Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is a dynamic team of community members who volunteer their time and expertise to develop quality early childhood education in our community. According to the Head Start Program Performance Standards, our Board must always include the following members:

  • an experienced accountant or financial manager
  • a specialist in early childhood education and/or development
  • an attorney familiar with issues which impact the people we serve
  • members who have children currently or formerly enrolled in our program
  • members with expertise in education, business administration, or community affairs

Our Board of Directors meets monthly to discuss issues pertinent to the program and actively participates in strategic planning for the entire agency.

Member Board Position Occupation/Employer
Dr. Erin Allen Board Chair Pediatrician at Billings Clinic
Jennifer Stark Vice Chair; Planning Committee Chair Stockman Bank
Heidi Christison Secretary / Treasurer; Past Chair; Finance Committee Chair
Daniel Brooks
Chase Brown Grievance Committee Chair Attorney at Netzer Law Office
Jessica Gaard Development Committee Chair Realtor with Century 21
Lynette Schwalbe Member Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at Montana State University-Billings
Paul Law Member Policy Council Representative
Genia Castro-Waller
Sue DeVries
Eric George

Policy Council

Our Policy Council holds equal power to the Board of Directors, and it’s made up of elected parent representatives from each classroom. The primary purpose of Policy Council is to assist in making important decisions regarding policies, hiring and termination of employees, curriculum, and budget decisions. Policy Council members are both the voice of the classroom parents at the monthly Policy Council Meeting and the voice of Policy Council when reporting back to their Parent Committees. Policy Council members have a broader involvement in the education of all Explorers Academy children. Members play a role in building relationships between Explorers Academy and the community in which we all live.

“Being part of Explorers Academy’s Policy Council and parent committee gave me the confidence to be part of my child’s PTA. It taught me that I had a say and I have a voice!” – Amy 

Policy Council Position Name
Chair Ryen Thomsen
Paul Law
Micki Morrow
Secretary Jennifer Scheafer
Stephanie Adkins
Lynda Pancich
Gary Jones
Daniel Brooks
Doug Anderson
Jon Osier
Diane Kron
Rebecca Kittock
April Park
Leigha McGarvey


Our Management diligently oversees all operations of Explorers Academy related to the children and families we serve in our community.

Department Director Contact
Executive Director Janice King Email
Community Relations Megan Martin Email
Education Jessica Pingle Email
Enrollment and Attendance (ERSEA) Anna Mason Email
Family and Community Partnerships Janice King Email
Finance Richard Geiger Email
Human Resources Mandy Hurr Email
Nutrition Kathy Huck Email
Operations Christopher Belcher Email