Holly Smedley

Holly Smedley | Director

Holly was born in San Diego, moved to Washington for a couple years as a young child, then spend the majority of her childhood in British Columbia. During her senior year she returned to Washington to complete high school. Shortly after graduating she made the decision to serve her country and enlisted in the U.S. Army.
Her military years gave her the opportunity to travel around Europe while she was stationed in Germany with 45th Medical Company Air Ambulance. She traveled to other parts of the world as she was deployed on a peacekeeping mission to Kosovo. The military is also where Holly met her husband of almost 20 years.

After her military service, Holly began working at the Department of Defense Child Development center, where she began her career in early childhood. Once she returned to the USA, her and her husband chose to raise their girls in Northern California. There she continued her career in early childhood as she worked her way up through the ranks with experience and education. Holly was a teacher for Head Start, which included an inclusion classroom, then she started a successful preschool program at her daughter's school district, which grew in size and success each year. As she worked as the Director of Early Childhood Education, Holly pursued a BA in Organizational Leadership followed by her MA with a PPS credential in Educational Counseling.

Holly is excited to begin a new journey at XY Learning Center and be a part of the Bozeman community. Outside of work Holly spends her time with her family. They love to be outdoors hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding and her most cherished time is watching her daughter ride her horse. Holly is her daughter's biggest fan, cheering her on at every high school rodeo and barrel race. Of course, all these adventures include their 2 pups. They are so excited to explore Montana and create the next chapter in their lives.

LAURA RODAS | LEAD CHILDCARE SPECIALIST

Laura was born and raised in Chicago Illinois. She spent part of her childhood living in Guatemala—where her parents are from—to experience growing up in the country and be near her grandparents.

After moving to Bozeman from Illinois in 2014, Laura discovered her passion for working with young children. She decided to pursue a degree in the field. Laura graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Child Services in May of 2018.

Prior to joining the XYLC team, Laura worked at a local childcare center in Bozeman for seven years—four of which were spent as the Lead Teacher of the toddler group. She enjoys working with all ages of young children with her self-described specialty being ages 2-3. 

In her free time, Laura enjoys going to concerts, paddle boarding, hiking, walking her dogs, and spending time with friends and family.

Laura's credentials include a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Child Services. 

REBECCA DUNNING | LEAD INFANT CHILDCARE SPECIALIST

Rebecca spent the majority of her childhood in Alaska, but landed in Montana just before starting high school. She fell in love with the Bozeman area as a teenager and always planned and hoped to stay and raise her family here. After high school, she attended Montana State University- Bozeman and earned her degree in Health and Human Development with a concentration in Early Childhood Education.

Rebecca has spent her years since college raising her own four children (3 sweet boys and 1 joyful girl!) and working in various local early childhood centers. She has experience in Montessori preschool, traditional preschool, pre-k classrooms, and in infant and toddler classrooms.

Outside of the classroom, Rebecca enjoys local youth sports, reading books, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her family and friends.

Rebecca's credentials include a B.S. in Health and Human Development with a concentration in Early Childhood Education.

KATE REEDY | CHILDCARE SPECIALIST

Kate spent her childhood in beautiful Colorado where she grew up with both the city and mountains to explore. In high school, Kate was lucky enough to be a part of an organization that would go into some of the inner-city schools in Denver and teach 5, 6, and 7 year olds about their emotions and anger management skills. It was those experiences that made it clear to Kate that her passion is children and education.

After high school, Kate moved to Bozeman to attend MSU for Elementary Education. Her plan to stay in Bozeman through her college years and then moving on changed as Kate fell is love with all that Montana and Bozeman have to offer.

In her 22 years here, she has raised two amazing kiddos who she couldn't be prouder of. While raising her kids she was lucky to have an amazing career where she could bring her kids to work with her as she worked with many education programs here in town. With over 20 years working with kids of all ages in early childcare programs, non-profit education centers, Bozeman Public Schools, summer learning camps, as well as many years directing an after school program in one of Bozeman's best elementary schools, Kate is so excited to be a part of XYLC and looks forward to getting to know all of the kids that are a part of the XY community.

When Kate isn't at the Learning Center she is exploring something somewhere outside in Montana! Hiking, kayaking, and all around spontaneous adventures are what keeps her smiling! (aside from teaching and being with her own kids of course)

Picture of Kate Reedy
Image of Sarah Persson

SARAH PERSSON | CHILDCARE SPECIALIST

Sarah spent her childhood growing up in the suburbs surrounding Boston, Massachusetts. In high school she had the opportunity to work in a daycare and fell in love with that line of work. Growing up with educators throughout the family, Sarah decided she was going to follow in their footsteps.

After high school in 2015, Sarah moved to Bozeman, MT to attend MSU where she majored in Elementary Education. After graduation, Sarah began working as a Special Education Paraprofessional and an Intervention teacher at a local elementary school. Sarah loved putting all her education and knowledge to use, but missed her true passion that started her career, and made the career change to XY Learning Center!

Outside of the classroom, you will find Sarah hiking the many trails around Bozeman with her loving dog Brady, reading a great book, or spending time with her 3 nieces.

Kaila Seay | CHILDCARE SPECIALIST

Born and raised in Indiana, Kaila worked as a volunteer at the childcare center at a local YMCA which sparked her interest in working with children in order to see them grow as well as putting on activities and events for people to enjoy.

After being involved in leadership positions for the Vietnamese Student Association at Indiana University and her customer service jobs, she found that she missed working with children which is why she joined the team at XY Learning Center.

In her free time, you can find Kaila reading books, listening to music while going on walks, and drawing.

Kaila's credentials include a B.A. in Psychology, a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Human Development and Families from Indiana University - Bloomington. 

Kaila Seay
Megan Sawyer

Megan Sawyer | CHILDCARE SPECIALIST

Megan was born and raised in Washington State and moved to Montana in 2017 to attend MSU. She graduated May 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. After graduation, Megan pursued working with children and worked as a lead preschool teacher for a daycare in Bozeman. She is moving onto XYLC to strengthen her career with children in the Bozeman area. When Megan is not working, she loves to be outdoors exploring Yellowstone National Park, floating and fishing on the river, skiing in the mountains, and spending time with friends and family.

Alexandria Judge | CHILDCARE SPECIALIST

Alexandria Judge was born and raised in Washington, but was a frequent visitor to Montana throughout her childhood. Alexandria moved to Bozeman in 2017 to attend Montana State University, graduating in May 2020. Outside of work, Alexandria can be found enjoying the mountain air of Montana, often hiking and fishing.

Alexandria discovered a passion for working with children after graduation and took a job working as a Registered Behavior Technician for a local ABA clinic in Bozeman. She moved on from the position in July 2021 when gaining the opportunity to work as a Childcare Specialist with the XYLC.

Alexandria's credentials include a Bachelors of Science in Applied Psychology with a Minor in History, received from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT.

Alexandria-Judge_Green
Taylor Andrews

Taylor Andrews | CHILDCARE SPECIALIST

Taylor Andrews was raised in Bozeman Montana. She is currently working on her Bachelors degree from Montana State University, for Community Health with a psychology and human development minor. Taylor is going to graduate in May 2022. She plans to further her career in child protective services.

Taylor absolutely loves to work with kids and be supportive of the people around her. Taylor is looking to explore her journey in the childcare field and learn more about what it means to be a childcare specialist.

In her free time Taylor likes to listen to music and spend time with her family. She also really likes to watch Netflix shows and read a good book. Taylor is easy-going and is always ready to learn. Taylor is extremely excited for this opportunity and to be a part of the XY team!

ERIKA BIENFANG | CHILDCARE SPECIALIST

Erika was born and raised in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa in December of 2020 where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in reading. After graduating she became the lead teacher for the elementary age online learning classroom at the childcare center where she worked throughout college. She has always loved visiting the mountains throughout her life which sparked her interest to move to Bozeman. She moved to Bozeman in August 2021 and has loved every moment of it.

Erika has always enjoyed working with children throughout the years. She has many different childcare experiences, from time in public schools gaining teaching experience throughout college, being an assistant teacher at a Montessori school, a full-time nanny, a camp counselor, a tutor, and a childcare center worker. She has found all of these different experiences to be rewarding and educational. Outside of work, Erika enjoys spending her free time with family, friends and her cat, as well as traveling, cooking and baking, and outdoor activities such as boating, hiking, water and snow skiing, and biking.

Erika is very excited to join the XYLC Team and meet all the wonderful people, kids and families that are a part of the program. She is excited to learn from others while bringing her experiences into practice to help the program continue to be wonderful.

Erika Bienfang
Betsy Meyer

Betsy Meyer | CHILDCARE SPECIALIST

Betsy was born and raised in southeastern Minnesota, and grew up in a fun family of four children. Traveling to Colorado and Montana as a child on summer vacations to visit family, she fell in love with the mountains of the west.

During college, Betsy studied for a semester in Northern England, at the castle where Harry Potter was being filmed in 2001. While there, she volunteered at a local elementary school in Alnwick, England. Her love of gymnastics and children influenced her to become a coach for the remainder of her undergrad years. After graduating with an Elementary Education degree, Betsy moved to Duluth, MN. on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior to volunteer with True North AmeriCorps. This enriching experience allowed her to be immersed in the Ojibwa culture of children and families while working at public school. In those 4 amazing years, Betsy got married, enjoyed live music, taught kindergarten, ran a reading program, collected agates, and spent precious time in the Boundary Waters.

In 2011, Betsy and her husband moved to Bozeman. For the past ten years she has loved teaching in various Montessori Preschools with children 0-6 years old, raising her incredible 8 year son, snowboarding, hiking, camping, gardening, listening to music, adventuring, and being grateful for life.