BY ED GEBERT
DHI Media Editor
CONVOY — For Crestview history teacher James Lautzenheiser, history is not just a subject to be taught or facts to memorize, history is a true interest. For the past two summers, Lautzenheiser has spent a week at the home of his favorite president, Thomas Jefferson.
“The education wing (at Monticello)they have really been working on the past decade or so,” Lautzenheiser related. “They are really involved with bringing teachers — elementary, middle school, and high school — to Monticello to study different areas. The specific grant that I was on, the Barringer Fellowship, it allowed me and ten other teachers from around the country to develop some research project ideas that we wanted to focus on when we got to Charlottesville.”
Monticello is the private home and plantation of Jefferson, the nation’s third president and the author of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
“The site itself is in Charlottesville, Virginia, and it includes probably 60-70 percent of the original 5,000-acre plantation in the Blue Ridge Mountains,” said Lautzenheiser. “The home itself, Monticello, the foundation has been charged with restoring it and keeping it to the period of Jefferson at his retirement, so you’re looking at 1809 until his death in 1826. That includes restoring the original working plantation itself, so they want visitors to have a sense of not just this is Thomas Jefferson’s home, but this is the working plantation. They want to paint the story of the people who worked there.”