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Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center

Who's Who at SEEC

SEEC Classroom Educators


Educator Bios Coming Soon

Administration Team

Meredith McMahon, Executive Director

Meredith McMahon has worked in the field of early childhood education for 25 years and has served as Executive Director of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center since January 2017. In her 14 years at SEEC she also served as Deputy Director of Operations, and she taught preschool and pre-K for 10 years prior to joining SEEC. Meredith holds a bachelor’s degree in American History from the University of Pennsylvania and master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Phoenix.

Melody Passemante Powell, Director Infant and Toddler Programs

Melody is a Northern Virginia Native, originally from Herndon, Virginia. She earned her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from James Madison University and completed a MEd in Education Management in December 2013. Melody has worked extensively with children ranging from ages 6 weeks to 12 years in a variety of settings. Prior to joining SEEC in December of 2010 she worked as the Program Director at a Reggio Emilia Inspired cooperative in Arlington Virginia. She taught literacy to children ages 3-5 in Philadelphia for a year and also worked as an educator at the Summer Program at St. Johns Preschool in Georgetown. Melody lives in Lorton Virginia with her wife Alicia and their dog Jack. Melody’s interests include reading, having impromptu dance parties, and of course, working with young children, educators, and families!

Maureen Leary, Director of Kindergarten and Toddler Programs

Maureen Leary has been at SEEC since 1998, and has worked as a classroom educator with Toddlers, Twos, Threes, Fours, and Kindergarten. After her oldest son was born in 2001, Maureen held the role of Kindergarten Spanish Teacher until 2017, when she became a center Director. She also holds a part time position at the National Aquarium in Baltimore as a volunteer scuba diver, where she feeds the animals and gives educational presentations. Maureen has a degree in English from Georgetown University and a Master’s Degree in Gifted Education from the University of Virginia. Maureen lives in Alexandria, VA, with her husband, John, and their three sons, who are SEEC alumni.

Dana Hirsch, Director of Preschool Programs

Dana Hirsch has worked with a wide range of ages at SEEC since 2005. She has been the lead teacher in the toddler, twos, threes, and fours classroom and since 2014 has held the role of center Director. Before coming to SEEC, Dana worked as an aid for children and adults with special needs. Dana received a B.S. degree in Child Development and Family Science at North Dakota State University, and a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction for Early Childhood Education from George Mason University. She grew up on a farm in North Dakota where she helped her father raise cattle. Dana loves reading, music, and spending time with her husband and daughter.

Cynthia Raso, Director of Office of Engagement

Cynthia Raso has been at SEEC since 2012. Besides overseeing public programs, she also manages social media and works collaboratively with her colleagues at the Office of Engagment on a variety of outreach and professional development projects. Prior to joining SEEC, she was a small business owner. Inspired by her daughters, she launched, Art Within Reach, which offered classes exploring art, history, and culture for early childhood audiences. Cynthia also has a long history with the Freer and Sackler Galleries where she began her career over 15 years ago. As a full-time employee she was the Educator for Docents and Tours and after resigning, continued to work as a contractor managing several educational programs and projects. She holds an M.A. in Art History from the George Washington University.

Board of Directors


Board of Directors Info Coming Soon