Nikole Hill named Chief Learning Officer at Discovery Place

Discovery Place named Nikole ‘Nikki’ L. Hill as the organization’s new Chief Learning Officer (CLO), effective Monday, July 24.

In her new role, Hill will lead all programs, experiences, exhibits and related activities for Discovery Place Kids at the Huntersville and Rockingham locations.

She served as interim in April following the departure of former CLO Tifferney White, who accepted a position at Discovery Place in Louisiana.

After a nationwide search, Hill received an offer for the permanent position in June. She said she was “ecstatic” to hear the news.

“[The promotion] gave me an opportunity to broaden the reach of what I could do for Discovery Place Kids,” Hill told QCity Metro. “I’m just excited about identifying other ways we can bring the community into the museum and for us to be able to go out into the community and serve others.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Nikki as a trusted colleague on our senior leadership team,” President and CEO of Discovery Place Catherine Wilson Horne said in a statement.

“With more than 20 years of experience as a senior leader in children’s museums, combined with her work as a community connector and passion for education, we look forward to the contributions she will bring as we envision the future of our children’s museums.”

Hill began her career teaching kindergarten at Richland School District One in Columbia, S.C. 

A school trip to a local children’s museum inspired her career change.

“People think that children’s museums are just a place for kids to play,” she said. “It’s a place where they can learn and develop their mind.”

In 2005, she became an afterschool manager at EdVenture, the South’s largest children’s museum. She moved up the ranks over the years and became executive vice president of EdVenture in 2013, where she served until her departure in 2019.

During her 14-year tenure, she helped EdVenture accomplish a number of milestones, including helping the museum become a recipient of the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Service by enhancing the museum’s program offerings and emphasizing health and wellness education. 

She also helped expand EdVenture to Myrtle Beach, S.C. and her hometown, Hartfield, S.C.

In her new role, Hill plans to increase museum renovations, bring in more specialists to talk to kids and expand opportunities for more classes to visit the museum. She also wants to launch more outreach efforts in the community.

She also wants to create more programs for children who have been exposed to violence. 

“We have to reach our kids young,” she said.

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