• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Versailles native new Jack Jouett director

JILL ROSEBERRY, 29, is the new executive director of the Jack Jouett House. Roseberry moved to Versailles with her family when she was seven months old. (Photo by John McGary)

In late March, Cindy Roseberry was reading The Woodford Sun when she came upon an advertisement for a job she thought might suit her daughter, Jill. Jill wasn’t so sure, though she’d been a social worker in Indiana, a Wild Turkey Distillery guide and had a master’s degree in science and museum studies from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. The 29-year-old was looking for full-time work in Woodford County, where she’d moved as an infant with her family. “I thought I wasn’t qualified – not that I wasn’t qualified, but I was having trouble finding a part-time entry-level job that would hire me, so it was like no way I was going to get an executive director job. … I wasn’t even going to apply for it, but … to get her off my back, I decided to go on and do it,” Roseberry said. With the “strong encouragement” of her mother, Roseberry applied for the position as executive director of the Jack Jouett House, and on Tuesday, April 26, made her first appearance before Woodford Fiscal Court. There she worked out lease arrangements with magistrates (which, among other things, will allow her to move in to the caretaker’s house with her cat, Jasper, in return for a $250 security deposit). “We had several outstanding candidates that applied … and Jill’s résumé stood out from the rest of them,” said Woodford Judge-Executive John Coyle, a member of the committee that selected Roseberry. “She’s certainly well-qualified and a former DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) student of mine. You like to see young people get themselves educated and travel some and come back and get a position in Woodford County. I think she’ll do us a wonderful job down there,” Roseberry’s bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University (WKU) was a double major in sociology and religious studies, and her résumé includes a year in Alaska with Americorps and a stint teaching English in Russia. For two years, she was a social worker in Lafayette, Ind., working with juvenile sex offenders and victims of sexual abuse. “And I really enjoyed the job, but it’s very difficult to do and I kind of hit a point where I realized, they talk about something called clinical detachment, which is being able to go home at the end of the day, shut it off, don’t think about it, and I don’t have that, and it’s something you really need for a career in social work,” said Roseberry. Roseberry said she decided to either get her master’s degree in social work or do something else – and chose something else. She loved libraries and history, and was accepted to Northern Kentucky University’s public history program and WKU’s folk studies program. Then she discovered the University of Glasgow, which she applied to “on a whim.” Whim or not, she was accepted, and when she wasn’t in class, enjoyed the Scottish city’s many free museums. Like many growing up in Woodford County, she’d enjoyed a day at the Jack Jouett House as a child. Now she’ll have a chance to help others have the same experience. “Kids are going to come out here, their parents are looking for something to do, so you want them to engage with history and being able to do things, and a lot of our events … are tailored to adults, but you definitely want to get kids involved – just realize how fun history is,” Roseberry said. “… I remember growing up, it’s Woodford County, you don’t think anything that exciting has happened here – you know what I mean? So if you can show them that there’s exciting history here that they can be involved in, I think that’s a really great thing,” she said. Once a week, Roseberry’s been tutored by predecessor Janice Clark, who stepped down March 16. “She’s been an amazing resource. She has impeccable records, she has everything printed out, saved, so I just have piles of information to try and go through,” Roseberry said. On the day she met with The Sun, Roseberry was set to pore through Clark’s records to learn more about Jouett and begin to decide what she wants to say about him when she serves as tour guide. “He’s often referred to – it’s even on our website – as the Paul Revere of the South. But I really want to get away from that, because he’s actually a lot cooler than Paul Revere. …” Roseberry said with a laugh. She pointed out that Revere didn’t complete his midnight ride – that a 16-year-old girl named Abigail did a chunk of it. In her first week on the job, she opened up a Twitter account for the Jack Jouett House and discovered a brewery in Virginia (Three Notch’d Brewing Company) named for the road on which Jouett rode on June 3, 1781, to warn Gov. Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia state Legislature that the British were coming. Roseberry said she wasn’t sure whether a link to the brewery from the Jouett website or Twitter account would be appropriate, though she thought a friendly rivalry with Revere backers might benefit both sides. Last weekend, she began to move into the caretaker’s house along with “guard cat” Jasper. Though the Jack Jouett House is in rural Woodford County, on Craigs Creek Road, several houses are nearby. She’s also got company on property. Along with Jasper, there are several mannequins in the visitor’s center and two child mannequins in the house’s attic bedrooms. They are covered in sheets during the off-season, though Roseberry wasn’t sure whether the sheets were designed to keep them dust-free or make them look less creepy. “If the goal was to make them less terrifying, it didn’t work,” she said with a laugh.

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