The Perot Museum of Nature and Science names veteran education/innovation leader Jessica Chavez as its Chief Learning Officer
After an exhaustive search, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science has named veteran education leader Jessica Chavez as its Chief Learning Officer. Chavez joins the Perot Museum after working for the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix since 2015, where she most recently served as Vice President of Innovative Learning Strategies. She assumed her duties remotely in December and, following her relocation, was officially welcomed to the Perot Museum Feb. 1.
“We are thrilled for Jessica to join the Perot Museum team as we continue to evolve during what has been a challenging time, especially for school-age children,” said Dr. Linda Silver, Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. “Jessica brings extensive expertise in education, innovation and strategic planning – particularly in the digital arena – which will be crucial as the Perot Museum moves forward as a beacon for STEM learning and careers. We look forward to Jessica’s think-big approach as we strive to fulfill our mission of inspiring minds through nature and science.”
Silver is especially excited about Chavez’s deep knowledge of digital learning, which she believes will allow the Museum to greatly expand its outreach efforts with schools and organizations unable to visit or participate in the Museum’s onsite programing.
During her time serving in various roles at the Arizona Science Center, she helped lead the creation and implementation of CONNECT, a digital platform that integrates both outreach and formal educational programming to an online format for education and public users. Additionally, she expanded the Science Teacher Residency Program (STaR) to a hybrid and completely virtual model to create access and equity for educators across the state of Arizona. She has extensive experience with digital outreach and has repeatedly demonstrated a firm grasp of how to nimbly meet the educational needs of her community.
Additionally, Chavez brings the invaluable perspective of a teacher. She has been involved in education for more than 15 years ranging from early childhood to adult learning. In her last role in formal education, she spent five years as a visual arts/STEAM educator, department chair and professional learning community district leader at Fremont Junior High in Mesa, Arizona.
Silver added that Chavez’s vast skill set of innovative leadership and team-building is further strengthened by her eagerness and track record in improving donor relations, department and partner collaborations, along with her ability to find unique solutions to challenging problems.
“Being a part of the Perot Museum at such a unique time in our history is exciting. The quality and quantity of programming that the Perot Museum offers to North Texans and beyond is impressive by any standard,” said Chavez. “I look forward to working with our teams to further increase our reach and to offer even more opportunities outside our museum walls, helping bridge to and support under-resourced North Texas communities and the public schools that serve them.”
Chavez has a bachelor of fine arts in K-12 education and a master of arts in education technology with an emphasis on instructional design from Arizona State University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University (completion spring 2021). Her research is focused on informal learning support and its impact on the self-efficacy and job satisfaction of educators.
She and her husband will reside in Dallas and look forward to exploring North Texas.