Day in the Life: Love drew director to community
Shannon Newton grew up in Reston, Va., but considers Laurinburg her home.
"I came for college," said Newton, who attended St. Andrews Presbyterian College. "But I stayed here for love."
Newton, who has worked as the director of Scotland County Parks and Recreation for the last decade, said she met her husband while attending St. Andrews.
"I fell in love with him, and I fell in love with this community," Newton said. "This is a close-knit community. Everyone looks out for each other."
Newton has seen Laurinburg - and particularly Laurinburg's recreational needs - grow over the last 10 years. She said the increasingly younger population has driven demand for more activities.
"We face funding challenges and growth challenges," Newton said. "But we've got a great staff and a large group of volunteers to help out."
Newton said the new soccer complex (only a few weeks old) has been a huge hit, as was the Splash Pad water park when it debuted not long ago.
"I love the way the community has embraced these activities and programs," Newton said. "I feel we've been very successful in what we do, providing for a county of 36,000 people."
However, Newton always has an eye on the future.
"And we're planning on how BRAC will affect our programming," Newton said. "There's going to be a lot more people here soon, and our programming will have to grow to meet that challenge."