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Boeke stepping down as Hands On! director

Heather Boeke, the founder of Hands On!, the downtown children's museum, is stepping down from her post as execitive director to become creative and development director.

Hands On! — A Child’s Gallery has experienced strong growth in the last 10 years since its opening in 2007.  Considering the many facets of the job and how to best manage them, Boeke decided to step down as executive director and focus on the pieces of her job that she loves best, the organization said in a news release. Beginning in August, her focus will be on the creative and educational development components of Hands On!

“We sincerely thank Heather for her innovation, her energy, and her unwavering devotion to Hands On!,” said Anne McClintic, president of the board of directors. “Heather has been at the heart of Hands On! since she founded it 10 years ago. She has created something really unique and special here for our community and for the many visitors we serve throughout the year.”

During the transition, the board has designated a search committee to begin the process of finding a new executive director. “Our goal is to have someone in place this summer. We have a dynamic board and an efficient process for securing a strong candidate,” said Rick Prudhomme, vice president of the board. “Heather has left some big shoes to fill and while we will be updating the job description to suit our strategic plan, our challenge is going to be finding someone as passionate and spirited as Heather.”

Boeke will remain as executive director through July. She will then move to a part-time position to help with the transition of the new executive director and to focus on the creative and educational development of the organization.

The mission of Hands On! is to provide children and families with “hands-on” educational exhibits and science programs that stimulate the imagination and motivate learning in a fun, safe environment. This mission is accomplished in the facility and in the community through the Mad Scientists on Wheels traveling program. Hands On! is open at 318 N. Main St. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, with extended summer hours coming soon. Call 697-8333 or visit to learn more about the educational experiences they offer.