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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. 

Lauren Audette

Lauren Audette is a teacher in the Infant – Nido room at Explore Piccolo. She has a passion for infants and loves how they interact with the world. We are so thankful to have her as part of our Explore Piccolo Family.

Rachel Hurn

Ms. Rachel is a floating teacher in the Explore and Piccolo buildings. She has a passions for assisting with lessons and taking the children on nature walks.

Ren Durtka

Ms. Ren is working in our Infant – Nido room at Piccolo in the afternoons. She has 2 children of her own and has deep experience working with children. She has taken many advanced child development classes to prepare for her new role.

Maci Nelson

Maci teaches in the Nido and Explorer rooms at Explore Piccolo. She is currently a student at MSU and is striving to be a second grade teacher once she graduates. We are so happy to have someone with such a passion in children to be apart of our family. She is originally from Washington but we are so thankful she has made Bozeman her home!

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

Riley Wallace is the Primary teacher at Explore Academy! Her passion for the Primary class is evident in all she does. She is currently taking classes to complete her Child Development Associate Certification (CDA). We are so proud of everything she has accomplished and are excited to be apart of her future. 

Riley grew up with both of her parents being teachers, so we can say its in her blood! She is crafty and outgoing. Riley is originally from Lompoc, California but has made Bozeman her home.

Rylee Williams

Rylee Williams is the Infant – Nido teacher at Explore Academy. She is outgoing and colorful with her new hair every couple weeks! She has an abundance of infant and toddler experience as she nannied for 5 years. Rylee has a love for caring for young children. 

Stacey Jennaway

Stacey Jennaway is an assistant teacher at Explore Academy. Stacy has her Bachelors in Elementary Education which gives her an abundance of experience and knowledge with young children. Her passion for children began when she was a teenager who babysat whenever she could. Stacy is kind, compassionate, and outgoing which are great qualities when being around kids! She is originally from Irvine, California but has made Bozeman her home. We are so grateful to have her as part of our team. 

Kelsey Gillespie

Kelsey Gillespie, is the Lead Teacher in the Explorer’s classroom. She is a passionate childcare professional dedicated to creating a nurturing environment that encourages children to flourish. Kelsey has 2 young children and a keen understanding of the significance of early education. Kelsey’s dedication to our Explorer class is evident in every daily interaction and the glow on her face as she works with each child in her care. Kelsey is thrilled that she will be supported in her continued education at Explore Piccolo. 

Kelsey is originally from Spokane, Washington and has lived in Bozeman for the last 7 years. In her free time, she loves being outdoors with her two children and loves vacationing on the Oregon Coast – Stunning! One of her favorite treats are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. A goal for Kelsey is to grow and progress with all of the children in her care and strives to be an amazing teacher. 

Elizabeth Moore

Elizabeth Moore is the Infant teacher at Explore Academy.

Explore Montessori

Kori Educator teacher guide montessori childcare education

Kori Richardson-Pech

Kori is a dedicated and experienced teacher here at Explore, gifting us with years of experience working with children. Kori has proven to be an invaluable asset in the classroom. With her Montessori certification, Kori’s commitment to professional development is evident in her participation in health and family development classes. With Kori’s passion for teaching coupled with her extensive background, she creates a nurturing and enriching environment for our students to thrive.

Anita Gallegos

Toni Tarara

Toni Tarara just moved to Bozeman this year from New Hampshire. Toni has a graduate degree in Psychology and Adventure Education. She is working towards being the lead teacher in the Primary classroom. Toni has worked with children for many years in numerous settings! She prides herself on communication, adaptability, and organization. 

When Toni isn’t in the classroom she is outdoors; hiking, biking, and camping. Anything outdoors she loves! She is an avid coffee drinker – so if you smell coffee Toni is in the classroom!

Zoey Holley

Zoey Holley is the Pre – Primary lead teacher at Explore Montessori. She has her Bachelor’s in English & Physics but found her passion was in early childhood education. Zoey is very outgoing and loves being outdoors – so if you’re in her class ready for lots of nature walks and picnics! Zoey has been taking classes to further her knowledge in education!


Taylor Nixon

Taylor Nixon is the Pre-Primary teacher at Explore Academy. 

“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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