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Meet Our Staff

Talitha Green, M.Ed., AMI
School Director
Parent & Life Coach

Talitha Green M.Ed., is the founder and Director of Helping Hands Montessori Services and Preschool (HHMS) which opened its doors in 2008. HHMS is a Montessori school serving children ages 2 months to 5 years. In addition to running the school, Talitha is a successful, certified Life Coach offering parenting workshops and specializing in helping parents discover helpful and supportive approaches for their child and family.


A mother of two, Talitha built her current schoolhouse in her backyard. This gem is nestled just to the Southeast of downtown Austin. Talitha is truly a product of the Montessori method. She attended Montessori for her first nine years as a child, sought out Montessori style high schools and colleges, and obtained her Primary and Elementary certification from the Association of Montessori International (AMI), and holds a Masters degree in Education from Loyola College in Maryland. She is a certified Yoga Instructor and Social & Emotional Learning Facilitator with over 500 hours of training.

Talitha has 25 years of experience as a Montessori Guide and has helped families locally and nation-wide as a consultant and parent coach for the last 10 years. When you enroll in the HHMS toddler program you will receive a complimentary coaching session tailored to your family’s specific needs.


Janie Furlow, Certified Teacher, NAMC Certified

Janie Furlow, is in her third year as a guide at HHMS. A Wyoming native and mother of four teenagers, Janie has over 2 decades of classroom experience working with all ages, is a certified teacher, and is currently obtaining her Toddler Montessori Training from NAMC.


In recent years, Janie was a Montessori assistant guide at an AMS preschool in Colorado for 2 years then was promoted to Head of School where she over saw all the programs from infancy to kindergarten. She worked in this capacity for 3 years before moving to Dallas and teaching 3rd grade in the public school.


Janie moved to Austin with her family in the late Summer of 2017 and found Helping Hands was a perfect fit for her. She is thrilled to be working with toddlers and feels happy to be part of such an amazing program and team.


Erica Shield, AMI Primary

Erica Shield, is an Austin native and seasoned Montessori teacher for more than 2 decades. She worked at the well-respected Parkside Community School for most of her career and loves spending time with her 2 boys and dog as much as she can.


For more than 15 years, she was a lead teacher in the Primary classroom serving children ages 2-6. Erica has big love for Helping Hands Montessori school, as both of her boys attended the toddler program when they were young and Erica was a part of this wonderful school in its early, formative years. 


After many years as a primary guide, Erica has recently begun working for Helping Hands Montessori School again as a teacher for the ‘Little Learners’ Program. She works with POD and individual learners and helps guide them on their academic, social and emotional learning journey.


Erica brings her many gifts to all the children and families she works with and stays true to Maria Montessori’s principles of the prepared environment, following the child, and allowing the child’s natural interests and innate desired learning potential help guide their educational experience.

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