Employment Opportunities

Educator

Gunston Hall is pleased to announce an opening for full-time educators.  Gunston Hall is a small museum with a highly collaborative, energetic staff dedicated to the power of place, historical objects, and storytelling to create meaningful experiences for visitors of all ages.  Once a site of slavery, Gunston Hall is now a museum dedicated to telling the stories of all the people who lived on the 18th-century plantation, including enslaved women, men, and children, indentured workers, and George Mason, one of the leaders of the Revolution and new nation.  Gunston Hall uses stories of the past to help visitors better understand the ideas and contradictions that formed our nation. 

We are seeking candidates who are friendly and people-oriented, love history, and are eager to share Gunston Hall’s story with visitors. Educators divide their time between the visitor center and the mansion, and in some seasons educators spend significant time in outdoor locations. Their responsibilities center on ensuring visitors have a meaningful and content-rich experience at Gunston Hall. 

Specifically, educators:

  • engage visitors, in a pleasant and welcoming manner; 
  • lead tours that are accurate and engaging for visitors of all ages; 
  • facilitate informal learning experiences, including during public programs and special events;
  • assist with the development of and preparation for public programs and special events;
  • participate in a variety of activities that support educational initiatives, including conducting historical research, writing social media posts, creating pre- and post-visit materials for teachers;  
  • promote and relay accurate information about planned programs and events; 
  • provide support for volunteer-run school programs;
  • take a positive and problem-solving approach to the daily challenges that arise in a visitor-centered organization;
  • take the lead on opening museum buildings, and provide access for part-time staff members, on weekends and holidays;
  • serve as a point of contact between staff on-site and supervisors if no supervisors are present;
  • monitor the museum exhibitions in the visitor center, period room installations in the mansion, and reproduction outbuildings; 
  • interact with visitors throughout their time on the property; 
  • answer telephones; 
  • schedule tours and special events; 
  • keep accurate records, including admissions records; 
  • reconcile cash and charge receipts; 
  • support other projects related to Gunston Hall’s educational mission. 

An ideal candidate will be interested in history, solution-oriented, detail-oriented, able to adapt to changing circumstances, and committed to serving as an effective ambassador for Gunston Hall and its content, whether the candidate is working with teachers, students, program attendees, museum visitors, or other members of the general public.  The candidate will be dedicated to ongoing learning.  Furthermore, an ideal candidate will excel at thinking creatively about how to convey historical material in ways that reach diverse audiences. 

This position reports to the Education Manager. It requires:

  • excellent communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with people of different backgrounds and ages;
  • excellent customer service skills; 
  • commitment to telling stories from multiple perspectives and to talking about difficult subjects;
  • responsibility and trustworthiness; 
  • knowledge of basic office procedures; 
  • ability to read and write the English language and to understand, follow, and give oral instructions; 
  • knowledge of computers, telephone systems, audio-visual equipment, and cash registers;
  • ability to reconcile cash and credit card receipts; 
  • ability to maintain an electronic calendar in order to schedule events; 
  • exhibition of professional manner and dress at all times; 
  • ability to multi-task; 
  • ability to lift up to 25 pounds. 

This position includes regular weekend days and some holidays.  It is full-time and non-exempt, paying an hourly rate of $15-17, depending on qualifications.  Benefits include paid annual and sick leave, health insurance, life insurance, a retirement plan, and a discount in the museum shop.  Additional benefits of employment at Gunston Hall include opportunities to enjoy 554 acres of outdoor recreational and environmental amenities along the Potomac River, an organizational commitment to wellness and personal fulfillment, access to comprehensive professional development programs, and the opportunity to collaborate with a creative, innovative, and fun team of individuals who are all enthusiastically committed to the organization, our mission, and to each other’s success.

To apply please send a letter of interest and resume to Rebecca Martin, Director of Education and Guest Experiences, at rebecca.martin@gunstonhall.org.  Applications should be submitted by July 22, 2022.

Gunston Hall is an equal opportunity employer. 

Garden Apprentice

Gunston Hall is accepting applications for a seasonal garden apprentice to spend up to 10 weeks assisting with the restoration of the riverside garden.  Gunston Hall is a small museum with a highly collaborative, energetic staff dedicated to the power of place, historical objects, and storytelling to create meaningful experiences for visitors of all ages.  Once a site of slavery, Gunston Hall is now a museum dedicated to telling the stories of all the people who lived on the 18th-century plantation, including enslaved women, men, and children, indentured workers, and George Mason, one of the leaders of the Revolution and new nation. In this unparalleled project, staff are using archaeological and documentary evidence to recreate the 18th-century garden space that will become a key location for helping visitors better understand the past.   

The apprentice will work under the direction of the Horticulturist.  The apprentice’s main projects will relate to the riverside garden restoration.  The apprentice will also assist with the maintenance of the courtyard garden and other cultivated areas.  The apprentice will build horticulture skills in areas such as weeding, watering, pruning, deadheading, mulching, pest management, and plant identification and will learn other aspects of maintaining a garden as an educational space.  The apprentice will also gain experience in working with volunteers and talking with visitors.  The garden apprentice will receive a weekly stipend of $500 for a full-time schedule.  The stipend will be prorated for a part time schedule.  For either a full or part time schedule, the stipend will be paid on a semi-monthly basis.

Responsibilities:

  • Plant and maintain decorative flower borders and kitchen garden spaces.
  • Monitor plants for issues and report concerns to the Horticulturist.
  • Perform general horticulture tasks such as weeding, fertilizing, disease and pest control, mulching, and deadheading.
  • Maintain and repair tools and equipment. Report equipment issues to the Horticulturist. 
  • Work with volunteers.
  • Greet, interact with, and provide information to visitors.
  • Maintain the security and integrity of the grounds.
  • Follow safety policies and procedures. Keep everyone’s safety and experience at the forefront.

Qualifications:
The ideal candidate will have completed some training in horticulture, landscape architecture, botany, environmental science, or a related field.

How to Apply:
Please send a cover letter and resume to Rebecca Martin, director of education and guest experiences, at rebecca.martin@gunstonhall.org.  The position will remain open until filled.  Gunston Hall is an equal opportunity employer.

Request for Proposals: Contract Archaeologist

Gunston Hall seeks a contract archaeologist to work with its on-going archaeology program. The contractor will work with Gunston Hall staff on long-term and short-term projects.

The museum’s archaeology program began more than 40 years ago and has had varying levels of full-time staffing.  Currently, the program includes one full-time staff archaeologist and more than a dozen volunteers.

Scope of Work

The contractor will assist Gunston Hall as outlined below:

  • Survey Best Practices

Work with the staff archaeologist to develop the annual work plan and specific scope of work for individual survey projects to ensure consistency with DHR’s Guidelines for Conducting Historic Resources Survey in Virginia.  Help determine which technologies or techniques are most appropriate for each project or project phase.  Be available to answer questions from the staff archaeologist, director of education and guest experiences, and executive director related to archaeological projects at Gunston Hall

  • Collections Care Best Practices

Work with the staff archaeologist to ensure that Gunston Hall is engaged in best practices for handling, processing, and storing archaeological materials

  • Reviewing Reports

Review and contribute to reports required by the state and requested by the executive director or director of education and guest experiences

Deliverables

  • A minimum of two visits each month to Gunston Hall to observe and consult on surveying–including excavating–and processing.  At least four visits a year must be on a weekday.

  • At least one report each quarter on work observed and any recommendations.  The report may be sent as an email and should go to the staff archaeologist and the director of education and guest experiences.

Requirements

This contract begins July 1, 2022 and extends through June 30, 2023.  It may be renewed if both parties are in agreement.  The contractor may use shared work space at Gunston Hall.  A computer will be available intermittently.

Required qualifications include:

  • Must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation –  Professional Qualifications Standards for Archaeology (48 FR 44739)

  • Experience working with 18th-century archaeology

  • Demonstrated knowledge of landscape archaeology

  • Demonstrated knowledge of care and handling of archaeological artifacts

  • Demonstrated ability to use collections databases

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

Preferred qualifications include:

  • Knowledge of late colonial and early national history

  • Knowledge of 18th-century material culture

  • Knowledge of 18th-century Chesapeake region slavery

  • Experience working with volunteers

Reporting and Timeframe

The contractor will report to the director of education and guest experiences and will work with the staff archaeologist and volunteers.  Reports will be due September 30, 2022, December 31, 2023, and March 31, 2023.  The last report of the year must be submitted no later than June 15, 2023.  Reports must include an account of the work performed in the previous period, recommendations for the program, and a time log of hours worked on-site and off-site.

Proposal Preparation Instruction

Proposals should be submitted in their entirety by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6, to Rebecca Martin, Director of Education and Guest Experiences at rebecca.martin@gunstonhall.org.

Proposals should include

  • Full name, Street Address, Telephone Number, Email Address

  • Plan of Accomplishment

The proposal should include a two-five paragraph description of the plan for completing all work.  This narrative explanation should include the potential contractor’s approach to the tasks and deliverables and how the potential contractor will proceed with the project to ensure that it is completed on time.

  • Schedule

A schedule of deadlines for deliverables

  • Capability to Perform

Up to five paragraphs describing the potential contractor’s ability to perform the work required, including at least one example of similar work conducted for another museum that demonstrates specialized expertise and technical competence

  • Resume of potential contractor or group of people planning to fulfill the contract together

  • Cost Proposal

Cost proposals should include an hourly rate and an estimate of the total number of hours required to complete the project, broken down by deliverable.  The cost proposal should be all-inclusive.

Proposal Evaluation

Proposals will be evaluated based on their strength in the following areas:

  • Experience working as an archaeologist at 18th-century sites

  • Ability to monitor the work of others at an archaeological site

  • Quality and clarity of the plan of accomplishment

  • Appropriateness of the cost proposal