Preschool Staff

Preschool Staff 4
Betsy DeBoer
Curricular Advisor
Betsy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Betsy has been with HOCM since 2004 and has played a key role in developing our preschool into the wonderful educational program that it is today.
Preschool Staff 3
Natasha Ivanichek
Lead Teacher
Natasha holds degrees in Ecology and Geography and has been with Hands On since 2013. Natasha leads our Pre-Kindergarten class and, as a gifted artist and photographer, she infuses the curriculum with creativity. She is also a lead camp teacher here at the museum.
Preschool Staff 2
Ben Michaelis
Lead Teacher
Ben Michaelis has been with the museum since 2012. The leader of our field trip program, Ben also oversees our offsite events and partner programs. Ben originated our Pre-K music camps here at the museum, and you may also recognize Ben as Dr. Science! Ben holds a BA in Performance Studies and is an active musician and actor in our community.
Preschool Staff 1
Allie Deaton
Assistant Teacher
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. She has volunteered with the museum since 2010 and officially joined the staff in 2018.
Preschool Staff
Ashley Bench
Assistant Teacher
Ashley has an AA degree in Early Childhood Education and worked as a preschool teacher for many years before joining the team here at Hands On in 2019. Ashley brings a strong knowledge of child development to our program.