Once upon a time, there was a woman whose infectious love of books transcended years and job titles. That woman, Kerry Teeple, a fifth generation Findlay native and mom of two, is the Mazza Museum’s deputy director. Described by coworkers as “energetic and innovative,” Teeple infuses those qualities into the Mazza Museum and the University of Findlay.
Teacher, Housekeeper, Deputy Director
When Teeple’s children, Mac, now 18, and Tatum, now 17, entered school full time, she began substitute teaching at Liberty Benton Elementary School, working with at risk students as a Title I reading teacher. That experience sparked her excitement for using picture books to engage students. “I will never forget, I was at a reading conference and I heard a speaker talk about visual strategies for making reading comprehension fun. It changed the way I thought about reading.”
A few years later Kerry left LB schools and began working as a housekeeper at the University of Findlay in an effort to make college tuition more affordable for her children. Within the year, a friend suggested that she apply for an administrative assistant position at the Mazza Museum. It was an opportunity to combine her love of children’s literacy, with work on campus and also continue her education (while working at the Mazza Museum, Kerry completed her Masters in Education). Teeple was named Deputy Director in November 2015. “Kerry is innovative. She has great ideas about wonderful new programs for the museum and can implement them successfully,” said coworker Terry Olthouse.
Accomplishments at Mazza
Teeple has developed the newly minted Mazza app, which allows users to visit the museum from anywhere in the world, touring each of the galleries, hearing artists speak about their work, and exploring specific works of art. Teeple wrote the script and selected the art for the app. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see the finished product,” she shared.
In conjunction with Children’s Book Week, a national literacy initiative celebrating children’s books, Teeple organized a program at Mazza, where she personally reads to groups of children while coordinating the weeklong celebration.
Life Outside of Work
Life outside of Mazza is exciting and artistic for Kerry, as she is actively involved in her church, College First Church of God, singing at church events, directing both the children’s and adult choirs, and participating in the bell choir. Teeple’s family is a source of great pride. Her son Mac regularly plays guitar at Coffee Amici and she and her daughter Tatum, along with her sister and mother, sing the national anthem at all of the home University of Findlay basketball games.
As the summer ends, Teeple says she is especially looking forward to the September Funday Sunday. Mazza will be partnering with the Hancock County Historical Museum with the theme “Take me Out to the Ball Game.” This fall, Kerry will begin working on her Doctorate of Education at the University of Findlay “I realize what a close knit, family type community we have here at the University of Findlay. I’m proud to be a part of that.”
Mazza Museum | 419-434-4560 | 201 College St. | mazzamuseum.org
“Mazza Museum: International Art from Picture Books” on Facebook