Education outreach is one of the most important, if sometimes quietly promoted, missions of the Salem Witch Museum. When Alison D’Amario first joined our team in 1986 there was no education department to speak of. How times have changed!
Alison became a member of the staff with 17 years’ background as an educator at Masconomet Regional High School. That experience set the tone for what would be over 25 more years of teaching, this time dealing with a relatively short but far-reaching period in the history of Colonial America. Since coming on board Alison has been interviewed by innummerable news and documentary producers, published teachers’ materials and was a principal part of the 1992 Tercentenary Committee which initiated the Salem Award.
An overview of the career of this highly accomplished Director of Education shows Alison linking up to far away class rooms via Skype or teleconference to teach students too remote to easily visit our museum in person. She has also worked with video production crews featuring pieces about Salem tourism, participated in filmed question and answer sessions with well-known World Book and been interviewed by the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. She would say the most rewarding aspect of her time at the Salem Witch Museum was her involvement with the Salem Witch Trial Memorial Committee, part of the 300-year anniversary of the trials, where she helped organize over 250 architectural design submissions vying to be selected as the winner.
During this month’s Martha Carrier Family reunion Alison spoke to over 100 descendants of this witch trial victim about how the Witch Trial Memorial came to be and recounted how much the experience meant to her. She reminded the family, among whom Kathleen Kent author of the Heretic’s Daughter and the Wolves of Andover was counted, that Martha was a strong and brave woman.
Though we are all proud of the “front of the house” presentations about the Salem Witch Trials and Witches Evolving Perceptions exhibit offered here at the Salem Witch Museum, we are honored by the additional quality education outreach she has made accessible to the public.