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Mon, Feb. 17

Sharlot Hall would be proud

PRESCOTT ­ The Prescott Historical Society's board of directors voted Thursday on a new Sharlot Hall Museum director.

The board will offer the job to John Langellier, who currently is the deputy director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. Langellier, who grew up in Tucson, is the author of numerous books on military history.

The state-owned Sharlot Hall Museum has been without a director since July, when Richard Sims left to run the Montana Historical Society.

The board's first search committee chose three finalists back in November, but then the board decided in December to start a new search because it didn't advertise in enough places. It advertised on two Web sites.

With the increased advertising in the second round, the committee drew 48 applicants compared to 17 in the first round. The board advertised in The Daily Courier and five Web sites the second time.

The board hopes to have a new director on board by May 1, board President Comer Wadzeck, a senior vice president at the National Bank of Arizona, said. The board plans to make an offer to Langellier today.

The new search committee interviewed nine people on the phone and then three came to Prescott for interviews in March, search committee Chair Ed Kurowski said.

The board was in a hurry-up mode and didn't set up a time for the finalists to talk to the museum staff and the public this time around, as it did during the first round.

Kurowski interviewed two of Langellier's references and said they offered glowing reviews.

Langellier and runner-up M. Terri Garner, executive director of the Bangor (Maine) Museum & Center for History, both have great fundraising and managerial backgrounds, board member Barbara Gilliss said.

"It really was hard to choose," Gilliss told fellow board members Thursday.

The third finalist was Gregory Harris, vice president of development at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Langellier has a doctorate from Kansas State University in U.S. history with a concentration on military history; a master's from the University of San Diego in U.S. history with concentration on the American West and the Spanish Borderlands and a secondary emphasis on film history; and a bachelor's degree from the University of San Diego in history/historical archaeology.

He's been at the Reagan Library for seven years.

His previous most recent jobs included director and curator for the Civil Engineer Corps and Seabee Museums in Port Hueneme, Calif.; director of publications and productions for the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles; and director of the State Museums, Historical Research Library and Publications Division of the Wyoming Archives, Museums and Historical Department in Cheyenne, Wyo.

He has worked at several other military museums as well.

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