When I interviewed for my position, I went for a walk with our Livestock Manager. She took me out to one of the pastures and called for the cattle. About ten of these 1000-pound beasts stampeded towards us and I thought, “Am I going to die during this interview?” But I stood there calmly with a bit more curiosity than fear. Later she told me that this was her little test for me. She figured that if I was going to teach people about animals than I shouldn’t be too skittish. I guess I passed the test.
My favorite part of our site is the detached colonial kitchen on the National Colonial Farm. When you step onto the dirt floor in this tiny space, it’s like taking a 250 year trip back in time. I love the fireplace, cast-iron cookware, clay pots, and the dried herbs hanging along the handcrafted wood beams. Take a deep breath in. You can smell history in there!
If I were a farm animal I would choose to be a hog. They’re incredibly smart and need to have intellectual stimulation. Fueled by boredom, I’ve seen our Ossabaw Hogs work together to execute elaborate escape plans. It’s both amazing and hilarious. I get a little mischievous when I’m bored too!
Andrea’s passion for authentic and engaging educational practice began when she was a high school social studies teacher in Atlanta, Georgia. With the goal of inspiring young minds to examine big questions, rather than small facts, she earned a reputation for using non-traditional teaching methods — from role playing and dramatic performance to art-making and even grassroots activism.
In her next career as Education Specialist for the Atlanta History Center, Andrea was part of a three-person, award-winning team that created a framework for an entirely new, more immersive visitor experience. “We wanted people to feel like they were participating in historical events firsthand — making real decisions and connecting the past to their current day life,” she explains.
In her new role at Accokeek Foundation, Andrea is using her expertise to strategize innovative ways to involve the public in meaningful discussions and experiences about what it means to have a responsible and sustainable relationship with the land.