Ms. Alicia is “living a dream” owning and running School in the Hills. Sharing the philosophy, materials, and teachings of Dr. Montessori with children and parents is her life’s work. She enjoys seeing the children walk in the door happy to be at school.
Ms. Alicia believes the Montessori Method is not only an educational path but a way of living. Ms. Alicia has proudly walked this path of life for over 20 years. During her time in the Montessori community, Ms. Alicia has worked in many areas of education, from teacher assistant to administrative director of a large, two-campus program. Having had the opportunity to work with children ranging in age from 18 months to 6th grade gives her the expertise to successfully run School in the Hills’ educational program.
As School in the Hills’ Head of School, Ms. Alicia’s takes great pride in her staff. Just like she loves witnessing the children in her school grow, develop, and mature, she enjoys seeing her staff reach new levels of knowledge and professional maturity.
Some of Ms. Alicia’s career accomplishments include: developing a Character Education program that has touched many young lives and bringing the Destination Imagination program to her Montessori students. She is most proud of her work on the Leadership program, which she has fine-tuned over the last 10 years.
Teaching children about sharing knowledge and experience as well as the importance of community service has been a very personal goal for her. Ms. Alicia’s other passion in life is her family. The love, encouragement, and support she receives from them is what keeps her going forward. Daniel and Ms. Alicia have two amazing adult sons with whom they spend as much time as possible.
Daniel Marker – Administrative Director
Daniel grew up in an entrepreneurial family. He joined the family businesses after earning a BBA in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin in 1986. He worked his way up in the company to become a partner and President of The Marker Group. At the peak, he managed five business units, 270 employees, and 50 contractors. This experience taught him the importance of providing a high quality service and exceptional customer service.
Daniel’s mother instilled in him a belief that success starts with the employees. It is important to hire great people, provide excellent training, and value their role in the organization’s success. He and Alicia operate School in the Hills with the same conviction. His love of Montessori started when his young sons attended a Montessori school in Houston, where Alicia also started working as an assistant teacher. She soon entered training to become a certified Montessori teacher. Her excitement during training and the fun of watching their boys grow in the program made him a true believer in the philosophy.
Daniel often jokes that School in the Hills is he and Alicia’s “mid-life crisis,” but it feels like their full career was leading to starting the school. He shares a love of children with Alicia and a belief that these formative years are so important in a child’s life. He spent many years as a coach and a scout leader when their children were growing up. He also served on the Parent Advisory Committee and Steering Committee at their elementary school. Later, he assisted his wife in coaching an Odyssey of the Mind team.
Ms. Elaine has 26 years of experience teaching children ages three to six. She attended Solihull College, West Midlands, England where she received an Early Childcare Development diploma. She also received a NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) in Early Childhood Development. She completed her Primary Montessori certification from the North American Montessori Center.
As an educator, she believes that children are to be respected, loved, and cherished. They are to be given as many opportunities as possible to learn and grow at their own pace. They should never be hindered in their curiosity, concentration or ability to achieve something on their own.
Teaching children has made her realize that every day is a gift. She has been given the opportunity to make an impact on a young person’s life, to make their impression of the world wonderful, happy and full of opportunity, this is my strength as an educator.
With the Montessori Philosophy solid in her mind and her heart, combined with her love of educating children, her thought pattern moved to thinking, “How can I take all that I know and love to support the educators I know and admire, and also provide support to the parents?” The answer was a move to Administration. She is now part of the Administration Team where she enjoys helping to smoothly run and navigate all the moving parts of this wonderful school. She prides herself on communicating with both staff and parents and to always have an open door!
Nancy Meadows – Operations Manager
Ms. Nancy was born in Cincinnati, OH and moved to Austin in 2008. She is a friendly, outgoing and caring person, who has more than 22 years of administrative and customer service experience. Her professional background includes positions such as administrative assistant to the vice president of Life Ins. Co. of Cincinnati, financial assistant at Fire Creek Cattle Company, and account representative at SunTrust Bank.
During her free time, she enjoys playing with her grandson and granddaughter, reading, needlework and crocheting. She loves being around children, coming from a large family herself. She feels blessed to be a part of School in the Hills and such a loving, nurturing program for children.
Ms. Tirzah is originally from Louisiana and holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree of Fine Art in Photography. Since finishing school in 2005, she has worked as a photographer and teacher. She first became acquainted with the Montessori Method in 2007 when she worked as a substitute teacher. Ms. Tirzah believes that “good teaching is a true art form and [she is] able to witness it every day here at School in the Hills.”