I’m proud to call Austin my home. I was born and raised here and love this city. I grew up in a great neighborhood in East Austin where I played outside every day until it got dark. I knew my neighbors and throughout the years my friends became extended family. I still love the street I grew up on, but more than anything, I miss that sense of community. I craved that for my children and for the children I get the privilege of teaching. I strive to create a classroom that feels like home; like a community.

My first introduction to Montessori happened in 2000. I stumbled across a want ad in the Greensheet: Montessori School seeking part time assistant teacher. I walked in expecting to sell myself, instead, I was sold. Watching the children in a Primary class “work” was mind blowing. I got the job and as I continued to work at The Children’s School for the next 2 years, it was there that I recognized a calling to teach. It is also where I met my greatest Montessori mentor and friend, Karen Doty.

In 2002 I was hired at Primavera Montessori School as an assistant. I was honored to work with amazing Montessori guides, Maria Clauss; founder of Primavera and Jennifer Phillips; also a founding member of (Primavera) Khabele.  These women, along with so many others, helped pave the way for my own teaching journey. I have an International Montessori Teaching Diploma from North American Montessori Center.

Through teaching children I have learned so much. Most importantly, to lead by example, to be honest, to be open to new ideas and to always be humble. I truly enjoy being in the presence of children. They are remarkable little people. As the years passed on, I recognized an ache growing in my heart. I could see the benefits of what a prepared learning environment could do for children. I witnessed the confidence children had as they learned the rights and responsibilities they possessed as a community member. I was in awe of their ability to feel compassion, empathy, and justice, and put them into practice every day. I wanted this for every child, for my youngest family members, friends and neighbors. I wanted to share this amazing way of teaching and learning with everyone. I dreamed of creating a school that would make Montessori affordable. Then I tucked away this big dream deep in my heart and there it sat for years.  I loved my job at Primavera. I loved the community. I loved the children and the staff. Then after 10 years of faithfully working there, that ache resurfaced. I knew it was time. I had to act. I had to leap and try to make this dream a reality.

Snapdragon Schoolhouse officially became a school in May 2013. In August 2013, I received my Directors license through the state of Texas. Snapdragon Schoolhouse is still in its infancy and there is much work to be done. I’m excited that it will be from my home, that it will be small and intimate. I look forward to building on this dream with my family, friends, and all the people that are so graciously involved. 

Full Time Guide - Lucy Casillas
Bio Coming Soon!

Part Time Guide - Sydney McAfee 


Director / Lead Gui​de - Rachel Tovar

Our Program

Snapdragon Schoolhouse is a home facility licensed through the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services.  It is a Montessori based program infused with other progressive teaching methods.  Our community consists of 2 full time guides, and 1 part time guide, serving 12 families.