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Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl, Executive Director
Meredith McMahon, Deputy Director-Operations
Betsy Bowers, Deputy Director-Museum Education & Outreach
Melody Passemante Site Director, American History Main
Jen Curry-Briggs Site Director, Natural History East
Museum Education Specialists at SEEC work to support SEEC classroom teachers by identifying museum objects and exhibits for SEEC children to visit with their classes. In addition, museum education specialists work on outreach projects such as seminars, resource kits, and docent training programs to share the SEEC method of using art, objects, and children's literature to engage young children in thematic explorations using museum objects.
Rebecca Adams, Art Enrichment Specialist, SEEC
Rebecca C. Adamsis a local multidisciplinary artist, musician, and visual arts educator. She holds a B.A. in Fine Art from Smith College where she also minored in music, and she trained at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the Sculpture Department. She has taught SEEC’s Kindergarten Arts Enrichment for two years, and she contributes her skills and expertise through workshops at the National Portrait Gallery as well as through periodic instruction at the Art League School in Alexandria, VA. Rebecca’s teaching practice encourages versatility toward medium throughout interdisciplinary curricula for young children while introducing concepts in post-modern and contemporary art. Her process-based approach to creative projects develops independent thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills.
Betsy Bowers, Deputy Director of Museum Education and Outreach, SEEC
Betsy Bowers began her professional career at the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center when it first opened its doors in 1988. After spending nearly 10 years with SEEC as an administrator, teacher and museum educator, she returned to graduate school where she received an MAT in museum education from the George Washington University. After several years as an independent consultant, she returned to SEEC to focus on expanding community based initiatives. She is a contributing author to AAM’s Alliance of Spirit: Museum School Partnerships publicationand the Journal of Museum Education. Betsy is an adjunct faculty member for the George Washington University where she teaches “Museum as Learning Environment” to graduate students
Sara Cardello, Museum Education Specialist, SEEC
Originally from North Carolina, Sara has been living in D.C. since 2008. After graduating with a B.A. in Art History from UNC-Chapel Hill, Sara worked as a guest historian at the Museo Oaxaqueno in Oaxaca, Mexico. She continued her studies at Tufts University receiving her M.A. in Art History and Museum Education, while working at the MFA-Boston. Since moving to the District she has worked in Museum Education at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The National Building Museum, Brent Elementary School, and the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. She has been a member of the SEEC Museum Education team since summer 2012.
Kimberlee L. Kiehl, Ph.D., Executive Director, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center
Dr. Kim Kiehl took over as Executive Director of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center in July 2012. In this position she has oversight on the operations of three schools for young children serving 135 students in three sites located within the walls of the Smithsonian museums. She was
formerly (1990-2012) the Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Operations Officer at COSI (Center of Science and Industry) in Columbus, Ohio. In this role she managed the overall strategic direction of the institution, partnerships, research, and the daily operations of the building and COSI programs. Prior to joining COSI, she was Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Science and State Extension Specialist at The Ohio State University, Columbus and Curriculum Coordinator/Director for the A. Sophie Rogers Laboratory for Child and Family Studies. She also served as Associate Dean for Academic Programs, College of Human Ecology and has extensive publications in professional journals. Dr. Kiehl originally went to COSI on "special appointment" as Associate Vice President for Early Childhood Education for COSI Columbus on loan from Ohio State.
Dr. Kiehl received a Bachelor of Science in 1981, at SUNY Geneseo, in Speech Pathology and Audiology, graduating Magna Cum Laude. The following year (1982) she completed her Master's degree at The College of St. Rose, Department of Special Education. Dr. Kiehl received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State University in 1990. She continued to teach two undergraduate courses per quarter at The Ohio State University in the Department of Education and Human Ecology until her departure in 2012.
Nicole Pontoreiro, Museum Education Specialist, SEEC
Nicole has 15 years of experience in the Early Childhood Education field. Of the eight years that she has spent with SEEC, five of those have been serving as a Lead Teacher in the Infant Room working with children aged 3 months to 18 months. As the newest member of SEEC’s Museum Education team, Nicole brings an important perspective to our work with our youngest museum goers. SEEC looks forward to expanding museum programming opportunities for children under the age of three years old.
Justin Pyles, Art Enrichment Specialist, SEEC
Justin Pyles was born in Washington DC and has taught early childhood education since graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1999. His background in early childhood education and art education supports his in depth understanding of how to use open ended art experiences to build creativity, problem solving, and other skills important for preparing children to enter school ready to learn. Justin is a practicing artist and shows his work regularly in local galleries. Justin holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the Corcoran School of Art and Design.
Cynthia Raso, Museum Education Specialist, SEEC
Cynthia Raso joined SEEC in 2012 and is currently working with the infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Prior to joining SEEC, she was a small business owner, contractor, and stay-at-home mother. Her two young girls were her inspiration for starting the business, which offers classes exploring art, history, and culture for early childhood audiences. As a contractor, Cynthia managed a wide variety of educational programs at the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries. Her relationship with the Freer and Sackler extends back to 2000, when she took the position of curatorial assistant and then, after realizing her love for teaching, assumed the role of educator for docents and tours. She holds an M.A. in Art History from the George Washington University.