

"We wish all of our friends the very best," he said. "We have enjoyed the Grand Canyon community very much."

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