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Explore Piccolo

Mary Kate Keller

Mary Kate Keller is a dedicated individual with a passion for rock climbing, her furry companion, and making a positive impact on children’s lives. Currently pursuing a degree in psychology with a minor in human development, Mary Kate is committed to expanding her knowledge in these fields. Her experience working with students spans a decade, during which she has developed a deep understanding of their developmental needs. Mary Kate finds fulfillment in supporting children during their crucial developmental years, which fuels her patience and fosters a positive outlook. Her ultimate goal is to become a school psychologist or an early intervention specialist, leveraging her expertise to make a difference in the lives of children facing unique challenges.

Iris Crittenden

Iris Crittenden, an experienced traveler to 8 countries, has been working at Explore Montessori since January. Currently pursuing a degree in midwifery, she holds a child studies degree from Vanderbilt with a minor in special education. With 25 years of diverse childcare experience, including nannying, after-school programs, youth ministry, and preschools abroad, Iris is skilled in providing comprehensive care. Fluent in Spanish and Arabic, she is set to obtain her Montessori certification in June, further enhancing her expertise. Iris is dedicated to offering holistic support to families and their children.

Maddie Patrick

With her diverse background, Maddie brings a unique perspective to our team. Her experience as a coach, camp counselor, and nanny, combined with her love for the outdoors and dedication to the health and well-being of children, make her an exceptional individual. Maddie’s enthusiasm, skills, and passion creates a positive and nurturing environment for the children under our care. Maddie’s love for the outdoors is intertwined with her passion for working with kids. Her wilderness first aid certification reflects her commitment to ensuring the well-being of others in adventurous settings. Through her volunteer work as a nanny and working with younger athletes, Maddie has demonstrated her dedication to mentoring and supporting children in various capacities.

Sierra Markley

Description coming soon 

Allison Dotson

With a decade of experience, Allison has actively engaged with children through babysitting and tutoring during her high school years. She has also participated in education internships, gaining valuable hands-on experience working with children in school settings. Her dedication led her to work in elementary schools and at a daycare, further expanding her expertise in child care and education. Currently, Allison is working towards obtaining an associate’s degree in education, focusing on early childhood education. Her studies reflect her commitment to understanding the developmental needs of young learners and preparing herself to make a meaningful impact in their lives.

Audrey Hutton 


With a background in nannying, Audrey possesses valuable experience in providing personalized care for children. Additionally, her involvement in summer camps, particularly basketball camps, has further honed her skills in engaging and supervising young individuals during fun and active programs.

Taylor Springer

Growing up with three younger siblings, Taylor has developed a natural affinity for engaging with and caring for children. This passion has led Taylor to work as a registered behavior technician, providing ADA therapy to middle schoolers with autism and other developmental delays. This experience has equipped Taylor with valuable skills in supporting and assisting individuals with diverse needs.Taylor’s academic pursuits align with her passion for working with children, as she is currently majoring in psychology and minoring in human development. This educational background equips Taylor with a deeper understanding of child development and psychology, providing a solid foundation for their work with young individuals.

Jennifer Volk

Jennifer has been in the field of education and nurturing children for 25 years.

Being a Montana native, Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Montana State before traveling to California to attain her Master’s degree in Education Administration. This mother of two now resides in beautiful Livingston with her partner and her 11 dogs. That’s right, 11 dogs!

As a teacher and a parent, she loves to support each child’s natural curiosity with patience, love and kindness. It is important for children to feel valued and loved and you can rest assured that Jennifer values the privilege to support their growth through the various developmental stages of these very important first years of their life.

Sarah Smith

– Primary Lead

(ABOUT ages 3-6 years)

Sarah Smith is our Head of Primary and has been teaching at Explore Montessori since August 2021. She has her Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education and is currently working towards earning her Montessori Teacher Certification.

She has been teaching children for 20 years and develops and implements her own curriculum in both the common core and (UK) National Curriculum. Previously, Sarah taught in outdoor classrooms in both Brooklyn and London and incorporates the lessons she learned in those classrooms into the curriculum for her Primary Class. She finds joy in  guiding children to interact with their outdoor surroundings and learning from nature. 

Sarah is a mother to two children, enjoys crocheting and considers herself a happy home-buddy. She enjoys teaching Montessori because of the freedom to alter direction and instruction based on the individual child giving them the encouragement to explore and learn at their own pace.

Camille Peterson

Description coming soon

Kori Richardson-Pech

Kori Richardson-Pech Description coming soon

Bethany Radovich

Bethany Radovich is a valued member of our team. Her passion for Disney is infectious, and she enjoys sharing her enthusiasm with others. Bethany’s adventurous spirit extends beyond her Disney fandom, as she has also participated in archaeological digs, allowing her to gather unique experiences that she eagerly shares with others.

Bethany has a diverse range of experience working with children. She has been involved in childcare for 14 years, working with kids of various age groups. She spent a year at a preschool and an afterschool care program, caring for children aged 18 months through 8th grade. Additionally, she has dedicated two years to babysitting and nannying, providing personalized care and support to families. Bethany’s experience also extends to summer camps, where she has worked with children ranging from 3rd grade to high school.

Francheska Orr 

Francheska description coming soon

Jillian Gonzoles

Jillian Gonzoles Description coming soon

Brittany Hall

We are delighted to have Brittany Hall as a valuable addition to our team since 2022. Brittany recently graduated from MSU with a degree in K-8 elementary education, where she also participated in the spirit squad. Her passion for working with children dates back to her early years, having started at the age of 12. She brings with her extensive experience from working summers at the YMCA, where she honed her skills in creating engaging and enriching experiences for kids. Additionally, Brittany holds certifications in Project WET and WILD, which involves science-based learning. We are excited to have Brittany’s enthusiasm and dedication in contributing to a memorable year for our children.

Sharon Eastman

Sharon Eastman holds a special place within our staff, bringing not only the invaluable experience of being a grandmother to three grandchildren but also a remarkable level of patience. With her educational background, Sharon’s expertise in the field of early childhood education is noteworthy. She holds an associate’s degree in early childhood education and is completing a bachelor’s degree in teaching and early childhood. Sharon’s dedication to the field is evident as she has been actively involved in childcare for an impressive span of 14 years.

Kaeana Grinnell

Having previously worked at a Montessori, Kaeana has a deep understanding of alternative education approaches and values hands-on learning experiences. Kaeana’s extensive background in nannying and babysitting reflects her commitment to caring for children and creating nurturing environments. With years of experience in these roles, Kaeana has developed a keen sense of responsibility and a natural ability to connect with and support young individuals.




“Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.”

– Maria Montessori

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