Connecting Teachers and Students at Mt. Vernon

February 20, 2023
Connecting Teachers and Students at Mt. Vernon

Each year on the third Monday in February, we honor all those who served in the highest office in the federal government with the observance of Presidents Day. Coinciding with Abraham Lincoln's birthday on Feb. 12 and George Washington's on Feb. 22, the federal holiday is a time that teachers in classrooms of all levels across the country are often seeking resources and creative methods to teach on some of the most prolific figures in our nation's history. One Baylor alumna is using her position to provide valuable and accessible resources from perhaps the most direct source possible – the historic home and former plantation of America's first president, George Washington's Mount Vernon in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Jennifer Throne Seiter, BA '20, works as a classroom resource specialist at George Washington's Mount Vernon, connecting teachers directly to records of the life and legacy of Washington and the era of the Founding Fathers.

During her time at Baylor, Seiter was actively involved in student organizations, earning a double major in history and religion. Seiter credits her coursework and faculty at Baylor for fostering her love for history, naming perennial student favorites like Julie Anne Sweet, Julie deGraffenried and Jesse Hoover, all of whom offered encouragement as Seiter pursued her education before and after Baylor, and later as she entered the workforce.

Seiter added a master's degree from George Washington University in 2022, focusing further on Imperial and Colonial History. Soon after, she accepted a job at Mount Vernon, combining her love of history and education.

"Our resources range from lesson plans to primary sources and interactive content – we're constantly improving what we have and creating new materials for schools to use," Seiter said. "I also lead the Mount Vernon Teacher Fellowship Program, which allows teachers to visit the estate and work with our experts, sites and collections to create educational resources. It's really a fantastic program that allows teachers to see what goes on behind-the-scenes at Mount Vernon."

Working closely with history educators across the United States has only made Seiter more grateful for her experience at and connection to Baylor. Although now more than 1,500 miles from Waco, Seiter and her husband, Grant, BBA '20, are able to stay connected to the Baylor Family. They continue to invest in Baylor students through the Baylor Alumni community in Washington, D.C., and travel back to Waco for Homecoming weekend.

"I believe that a good teacher at any grade level can change lives," Seiter said. "Education is so important, and this role makes me even more thankful for my public school teachers and the wonderful professors at Baylor."

Sic 'em, Jennifer!