Peak named director of Pioneer Museum

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 14, 2007

Former Georgiana city councilman Jerry Peak is the new director of the Pioneer Museum of Alabama in Troy.

Peak, who grew up in the Hephzibah Community, said he is excited to have the opportunity be a part of what he calls one of the outstanding museums in the South.

&#8220This is a real honor for me, and I'm excited to have the opportunity to continue the work that has been done at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama,” Peak said. &#8220I have a strong base to build on.”

Jeff Kervin, chairman of the museum's board of directors, said Peak is an excellent choice for the director of the museum.

&#8220Jerry has a wealth of educational experience, and the museum is an educational tool,” Kervin said. &#8220He has actually visited the Pioneer Museum of Alabama in the capacity of a teacher and had led student groups at the museum. The board realized that his skills, his interest in history and his teaching experience would be invaluable as museum director.

&#8220We are pleased to welcome him and know that he will keep the museum moving forward.”

Peak thanked the museum board of directors for the confidence they have in his ability to carry the museum forward.

&#8220I am very fortunate to have been chosen as the museum's director,” he said.

Peak retired from the teaching profession six years ago with 27 years in the classroom. Twenty-two of those years were at Georgiana High School in Georgiana. Peak's wife, Joanne, was a member of the Butler County Board of Education. She resigned her position in April.

Peak is a graduate of Goshen High School and Troy State College, where he majored in physical education and minored in history.

&#8220During my teaching career, I taught mostly history and Alabama history until it was taken out of the curriculum,” Peak said.

&#8220I have always had a strong interest in history, especially the period around the 1900s, so the Pioneer Museum of Alabama is a good fit for me.”

Peak said many students don't have an appreciation of local history.

&#8220At the museum, we have a great opportunity to show them how the people of South Alabama lived and worked around the turn of the 20th century,” he said.

Bringing more school groups to the museum for hands-on history activities is one of Peak's goals, and he also plans to take the &#8220museum” to the schools.

&#8220With the approval of the board, I would hope that we could take a few exhibits to the schools and show the students how things were done during the days of those who pioneered our area,” he said.

Promoting the museum and all that it has to offer local and area residents, area school groups and travelers will be a part of Peak's plan for moving the museum forward.

&#8220I want to encourage an appreciation of our local history in all ages,” he said.

In the process, Peak will learn more about the community in which he grew up and in which his family has a long legacy.

Peak's parents, Hillard Peak and Mary Margaret Mobley Peak, were Pike County people.

&#8220My dad grew up in the Antioch Community,” Peak said. &#8220He was a dairy farmer, a taxi driver and a house painter. My mother was a secretary at the old Edge Hospital and also worked at Bryd Drug's for many years.”

Members are the lifeblood of any museum, so Peak said membership also is a top priority.

Annual family memberships are $35 and individual memberships are $20.

Memberships allow access to the museum year around and to special events, including the Pioneer Christmas and the spring MusicFest. For more information, call Peak at 566-3597.