Traci Buckner -Executive Director

Traci joins the museum after 18 years of service in the Akron Public School system and most recently as program officer at GAR Foundation, the largest private charitable foundation in Akron. Buckner is the founding instructional leader of the National Inventors Hall of Fame School…Center for STEM Learning and most recently served as Director of Specialty Programs.

She is also an author and has co-authored the book STEM Leadership, a guide on creating a STEM culture in a school or district. Prior to her educational career, she worked in corporate marketing and sales. Buckner has served as a guest panelist at the Athena Leadership Forum, The Ashland University Leadership Academy Seminar, and the Akron Roundtable. She is a member of Leadership Akron and currently serves on the United Way of Summit County Board of Directors. She was featured in Akron Life magazine as one of the city’s 2015 change makers and was a recipient of the Women of STEM Rising Amongst the Stars award from the Ohio Black Women’s Leadership Caucus. Buckner received a Master’s in education from John Carroll University and Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from The Ohio State University. She also earned an instructional leadership administrative certificate from Ashland University. She resides in Akron with her husband, Tobin and their two sons.

Tessa Tegel -Operations Manager

Tessa is a founding board member of the Akron Children’s Museum and is passionate about helping children thrive in innovative learning environments. She has a wide variety of experiences working in the education field, including classroom teacher in the Chicago Public Schools, director of multiple tutoring centers, and educational consultant helping K-12 schools with strategic planning and technology integration. Tessa is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign holding degrees in Elementary Education and Psychology, as well as an MBA from the University of Akron. She is an alum of Akron Torchbearers, served on the board of Imagine Romig Road Community School, and is former President of the Copley-Fairlawn chapter of MOMS Club, a nonprofit organization offering support to at-home mothers. Tessa is an active volunteer in her kids’ schools and at her church. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Ben, and their sons, Grayson and Wesley. 

Kat Dunlap -Manager of Education

Kat Dunlap has always held a passion for hands-on learning through discovery and exploration. As an alumna of the University of Akron, she began her career as a Middle School science teacher. Kat left classroom teaching in 2015 to join the education team at Holden Arboretum. Working in a diverse outdoor setting cemented Kat’s love for informal learning. From there, her journey in the museum world took her across the country to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, where she taught and developed educational programs ranging from Lego Robotics, to Animation, Space Geology, Volcanology, and more.

Kat joined Akron Children’s Museum in 2021. As the head of the education team at ACM, Kat is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of ACM’s educational content and curriculum. In addition, Kat is also responsible for coordinating the Head Start - Mobile Museum in a Box program, as well as the Kindergarten Essential Experiences Field Study: Explore Galore with Monsters and More, for Akron Public Schools. When she’s not at the museum, you can find her outside in all seasons, enjoying the tranquility of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park! Kat and her family are proud to call Akron their home.

Victoria Schmidt -Community Engagement Coordinator

Victoria is a dedicated and enthusiastic non-profit professional. Victoria graduated from Mercyhurst University in 2019 with degrees in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. Since then, she has worked at various summer camps and after-school centers, where she gained experience working with children of all ages and learning the importance of hands-on play. Victoria also completed two years of AmeriCorps service with Lancaster Lebanon Habitat for Humanity, where she discovered a love for working in the non-profit sector. She continued to work for Habitat for Humanity for two more years as the ReStore Volunteer Manager developing volunteer appreciation and retention strategies.

Victoria’s passion for community and love of creative learning led her to work with Akron Children’s Museum as the Community Engagement Coordinator. When Victoria is not out in the community chatting about the museum, she can be found hiking outside, hanging with friends, roller skating, or sorting through piles of clothes for vintage outfits at the thrift store.

Susan Lindeman -Special Events Coordinator

Susan has always had a passion for creating special events. This passion, along with the desire to create an educational and enjoyable environment for children and their families, fits perfectly for her at the Akron Children's Museum. She brings to the museum experience of organizing events for the community and for her own local organizations where she is a member.
She graduated from the Akron Public Schools and the University of Akron. Born and raised in Akron, she and her husband, Loman, reside in the Ellet community of Akron. They are parents to two sons. Susan looks forward to meeting families at the museum as they enjoy the special events she has planned.