Chief of Operations

Dr. Carl Piekarski

Mr. Carl has a BA in Business, an MBA and a PhD in Business Administration. Mr. Carl worked in finance management, business development and all aspects of operations. He has been the Owner/Partner of Exploring Minds Academy, Inc since 2007. In Mr. Carl’s free time he enjoys bowling, Greenhouse development, and taking vacations with his wife, Pamela.

Business Manager

Joao Soares
Mr. Joao has his B.A. in Developmental Psychology. He also holds an Early Childhood Lead Teacher Certification and Director Certification in the State of Colorado.  Mr. Joao has worked in the Early Childhood Education industry for over seven years as both a PreK teacher and Kindergarten teacher.  Originally from Massachusetts, he has made a home of Colorado enjoying the beautiful weather and natural landscapes.  He has been at Exploring Minds Academy since October 2013.

Regional Manager

Sandy Aker - Peterson

Ms. Sandy has been in Early Childhood Education for over 30 years. She has been a Prekindergarten teacher, Assistant Director, and has spent the last 20 years as a Director. Sandy is Director Qualified and has a degree in Early Childhood. She loves spending time with her family camping, fishing, and scrap-booking. You couldn't ask for a better job than seeing the smiles on the faces of children as they do something for the first time or accomplish a new task. She is very excited to be a part of the Exploring Minds Academy team!


Sheetal - Infant Lead Teacher / Assistant Director



Shelby W - Lead Teacher

Heather Savickas - Assistant Teacher
Ms. Heather grew up in Vermont. She moved to Erie with her husband and three boys in 2016. She has a BS from Cornell University and a variety of experience interacting with young children. She volunteered in children’s programs associated with the U.S. Army Chapels, has been a Cub Scout Leader and assisted in coordinating student carnivals and after-school events with different Parent Teacher organizations. Ms. heather enjoys helping children learn about their world and how to successfully interact with others.


Mary Francis Bogony - Lead Teacher

Haylee Sigman,Assistant Teacher
Ms. Haylee has been with Exploring Minds Academy since April of 2017. She graduated from Frederick High School in May of 2018. Haylee plans to take a year off school before going to Aims Community College to obtain a degree in Medical Science. During Ms. Haylee’s free time she enjoys hanging out with her friends and family. She enjoys seeing the children’s faces as they learn something new.


Janet Hess - Lead Teacher


Pamela Piekarski

Ms. Pamela has her BA in Education with an emphasis in Bilingual Studies, MAEd in Diverse Learner with emphasis in Gifted and Talented under 5 years, and is working on her EDD in Educational Leadership ABD Graduate Winner in 2020. She started teaching children as a Kindergarten teacher in 1978 in Kansas City KS USD 500.

Dedication and Commitment!

Our dedicated teachers are committed to your child's safety and well-being. With years of experience and college education, they understand how to provide a loving and nurturing environment that fosters self-esteem.  In addition, we all recognize that each child develops at his or her own rate, therefore our curriculum is designed to encourage each child learning through the joy of discovery, therefore developing a love of learning that can last him or her a lifetime.

Meet Our Staff

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We are hiring! Are you looking to work with an amazing team while working in a fun filled environment with children?

if so send in your resume to


​​Sara Ali
Ms. Sara received her Master’s degree in Curriculum and instruction at the University of Denver. She has taught in both traditional and Montessori schools. Ms. Sara has worked with children from infancy all the way through Elementary School. She has a firm belief that children learn best through exploration and discovery. Ms. Sara loves working with children and helping them reach important milestones through education. She is enjoying motherhood with her first daughter. She also loves spending time outdoors and with her family.

She opened her first child care center in 1985 when she could not find high quality early learning for her own 3 children who were at the time all under 5 years. Over the years she has worked with many amazing partners and teachers following her passion of teaching the