The Firefly Family

Our staff is dedicated to creative growth and learning!

Julie Kiewatt

Owner and Licensed Therapist

Julie is a licensed therapist and Certified Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning Practitioner. Julie counsels, guides, and teaches those who desire to improve their lives. She believes that we must develop a relationship with ourselves and know what we think and believe before we can truly be successful in relationships with others. This is accomplished through identity development, introduction of new ways of thinking and dealing with issues, and guidance in setting goals in order to live On Purpose.

Kari Rounds


Kari has been with Firefly for the past 5 years. She was the lead preschool teacher for 3 years and took over as Director in 2018. Kari was born and raised in Whitefish, MT and loves everything this amazing valley has to offer. She is an avid hiker and spends most of her weekends in the spring and summer on top of a mountain or camping. Kari has her BA in Elementary Education with P-3 endorsement. She enjoys the family atmosphere in working at Firefly and the joy and excitement children have for learning. 

Britta Schafer

Lead Preschool Teacher

Britta Schafer has been with Firefly for the past 3 years. She was born and raised in Buschhausen, Germany. She moved to the US in 1990 and moved to Montana to be closer to her daughter. She has two adult children, one who lives in Bigfork MT and the other in Killeen TX. She moved from Montague CA, where she was a State Preschool Teacher/ Site Supervisor for 18 years. Britta has an AA in Early Childhood Education. She loves working with families and young children and would not change it for anything. Britta’s hobbies include snowboarding, hiking, camping, and fishing. Britta enjoys meeting the Firefly Families!

Roena Mitchell

Lead Infant/Toddler Teacher

Roena has been with Firefly for the past 3 years. She was born and raised in the Philippines. After meeting her husband, they moved to the United States, where they lived in Libby, MT for a year before moving to Indiana. Roena worked in a childcare center for 9 years while living in Indiana. She has a teenaged daughter, whom Roena loves to cheer on during her track and field competitions. When she and her family were afforded the opportunity to return to Montana they chose to settle in Lakeside. In her spare time Roena enjoys eating, relaxing, and spending time with her family. She is happy to be a part of the Firefly Family because she enjoys working with children and loves the family environment!

Heide Jelley

Lead Infant Teacher

Heide has been a part of Firefly for about 4 years. She is a single mom of two wonderful girls, both of whom attend Firefly. Heide has been a Montana resident for 20 years, 15 of which has been spent in the beautiful Flathead Valley. Outside of Firefly, Heide and her girls enjoy hiking the mountains in the warm weather and riding them in the winter. They cherish their quiet time together at home as well. Heide loves that she has been a part of the growth and learning that has taken place within the program, the children and herself. She loves the relationships she’s built with all of the children and their families.