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KidZone Museum Staff

Museum staff works all areas of the Museum because we are small and our staff is multi-talented. Most of us clean, work the front desk, and help with events besides our regular duties.

Carol Meagher has served as the KidZone Museum Executive Director since 2004. She started playing at the museum 19 years ago with her 1-year-old daughter and volunteered for a many years, helping with exhibits and guest services. Carol has a Master's Degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a BFA from California College of the Arts. Her studies led her into work at various children’s psychiatric hospitals and as a teacher in experiential education at Albuquerque Academy. Her creative background and understanding of children with various abilities are essential for the museum’s vision and creation of innovative programs and installations. In addition, Carol studied Spanish language and Mexican culture at Universidad National Autonoma de Mexico and at Middlebury College Language School, enabling her to support the museum's outreach staff in creating engaging and relevant programs that engage the Latino community.

LizNataly Zarate has returned to work at the museum as our Museum Operations Supervisor and her goal is to see us excel at customer service, maintenance and overall museum operations. Nataly has been visiting the museum since she was 4 years old and again as at teen mother with the Sierra Teen Education and Parenting Program (STEPP). She also worked customer service at the museum for five years before leaving to become a full-time bi-lingual Medical Records Specialist at Tahoe Forest Women’s Center (TFWC). We are so fortune to have Nataly who has an in-depth knowledge of the museum, our programs and the community we serve; as well as having essential managerial, administrative and communication skills from her previous experience as TFWC.

BrendaBrenda Ruiz-Gonzales Hamamura is the museum’s Finance, Outreach and HR Manager. Originally from Lima, Peru she earned her degree in Business Management and was a volunteer teacher in the Junior Achievement program that empowers young elementary and high school students to learn an array of business skills. Brenda’s six years of prior experience in accounting and payroll, human resources and retail management are essential to her position and her fluency in Spanish and knowledge of Latin American culture make her a great asset to our nationally recognized KidsReach program.

LizIleana Borsani Vokel is the KidZone Museum Program Manager. She teaches and plans all of the museum's camps, classes, workshops and program curriculum. Ileana is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and lives with her husband in Sierraville. She has a bachelor of science degree and credential to teach hearing-impaired and mentally challenged youth, which gives her added experience when working with our diverse audience of children and families. Ileana has trained at Exploratorium to learn how KidZone Museum science programs can give children the opportunities to directly observe and manipulate natural phenomena. Active engagement with natural phenomena encourages learners to ask and investigate their own questions and to test, modify, or expand their ideas and explanations about how the world works. Ileana uses her art and science skills to develop fun hands-on classes, programs, workshops and camps for children and families.

MayraMayra Colmenarez is the Museum Guest Services Lead. To make the museum welcoming to all our guests she ensures adequate staff and resources for cleaning, front desk, groups and special events. She also coordinates our free bus service and programs in the community that take place at the museum, in low-income neighborhoods and with over 10 partner organizations. Mayra was born in Orange County in Southern California, but soon moved to Mexico to be with family. At age 13, she moved to Truckee and graduated from Truckee High School. Mayra’s 5-year-old son, Angel, and baby daughter, Mia, have grown up at the museum and love all the fun opportunities we have for free play. Mayra knows our school and museum families very well and this is essential for us to get authentic feedback on our services and our programs to families of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

LizMaria Marsten Snideman is the Museum's Playologist who ensures that child development is at the forefront to a child's learning through play in our exhibits and programs. For the past 20 years, Maria's career in early childhood development has included working with children pre K - 8 as a teacher and assistant counselor. She counseled students with social and emotional struggles while leading and mediating discussions between students, teachers, parents, administration and outside therapists. She worked for First 5 California doing both grant writing and reporting PEDS data for First 5 grants, recruited at risk children, created curriculum based on California state and district standards, and taught a summer school program for entering Kindergarten. She helped organize the first child development conference for childcare providers and parents in Truckee, CA, and created literacy kits for HeadStart and STATE preschool graduates to foster school readiness for Kindergarten. Maria began volunteering at the museum 10 years ago, and enjoys playing at the museum with her young children.

LizAngelica Medina grew up in Kings Beach and has been coming to the museum since 2013 as part of the Sierra Teen Education and Parenting Program (STEPP). She loves our hands-on learning approach and wanted to work at the museum and share these experiences with her young daughter, Isabella. Angelica speaks Spanish and English and currently works in guest services at the KidZone Museum, where she can help both Spanish- and English-speaking families who visit the museum. She looks forward to learning more about child development and using this knowledge to grow her experiences as a mom and as a teaching assistant at the museum.

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