Our Staff


Merica came to Portland Oregon in 1989 to work at KGW Channel 8 as a writer producer.  However, at that time she decided to get out of the television industry and return to her first love, which is teaching.  She then took a job as the director of Northwest Montessori.   After leading Northwest Montessori, she decided to open her own school, The Fantastic Umbrella Factory.  She owned and operated the school for 20 years serving as Head of School and Principal. 

She brings her exciting, interactive-style music to our program, in addition to many years of knowledge of pedagogy for young children. In the evening and on weekends, Merica is a private music instructor. When she isn't teaching, she loves to write and has written a children's book.  


She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Nebraska and an Associate Degree in Video Production/Photography.  Her masters level courses have been in the field of Education and Theology.


Jaden holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Portland State University majoring in Film Studies with a minor in Spanish.  She has directed and produced dozens of children’s theater productions all over the Portland Metro area. 


Prior to working at Busy Hands Montessori she was a Head Teacher for 5 years at a Montessori-based preschool and kindergarten and taught theater classes and summer theater camps. Jaden has taken courses on the Montessori philosophy and teaching methods through Montessori Northwest. 


In the evenings and on weekends she coaches her 13 year old son’s baseball team, grades papers for a PSU professor, and adds to her film portfolio producing and editing short films and documentaries.


Jessica is the school administrator at Busy Hands Montessori.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University in Community Development.

She has a passion for early childhood education and believes that the best way to improve our communities and our future is by educating our youth.  She is particularly enthusiastic about the Montessori method and believes it is the most authentic way to educate children.

Prior to opening Busy Hands Montessori she was the school administrator for 8 years at The Fantastic Umbrella Factory, a Montessori preschool and kindergarten.

Busy Hands Montessori             725 NW Dale Ave. Suite 102          Portland, OR  97229           503.747.2150