Illinois Art Station Staff
Hannah Johnson, Executive Director (she/her)
Hannah Johnson joins the Illinois Art Station in 2022 by way of serving the last eight years as an inclusive educator, community builder, and cultural advocate at the McLean County Museum of History in her hometown of Bloomington, Illinois. Johnson is a proud graduate of Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan universities, as well as of public school District 87. As a child of artists, a lifelong patron of the visual/performance arts, and of an artistic temperament herself, Johnson knows the value of being exposed to, immersed in, and reared by the creative community. Johnson is a graduate of the Multicultural Leadership Program, a 2021 YWCA Woman of Distinction nominee, and the co-recipient of numerous best practices awards for her community-centric and collaboration-driven local museum work.
Joey Hatch, Education Coordinator (she/her)
Joey Hatch earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Art Education with a minor in Classical Animation from the Academy of Art University in 2014. She also holds a Master of Science in Art Education from Illinois State University where she focused on the effects of art education on students’ overall academic success and effective arts education programming for special populations. Joey worked at Illinois Art Station during her graduate studies before accepting the full time Program Coordinator position in 2020. She is passionate about sharing her love of learning, color, and art in all its forms with young artists at IAS.
Illinois Art Station Board
Shari Buckellew, IAS Board President (she/her)
Shari has over 35 years of leadership experience in the non-profit and accounting industries. After a successful career in accounting she founded and led the award winning Children’s Discovery Museum from inception, through two expansions and ultimately through a reorganization as a Town of Normal entity. After leaving the museum in 2012 Shari consulted with start-up museums and was an adjunct professor in the College of Business at Illinois State University. She became the Executive Director of Business Operations at St. John’s Lutheran Church in 2014. She directs all business operations of the church including human resources, finance, property and ministry infrastructure. Shari has an accounting degree from Eastern Illinois University and an MBA from Illinois State University. In addition to the Illinois Art Station, Shari has served on the board of directors for numerous organizations, including: Past president of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Illinois, Past Treasurer of the Illinois Association of Museums and Midwest Association of Museums, Illinois State University Foundation, Eastern Illinois University Lumpkin School of Business Advisory Council, Advocate BroMenn Philanthropy Council and the Immanuel Bible Foundation. Shari strives to make a significant contribution as a leader with integrity, passion and a positive attitude in every situation.
Karen Stephens, IAS Board Vice President (she/her)
Karen Stephens is a graduate of Illinois State University with an undergraduate degree in psychology and an M.S. in education, specializing in early childhood education.
Karen has lived in McLean County since 1972 and began her professional career as a teacher in a preschool classroom in 1975. From 1980 to May 2013, she served as Director of Illinois State University’s Child Care Center and taught child development and early childhood program administration courses for ISU’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. In 2017, she was inducted into the Illinois State University College of Applied Science and Technology‘s Hall of Fame.
Karen served for two years as President of the Midwest Association for the Education of Young Children and served on accreditation committees for the National Association for the Education of Young Children. In addition to serving on the IAS board, Karen is a member of the advisory board of the Pratt Music Foundation, which raises scholarship funds to support classical music lessons reserved for talented children with financial need.
Karen has contributed to various educational and professional trade publications since 1985 to the present. For a decade, she published a weekly parenting column for Bloomington-Normal’s local newspaper, The Pantagraph. Her parenting columns were later published as “Parenting Exchange on CD” by Exchange Press.
She has delivered early childhood professional development trainings since 1975 at local, regional, national, and international venues. International presentations have included visits to New Zealand, Scotland, Denmark, Canada, Mexico, and Northern Ireland. Her keynotes and training topics range widely, from nurturing children’s creativity to supporting children’s resilience nature education.
Karen is author of the high school textbook Child Care Today: Becoming an Early Childhood Professional, and Block Adventures.
Cat Woods, IAS Board Treasurer (she/her)
Kristi Toohill, IAS Board Secretary (she/her)
Kimberly Babin, IAS Board (she/her)
LeAnne Moritz, IAS Board (she/her)
Scott Jordan, IAS Board (he/him)
Illinois Art Station Foundation Board
Laura Berk, IAS Founder & Foundation President (she/her)
Laura Berk is a distinguished professor of psychology emerita at Illinois State University, where she taught child development for over three decades. She has published widely in scientific journals, authored several best-selling higher education textbooks, and written chapters and books for parents and teachers of young children. Her research has been featured in Parents Magazine, Wondertime, Readers’ Digest, Psychology Today, and Scientific American.
Laura serves on the board of Artolution, an international organization that brings collaborative public art projects to children, youth, and families facing profound hardships around the globe. In her home state, she is on the board of the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and is president of the Illinois Art Station Foundation board, as well as serves as an ex-officio member of the IAS Board. Laura’s conviction that engaging with the visual arts can transform all aspects of children’s development and help bring diverse community groups together led her to become founding donor of Illinois Art Station.
Laura is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division 7: Developmental Psychology, a McLean County YWCA Woman of Distinction, and a member of the Illinois State University College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.
Rick Lewis, IAS Foundation Vice President (he/him)
Rick Lewis served as Associate Dean of Students at Illinois State University and numerous positions in university administration at ISU for more than 30 years until his retirement in 2016.
Not one to be idle, he served as Director of Operations for the Normal Township Activity and Recreation Center from 2019-2022. He currently substitute teaches in the Unit 5 school district to stay current with young students.
Rick loves health and fitness and maintains an active lifestyle having traveled to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, safaris across the savannas of the Serengeti, trekked the plains of Nairobi, and the valleys of Bhutan. Future adventures include the Antarctica and learning to play the piano.
In addition to serving on the IAS Foundation Board, he is also a founding member of the Bloomington-Normal Achievement Foundation, a new organization whose mission is to serve the community promoting health and well-being through community engagement, education and scholarship with a focus on minority youth and senior citizens.
Rick is originally from North Carolina and is a trained artist and has exhibited across the state of Illinois and North Carolina.
Steve Lancaster, IAS Foundation (he/him)
Steve Lancaster is a lifelong resident of Normal, having attended local public schools as well as attending Illinois State University as an art major. In earlier days, Steve participated in local amateur art shows. However, being part of a family heavily involved in building trades and maintenance, Steve’s professional journey followed that path. Those experiences led him to Illinois State University in 1984; first employed as a building maintenance worker. Steve retired in 2019 as Associate Director of Facilities Management. While in that position, he had leadership roles that included campus-wide responsibilities over building and grounds maintenance, as well as janitorial services. In other campus capacities he oversaw project management, cost estimating, and construction for numerous building improvements. After 55 years in the industry, at the time of his retirement, the opportunity presented itself to join the Illinois Art Station Foundation Board, with the express duty of guiding the Foundation through the design and construction phases of the first permanent home for Illinois Art Station. He is excited to be a part of continuing care and maintenance of the Illinois Art Station beyond the completion of the facility.