0821 principals history tour

Local principals and Burke County Public Schools administrators stand in front of the Charters of Freedom Moment by the Historic Burke County Courthouse in downtown Morganton.

Burke County Public Schools principals recently took a break from preparing their schools for the return of students to immerse themselves in local and national history.

The school administrators visited the History Museum of Burke County in downtown Morganton and the Charters of Freedom monument on the square of the Historic Burke County Courthouse.

While at the museum, the principals toured the many exhibits on display that tell the rich history of the county, including agriculture, education, military, furniture, presidential visits and famous trials. After leaving the museum, the principals took a short walk to the north side of the old courthouse where the Charters of Freedom are displayed in granite cases. The Charters of Freedom display includes The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution and The Bill of Rights and was installed in the summer of 2014 Foundation Forward Inc. on the courthouse square.

“Downtown Morganton is a great destination for student field trips, and the History Museum and Charters of Freedom monument are two great examples of how we can bring history to life and make it interesting for students,” said Larry Putnam, superintendent of BCPS. “Both destinations align with our curriculum and getting not only our students, but also our principals, out of the schools and into the community meets the ‘engaged community’ goal on our District Strategic Plan.

“I wanted our principals to visit these two sites and see firsthand that these are great field trip options for our students, many of whom may never get the opportunity to visit downtown Morganton. I would like to thank Judge Claude Sitton and the docents and curators at the museum for welcoming us and for doing such a fantastic job of preserving Burke County’s fascinating history. I would also like to thank the Pattersons, Dr. David Streater and others associated with Foundation Forward and the Charters of Freedom for their work in making our nation’s founding documents conveniently available for display right here in our backyard.”

The History Museum of Burke County was founded in 2003 and is located at 201 W. Meeting St. in the old Morganton City Hall. It is open Tuesday through Saturday and admission is free.

Burke County’s own Vance and Mary-Jo Patterson started Foundation Forward Inc., which is headquartered in Valdese, as an educational project to provide easy access of The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution and The Bill of Rights to the people. The Burke County monument is one of 21 in eight different states, and there are plans to erect three-dozen more similar monuments.

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