Meet our Leadership Team the Heart of DKZ

Preschool & Daycare Center Serving Montana City, Clancy, Helena, East Helena and Bozeman, MT

Rachel Supalla

Rachel Supalla M. Ed

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Rachel has her Master’s degree in Early Childhood administration. She went to college in Springfield, Mo and San Diego California for a degree in Early Childhood education. Rachel became Montessori certified in 2010 and has since developed a unique, progressive educational system that combines the best of all Early Childhood methods.
She has written articles for several magazines and online publications discussing Early Childhood and Montessori methods. Her unique Early Childhood methods have been featured on many popular Early Childhood websites and are well known throughout the country. Through careful observations and assessments, the staff at Discovery Kidzone has seen great success with this method of education. Rachel is continuing her education to eventually obtain her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Administration and Curriculum Development.
When she is not working in the education field, she is at home with her husband and high school sweetheart, Eric. She has been happily married for 20 years and is the proud mother of 4 children named Abigail, Allison, Zackary and Trenton. She has recently begun writing and blogging.
Developing and sharing new teaching methods is her passion! Rachel enjoys being in the outdoors, water skiing, 4 wheeling, horseback riding, traveling with her family, gourmet cooking, baking, decorating and anything creative.

Melissa Velin

Regional Director

Introducing Melissa Velin, a seasoned professional in early childhood education with a rich history. Before her influential tenure at Discovery Kidzone, Melissa was the proud owner of an in-home childcare facility. With firsthand entrepreneurial experience, she seamlessly transitioned her passion for fostering child development into a thriving educational space. Now, as the Regional Director and Professional Development Specialist at Discovery Kidzone, Melissa’s unique background brings a wealth of practical insights to her leadership role. Her journey from in-home childcare owner to industry influencer showcases her unwavering commitment to shaping the future of young learners.

Jennifer Gaudioso

Jennifer Gaudioso

VP of Operations

Jen is one of our newest additions to our DKZ Family and Executive Team. Jen previously owned her own in-home childcare for 18 years before venturing into our multi-location childcare industry in 2018. She comes to us with an abundance of knowledge and passion to ensure we are operating at the highest level for our children, families and staff

Chelsea Rauser

DKZ 2 Director of Education

Chelsea Rauser has passionately served in the Early Childhood Education field since 2006 and has an Associates Degree with an emphasis in Infant/Toddler Development. She lives on a family ranch with her husband and their three kids. Chelsea and her family love to spend as much time together as possible and especially love to explore the great state of Montana.
Chelsea loves working with children and watching their minds create, dream, and work together to make magic happen. Chelsea leads with love and is excited to be back at Discovery Kidzone since stepping away from teaching as the otter class lead in 2016 at the original Discovery Kidzone 1 School.
Sarah Roddewig

Sarah Roddewig

DKZ 1 Director of Core Values

Sarah has been with Discovery Kidzone since 2014. She started as a school age teacher and has since been a cook, floater, assistant teacher, lead teacher and assistant Director. She is now the Director at DKZ 1. Sarah has her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood, a daughter, who was born in June 2018 and a son who was born in March 2022 both attend DKZ.

Claire Lombardo

DKZ 4 Director of Safety

Since I was a toddler I have loved infants. I started babysitting at age 10 with supervision from my mom. In 2010 I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from CSUDH. I accumulated a decade of experience teaching Parent/Child, Preschool, and Grade School development classes at The Little Gym of Torrance and Lakewood, CA. Prior to being the Regional Director of The Little Gym, I was a Program Director, lifeguard, and swim/dive/water polo instructor for The City of Vacaville, CA. During my college career, I have been a preschool and infant teacher and worked in several childcare programs.

October 2020, my husband and I got married and promptly packed up and moved to Helena the following week. We love to snowboard, hike, and take road trips. We have two cats, two dogs, and ten fish. We love it here!

I have been working with Discovery Kidzone in Montana City and Clancy for 3 years and was thrilled to help open the newest, Helena, facility in September of 2024.

Shelsey Shute

Enrollment Specialist

I was born and raised in the Gallatin Valley just outside of Bozeman, where my love for young children started at an early age through babysitting my many younger cousins and through being a junior lifeguard in the summers. With this love of working with children, I started working at a childcare center in Bozeman in the fall of 2013, I was with the center in various positions until I moved to Helena in the fall of 2018 with my now husband.
Once in Helena, I worked at Shodair Children’s Hospital until the summer of 2021, when I started at Discovery Kidzone as the Lead Sparrow Teacher. I have enjoyed every position I have held since becoming a part of the DKZ family and look forward to many more years to come!
I have a 2-year-old son and just welcomed my daughter in December of 2022.

I have my CDA as well as an associate’s degree through the University of Montana Western and am currently working towards getting my Bachelor’s degree in Early childhood education.

Stacey Graham

Lead Infant Teacher and Director of Administration (DKZ 1)

Mrs. Stacey Graham is one of the Directors and a teacher at Discovery Kidzone. In her many years working for Discovery Kidzone, Stacey received two scholarships to achieve her Montessori Teaching Diploma and CDA certification. Stacey studied ECE in California and is continuing her education here in Montana.
Stacey Graham
She moved to Montana from California with her husband six years ago, fell in love with this scenic place and has been working for Discovery Kidzone since 2013. Stacey has always been inspired to work with children ever since she could remember. She started out as a substitute teacher, then an assistant who became a lead teacher, and is a Director today. Stacey holds a special place in her heart to welcome every family to this enchanting family-oriented Montessori program.
Eric Supalla

Eric Supalla

Chief Operations Officer and Jack of All Trades

Eric started his career in Early Childhood as a toddler teacher after many years of experience working for a government contractor and leading teams of mostly men. He is now Mr. Everything. Eric has taught every age group and was the school age Director. He is our maintenance man and does billing for all four schools.
He is also our resident outdoor and survival specialist and handyman. Eric is married to Mrs. Rachel and together they have 4 children. Eric coaches football and baseball in Jefferson County and enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and anything outdoors.
Aurora Sebestyen

Aurora Sebestyen

Lead Pre-K Teacher Montessori Specialist (DKZ 2)

Aurora has been with Discovery Kidzone since 2015. She has many years of experience in the Early Childhood field and has worked at Large Child Development centers on military bases in California. Aurora is Montessori certified and is our resident Montessori specialist.
Aurora takes pride in her environment and trains other teachers in the Montessori methods. She is married and has one son and two grandsons.

Megan Towers

Family Engagement Specialist

Megan has been in the Early Childhood field for over 14 years. From owning her own in-home daycare to working in centers as a bus driver, teacher, program specialist, and on management teams. She currently has her CDA and is working on her bachelor’s degree. She is very passionate about teaching and the families in her care. She’s excited to help families and teachers alike in their learning journey.
Nicole Kunnary

Nicole Kunnary

director of community events & Support Director at DKZ 3

Nicole is one of our lead infant teachers and is a native Montanan. Nicole has been working in Early Childhood for 13 years and started out by helping her mom with her home daycare while she was in high school. She has worked in preschool centers since 2011 and joined the DKZ family in 2017. Nicole has taken both infant/toddler and preschool module classes, and is planning on going back to school this fall to earn a degree in Early Childhood Education.

Jessalyn Burnett

DKZ 3 director of Community

Hello Discovery Kidzone Families! My name is Jessalyn Burnett, and I have the honor of being the new Director of Discovery Kidzone 3. Change can be scary so here is a little look into my life to get to know me better.
I am a mother of four beautiful children. I have two daughters and two sons: Zakiya (age 7), Kaila (age 2), Da’Marion (age 5), and Da’Kari (3 months). My kids are my world and something wonderful about that is I apply my love for my own kids, to the children I teach. I am a strong believer in treating the children I work with the way I would want my own children to be treated by others. For fun, our family loves to do movie nights, go for walks, and family game nights. These things have been something special our family has done since our first daughter Zakiya was born.
I was born and raised in Washington State, and this is where my children were born, where I met my husband, and made twenty-three years of memories. A year ago packed up our house in a matter of two weeks and moved from Washington State to beautiful Montana. This move has been a very big change for our family, but we are so thankful for all the kindness we have received since moving here. So far, I’ve found the best food I’ve ever ate and some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
When it comes to childcare, my background is of considerable length for teaching. I grew up nannying several different families from ages twelve to eighteen years old. Once I turned eighteen, I took my experience to the real world and started my career with Three Rivers Christian School Early Learning Center where I ministered to children. I worked as an Infant Lead teacher for almost four years until I moved onto being a Toddler Lead Teacher for about six months. After those six months I went on maternity leave to be home with my sweet baby girl Kalia and after eleven months, I was ready to get back into the swing of teaching again. I have currently been with Discovery Kidzone for over a year now as Assistant Director of DKZ2 and recently accepted Director of Community for DKZ3. My favorite part about teaching is watching and being an integral part of your child’s learning. I find joy in seeing every child gain their own personalities, likes/dislikes and even strengths/weaknesses. I have watched my infant class grow and start first grade, and to me; it’s a wonderful feeling to know that I got to be a part of their learning.
Something fun about me is that I love art. I’m known for always having an outstanding amount of art in my classrooms. You’ll find that my decorating skills are endless when it comes to holidays/seasons. I consider Pinterest my best friend when creating a classroom to provide a fun and educational learning environment. I’m also known for coming up with some very creative ways to learn. I base my teaching off of fine/gross motor, sensory play, social and emotional, music/art, and most important making learning fun.
I want to thank you for trusting me with your children and please never hesitate to speak with me. I am a strong believer in communicating and growing a bond with parents. When we work together, we can achieve so much more in the world of learning and fun!

-Jessalyn Burnett
Discovery Kidzone 3 Director of Community

Ben Cipriano

Facilities Maintenance Director

After graduating from the University of Montana in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Resource Management, Ben began his military career as an Army officer with 10 years of honorable service to our nation. With numerous years of experience in park and recreation management, he brings a friendly, professional, and crafty approach to all his work. He enjoys helping people spend time outdoors and utilizes his expertise to improve recreational spaces for all members of our communities.​
Ben believes that parks are meant to be enjoyed by all and is dedicated to making recreational areas accessible and inclusive. With a background in risk management and safety procedures, he works to identify and address potential hazards to ensure parent visitors and students can recreate safely. He also values public input and seeks to engage parents, teachers, and students to develop recreational and educational improvements that reflect the needs and interests of residents. With his experience managing crews and volunteers, Ben aims to foster a spirit of teamwork and cooperation that yields innovative solutions and high-quality work. He looks forward to bringing his talents and passion to further improve the recreational experiences of Discovery Kidzone Learning Centers.

Ayrah Coquilla

Executive Virtual Assistant

Ayrah Coquilla, a former Business Administration and Financial Management student, turned her early career challenges into opportunities. Starting work at 15, she advanced from multiple job roles to a significant position at T-Mobile Philippines in the BPO industry.  Ayrah embraced the challenge of the pandemic by switching to virtual assistance, a field she mastered through self-education. Ayrah’s current role at Discovery Kidzone as an Executive Assistant allows her to blend her administrative expertise with a passion for graphic design under the mentorship of the CEO and leaders.

DKZ Bozeman Leaders

Kaitlyn Reynolds

Kaitlyn Reynolds

DKZ Bozeman Admin

Hi my name is Kaitlyn Reynolds. I’ve worked at LT/DKZ for almost 14 years now…. Crazy to think about!

I graduated from MSU in 2010 and got married to my husband in 2012.

We have two beautiful children together, Remy and Penelope (Penny)- 5 years and 11 months old.

I absolutely love children and working with children because they make each day unique and they are so excited about life.

I love spending time with family, being outside, cooking, trying new restaurants, and traveling.

Feel free to reach out at any time!

Rebecca Powell

Program Specialist

I’m Rebecca Powell! (Becky) I traded in the skyscrapers of Chicago for the big sky Mountians of Montana about 15 years ago & have loved the 406 ever since. I met & married my country guy husband of 12 years within the first year of moving here. We have a golden fluff named Huey Bear who keeps our lives busy and happy. I’ve created a career working in early childhood for most of my adult life! I enjoy the rewarding work that comes alongside teaching and learning with children! I’m excited to get to know the DKZ team and become part of the family community. My role is program specialist including creating lessons, supply management & events.
Rebecca Powell
Liz

Liz Franssen

DKZ West Program Director

My name is liz. I moved from Denver, Colorado in 2021 and moved to Bozeman in 2023. I have a daughter who just turned two. I am engaged and getting closer everyday to our big wedding day. We have a cat and two sugar gliders we love taking care of. I have been in the Early Childhood Field for 10+ years. I am super excited to continuing my journey with everyone.

My hobbies are: Hiking, Traveling, Knitting, Baking, Escape Rooms, Spending time with family.

I love elephants!

How Old Is Your Child?

Infants

6 Wks - 12 Months

Toddlers

2 - 3 Years

Preschool

3 - 4 Years

Advanced Pre-K

4 - 5 Years

Before & After School

6 - 12 Years

summer camp

6 - 12 Years