Meet Our Staff

We are proud to introduce you to our hard working, dedicated teachers! Our teachers are Montessori trained and we are dedicated to continuing our commitment to the Montessori philosophy by attending authentic Montessori workshops twice each year. We all have many years experience working with preschool and kindergarten children and together we create a loving and supportive environment where children thrive.



Patty Nouhan

Patty is the lead teacher and the owner of the school. She has been a Montessori teacher for over 24 years. She began her teaching career at the Milford Montessori where her children attended school. She and her husband began the Follow the Child Montessori School in 2005. She has a B.A. in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University and she received her Montessori pre-primary AMS credential from the Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center in Rochester. Her visions for providing a quality Montessori education are reflected in her affiliations with the Michigan Montessori Society, the American Montessori Society and as a member of the Livingston County Great Start Connect. She is also a Parent Talk facilitator and offers Parenting classes during the school year. Patty has been married to her husband Lee for 30 years and they have two sons Alex (28) and Nick(26). Our school has definitely been a family effort and you will often see Lee and sometimes our sons creating, fixing or improving something!

Mandy DeRoy Thames

This will be Mandy DeRoy-Thames’ fifth year teaching at our school. Mandy is our language leader and her gentle nature and quick smile help her accomplish much with our Kindergarten students. She has an elementary teaching degree with an endorsement in Early Childhood as well as a Montessori teaching assistant certification from MMTEC. Mandy worked for 12 years as a substitute teacher in the Howell Public Schools. She is very happy to be at our school again this year and is looking forward to working with the children.

Emily Zanin

This is Emily’s second year managing the handwriting area of our classroom. If anyone can make handwriting fun it’s Emily! The children love her and she accomplishes a great deal with her friendly and loving approach. Emily has worked in the childcare field for over 24 years. She has a Montessori teaching assistant certification from MMTEC and a Child Development Associates from the Council for Professional Recognition.

Jessica Bower

This is Jessica ‘s second year as a teaching assistant at our school. She has 6 years of experience as a preschool teacher and many more years experience with caring for children in their homes. The children love working with Jessica! She is always receiving or giving a hug Jessica has a Bachelor of Science degree with a focus in American Sign Language and is currently taking classes at Eastern Gateway Community College to also obtain an associates in teaching.

Jessica embraces new adventures and is frequently sharing stories about her new experiences in exercising, cooking, crafts, painting and learning new songs in sign language.

Liliana Fuentes Ortiz

This is Liliana’s first year as a teaching assistant at our school. She moved here from Mexico with her family 2 years ago and now lives in Howell with her husband Jaime and their two daughters, Mariana (5) and Valeria (3). Lili has a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration from the Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico. She is teaching Spanish each week with lessons on circle and by speaking Spanish to the children in the classroom. We are so fortunate to have Lili’s beautiful language fill our school on a daily basis.