Our Team

    Ann Klaas

    Professional Development System Coordinator

    Ann joined the Early Childhood Project in 2007 and has held the position of Professional Development System Coordinator since then. Ann oversees training approval, Professional Development Specialist (trainer) approval, and Individual Requests for Training approval. Before joining the staff at the Early Childhood Project, Ann served as the Professional Development Coordinator at the local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency. Ann was raised in New Jersey, went to college in upstate New York and moved to Montana with her husband in 1980. Together they have 2 grown daughters who, thankfully, live and work right here in the area.

    Brandi Johnson

    Program Manager

    Brandi joined the Early Childhood Project in 2006 and has since held a variety of positions allowing her to gain a complete understanding of operational procedures at the Project. In her current role as Program Manager she provides fiscal and contract management along with administering program accreditation scholarships and final review of Practitioner Registry applications. Before joining the ECP, Brandi was the Director of Family Services at a local Child Care Resource and Referral agency. Brandi is a 5th generation Bozeman native and earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Montana State University. In her free time she enjoys all things outdoors.

    Cathy Martin

    Data/Research Analyst

    Cathy joined the Early Childhood Project in 2020. Her primary role is organization administration, error checking, dealing with more complicated account issues, and cleaning up data. Before joining the Project, Cathy worked as a Preschool Special Education teacher and Elementary Librarian in Virginia. Cathy was born and raised in Virginia and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia, a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from George Mason University, and a Master’s degree in Library Science from Texas Women’s University. Cathy moved to Bozeman to be closer to Yellowstone and spends most of her available time in the park or serving her cats, Arthur and Elliott.

    Dan Stluka

    Director

    Dan joined the Early Childhood Project in 2019. His primary role is overseeing all aspects of registry development, incentive awards, communication with stakeholders and oversight of budget items. Before coming to the Early Childhood Project Dan has been a Pre-K teacher, Director of several corporate childcare facilities and an instructor of Early Childhood Education at South Dakota State University. Dan is originally from South Dakota and earned both a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree at South Dakota State University in Early Childhood Education. In his free time he enjoys playing sports and spending time with his wife, Suzanne and dog, Jameson.

    Dawn Zimdars

    Special Projects Coordinator

    Dawn joined the Early Childhood Project in February, 2020. Her role as Special Projects Coordinator provides oversight of the Montana Early Childhood Apprentice Program (MECAP) and the Pre-Apprenticeship Program for Montana high school students. Dawn acts as a liaison between the Early Childhood Services Bureau and the Department of Labor and Industry while actively recruiting and marketing the MECAP Program in Montana. Before joining the ECP, she was the Program Coordinator for the Early Childhood Education Department at the University of Montana Western. Dawn grew up in Oregon and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Portland State University. In her free time, she enjoys soaking in hot springs and creating adventures with her three children.

    Taylor Boylan

    Registry Manager

    Taylor graduated from Montana State University in 2015 with a degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development. She has previously worked at Child Care Connections and is currently the Registry Manager at the Early Childhood Project. Taylor is passionate and dedicated to improving the quality of programs for young children and families as well as supporting the Early Childhood Workforce. She currently lives in Bozeman and enjoys fishing, hiking, crafting, and taking care of her two dogs.

    Whitney Parkhouse

    Senior Data Research Analyst

    Whitney joined the Early Childhood Project in January of 2020 as a Data and Research Analyst. She provides coordination of data management and systems to implement the Registry and core components for the effective operation of the Early Childhood Project. Before joining the ECP, Whitney lived in Boise, Idaho where she earned her bachelor’s degree from Boise State University. She later became the Senior Research Analyst for the Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics for the state of Idaho. Whitney loves living in Bozeman and enjoys the many outdoor activities the area has to offer.