Meet our Educators! 

Miss Octavia; Vice President of Education | 563-336-7307


Miss Octavia has found herself back in the area that she grew up and is elated to be part of the Putnam team! Her family moved to the QC in August 2015 to be closer to extended family and friends. A proud Alleman High School graduate, she pursued a degree in Elementary Education, first attending Black Hawk College, then Loyola University Chicago and received her Bachelors Degree from Augustana College. After teaching in the QCA she completed a Masters program at Iowa State University in Curriculum & Instruction. She has taught pre-school to middle school in a variety of settings including; Montessori, parochial, public, Head Start and afterschool programs. Octavia was an assistant principal for the Grand Rapids Diocese for five years and after receiving her Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame she taught fifth grade in the Diocese of Las Vegas. She was then selected as the founding principal of Saint Gabriel Catholic School in Las Vegas, NV.
Miss Octavia has been enjoying the shift in her career to informal education and finds great reward in working with local school district teachers and administrators to align our work at the Putnam to provide resources for their students. As the Vice President of Education she strives to offer the best of the Putnam to schools, families and the community overall.
The theater is Miss Octavia’s favorite place to take a break at work, but in the museum she enjoys watching the fish in the aquariums. If she could take any item home to keep it would be the walnut secretary desk made by Israel Hall before the Civil War. She admires the workmanship and quality of the piece.  Her husband and daughter believe that she works in the coolest place ever! They can be found volunteering with exhibits, participating in programs or in their favorite place…the gift shop!

"‚ÄčListen to the mustn'ts, child, Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts. The impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves. Then listen close to me— Anything can happen, child, Anything can be."
– Shel Silverstein Where the Sidewalk Ends


Miss Lakin; Education Specialist | 563-336-7298

Miss Lakin is an Education Specialist at the Putnam. She provides programming through learning experiences for a variety of audiences at the Museum and in the community, and provides enrichment for after-school programs in the Quad City area.  Lakin started working at the Putnam in 2015. She enjoys connecting with and serving visitors in multiple ways, and engaging audiences in a variety of different settings.
Lakin received her bachelor’s degree in Book Arts and Graphic Design, with a minor in Business Management from St. Ambrose University. At Ambrose, she enjoyed working at the Catich Gallery and in the St. Ambrose Archives and Special Collections department.  Her passion for community and education grew during her internship experience as an education assistant at the Figge Art Museum.  At the Putnam, she enjoys teaching science and history in interactive ways through hands-on activity and experimentation. She finds encouraging curiosity and creative thinking while making connections to everyday life with the diverse exhibits featured at the Putnam rewarding.   
Currently, her favorite area in the museum features the Putnam’s 150th anniversary community photos. The display spans across the walls of the upper and lower levels of the Putnam’s grand lobby. The black and white photos, taken by Tom Styrkowicz, make an impact in the large space and celebrate the diverse community members of the Quad City area. She loves that community members came together at the Putnam to celebrate their history, experiences, family, and personalities in and through each photograph. 
If Lakin could have one item from the Putnam’s collection to call her own she would love to have an item from the Beautiful Bugs display cases, currently on display in connection to The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Exhibition. She would love to have the beetle and butterfly specimens that are arranged in a circular burst pattern to have for her self. She loves that the bugs are displayed in a way that is elegant and focuses on their beauty. The display highlights how scientists and artist find inspiration from iridescence found in nature.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
–Dr. Seuss; 
Oh, The Places You Will Go!


Miss Patty; Preschool Education Specialist | 563-324-1933 ext: 235

Miss Patty Schuch is our Preschool Outreach Specialist. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from St. Ambrose University. With many years of teaching; bringing the Putnam to you and your students is an exciting way of sharing the treasures of education for her.

Miss Patty’s favorite item in the Putnam is the Hall of Mammals. As a young girl she would stand for hours during the summer and gaze upon the beauty of the mammals on display. To be able to share a treasure like the Putnam Museum with youngsters is a dream come true as well as an honor. If she could have one item from the Putnam to call her own it would be the Polar Bear cubs. She thinks they are adorable and  would look wonderful in her home!

"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you."

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

Miss Celeste; Education Specialist | 563-324-1933 ext: 282

Celeste Broder is our most recent addition to the Putnam’s Education Department. While working towards her Associates of Fine Arts at Blackhawk College, she completed an internship at the Figge Art Museum. That training and experience opened the door for Celeste to spend the next several years employed as a museum technician in their curatorial department. Along with her long history as a teacher’s aid at Augustana College’s Red Schools Preschool and her passion for early education, art, and science, Celeste is a perfect fit at the Putnam. Her favorite area in the museum is the Science Center. Even on her days off, she and her sons can be found making songs on the Laser Harp, charging up the Marx Generator for a big zap, and making short stop animation movies at the Animation Station. If Celeste could keep one item from the Putnam’s collection, it would be the Magnetoscope. She just can’t get enough of that Ferrofluid!

“Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.”
-Duke Leto Atreides

Miss Brittany; Educational Services Coordinator | 563-336-7290

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