Ben is one of the two camp managers and has been with the museum since 2012. In addition to holding almost every job in the organization in the past eleven years, Ben originated our Pre-K music camps here at the museum, and you may also recognize Ben as Dr. Science! Before returning to The Evergreen State College to complete his Masters in Teaching in Spring 2023, Ben was a much beloved preschool teacher here at the museum. Ben holds a BA in Performance Studies and is an active musician and actor in our community.
Natasha holds degrees in Ecology and Geography and has been with the Hands On Preschool since 2014. She is the lead teacher for the majority of our Inspired Chefs culinary camps, and loves to work with children of all ages on art and food-focused learning. Natasha’s creativity and artistic sensibility are an asset to our education programs, and she works as a museum photographer when she is not teaching!
Allie has an AA degree in Intercultural Communications and has studied Spanish, Latin American Studies, and Youth Education at The Evergreen State College. Allie is fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language and has worked at the museum since 2019 and also worked as a volunteer at Hands On prior to her employment.
Ashley has an AA degree in Early Childhood Education and worked as a preschool teacher for many years before joining the Front Desk team here at Hands On in 2019. She is at the helm of our Early Learners classes, and guides the play of our youngest preschoolers with compassion and calm. Ashley is an expert in the development of preschoolers, and our youngest camps benefit from her knowledgeable and loving curriculum.
Jacque holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre & Drama and relocated to the West Coast from New York City. She has experience in performance, childcare, and early childhood education. Before moving to Washington, she spent 5 years as a teaching artist in the WEE Arts Studio at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in Manhattan.
Payton has an AA in Early Childhood Education and is working towards certifications in Speech Language Pathology and teaching. He has been with the Museum since 2018 and has worked as a Play Facilitator, Visitor Engagement Lead, Preschool Assistant Teacher, and he also does Dr. Science demos. Payton loves LEGO and intramural sports in the community, and his energy and enthusiasm are contagious!
Teacher Eli holds a Bachelor’s degree in Ethnomusicology and started her career as a music teacher for elementary and kindergarten students in Indonesia. Before relocating permanently to the United States, Eli's teaching experience included working as a co-teacher at an international preschool and a Pre-K teacher in a Montessori school. Eli has been a teacher in our programs since 2021 and lends her musical and design abilities to the camps she teaches. When not in a classroom, she can be found singing with the Olympia choir, teaching Indonesian children’s choir online, and dancing with the Olympia swing and salsa community.
Nikki has a BA in Environmental Ethics as well as two Master’s degrees in Environmental Education and Environmental Studies. Nikki has been teaching programs with the museum since 2019 both on and off site. She currently coordinates and teaches our field trip workshops, after school programs, and off-site events. Before the museum, Nikki worked as a naturalist for three years for the Monmouth County Park System in New Jersey. When she isn’t teaching at the museum, she can be found hiking, climbing, or just spending the day with her dog.
Janna was born and raised in Gig Harbor, WA and has grown up with a love for the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from the University of Washington, Tacoma, in 2018 with a BA in History and is currently working toward her Masters in Elementary Education through Western Governors University. Janna spent the last four years as an assistant teacher for a preschool in Gig Harbor and fell in love with teaching. She recently got married and has a rescue pup named Runa and an orange kitten named Archie. Janna currently teaches in our afterschool programs as well as being a camp teacher during school breaks!
Elle is originally from Honolulu, Hawaii but has been a Washingtonian for the last 10 years. She recently moved to Olympia from Long Beach, a small coastal town in southwest Washington. Elle completed her undergraduate degree at the Evergreen State College and am now currently in the second half of her Masters in Teaching Program at Evergreen as well. Elle has a passion for teaching and writing curricula and has experience working with children ages two months old all the way to adult education. In her free time she enjoys playing soccer, reading, traveling, and the odd arts and crafts activity.
We have a few spots left in our 2023-2024 session. You can also call to join our waitlist, (360) 956-0818 ext. 103.Register Here