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Educator Institute


May 29 & 30, 2024

Empowering educators with realistic tools to initiate and facilitate complex conversations in the Social Studies classroom.

Learn from expert authors, historians, and educators through engaging lectures, tours, and visual gallery walks.

Presented By FirstBank

Day One Schedule


Speakers: Psychologist: Shelby Phillips MS, LPC-MHSP, RPT and Jenny Morten LMFT RPT

Building Relationships for Hard Topics with 15 minute Q and A


Speaker: Williamson County Historian, Rick Warwick

United States History Through the Lens of Williamson County


Gallery Walk: Beginnings of Williamson County Through Photos


Speaker: Dr. Ann Murrell Taylor, Professor of History, University of Kentucky

“Tackling ‘Difficult’ History: Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction”


Speaker: Dr. Stacey Graham, Research Professor, MTSU Center for Historic Preservation

Who is an American Citizen? Using Primary Sources to Explore Historical Issues

Day Two Schedule


Self-Guided Tours of Moore-Morris History and Culture Center


Panel Discussion: This panel will be an opportunity for local figures to share personal stories of why historical preservation, education, and knowledge about the history of Williamson County is important.


Speaker: Dr. David Snyder, Professor of History

Teaching the Holocaust in Secondary Schools


Speaker: Nat Taylor, Managing Director of the Moore-Morris History and Culture Center

History and Significance of Recording Oral History


Speaker: Dr. Angela Sutton, Research Assistant Professor of Communication of Science and Technology and Assistant Dean of Graduate Education and Academic Affairs

Teaching Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction with Local Resources in 2024 in the United States South


Speaker: Dr. Jordan Alexander - Lecturer

Bottom-Up Approach to teaching Reconstruction and Jim Crowism

Featured Speakers

Dr. Jordan Alexander is originally a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in History, and his Master’s degree in American History, from Liberty University. Dr. Alexander earned his Ph.D. in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University. He has lived in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the past seven and a half years. Dr. Alexander has a love for history and museums which he developed at a young age.

Dr. Alexander also has a passion for African American history, teaching, and oral history. His research interests within African American history focus on the Civil War, Reconstruction and the long Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. Alexander serves as his family's historian and has been compiling information for several years to preserve their genealogy. He currently serves as a full-time lecturer at Middle Tennessee State University, where he teaches survey courses in African American history to undergraduate students. Aside from teaching, Dr. Alexander enjoys playing basketball, reading, writing and learning to play golf.

Dr. Stacey Graham is the research professor for the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles. As research professor, Graham provides research and writing support to exhibits, projects, and reports, and teaches courses in the MTSU Department of History. Graham is also the project coordinator for Teaching with Primary Sources – MTSU, a program of the Library of Congress which promotes educators’ use of digital primary sources in the classroom. Her research interests include cemeteries, material culture, history of the book, international historic preservation, and ancient and medieval history.

Jenny Matern is a licensed marriage and family therapist and registered play therapist. Jenny currently works with children, teens and adult women as well as provides parent coaching at her private practice in Franklin, Tn. Her training includes: Level 2 Internal Family Systems, Level 1 Brainspotting and is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention Practitioner. Jenny also teaches introduction and advanced play therapy to masters level marriage and family therapy students at Lipscomb University.

Shelby Phillips is a licensed professional counselor and registered play therapist. Shelby currently works with children and parents focusing on anxiety, trauma, and attachment-based parenting skills. She has a private practice in Franklin, TN. Her trainings include Theraplay Level 1, TraumaPlay, and she is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention Practitioner. Shelby has previously worked in the community agency setting and as a school-based therapist.

Dr. David Raub Snyder is a Professor of History at Austin Peay State University. Specializing in Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and military justice, he is also a fellow of Northwestern University’s Summer Seminar on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization. His book, Sex Crimes under the Wehrmacht, was nominated for the American Historical Associations Herbert Baxter Adams prize in 2008

Dr. Angela Sutton is a research assistant professor in Communication of Science and Technology at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of Pirates of the Slave Trade: the Battle of Cape Lopez and the Birth of an American Institution. She has been a board member with the Friends of Fort Negley for 7 years, and has worked with the Visitors Center staff to help develop its educational offerings. She is the director of the Fort Negley Descendants Project, an oral history archive of the descendants of Fort Negley, and most recently has completed the Builders and Defenders database, a database of the names and biographical information of the over 19,000 enslaved and free Black people who built Nashville's wartime defenses and infrastructure and the Black soldiers who defended the city in the Civil War. In her workshop, Sutton will discuss ways to use local primary source materials to teach slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, and how to manage challenging classroom conversations so teachers can feel more confident helping TN students get the full (hi)story they deserve. The workshop includes access to free digital K-12 lesson plans, presentations, assignments, workbooks, readings, and other curricular materials created by both public and private school teachers with Tennessee Academic Standards in mind.

Amy Murrell Taylor is the T. Marshall Hahn Jr. Professor of History at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of several books about slavery and the Civil War era, including Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps (UNC Press, 2018), which won the Frederick Douglass prize for best book on the history of American slavery given by the Gilder Lehrman Institute at Yale University, as well as other national prizes. She is currently working as one of the new co-authors of the college textbook, America: A Narrative History (W.W. Norton). Taylor teaches courses ranging from introductory surveys to graduate seminars and has been honored with the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching at the University of Kentucky. Her current research focuses on everyday life in the Reconstruction South.

In the heart of Williamson County, where the echoes of history resound through rolling hills and beautifully restored homes, a new chapter begins with the opening of The Moore-Morris History and Culture Center. Stepping into the role of Managing Director is Nat Taylor, a seasoned historian and dedicated advocate for preserving the rich tapestry of our past.

Nat’s journey to this role has been a winding path through diverse landscapes and cultural experiences. Born in southern Illinois and crisscrossing the country due to his father’s job, Nat developed a deep appreciation for the varied perspectives and narratives that shape our society. He returned to his home state to earn his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in history from Southern Illinois University.

However, it’s not just in the halls of academia where Nat’s passion for history thrived. His personal interests in genealogy led him to uncover his family ties to Middle Tennessee’s earliest settlers, a discovery that would ultimately draw him to the region. Since planting his roots in Tennessee in 2017, Nat has immersed himself in the state’s history and culture as an archivist at the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville. Nat’s work advising historical records repositories across the state enabled him to forge connections with fellow history enthusiasts and delve deeper into his research interests, especially the Reconstruction era.

Alongside his wife, Kallie, and their two daughters, Nat has enjoyed exploring Tennessee’s breathtaking landscapes and state parks. His love for travel, hiking, and exploration only amplifies his commitment to sharing the region’s vibrant history with visitors and locals alike.

Nat Taylor brings with him a wealth of knowledge, a boundless enthusiasm for storytelling, and a profound respect for the diverse voices that comprise our shared heritage. Under his leadership, The Moore-Morris History and Culture Center is poised to become not just a repository of artifacts, but a vibrant hub where the past comes alive, and the voices of history ring clear for generations to come.

After many years in the classroom and as a school librarian, Rick Warwick now applies his energy to collecting the history of Williamson County. Considering himself a better gleaner of facts and tidbits of history than a writer, he has compiled a shelf of published works on Williamson County over the years. As publication chairman of the Williamson County Historical Society since 1990, he has published the annual journal, as well as projects of his choosing. This body of work includes: Leiper’s Fork and Surrounding Communities (1999), Leiper’s Fork and Family Albums (2000), Historical Markers of Williamson County-A Pictorial Guide (1999), Williamson County-In Black & White-A Racial History (2000), Williamson County-Out There In The First District (2001), Meet Me At Chapman’s Pie Wagon (2002), Triune-Two Centuries at the Crossroads (2004), Williamson County-More Than A Good Place to Live (2005), Williamson County-The Civil Wars Revealed Through Letters, Diaries and Memoirs (2006), Freedom and Work in the Reconstruction Era: The Freedmen’s Bureau Labor Contracts of Williamson County (20060, Williamson County-Civil War Veterans-Their Reunions and Photographs(2007), Wish You Were Here—A Postcard Tour of Franklin & Williamson County (2007, Williamson County & the Civil War—As Seen Through the Female Experience (2008), Franklin’s Public Square: A Pictorial History (2017, A Walk Down West Main Street (2018), Rural Scenes of Williamson County (2018), At Home with Working Folks in Williamson County (2018), and North and East of Franklin’s Public Square (2019), Looking Back-Peytonsville, Tennessee, Bethesda and Surrounding Communities (2223).

Rick graduated from Middle Tennessee State University (B.S. 1969 and MAT 1971). He has served on the Tennessee Historical Commission since 2005. He volunteers as a

historian for the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. In January 2017, the Williamson County Commission appointed him county historian.


What is the date and time of the summer Educator Institute?

May 29, 2024 from 7:30 AM -4:00 PM and May 30, 2024 from 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM.

Who can attend the summer Educator Institute?

This event is primarily intended for classroom educators, but we also invite the following professionals to attend:

  • Active Middle School and High School educators and administrators of all disciplines. This year's institute is designed with cross-curricular collaboration in mind to bring historical relevance into disciplines outside of more than just the social studies curriculum.
  • Full-time Historic Sites and Museum Education professionals
  • Librarians

To preserve the integrity of a robust professional development experience, members of the public who are not classroom educators are not permitted to attend.

Do I need to register for the event?

Yes, you must register to attend the Summer Educator Institute.

When does pre-registration open for the event?

Registration is currently open. If there is room, we will accept onsite registrations on May 29th.

What is the cost of registration?

This year's event is free for all classroom and museum educators. We greatly appreciate any donations made at the time of registration or at the event to help continue our local education initiatives.

How do I attend?

Follow the links at the top of the page depending on type of educator.

Is there free parking in Downtown Franklin?

Yes, there is free parking in downtown Franklin. We have two free parking garages located on 2nd Ave. South and 4th Ave. South. All day free parking is also available on the side streets in the historic neighborhoods, just a short walk to the Theatre. There are inexpensive paid parking lots off of Main Street at 4th and Main and 5th and Main.

Will food and drinks be provided?

All breakfast items and snacks as well as coffee, teas, and waters will be provided by the Heritage Foundation. Lunch will be on your own in downtown Franklin. We will provide maps of downtown Franklin for all attendees.

Are you recording the sessions?

At this time, we do not plan to record the entire Summer Educator Institute.

Can I receive a professional development certificate for attending the summer Educator Institute?

Yes, please contact our office directly for your Professional Development Certificate at

Is there a minimum number of sessions I must attend to receive a professional development certificate?

Yes. Any participant requesting a Professional Development credit or certificate must attend the entire Summer Educator Institute to qualify for the certificate.

How long do I have to wait to receive my 2024 professional development certificate?

Professional development certificates will be sent to the email address that you provided by mid-September of 2024.

Do I have to pay for my own professional development certificate?

No, the cost of the certificate will be covered by the Heritage Foundation.

How do I know if my school district will accept the professional development certificate?

It is your responsibility to confirm with your school district they received your Professional Development Certificate. The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County only facilitates the issuance of the professional development certificate. The application of the certificate is up to each individual, school, and school district.

Are there full college credit hours for attend the summer Educator Institute?

No. The Summer Educator Institute does not apply towards any continuing education, including undergraduate or graduate hours, and cannot be applied towards a college degree program.

How long do I have to request my 2024 professional development certificates?

You have until August 15, 2024, to request your Professional Development certificate. We will not process any requests for the 2024 Summer Educator Institute after August 15, 2024.

Presented by:


Teachers, please click to reserve your space.

Museum Educators

Museum Educators, please click to reserve your space.

Event Schedule - Day One - The Franklin Theatre


Light Breakfast & Coffee, Registration, and Networking

8:00-8:15 AM

Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:15 – 9:00 AM

Session I A - Bradley Boshers, Williamson County Archivist

8:15 – 9:15 AM

Session I B - Cultural Landscape Walking Tour with Franklin Walking Tours

9:15 – 10:15 AM

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Elizabeth Chew, James Madison’s Montpelier

10:15 – 10:30 PM


10:30 – 11:30 AM

Session II - Dr. Ashley Bouknight-Claybrooks, American Association of State and Local History

11:30 – 12:45 PM

Lunch On Your Own – Explore Downtown Franklin

12:45 – 1:45 PM

Session III - Steve Phan, Chief of Interpretation, Camp Nelson National Monument

1:45-2:00 PM


2:00-3:00 PM

Afternoon Keynote, Dr. Thomas Flagel, Columbia State University

3:00-3:45 PM

Collaborative Conversations with Scholars

3:45-4:00 PM

Wrap Up & Announcements for Day Two

Event Schedule - Day Two - The History Center of Williamson County


Light Breakfast & Coffee, Registration, and Networking

9:00-10:00 AM

Session 1 A: Bradley Boshers, Director, Williamson County Archives

9:00 – 10:00 AM

Session 1 B: Cultural Landscape Walking Tour with Franklin Walking Tours

10:00 – 11:30 PM

Workshop 1 A – Steve Phan, National Park Service, Chief of Interpretation at Camp Nelson National Monument

10:00 – 11:30 AM

Workshop 1 B – Dr. Ashley-Bouknight-Claybrooks, American Association of State and Local History

10:00 – 11:30 AM

Workshop 1 C – Rachael Finch, Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN

10:00 – 11:30 AM

Workshop 1 D – Dr. Thomas Flagel, Columbia State Community College

11:30 – 12:45 PM

Lunch On Your Own – Explore Downtown Franklin

12:45 – 1:00 PM

Break and regroup for afternoon workshops at the History & Culture Center

1:00-2:30 PM

Workshop 2A - Dr. Thomas Flagel, Columbia State Community College, Franklin

1:00-2:30 PM

Workshop 2B – Rachael Finch, Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN

1:00-2:30 PM

Dr. Ashley Bouknight-Claybrooks, American Association of State and Local History

1:00-2:30 PM

Workshop 4D – Steve Phan, National Park Service, Chief of Interpretation at Camp Nelson National Monument

2:30-3:15 PM

Panel Discussion with Cohort

3:15-3:45 PM

Closing Remarks and Wrap Up

Alicia King Marshall, Franklin Walking Tours

Alicia King Marshall is a longtime walking tour guide and owner of Franklin Walking Tours. She’s the history nerd often seen leading field trips in costume by day or telling ghost stories by night. She credits the town for providing a wealth of material, explaining, “Franklin has such a wild past. Making history fun is easy with our cast of characters and remarkable stories.”

A longtime parent volunteer, both of her children attended Franklin schools. She’s an award-winning writer and veteran game show contestant, living by the mantra "carpe diem"!