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Explore Piccolo

Morgan Stirling – Director

Our director Morgan Stirling’s journey began as a Childcare Teacher, in Rigby, ID, where she honed her ability to provide attentive care to infants and toddlers. Her dedication to routine and adherence to schedules created a stable foundation for young learners. Her talents and dedication lead her to be the Director of that school. After 4 years of service she left for a leadership role in another center in Rexburg, ID, where she simultaneously earned her associates degree. We are excited that she and her husband have decided to move to Bozeman to start their life together with our Explore Piccolo family!

In Morgans free time she loves being outside, crafts, singing, music, and anything with horses. A little fun fact about Morgan is that she loves Disney! Though she can be shy at times, she is a hard worker and cares for each child like she would her own. 

Maci Nelson

Maci is an exceptional teacher who brings her passion for education to the Nido and Explorer rooms at Explore Piccolo. As a dedicated student at MSU, she is determined to make a difference as a second-grade teacher once she graduates. We are incredibly fortunate to have someone like Maci, whose love for children shines through in everything she does, as a part of our family. Originally from Washington, we are grateful that Bozeman has become her home, allowing her to not only share her expertise but also create a nurturing environment for our students.

Explore Montessori–Kagy

Sarah Head of School Explore Montessori child led education enriching nurturing fun kindness community delight

Sarah Smith – Director

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.

Riley Wallace

We are incredibly fortunate to have Riley Wallace as the Primary teacher at Explore Academy! Riley’s unwavering dedication and love for the Primary class radiate through all of her work. A lifelong learner herself, she is currently pursuing her Child Development Associate Certification (CDA), showcasing her commitment to providing the best education possible. We couldn’t be prouder of Riley and all that she has accomplished so far, and we’re genuinely excited to witness her future endeavors.

Riley’s passion for teaching runs deep in her veins, as she grew up surrounded by educators – both her parents being teachers themselves. It’s safe to say that teaching is not just a profession but a true calling for her. Along with her inherent talent for teaching, Riley also possesses a creative flair and an infectious outgoing personality. Her students are not only learning, but they are also encouraged to explore their own creativity under her guidance.

Originally hailing from the picturesque town of Lompoc, California, Riley has found her home here in Bozeman. She has seamlessly integrated into our community and has become an invaluable asset to Academy. Riley’s passion, warmth, and dedication inspire both her colleagues and students alike.


Stacey Jennaway

Stacey Jennaway is an exceptional assistant teacher at Explore Academy, where she brings her dedication and expertise in Elementary Education to provide a nurturing and stimulating learning environment for young children. With her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Stacey possesses a wealth of experience and knowledge that is invaluable in shaping the minds of the future generation. From a young age, Stacey’s passion for children was evident as she eagerly volunteered as a babysitter, relishing every opportunity to connect with and care for them. Her natural kindness, compassion, and outgoing nature make her a perfect fit for interacting with kids, creating a positive and enjoyable experience for all. Originally hailing from Irvine, California, Stacey has found her home in Bozeman, where she wholeheartedly embraces her role as an integral part of our team. We are incredibly grateful to have her on board, adding her unique abilities and nurturing spirit to our educational community. Stacey is truly a valuable asset, and we are proud to have her shaping the young minds at Explore Academy.

Elizabeth Moore

Elizabeth Moore is the Infant teacher at Explore Academy.

Kori Richardson-Pech

Kori is a dedicated and experienced teacher here at Explore, gifting us with years of invaluable expertise in working with children. Her unwavering commitment to our students’ growth and success shines through in every aspect of her teaching. With a Montessori certification that speaks to her dedication to professional development, Kori continuously strives to expand her knowledge and skills through active participation in health and family development classes. By blending her passion for teaching with her extensive background, Kori creates an environment that nurtures and enriches our students’ educational journey, providing them with the perfect platform to thrive and reach their highest potential.
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Explore Montessori

Anita Gallegos

Toni Tarara

Toni Tarara recently relocated to Bozeman, Montana, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience. With a graduate degree in Psychology and Education, Toni is the lead teacher in the Primary classroom. Over the years, she has worked extensively with children in various settings, gaining valuable insights into their development and growth.

Toni prides herself on her exceptional communication skills, adaptability, and organizational abilities. She understands the importance of effective communication in fostering positive relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. Her flexibility allows her to navigate the ever-changing dynamics of the classroom, ensuring that each child’s unique needs are met. With her keen eye for organization, Toni effortlessly manages the classroom environment, creating an optimal learning atmosphere for all.

Outside the classroom, Toni’s love for the outdoors takes center stage. Whether it’s hiking through scenic trails, biking along winding paths, or camping under the starry night sky, she finds solace and joy in nature. The great outdoors truly ignite her passion, and she encourages her students to embrace the beauty and wonders of the natural world. Oh, and if you ever catch a whiff of coffee, you can be sure that Toni is nearby, ready to engage in meaningful conversations and create memorable learning experiences.

Toni Tarara seamlessly blends her passion for education, love for the outdoors, and thirst for knowledge to inspire and nurture young minds. With her warm and enthusiastic approach, she embodies the ideal role model for every student on their educational journey.

Join Toni and embark on a transformative learning adventure filled with growth, discovery, and endless cups of coffee!

Zoey Holley

Zoey Holley is the lead teacher for our Pre-Primary program at Explore Academy. With a deep commitment to fostering an environment that nurtures and stimulates young minds, Zoey is dedicated to ensuring every child thrives under their care. Drawing inspiration from a passion for early childhood education, Zoey brings a unique blend of creativity and engagement to the classroom, making learning a truly enjoyable experience. In Zoey’s class, your child can expect a perfect balance of structured learning activities and playful exploration, allowing them to develop both academically and socially. A true lover of the great outdoors, Zoey believes in the transformative power of nature and regularly incorporates invigorating nature walks and picnics into the curriculum. Continuously seeking to enhance their expertise in education, Zoey actively pursues ongoing professional development to ensure the most up-to-date and effective teaching methods. Join Zoey in the Pre-Primary class and embark on an exciting learning journey where your child’s growth and development are our utmost priorities. We look forward to welcoming you to our community!

“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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