Director of Program Logistics (2008-Present)
Criss has lived with the Space Program all her life. Her father worked as an aerospace engineer for McDonnell Douglas; first in Southern California during the Gemini & Apollo programs, Cocoa Beach, Florida in support of Skylab and briefly back to California for the test phase of the Shuttle program and then, finally, to Seabrook Texas where he supported the beginning Shuttle missions. Her husband, Michael, is also from a space-migrant worker family settling in the Clear Lake area via Long Island, NY & White Sands, N.M. They are parents to 4 adult daughters and the grandparents of 3. The Butler family had its first introduction to Space School as a host family in 2001. Since then they have hosted over 50 students and mentors and enjoy keeping up with all their unique endeavors. Since joining the FISE board in 2008, Criss has served in the capacity of Logistics Director overseeing the daily activities of each Space School session, meeting with prospective host families and being a point of initial contact for young people attending a Space School session.
There is an amazing alchemy that occurs during a Space School session. At a point just short of midway, the students start singing each other’s songs and learning each other’s dances. They become invested in the ideas and passions of their teammates and strive to understand what drives them. A group of teenagers, who were strangers to each other the week before, are now so tightly bonded that time and distance will not lesson that. This is why I love Space School. It is hope for the future founded on the bonds of friendship and a shared vision.