For our next feature on “What Are They Doing Now?” we would like to introduce Joe Skonce, graduate of 2012. Read on to hear about how his history degree helped him with his career at Hale Farm!
“I am the Education and Public Programs Manager at Hale Farm & Village, a living history museum located in Bath, Ohio. We talk about Early Ohio European settlers’ lives through the 1860s by demonstrating historic crafts and trades like blacksmithing, pottery, and broom making (among others), caring for heritage breed farm animals, and talking about daily life activities in the Western Reserve. As Education and Public Programs Manager, I work with a team of educators to create fun and engaging interpretations to help make the past come to life. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, we also created several virtual field trip options to provide something approximating the Hale experience in a “learn from home” environment.
In terms of advice to Wooster students, stay flexible and adaptable. I worked my way up through the ranks at Hale Farm by making myself available to learn new things. In my time at Hale, I learned how to make brooms, candles, and throw pottery. I have taken care of animals, assisted the glassblower, written interpretations, done research, helped book field trips, and made myself available to learn new things at all times. Over those years, I became an essential member of the team. I think it’s important to let others know about your skills and talents, but always be willing to learn something new. This was true of being a Wooster History student. History is a set of skills applicable to any area, era, or topic. Wooster was important because it taught me the flexibility that I used to become Education and Public Programs Manager. It can sometimes be a bit daunting, but if you keep your spirits up and find ways to relate to your audience, you can become an excellent museum educator and, one day, write interpretations all your own.”