Lisl Friday

I am proud to welcome all of you to Athena Montessori Academy. What was thirteen years ago only a dream has evolved into an incredible community of dedicated teachers, staff, and families supporting our vision to serve and guide the children in a loving, nurturing, diverse, stimulating, and most of all, fun and joyful environment.

In my role as Owner and Director of Athena, I am committed to taking excellent care of all of my staff, children, and families. I am committed to the ongoing education and training of our teaching staff, so that we may be leaders in our profession, and serve the children and families to the best of our ability. While always honoring the beauty of the core of Montessori—its method, materials, training, and curriculum—my goal is for us to expand our knowledge and practice to include the benefits and practical applications we have gained from modern studies and research in psychology, neuropsychology and science. My current passions include clean living and detoxifying children’s environments; brain research; sensory integration processing; literacy; effective limit setting and behavior redirection; physical education; and the spiritual development of children. I strive to continue to create a culture of diversity, community, and personal, professional, and spiritual growth every day at Athena.

I was born and raised in Austin and attended Athena Montessori School in Tarrytown in the early ‘70s. Memories of the place we affectionately called “Leo’s school” helped to shape my vision for what has become Athena Montessori Academy. My school is not affiliated with my alma mater in any way other than the name “Athena,” which was gifted to me by Leo’s family to honor the memory of the original school.

Young children, sports, and Montessori education have been the prominent themes in my life for as long as I can remember. I have been a camp counselor, nanny, gymnastics coach, ballet teacher, kickboxing teacher, swim instructor, and horseback instructor to young children. I have also taught in Montessori schools in Santa Fe and Sacramento, and held the role of Assistant Director at the Montessori Discovery School in Santa Fe. I have a degree in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Master’s in Education from the University of Texas at Austin.

When not working I spend time with my amazing child, Joie, from whom I learn every day. I enjoy running, hiking the Greenbelt, surfing, swimming, snowboarding, riding horses, road and mountain bikes, practicing yoga, dabbling in commercial acting, enjoying good food and wine, and spending time with family and friends.

I look forward to getting to know all of you during your tenure at Athena. It takes all of us to build a community, so thank you for your contribution. You can always reach out to me directly at


Athena Montessori Academy

1503 Morgan Lane Austin, TX 78704
Parking Lot:
1400 West Ben White BLVD Austin, TX 78704
Tel: (512) 494-6237
Fax: (512) 693-0065
“Athena is Montessori with flexibility. What a perfect combination of Montessori learning and respect with fun. As a working parent I find the after care options and extracurricular programs to be priceless!”
- Rose Koransky (Child now attending Zilker Elementary)