Suzanne Hegg, Executive Director
Suzanne brings several decades of educational experience to the Children’s Museum of South Dakota. During her career as an English teacher, she enjoyed developing relationships with her students and the challenge of creating effective methods to help her students learn. This interest in learning and teaching strategies led to a leadership position in which she helped other teachers in her school district develop effective teaching paradigms and classroom methods. During her teaching career, she received two commendations as the district Teacher of the Year and a statewide award for leadership in curriculum innovation and development.
During the years Suzanne worked as a middle school and high school principal, she also served on the Advisory Council for the South Dakota Virtual High Schools, as a facilitator of South Dakota State University’s Annenberg Grant for Rural Renewal, and as a South Dakota Statewide School Improvement Support Team Member for the Department of Education. She was named South Dakota’s Outstanding Middle School Principal in 2004.
Jen Bauer, Director of Guest Services
Jen brings twelve years of customer relations and retail management experience to the museum. Prior to joining the museum staff, Jen served as assistant store manager, store manager, and district manager for Starbucks Coffee Company in Colorado, Minnesota, and South Dakota. She earned the Store Manager of the Quarter for demonstrating success in all areas of the business including Customer Relations, Partner Engagement, and Profitability. During her tenure, she demonstrated the ability to lead successful teams and recognized the importance of developing teams of people that have the ability to complement one another in their diverse strengths and talents. Jen is committed to creating the best customer experience in all areas of the museum from the moment guests arrive until the time they leave.
Jen grew up in Brookings and graduated from SDSU, earning a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion. As the mother of three boys, she understands the importance of play and the benefits of interactive, hands-on activities for all age groups.
Jill Kosbau, Director of Marketing
Jill brings more than a decade of extensive experience in brand management, design, marketing and promotions, event management and visual concepts to the team. Her interests in art started early, and as a child she always enjoyed the creative process of hands on art projects, which lead naturally to a career in an art related field.
After graduating from the Art Institute of Colorado, she started her career as a designer in Denver, Colorado and later moved back to her hometown of Brookings. She has successfully worked on cross promotional and nation wide advertising campaigns, multi-sensory events, co-branded events, brand integration, fundraising campaigns, print collateral and multi-media art direction. As a freelancer, she has been awarded a Gold ADDY from the South Dakota Advertising Association and a Bronze for Color advertising from the Art Directors Club of Denver.
Carrie Benson, Educator
Carrie comes to the museum with a lot of enthusiasm for working with children and has a deep passion for ensuring high quality educational experiences. She has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with specialization in birth to age eight and a master’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with specialization in Child and Family Studies, both from SDSU. She has presented her teacher research, based off happenings in her classroom, at local, state and national level educational conferences. She has a strong interest in children’s thinking and ways they represent their learning as well as capturing and making visible children’s learning process. Carrie has worked many places throughout the Brookings community including the Fishback Center for Early Childhood Education, Kids World Learning Center, Boys and Girls Club of Brookings, and the Family Resource Network.
Carrie grew up on a farm near Bristol, SD. She comes from a large family as she is the youngest of eight children. She has strong family values and believes in the importance of family experiencing things together. Carrie also values play and interactive learning experiences for people of all ages whether adult or child.
Olivia Isenberg, Director of Exhibits
Olivia brings her experience and passion for teaching children as well as her desire to encourage learning through imagination and discovery to the Children’s Museum. She acquired her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education (birth-8yr) and also a Kindergarten Endorsement from South Dakota State University. Throughout her college career, Olivia spent time studying with a team focusing on children and their exploration of music. She presented their discoveries at the NAEYC conference. While teaching Kindergarten at Tea, SD, Olivia continued to discover the importance of “hands on” learning both inside and outside of the classroom. From interacting with children on a daily basis, Olivia has seen the importance of developing an environment that facilitates exploration and imagination, supported by a learning team consisting of children, parents and educators.
Olivia grew up in “The Little Town on the Prairie”, DeSmet, South Dakota. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing sports, playing guitar and piano, and spending time with her family and friends. Olivia has twelve nieces and nephews whom she loves to encourage to learn through play! She enjoys creative thinking and fostering new ideas for our exhibits at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota.
Pouran Borchardt, Manager of Cafe Coteau
Pouran is managing the museum's own cafe, which is located in the beautiful Pavilion of the museum. She is well known in the area, as she is the former owner of a popular local eatery. She brings many years of food service knowledge to the museum and is excited to have the opportunity to create delicious and nutritious menus for patrons. She and her staff have researched and developed an enticing list of entrees, desserts and beverages for the enjoyment of guests. Pouran is looking forward to seeing many of the people she's delighted in the past with her distinctive brand of culinary excellence.
Our Board of Directors
Dale is Chairman and CEO of Larson Manufacturing Company, a national manufacturer of storm doors and windows with corporate headquarters in Brookings, SD. In 1990, he created the Larson Foundation which was incorporated as a vehicle for the Larson family to share its success through grant giving to qualified charitable organizations. He has also served on two community foundation boards, a bank Board of Directors, Easter Seals of South Dakota Board, Brookings Board of Adjustment and a State Economic Development Board.
Carmelle is a manager at Wild Rumpus, an independent children’s bookstore in Minneapolis, MN. She has a degree from Stanford University in American Studies and Psychology. Carmelle is married and has four children. She is a board member of the Larson Foundation.
Bridget Larson Ennevor
Bridget graduated from Stanford University with an A.B. in political science and an A.M. in Sociology. She briefly worked in the non-profit sector before returning to graduate school. She obtained a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy from USC. Bridget provided occupational therapy services in the public schools in Waterbury, CT. She is married and has two children. Bridget also is a board member of the Larson Foundation.
Maree is the Director of the Larson Foundation. Maree graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans with a degree in Communications. She serves on the board of the South Dakota Art Museum and has served on the boards of Easter Seals South Dakota and Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity. She also volunteers for a number of non-profit organizations including the local schools and the Brookings Area Boys and Girls Club.
Lisa is a marketing manager for Larson Manufacturing. Lisa graduated from St. Olaf College with a B.A. in English, Theater, and Speech Communications. She has been in sales and marketing most of her career. Lisa is married and has three young boys. She also serves on the board of the East Central CASA program, which provides Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children in South Dakota.
Lynn is the Director of the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings. Prior to that position, she has been a curator, a graphic artist, a photographer, and on the faculty at Eastern Montana College. She has also coordinated and taught workshops for children and adults for thirty years. Lynn has a B.S. Fine Arts and Art Education from South Dakota State University and an M. S. Information Media/ Instructional Design from St. Cloud State University.
Dr. Edward P. Hogan
Ed was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree, Arts Masters degree, and Ph.D. degree from Saint Louis University. In 1967, Ed joined South Dakota State University, where he was charged with developing the state's only geography program. He is also Professor Emeritus of Geography, Chief Information Technology Officer Emeritus and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Emeritus at South Dakota State University.
Bob earned a BS degree and Masters in Education degree from South Dakota State University. He spent 25 years as a teacher/ coach, principal, and superintendent in the Brookings Public Schools. He also spent fourteen years in the securities industry. Bob is married, and has two children and two grandsons.
Kay is the Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at South Dakota State University as well as the Director of the Fishback Center. Her educational background includes a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Child Development and Family Relationships and a specialization in Birth to Three Early Intervention from the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught at the university level for 15 years and during those years has directed nationally accredited lab schools at both Central Michigan University and at SDSU.
Dave has spent the last 27 years educating eastern South Dakotan elementary students. After graduating from Brookings High School, Dave earned an early childhood endorsement at SDSU and his Bachelor's and Master’s degrees at USD. In the fall of 1985, Dave became the first male kindergarten teacher in South Dakota. Later, he taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grades in various school districts across eastern South Dakota. Currently, Dave is the principal at Camelot Intermediate School in Brookings. His overall goal as an educator is to create lifelong learners. Dave believes that he and the Children’s Museum of South Dakota share that same goal and that children who have fun learning will continue to educate themselves throughout their lives. Dave is married and has two adult children.
Susan, a resident of Sioux Falls, SD, is another strong advocate for children’s education. Through her college years at Concordia College, Susan earned a BA in Elementary Education and worked within a Community Initiative to create a service learning model for the Moorhead public school system. Later, while teaching at Eugene Field Elementary in Sioux Falls, she was instrumental in the development of South Dakota's first A+ School, a specialized school that allows students to learn in a variety of ways, including learning state standards through dance, art, drama, science and much more. She earned a Master's degree from the University of Sioux Falls in Leadership in Reading. Susan, her husband and three children are frequent visitors to the Museum.
Suzanne spent many years working with the young people of Brookings County, first teaching English and later helping the professionals in her district to rethink learning and to re-imagine teaching. Her career in public education eventually led her to serve as a middle school and high school principal. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Children's Museum of South Dakota.