2013 Davenport House Museum Service Scholarship Announced


Each year the Davenport House Museum recruits and trains teenagers to become tour guides through two Junior Interpreter programs – one offered in the summer which is open to any interested student and the other offered in the fall to students through Savannah Arts Academy’s American history classes. These programs have been a proving ground, producing a remarkable number of museum ambassadors who have gone on to become stand-out students in high school and later in college. To acknowledge this record, in March 2011 the Davenport House Endowment Directors initiated a scholarship for an outstanding high school student who demonstrates qualities which put the museum and its community in the best light. This year for the first time, two students will be recognized. The awards presentation will take place at the Davenport House’s Spring Garden party on Thursday, June 6.

Of the scholarship, DH Director Jamie Credle said, “The Class of 2013 is extraordinary with eight graduating seniors currently involved with the Davenport House who are worthy of recognition. However, we were asked to make a decision recognizing two JIs who are vital, smart, enthusiastic, self-less and committed to the museum. Ellie Darbyshire and Rachel Zettler meet the criteria and the DH community is proud to be associated with them.”

008 - Copy (2) - CopySavannah Country Day senior Ellie Darbyshire, daughter Connie and Glenn Darbyshire, came to the Davenport House in the summer of her sophomore year. She has been involved with the DH consistently for three years and her volunteer commitment includes recruiting and mentoring new JIs as well as working with the Yellow Fever and SuperMuseumSunday programs. She is also a staff docent. Of her time at the DH she writes, “I love working at the museum. I have learned so much about Savannah’s history and public relations. I have also gotten the opportunity to meet a lot of amazing people. These past three years have been a wonderful experience that I will never forget.”

In addition to her involvement at the DH, she is Head of Savannah Country Day School Lower School Tutoring, is a member of National Honor Society and is a varsity volleyball athlete. Other community spirited activities include being a member of the American Cancer Society and participating in a mission trip to Guatemala. “Ellie wears her community spiritedness with nonchalance as if everyone has the same level of commitment she does which is certainly not the case. She provides intelligent commentary on tours and can respond with ease to the variety of questions patrons ask when visiting the museum.” Currently, Ellie is weighing college options.

Rachel Zettler, a senior at Savannah Arts Academy and the daughter of Glenn and Patricia Zettler, has been active at DH since her sophomore year 017in high school when she participated in the SAA Junior Interpreter program. Rachel was a standout in her class of fifteen. Shortly after training, she became a staff docent working on weekends at the museum. She trained to work in the DH Museum Shop and has held positions of responsibility with museum events such as the Holiday Evening Tours by Candlelight, Yellow Fever and Valentine’s Day Weddings in the Garden. Of her work, DH Director, Jamie Credle offers, “Her maturity and ability to think on her feet have made her the ideal person to staff frontline duties.” Rachel says of her DH work, “My time at the Davenport House has not only helped to prepare me for the future, but also helped me in everyday life. Work as a docent taught me necessary people skills and helped me to become more comfortable and confident in my own skin.”

Her life away from the DH is rich. She is President of the SAA Beta Club and Vice-President of Mastery Mixed Chorus. She has received numerous awards in her arts specialty, chorus including performing with the American High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. She will continue her musical training in vocal performance at Georgia State University in Atlanta in the fall.

Director Credle concludes, “Ellie and Rachel are the embodiment of the legacy reaching back to the founders of Historic Savannah Foundation who used the Davenport House as a tool for civic betterment. Using and thriving on the DH experience, Ellie and Rachel have improved the museum and made it a more vital and vivacious place.”

Funds for the 2013 Davenport House Museum Service Scholarship are possible because of donations in memory of Emily Pickels.