Meet Our Teachers

The staff is a very important part of our early education and core program. An educated, experienced, professionally trained staff will closely work with your child to guide and direct him or her with warmth, concern, acceptance approval, and respect enabling all children to develop a strong, positive self-esteem.

  • Director – Pooneh Jahadi (PJ) Yazdi
  • Lead Teacher – Maria Mercado
  • Classroom Teacher
    • Saliha Smail
    • Monica Repenning
    • Kendall Neitzke
    • Calene Johnson

 Hilltop is proud of the education it provides because of the “Frog Street Curriculum” which drastically improves a wide variety of skills and encourages cognitive development. Frog Street is unique to every age group varying from infants, toddlers, and up to Pre-K.




Director – Pooneh Jahadi (PJ) “Yazdi”, PhD, RD

Dr P. J. Yazdi received her doctorate from Texas Woman’s University in 2004 and completed a dietetic internship at University of Texas in Austin. While in graduate school she worked at M.D.


 Anderson Cancer Center in Houston as a graduate research assistant on a national nutrition and breast cancer study. She also taught nutrition at Houston Community College for several years. Moreover, she was the head nutrition consultant for FIT4LIFE in Houston.

She has served as a nutrition consultant for Child Incorporated, the Federal Head Start program in the Travis County. She is currently an adjunct faculty at Culinary Department of Art Institute of Austin.

When her family moved to Austin in 2005, she chose to help her husband, Dr Hamid Yazdi, build his pediatric dental practice. In 2008, while starting a new nutrition counseling practice in Cedar Park, she helped her husband start his second practice, Liberty Hill Pediatric Dentistry.

In 2014, she saw the need for an educational childcare in the fast growing neighborhoods East of Liberty Hill and decided to start a childcare center that emphasizes education, as well as healthy habits. As a working mom of two, she understands the challenges parents face balancing work and family; and, has set flexible programs to accommodate many different needs in the community. She believes in quality care and a loving, supportive environment for both children and the parents.

For every parent, the goal is the same when putting their child in a learning center. It is for their child to experience a fulfilling, memorable and wholesome education under the close supervision and guidance of trustworthy faculty. This is what you will definitely get when enrolling your child at Hilltop Children’s Center.

We invite you to meet with us personally. You can call us at 512-966-1106 to set an appointment.