Director of Education and Guest Experience


Director of Education and Guest Experience

Status: Full-time (exempt)

Reports to: Executive Director

Job Summary:
In alignment with the museum’s mission, vision, values, and strategic plan, the Director of Education and Guest Experience is responsible for overseeing educational and exhibition programs and engagement in the museum and beyond to ensure transformative guest experiences. This position serves as a critical member of the museum leadership team, helping set the strategic vision of the organization. All employees of the Children’s Museum of South Dakota are responsible for supporting the goal to become a recognized leader in the children’s museum industry.

Essential Functions:

The Director of Education and Guest Experience’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:  

  • Oversee the development, implementation, and evaluation of all aspects of the museum’s educational and exhibition programming, including guest experience.  
  • Lead, motivate, and engage a team of up to 25 education and guest experience team members. Empower a highly skilled and diverse staff that possesses a strong passion for the museum’s mission and belief in learning through play.   
  • Ensure the integrity of the museum’s educational philosophy and play-based strategies for learning are aligned throughout all museum experiences and represent them in both written and spoken communication. 
  • Participate in institutional planning and evaluation, leading projects and/or initiatives that are aligned as needed. 
  • Work with community and other civic leaders to create effective partnerships to broaden the scope and reach of the museum’s initiatives. 
  • Work with cross-functional team to plan and implement special initiatives for increasing attendance and develop and help implement communication efforts for museum learning experiences. 
  • Coordinate the reservation process for educational groups and field trips, serving as a liaison between museum and group, managing communication, coordinating reservation details in the database, and following up to ensure successful implementation. 
  • Manage programming in reservation system and website calendar.   
  • Provide reports and analyze and assess visitor trends, comments, questions, and concerns using museum database and visitor/employee input. Leverage data to inform museum best practices and strategic direction. 
  • Manage department budget with oversight from the Executive Director. 


  • Proven ability to successfully build and lead a large team using a collaborative leadership style to promote guest engagement and ensure transformative learning experiences.
  • Strategic vision and intuition that will support the museum leadership team in developing innovative relationships and strengthening existing partnerships.
  • Bachelor’s degree in education or related field and 4 years of experience in related job functions.
  • Hands-on experience and understanding of how young children learn through play, Reggio-Inspired philosophy a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively engage guests with a record of success at a comparable institution.
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills and ability to establish rapport with diverse families, staff, stakeholders, and partners. Capable of working with people of different backgrounds, abilities, and life experiences.
  • Excellent time management and planning skills to manage day-to-day functions and strategic planning and implementation.
  • Strong organizational skills and proficient use of Microsoft Office tools and point-of-sale programs (Altru/Blackbaud).
  • Shows a passion for and commitment to the mission, vision, and values of the Children’s Museum of South Dakota.

Compensation, Benefits, and Work Environment:

The salary range for this position starts at $85,000 and will be evaluated commensurate with experience. CMSD provides a comprehensive benefit package for full-time employees including 401(k)/matching, health, dental, and vision insurance options including a health savings account. The Museum also offers paid holidays and paid time off (PTO).   

Additional benefits include an Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) Reciprocal Membership, gift shop and Café Coteau discount, professional development, and a playful environment.  

About Brookings, SD:

Brookings is home to 25,000 residents and is located in Eastern South Dakota 50 miles north of Sioux Falls, SD, on I-29. Brookings was ranked #5 nationwide in Livability’s Best Small Towns. It also scored 100% in the Municipal Equality Index Human Rights Score.

Brookings has many attractions and cultural amenities including the South Dakota Art Museum, McCrory Gardens, Dakota Nature Park, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center, and two performing arts/events centers for live performances, and is home to South Dakota State University, a premier land grant university. The Children’s Museum of South Dakota is located in the heart of Brookings’ Downtown Historic District.

The Brookings Public School District educates nearly 3,500 students from early childhood to 12th grade. Brookings has been listed as an ideal community for families, students, young professionals, and retirees.

To apply:

Please send cover letter, resume or list of relevant job experience, and three professional references to:

Children’s Museum of South Dakota
Attn: Kate Treiber, Executive Director
521 4th Street
Brookings, SD 57006

This position is open until filled. EOE

CMSD is committed to a diverse workplace. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, age, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status, in addition to any other characteristic protected by law.