Former East Drama Teacher Arlene Hawks Takes Lead Role at SciTech in Downtown Aurora

Courtesy of The Beacon-News:

AURORA — A famous name in Aurora schools is taking the helm at SciTech.

On Friday, the board of SciTech Hands On Museum in downtown Aurora announced that it has appointed long-time local educator Arlene Hawks as its new executive director.

Hawks, who taught drama at East Aurora High School for 32 years and works with several organizations around the city of Aurora, said she is both “excited” and “honored” to run the science and technology museum for children.

“Arlene is a lifelong educator, she’s completely interwoven into the fabric of Aurora, she has the energy, the drive, the vision and charisma to continue all our programs and take them further,” SciTech Board President John Duggan said during Friday’s announcement.

At SciTech, Hawks replaces former Executive Director Carol Rehtmeyer, who took a new position at Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History in January.

Duggan praised the work that Rehtmeyer did during her tenure at the museum, including the opening of Discovery Preschool, record attendance numbers and the start of a theater troupe at the museum.

Hawks said she plans to grow support for the museum by leveraging her involvement in the Aurora community.

“There are many organizations that I am associated with that I hope to build new relationships with,” she said. “Hopefully they will see our mission is education. My goal is to bring the money in, and then use it to make (the programs) so exciting they can’t stay away.”

Though Hawks expressed her excitement for the theater stage inside the museum, she said her first priority would be ensuring that “all the children that come to SciTech have the experience they expect to have.”

“We’re going to have new programs that excite young people and even the parents as they come in,” she said.

Hawks said she envisioned expanded Saturday offerings for children, including programs that combine the arts and sciences.

“The arts and sciences are very will mixed together,” Hawks said. “I will make sure they continue to be friends.”