YARMOUTH — Katie Worthing is the new executive director of the Yarmouth Historical Society.
Worthing, who has been the interim executive director since August, replaces Amy Aldredge, who left to become executive director of the Dallas Historical Society in Texas. Aldredge was the Yarmouth Historical Society executive director since 2014.
Almost 30 people from all over the country applied for the position, which “really surprised the search committee,” according to Worthing.
In August, Worthing, who has worked at the history center as a program director since April 2015, said she wasn’t interested in the executive director position. But, after spending time in the interim role, she realized she wanted the job.
“I came into this role thinking it wasn’t for me, but over time I realized it was a good fit,” she said. “My opinion of the job changed.”
Worthing, a Portland resident and a Brunswick native, said as interim director she enjoyed the responsibilities and wanted to continue in the position.
“It felt really good to be more involved,” she said.
William Harwood, chairman of the Yarmouth Historical Society Board of Trustees, said Worthing proved herself to be a strong leader and an enthusiastic ambassador for the history center.
As interim director, Worthing was able to bring in new exhibits and continue working on programming. She said a new program director isn’t being hired because she is incorporating her old role into her new one.
“I’m really excited to keep developing new programs,” she said. “That’s still part of my role.”
Worthing said she thinks the most challenging part of being executive director will be raising money for the historical society.
“Fundraising is always a challenge, but this is an organization and building that’s really easy to get excited about,” she said.
Worthing, who received her undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College, also has a doctorate in art history from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Prior to working at the Yarmouth Historical Society, she taught art history at Southern Maine Community College and worked at Victoria Mansion in Portland.
Worthing said the thing she admired most about Aldredge as an executive director was “her enthusiasm for local history.” She said she hopes to learn as much about Yarmouth as Aldredge did.
“I’d love to cultivate that kind of knowledge,” she said. “I definitely have the enthusiasm, but I’m still building that knowledge base.”
For Worthing, the best thing about history, she said, is “being able to pull these pieces out of the past about a landscape or town that people know so well and give them that historical aspect.”
Educating people on Yarmouth’s history is the main goal of the historical society, Worthing said. She said as executive director she hopes to engage as many people as possible.
“I’d love to keep offering new programs and keep opening our doors to new visitors,” she said.
Katie Worthing is the new executive director of the Yarmouth History Center on East Elm Street.