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

    Registry Manager

    Cathy joined the Early Childhood Project in 2020. Her primary role is organization administration, managing registry accounts, and assisting with registry issues for users. 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.

    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.

    Madi Shott

    Program Assistant

    I recently joined MTECP June of 2021. I was an assistant teacher in the two’s classroom at Little Tree here in Bozeman for 2 years and a lead teacher for 3 years. I am a Montana native and graduated from Montana State University in the fall of 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Services. In my free time I enjoy reading, camping, and being with my friends and family. You can also find me lounging at home with my tabby cat Johnny.

    Taylor Boylan


    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 worked as the Registry Manager at the Early Childhood Project before becoming the Director. 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. Whitney also provides Registry data to multiple audiences for planning, technical assistance, and various other purposes. Before joining the ECP, Whitney lived in Boise, Idaho where she graduated 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.