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Albion schools honor Lattin as ‘Friend of Education’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 January 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Bill Lattin, the recently retired Orleans County historian, was presented with a “Friend of Education” award this evening by Margy Brown, president of the Albion Board of Education.

ALBION – For 20 years Bill Lattin worked with Albion students on service learning projects, first developing a walking guide and kiosk for the Courthouse Square in the mid-1990s.

Lattin and students worked to clean up and rededicate a cemetery for the alms house about four years ago, a site that was the precursor to the county nursing home on West Countyhouse Road. They have researched Albionites buried at Mount Albion Cemetery, with students portraying those residents during an annual Ghost Walk at the cemetery.

He frequently visits classes, and inspires students about the community’s glorious past, said Sue Starkweather Miller, the school’s grants manager who has worked with Lattin on many of the service learning projects.

Lattin retired as county historian on Dec. 31 after 36 years. Today he was honored by the school district as a “Friend of Education.”

“There is so much that Bill has done through the years as a friend of education,” Starkweather Miller told the Board of Education.

Lattin, as former director at the Cobblestone Museum, gave numerous tours of the property to elementary students over the years, especially the one-room schoolhouse. He also worked with high school students to clean up the property and create labels for artifacts in the Farmers’ Hall.

He teamed with students and teachers to develop a monument to pioneer black residents at Mount Albion. He has been a regular during the annual Pioneer Days celebration at the school, and he has led in-service programs with teachers, urging them to incorporate local history and architecture in their lessons.

“Thank you for telling such great stories and for giving our students such pride in their heritage,” Starkweather Miller said.

Lattin was presented with a “Friend of Education” certificate.

“I felt it was part of my job and it has been a pleasure,” he told the Board of Education.