Children's Museum of South Dakota

Museum Team

Our Staff

 

Kate Treiber, Executive Director

Kate believes in the transformative power of learning and discovery at any age. In her non-profit work, she has used her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and her master’s degree in Counseling and Human Resources from South Dakota State University to build positive working relationships and create environments where people of all ages are able to grow and become successful. Whether it is through her many years of experience teaching preschool children or university students; mentoring young teachers; guiding parents, co-workers and volunteers; mobilizing the resources needed for positive community impact; or working with a board of directors; Kate enjoys providing the leadership, guidance and encouragement needed to build a high quality organization.

Kate has served in various leadership roles including President of the South Dakota Association of Child Care Center Directors. She acted as the SDAEYC Conference Co-Chair in 1996 and as Accreditation Chair in 1998 for South Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children. In 2005, Kate was named to the South Dakota Voices for Children, Champion for Children Honor Roll for her impactful work at Kid’s World Learning Center in Brookings, SD. She has presented at numerous professional conferences and enjoys giving back to her community while serving on local boards of organizations that support children and families.

 

Mike Mogard, Associate Director

Mike enjoys working at the museum because "it's fun to work at a place where everybody is excited to be at each day." Having worked with youth in settings both inside and outside of the classroom, Mike continues to call on those skills daily at the museum. He does his best to ensure our visitors have positive, educational experiences as he oversees the facility and museum exhibits.

Mike grew up in Brookings and attended elementary school in the building that now houses the museum. There was no dinosaur back then, though. Mike received his B.S. in Elementary Education from Dakota State University and earned his Master of Education in Educational Administration from South Dakota State University.

Mike has been recognized as Teacher of the Year at Hillcrest Elementary in Brookings and received the Mike Garnos Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Educational Administration from SDSU. In his free time, he also volunteers with the Special Olympics. His varied experiences with children, his positive approach, and his excitement for learning make him a great fit with the museum!

 

Kati Hanson, Director of Guest Services

The first big smile you see at the museum will be Kati. She loves the energy and excitement that all of the big kids at heart and the little kiddos bring to the museum. Engaging with guests from all over the country and seeing the excitement from the moment they walk through the door to the moment that they leave (in tears) has been a rewarding day at work. Kati brings an abundance of energy and cheerfulness to the Children's Museum of South Dakota. She has a passion for children and learning through play. Kati grew up in Brookings, attended college in South Carolina and graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City with a bachelor’s degree in Public Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. After a four-year career playing Division I golf, she served as an intern with the American Junior Golf Association coordinating national golf tournaments and facilitating media, sponsor and donor communications.

Kati is committed to ensuring that all visitors to the Museum have a positive experience and is passionate about making sure that families are having fun!

 

Carrie Benson, Director of Education

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.

 

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.

 

Mark Schultz, Maintenance Supervisor

Can he fix it? Yes he can! Mark is responsible for the maintenance of our facility, exhibits and grounds. Every day is like no other and he finds enjoyment in the variety of duties his position provides. Mark's talents and expertise come from his 22 years of work experience at Larson Manufacturing. Outside of the museum, Mark enjoys spending time with family, golfing and delving into projects around the house.

 

Our Board of Directors

Dale Larson

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 Jackson

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 Larson

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 Svobodny

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.

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.

Robert Jostad

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 Cutler

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.

Susan Quello

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.