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Children’s Museum director leaving

Roy Mueller has left his post as executive director of the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum, a position he’s held for the past four years.

Mueller’s departure is part of a 2010 restructuring plan, said Allison Alltucker, president of the museum’s board of directors.

The executive director position, which will be held on an interim basis by Michelle Jenkins, is now combined with a development position, she said. The museum also will not replace its director of business operations or its full-time Americorp position.

“We have no control over visiting admissions, but we do have control over staffing decisions,’’ Alltucker said.

Mueller, who will stay on as executive director through the end of the year, said his departure was expected because he had prepared the museum’s budget.

“I knew where we were heading, so it wasn’t a big surprise,’’ he said.

While Mueller will miss the collaboration with colleagues and community members, he said that he’s proud of what he helped the museum — reopened in its new location for more than a year now — to accomplish.

Mueller, who isn’t sure what he will do next, came to San Luis Obispo from Pasadena’s Kidspace Children’s Museum, where he had worked as education director. He also had worked with the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose and the Staten Island Children’s Museum in New York.

“I think the museum is an asset to the community and will go forward in good shape,’’ he said. “It’s time for someone else with fresh eyes to see what they’d like to do next with the museum. There will be a board retreat in January to figure out what the next five years will be. It’s good timing for both of us.”

The move to restructure is part of an overall strategy to pull the museum through tough economic times, Alltucker said. To attract more visitors, the museum in February plans to lower membership prices and create more value and discounts for school field trips, she explained. As well, it will continue to cultivate relationships with donors and apply for grants.

“We want the museum to be full of life,’’ Alltucker said. “We want people of all income levels to bring their families here.”

— Julie Lynem

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