Megan Dukett ('06) History

MEGAN DUKETT, of Rancho Santa Margarita is education and interpretative program manager in Mission San Juan Capistrano Nayeli Pagaza, Staff Photographer

ABOUT MEGAN DUKETT

Dukett recreates history everyday as the new education and interpretative program manager at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Her role is to educate fourth graders on California's past by engaging them in fun-filled activities, such as baking bread from 18th century ovens and playing "Mission San Juan Investigator," or MSI, to find treasures inside the mission ruins.

After graduating from Point Loma Nazarene University with a history degree in May 2006, Dukett has been dedicated to preserving the past and encouraging others to become as passionate about history as she is.

She has worked as an interpretative park ranger and intern for several national parks including Yosemite, Cabrillo National Monument and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Although she misses the hikes and outdoor activities at those parks, her eyes open wide when she talks about what it would be like to live in a Spanish mission during the 1770s.

How do you make history fun for fourth graders?

I can't get enough of fourth graders. They are full of energy and delight all the time. I like to engage them by making the past meaningful to them. I look at the present through history glasses, and I ask kids to make believe they are a Native American or a Spanish soldier living here and how their lives would be different. I like to be really hands-on so I'm developing programs to teach kids how to cook, how to hunt with rabbit sticks and play detective.

What's your favorite time period in history?

My favorite time is the mid 1870s to 1914. This is a really interesting moment in American and European history, when the Industrial Age began, and changes were happening in communications and technology. This is when people were becoming more modern like we are now.

Who has been a big influence in your life?

My sister, Natalie Blair, who is four years older than me, has been a big influence. She is also a teacher for kids in San Juan Capistrano. We are both quite similar in that we both love hanging out with kids. But she reaches kids through teaching them about God, and I reach out to them through history.