CHOTEAU — Since 1968, the Old Trail Museum in Choteau has attracted thousands of tourists during the summer months, eager to learn more about the rich history of Teton County. From wildlife and indigenous peoples, to geology and pre-history, the museum has something for everyone.
Julie Ameline had been director of the museum for the past 12 years. She recently announced her retirement from the position, opening a spot for a new leader.
Enter Sean Doyle, an Ohio State graduate who fell in love with the Rocky Mountain Front after college. He’s worked in the Glacier area for years, and just moved out to Choteau with his wife and 1-year-old son a few months ago.
He has degrees in history and geography, and is an avid mountain climber, having summited around 300 peaks in Montana.
“Ms. Julie Ameline, she retired from the museum and they needed to find a replacement. I applied and went through the interview process and things went well for me,” says Doyle.
He’s visited the museum in the past but had no idea he’d one day be running it.
Vice President on the Board of Directors for the museum, David Zion, is pleased to have a young eager candidate step in to the role.
“We're feeling really confident that Sean is going to is going to fill those shoes very well. And we're really pleased to have him on board,” Zion says. “Sean's qualifications really stood out. I think Sean will prove to be a great asset to the museum as well as an asset to Choteau.”
Doyle has exciting plans to update and expand the current Old Trail property with a new exhibit.
“We have a new building that's opening up for exhibits this year, and I'm going to attempt to try to bring out a little bit more of our current natural history and a little bit more of our special geology we have here along the Rocky Mountain Front,” says Doyle. “Exhibits on wildlife and our special weather patterns that we get here between the Chinooks.”
For now leadership is working on fundraising for the tourist season ahead, as the museum remains seasonally closed. As far as David is concerned, that leadership is headed in the right direction.
“The thing to do with Sean is just let him go. I don't feel like he needs a lot of direction and he's certainly not afraid to ask for help,” says Zion.
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