Working at the National Archives as an Education Specialist has been a career filled with purpose and meaning. I can honestly say that I love what I do. My work day at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, KS, is rarely what I would describe as routine.
Typically, my day involves working on at least one major education initiative while managing existing programs such as educational events and onsite programming. Iím also heavily involved in our new experimental learning program, Five Star Leaders, which challenges students in grades 8-12, college students, and adults to work together to solve a problem, confront a crisis, or accomplish a mission. Armed with original documents and knowledge of history and leadership, participants take on the same challenges as those experienced by historical figures.
In my interactions with customers, I find myself educating them about the nature and importance of our holdings as a first step. In all of our educational products, whether it is curricula, web site pages, resources for teachers, programs, or events, our holdings are an integral feature. In almost every case when a customer has the opportunity to view the libraryís original documents, there is an instant connection, fascination, and a newfound appreciation for the records of their history and government.
Prior to coming to the National Archives, I was a career teacher with 22 years of classroom experience in grades 7-12. My formal education includes a BA in Spanish, with a minor in social studies, and an MA in political science. In 1984, I completed a graduate internship at the Eisenhower Library as part of my Masterís program but never imagined that 15 years later I would return to work here.
I feel very fortunate to work at the National Archives, in large part due to the quality of the people I have met throughout the system. They are generous in sharing their knowledge and expertise, take pride in their work, and extend a sense of camaraderie that makes my workday more interesting, enjoyable and meaningful.