Thanks in large part to funds received from the Maury County Benefit Ball, aMuse'um - Columbia Children's Museum - was able to hire a new Executive Director after nearly a year hiatus without one. It was worth the wait, however, as Lance Westbrooks takes the position with an impressive background of 20 years in the educational field.
A naval veteran, father of five daughters, and husband for 23 years, Lance is no stranger to Maury County. He has lived in Spring Hill since 2003, currently worships at Maury Hills church and comes to aMuse'um from Trevecca Nazarene University at Columbia State Community College.
He has administrative experience, as well as time in the classroom as a teacher. Prior to his time in academics, Westbrook worked with children directing a recreation program which included sports leagues, a summer day camp and enrichment programs.
"I see my position as the Executive Director as an extension of my many years of experience in education. The museum will give me the chance to put many of the theories that I've frequently discuss in the classroom into practice as we try to educate our children through play and imagination," he said.
Westbrooks has a vast amount of teaching experience to draw from, including MTSU, Daymar Institute, and O’More College of Design. He was twice named as a "Faculty Member Who Changed the Lives of Students," an honor chosen by graduating seniors.
Among his many professional accomplishments that will translate well in his position at aMuse'um was the youth art and design summer camp he created at O'More to raise the College’s profile within the community and to serve as a recruiting tool. He also led all marketing for the camp, which helped add to its long-term success.
Additional education experience includes:
- Site Administrator for the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies at Trevecca Nazarene University;
- Dean of Education, Anthem Career College, Nashville;
- Director of Education, Daymar Institute, Nashville;
- Executive Vice President and Provost, O’More College of Design, Franklin.
April Grippo who serves on the museum's board and was one of its founders said that "the board is thrilled to have Westbrooks as our new director," and she credits the Maury County Benefit Ball for helping make this possible with their selection of aMuse'um as one of their two recipients. You can read more about that HERE.
As for Westbrooks, he is already implementing ideas and says, "I am eager to meet with our patrons and find out what their children like best about the museum, as well as hear their suggestions about where we go next." So with school starting in just a few weeks, now is the time to head over to the Museum to meet Lance and give him your suggestions.
The Columbia Children's Museum is a nonprofit organization located on the historic Square in downtown Columbia at 123 W 7th Street.