Bob Fitch, Executive Director Year started: 2015 Hometown: Yankton SD Educational background: B.A. from Augustana University in Sioux Falls; Yankton High School What do you do in your spare time: Help at my dad’s farm; play with my grandson; garden; read; spend too much time watching TV Fun/little known facts: I have genealogy charts for our family that go back 30+ generations (about 1,000 years) Favorite part of your job: Visiting with parents and helping the kids in the museum.
Kalie Vanderzyden, Education Director Year started: 2016 Hometown: Orange City, Iowa Educational background: Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Northwestern College, IA and Master's degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan What do you do in your spare time: I love spending time with my husband and daughter, working on my bullet journal and hand lettering, and probably watching too much Netflix! Fun/little known facts: I have super long toes and can pick up almost anything with them. Favorite part of your job: Playing with all the children that come in. I love seeing their smiling faces and helping them understand different STEM concepts.
Jessica Monroe, Administrative Coordinator Year started: 2016 Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa Educational background: NECC Elementary Education What do you do in your spare time: In my spare time I am usually cooking or spending time with my son and husband. Fun/little known facts: I have six siblings, three older and three younger. Favorite part of your job: My favorite part of my job is that each day is never the same. There is always something new to do or learn.
Jason C. Allen, Operations Director Year started: 2015 Hometown: Louisville, KY Educational background: BA University of Louisville-Political Science, Webster University-MBA, Briar Cliff University - Master of Management: Human Resources What do you do in your spare time: Teach Judo at Boys and Girls Club Fun/little known facts: Have traveled to 20+ countries and all but four states Favorite part of your job: Seeing the “Aha” moments children experience when they play and discover
Carrie Lebowich, DEvelopment coordinator Year started: 2016 Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa Educational background: Paraeducator Certificate, currently enrolled in Early Childhood Studies Program What do you do in your spare time: In my spare time my favorite thing to do is spend time with my daughters, my husband and my dog. We love to dance, play with My Little Ponies, and go to the movie theater. I spend a lot of time doing homework, housework and working out at the gym. Fun/little known facts: My nickname is Pippi, I drive a JEEP and love it, I’m left handed, I am the middle child of 6 brothers and sisters (step, half and full), I love fried zucchini and Snickers, and I love going to Vegas Favorite part of your job: My favorite part of my job is “making the museum awesome”. I tell my 3-year-old daughter that every day when I leave. I love hearing the kids laugh and play while I work, it always sounds like they’re having a blast.
Angelica Maldonado, Guest Services Coordinator Year started: 2016 Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa Educational background: Graduate of West High School, Class of 2012 What do you do in your spare time: Photography and going to the gym. Fun/little known facts: I worked at a daycare for four years prior to working at the museum. Favorite part of your job: Watching the children learn by having fun!
Alyssa miller, Outreach director YEAR STARTED: 2016 HOMETOWN: SIOUX CITY, IA EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Bachelor in Elementary education from Concordia University WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME: I enjoy reading, crafts, puzzles, cooking, running, watching disney movies, and spending time with my family. FUN/LITTLE KNOWN FACTS: I like to adopt a wide assortment of animals because I am allergic to cats and dogs. I've had frogs, chickens, hermit crabs, and more! I even tried to adopt a donkey once. FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB: seeing a child grasp a new idea, or enjoying and learning from one of the many exciting programs we have.
Bobbi Reynolds, Discover Guide YEAR STARTED: 2017 HOMETOWN: SIOUX CITY, IA EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: 2006 East high graduate, associates of arts from Western iowa tech, additional year at morningside college WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME: enjoy baseball/softball games and spending time with family FUN/LITTLE KNOWN FACTS: Enjoys arts and crafts FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB: Interacting with the children and their families
Corina Maldonado, Guest Services Year started: 2015 Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa Educational background: West High student, Class of 2018 What do you do in your spare time: Volunteer around Sioux land, I love to go to any concerts and I also love to bake! Fun/little known facts: My best friend, McKenna, works here with me! My favorite subject is science, and this is my first job! Favorite part of your job: Love seeing the kids have fun and learn at the same time!
Sara Bunker, Lead Educator Year Started: 2017 Hometown: Plattsmouth, NE Educational Background: BS biology health science from missouri western university. masters in education in curriculum and instruction in science education from the university of missouri. What do you do in your spare time: i like to run, do anything outdoors, cook, read, travel, and laugh with my son and husband. Fun/little known facts: i trained pigs to run on treadmills for diabetes research. i grew up on a farm and showed dogs, rabbits, chickens, sheep, and pigs for 4-h. Favorite part of your job: When I see kids use their creativity to play in the exhibits in a new and unique way. Also watching parents and children play together and having fun making special memories.
Ashley vandestouwe, Discover Guide Year Started: 2016 Hometown: rock rapids, ia Educational Background: Morningside college student - majoring in elementary education What do you do in your spare time: Play volleyball at morningside Fun/little known facts: i'm a proud mother of a 2 year old, my cat charlie. Favorite part of your job: I love coming in and having every day be different. seeing children discover and enjoy learning with us makes it all worth it!
Taylor Hirschman, Discover Guide Year started: 2017 Hometown: Cherokee, IA Educational background: Morningside College student majoring in Elementary Education. I graduated from Washington High School in 2015. What do you do in your spare time: I love to cook and bake. I also love spending time doing puzzles or hanging out with family. Fun/little known facts: I was a swimmer for 12 years, now that I can’t, I have taken up golf as a hobby. Favorite part of your job: I love watching kids grasp a new idea or concept. I enjoy watching the kids use their imagination and play in the museum.