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Pioneer Museum director let go after 16 years

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Jan 31 2014 09:42:30 PM MST
Updated On: Jan 31 2014 10:06:54 PM MST
Director of Pioneer Museum let go after 16 years
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The Gallatin Historical Society Board of Directors said they are moving the museum in a "new direction," and it doesn't include their longtime Museum Director John Russell.

They did not renew Russell's contract, and instead let him go this week. Russell was the Pioneer Museum Director for 16 years.

Russell sent NBC Montana a written statement, explaining Friday was his last day serving as Director of the Pioneer Museum.

He thanked the members of the museum for all their accomplishments over his tenure, and said, "I hope I've instilled an appreciation for our rich heritage through these efforts."

The Board of Directors explained they cannot speak on the personal matters of why they fired Russell, but said membership and visitation have decreased in the past few years, and letting Russell go is part of their strategic plan to get the museum back on track.

"It was the judgment of the board that we needed to choose some new directions," explained Board Director Matthew Mark Miller, "and our way to do that would be to find a new director and bring new ideas into the museum."

Miller explained the Board of Directors plans to do a nationwide search to find the a new director for the Pioneer Museum.