By Leslie Bouterie
In October, the staff of President Lincoln’s Cottage doubled as the charter group of historical interpreters joined the front line team. The half-dozen new staff members hail from across the nation and bring a wealth of education, museum and interpretation experience to their roles. Interpreters will welcome and orient visitors, conduct interactive, guided tours of the Cottage, and assist with educational programs. Members of the new interpretive team are: Leslie Bouterie, Steve Carson, Shira Gladstone, Allison Herrmann, Karen Murphy, and John Rudy.
In preparation for their new positions, the interpreters embarked on a rigorous month-long training program, designed and conducted by Curator of Education Jill Sanderson. Each daily session featured speakers from the current staff and guest presenters, discussions, interactive group exercises, and site visits, and was augmented with readings and assignments. All current staff members participated in leading sessions in their area of expertise such as site history, exhibits and furnishings, architectural preservation, educational methods and interpretive techniques, 21st century museum practice, the use of site technology, development, and goals and initiatives of the site. Guest presenters included Matthew Pinsker, author of Lincoln’s Sanctuary; National Park Service colleagues from Arlington House, Kendall Thompson and Emily Weisner; and Melodie Menke, volunteer services coordinator of the Armed Forces Retirement Home.
This well-rounded program provided a sound foundation for the interpretive team and will be augmented with monthly continuing education sessions, readings and research. The interpreters look forward with great anticipation to welcoming visitors to President Lincoln’s Cottage in February 2008.
To apply for an Interpreter position at President Lincoln’s Cottage please select the following link: Interpreter Job Description and Application Procedures