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The Hutchinson County Commissioners have found a new Director for the County Museum. On Aug. 13, commissioners unanimously approved to appoint Clay Renick as the new Hutchinson County Museum Director, replacing Wes Phillips, who retired June 13, 2012. Wes Phillips is also known for his insect program where he earned the title of the â€śBug Man.â€ť Phillips now teaches at Frank Phillips College.
Renick has resided in Borger a large portion of his life, but for 22 years, he lived in Dallas running his own graphic design studio. Since his return to Borger, he has occasionally worked for the Museum designing exhibition graphics, logos and signs.
He is developing a comprehensive plan to improve the museum.
â€śAll of the exhibits need to be redesigned and updated. Several of the exhibits will be moved adjacent to others because they are historically related. Adobe Walls and Quanah Parker represent exhibits in this category. Several new exhibits need to be created also. We have a beautiful painting of Quanah Parker in the permanent collection, but we lack an exhibit that tells the amazing story of the last Plains Indian chief and his importance to the settling of this area. So for Quanah Parker and Adobe Walls in particular, I intend to design informative new exhibits.â€ť
He continued, â€śWe want to bring the Hutchinson County Museum into the 21st century.â€ť
During the next 90 days, Renick will continue to develop the plan for the Museum that will include detailed one, three, and five-year goals. Upon completion, he will present the plan to the County Commissioners Court and with their input and approval, begin implementation immediately. The plan will itemize, prioritize and describe in detail what is to be done.
â€śAs the plan is developed, I will seek input from the Commissionerâ€™s Court, the Friends of the Museum and the Hutchinson County Historical Commission. I believe the plan will unify all of our efforts and help us to better tell the story of this interesting place where we live.â€ť
Renickâ€™s wife Lisa, teaches art at Borger High School. She taught elementary school for many years prior to taking her current position at BHS. She has years of experience teaching young children and has expressed great interest in partnering with him to create a childrenâ€™s program for the Museum. â€śDuring my childhood, my Dad took me and my family to every museum that crossed his path. In doing so, he instilled the love of history of all kinds in us that we still enjoy.â€ť Dad told us, â€śYou canâ€™t know where youâ€™re going if you donâ€™t know where youâ€™ve been. He was right. Every time Dad took us to a museum we learned something new. This kind of learning sticks with you. When children are exposed to history in this way, lifelong interest is developed. If we donâ€™t expose our kids to history and help them develop an appreciation of what has happened in the past, who will tell the story to future generations. Our culture is very important. The culture of this place lives in our Museum.â€ť
Renick assumes the position of Director on September 1 and he encourages people to keep an eye on the museum. â€śWe have a great story to tell here. I canâ€™t wait to get started,â€ť he said.