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Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

We are a small but mighty team of creative, smart, and fun individuals who care about helping kids learn! Along with our amazing Sparkologists, we have a passion for serving children and families in our community. 


Heather Nessler

Executive Director

Heather has been with Spark since April 2022. She was thrilled to join a brilliant team with the same goal - providing safe, fun, and enriching experiences for families in our community. She believes that even one experience at SPARK can change a child's life. The introduction to STEAM, health and wellbeing activities, or different cultures can spark the joy of a lifelong passion. Her favorite activity as a child was drawing and creative writing, which is why the Imagination Station is her favorite place in the museum. She has two teenage daughters now, but the memories of drawing, cutting, gluing, creating, and dreaming with them when they were younger are some of her favorites.


Makeila Nyman

Education & Program Manager

Makeila has been with SPARK since October, 2023. She enjoys creating opportunities for all ages to play, learn, and discover together. After being an elementary teacher for several years, she hopes to bring her knowledge of student development and engagement to make exciting educational experiences for all. Seeing kids have “lightbulb moments” as they play is her favorite part of being at SPARK. She grew up traveling back and forth between Mexico, and her family farm in Iowa. With that upbringing she was able to enjoy learning about cultures as well as nature through experiential learning opportunities. She looks forward to being a part of the many ways that SPARK brings the community together.


Jennifer Galuska

Play Manager

Jennifer has been with SPARK since November 2023. Jennifer has worked in the public sector, all her life: sales, food & beverage, mental health therapist, and Sunday School teacher. She loves working with people! She's excited to be here at SPARK because it’s such a wonderful place to play (and learn) and get to know new families from virtually all over the world and incorporate new friends. Her favorite exhibit at the museum is the Café. One of her passions in life is cooking fabulous meals. She get's such a kick out of seeing the children adorn an apron and chef hat before preparing a pot full of plastic food soup.


Jeraka Tweite

Operations Director

Jeraka has been with SPARK since July of 2020 and joined the team right before the SPARK opened! She enjoys being a part of an organization with a mission focused on families learning and growing through time spent together. Her 10 year old daughter is very creative and is always looking for a project, the museum has a fantastic Imagination Station to offer a creative outlet for all ages. As a kid she loved being outdoors, and spent most of her time at the lake or outside playing and exploring. She enjoys finding creative and engaging ways to enhance our visitors experience at the museum by expanding on our current exhibits and programs.


Alex Langsjoen

Development Manager

Alex is the newest member of SPARK - having joined the team in March 2024. He comes from a journeyed career in both nonprofits and health/human services organizations that was based in the Mankato area. A recent relocation to Rochester to be with his partner has invigorated him with learning more about this great community and what it has to offer. "SPARK provides an amazing experiential opportunity for children throughout Southeaster MN. Along with that, there is unlimited potential for continued growth to serve more families. It doesn't take long to realize that the SPARK Team is passionate about the work that they do, which resonates throughout the museum." Alex's favorite exhibit in the museum is the Green Screen that effectively makes anyone a 'TV Personality'. Do you want to be a weatherman some day? Well, give it a try for yourself! Maybe Alex will become your next local weather personality, but until then, you can find him trying to help SPARK achieve it's mission through various grants and donations.


Gina Marcucci

Communications Manager

Gina has been with SPARK since June 2022. She has come on board to help spread the word in the community about SPARK. With a wide range of experience in marketing and communications, she hopes to find new ways of outreach and connection in Rochester and surrounding areas. Her favorite exhibit is the H2OH! water table. In her spare time, Gina performs in the local band, My Grandma's Cardigan, and plays with a lot of puppies!


Tammy Drake

Visitor Experience Manager

Tammy has been with SPARK since January 2021, starting as a Sparkologist worked her way up to Play Manager, and was promoted to Visitor Experience Manager in 2024. She has a background in special education K-6, nursing, and business management. Tammy and her husband of 32 years have been blessed with 3 daughters, 1 son, and 5 grandchildren. When she isn't working (playing at SPARK), Tammy likes to relax with painting, diamond pictures, and puzzles. Her favorite exhibit at SPARK is SPARK City. She loves to see the expression on the children and parents when they have fixed the leaks, cleared up the smog, relieved the traffic jams, and turned unhappy guests to happy guests. How many people can say they get paid to play all day?

Interested in joining our team? Check out our current job openings HERE

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