Historical society names new education director
November 3, 2011
The Douglas County Historical Society is taking the museum to the students.
Newly appointed education director, Iris Blaisdell, is looking forward to starting an outreach program with the elementary schools on Nevada history.
“Since the schools now have monetary problems, and can’t take many field trips, we’ll take us to them and hopefully get kids interested in coming to the museum,” Blaisdell said. “I’m looking forward to meeting the kids and teaching them about history and how it was long ago.”
As volunteers, Blaisdell and her assistant Dianna M. DeBorges want to start a pilot program at Minden Elementary after the new year that would include a 45-minute presentation on what life was like as a child pioneer. The lesson would include historical documents and artifacts from the museum, as well as a hands on activity.
“The fourth-grade teachers seem to be interested,” Blaisdell said. “We’ll start with this and see what the schools would like.”
Blaisdell graduated from the University of Wyoming with a history degree, and worked as a school teacher for 29 years in California and overseas until retiring to Gardnerville in March.
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Her husband, Jim, is a 1956 graduate of Douglas High School.
When Blaisdell heard about the historical society needing a volunteer education director she thought it would be a great match for her background.
“I was a history major in college, so this was a way to put my historical experience and my teaching experience together,” she said. “I’m enjoying it so much. It’s nice to start your own project, and this area is a place with a lot of history.”
Blaisdell’s long-term plans include offering classes to students at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center on how to do oral histories on their families.
She also wanted to remind the community that the first Saturday of each month students and seniors receive free admission to the museum.
Any schools interested in participating in the outreach program should call the Douglas County Historical Society at 782-2555.