The International Montessori House of Children Staff and Leadership

Leadership Team

Jennifer Weerasuria

Owner and CEO

Mrs. Jennifer began working with IMHoC founder and her Monther in Law,  Mrs. Iranganie Weerasuria,  in preparation to take over the company in 2015 after the birth of her son, Shelby. Mrs. Iranganie spent time with Jennifer daily as her mentor to ensure her beloved schools were maintained and operated in accordance with the founding values and ideals. Jennifer took ownership of the company in April of 2019. Before working with International Montessori Jennifer studied at St. Edward’s University in Austin with the goal of “saving the world” through Environmental Law. Jennifer has since recognized the potential of change in humanity by educating the next generations of leaders through her work with the students at IMHoC. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, living an active lifestyle, and is an avid sports fan. Go Cowboys!

Ruha Matin

Director of Operations

Ms. Ruha brings us her long trajectory in program management. After over 11 years of a career in administrative and operational roles at embassies and international organizations such as the United Nations, she decided to finally follow her true calling and pursue a career in education management, where she finds true reward and satisfaction. Ms. Ruha is a firm believer that education is a key component to building a peaceful society, starting with early childhood education. She strives to implement the most fruitful and loving learning environment for the children as well as a supportive, united, and productive work environment for the teaching staff at the IMHoC schools.

In her spare time, Ms. Ruha enjoys puzzling, mindfulness and meditation, and meeting more new people to have elevated conversations with.

Hart Lane Campus

Janu Johnson

Assistant Director

Better known as Ms. Juju, she adds to our family a rich 18-year-long experience in the classroom. She joined our family first as the Lead Toddler teacher before she joined our leadership team beginning in 2021. She is known for her exuberant spirit, positive attitude, warm demeanor, and outstanding management abilities.

Ginger Echols

Lead Teacher - Primary 1

Ms. Ginger holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She was a social worker for over seven years working with children and families in foster care and adoption. After leaving the field of social work, Ms. Ginger wanted to pursue her passion for nurturing young minds, so she entered the field of early childhood education. Ms. Ginger has been working in a Montessori environment since 2015 and acquired her formal Montessori Certification from North American Montessori Center.

When not at school, Ms. Ginger enjoys spending time with her husband and two cats, cooking vegan food, hiking, volunteering at a farm animal sanctuary, and doing crafts.

Cynthia Perera

Lead Teacher - Primary 2

Mrs. Cynthia is AMI certified through the Training Center for Montessori Teachers in Sri Lanka. Having worked in Sri Lanka initially, she joined our family at International Montessori House of Children in Austin in 2011.

She is a strong promoter of the Montessori philosophy and has extensive training in early childhood development, behavioral management, and positive discipline. She is known for her patience and loving demeanor; she believes that learning can be best achieved in a joyful environment and she loves being a part of the growth and development of every child.

Mrs. Cynthia enjoys playing the piano, reading, cooking, listening to music, and spending time with her family.

Soukaina Ben Kabbou

Lead Teacher - Toddler 1 Classroom

Ms. Soukaina is a loving, patient toddler Guide with a Montessori Teaching Diploma for ages 0-3 from the North American Montessori Center. She is also trained on Child Growth and Development, Skill Development, Creativity and Fine Arts, Responsive Interactions and Guidance, Family and Community Relationships, and Positive Communications. Ms. Soukaina has hands-on experience with effective classroom management, creating a daily curriculum, and maintaining a joyful learning environment.

As a mother herself, she adores children and is loved by children and colleagues alike. We are thrilled to have her as a member of our family at IMHoC.

Ms. Kelsey Haag

Co-Lead Teacher - Primary 1

Ms. Kelsey knew she wanted to work with children from the age of thirteen and has been working towards that goal ever since. She has graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education and her Licensure includes a Texas Educator Certificate from Early Childhood to Grade 6, with an English as a Second Language Supplement, for the same grades.

She began teaching in Dallas ISD in the Fall of 2014 and stayed with the district for six and a half years. Now in Austin, she is bringing her skills and knowledge of Early childhood into IMHoC, and is working on receiving her formal Montessori Primary Certification before the end of 2021.

In her spare time, she enjoys walking her dog and mystery novels.

Jollyville Campus

Pinki Kakkad

Assistant Director

Ms. Pinki is a seasoned manager with meaningful Montessori classroom experience. She first joined our community as an Assistant Teacher for a Primary classroom and has been developing her career with us as we grow our family. She joined our leadership team in 2020.

In her spare time, Ms. Pinki enjoys reading and spending time with her three musketeers – her husband and two boys.

Mayada Thanwan

Lead Teacher - Toddler 1 Ladybugs

Mrs. Mayada left her home in Iraq to join our House in 2011, where she was first a Primary assistant. until she discovered her calling for teaching the little ones, who she feels are her source of joy. She is trained in Early Childhood Development and is proficient in the Montessori methodology. She is known for her success in teaching grace and courtesy to the toddlers in every aspect of the classroom activities.

When she’s not in school, she is always available with a helping hand to anyone who needs it. She loves cooking for her loved ones and hiking with her son.

Ms. Mckenna Seger

Co-Lead Teacher - Primary 2 Butterflies

Ms. Mckenna holds a Bachelor degree in Bilingual Elementary Education (K-6) from the Texas State University. She brings us 5 years of previous experience working with young children in a pre-school and kindergarten setting. Additionally, her experience as a behavioral tutor has added to her skill set the ability to successfully manage a wide variety of child behavior. She is passionate about the Montessori philosophy and is working on receiving her formal Montessori Primary Certification before the end of 2021.

In her free time, she enjoys improv comedy, acting, wildlife biology, and scuba diving.

Ms. Barnali Paul

Co-Lead Teacher - Primary 2 Butterflies

Ms. Barnali started her journey at IMHoC first as an Assistant Teacher. After realizing her wonderful potential, we are proud to have her as the Co-Lead of the Butterfly classroom.

Ms. Barnali holds a Bachelor in Engineering, but she has found that her true passion is teaching and educating children so she began her official Montessori training in Early Childhood Education with the North American Montessori Center and is a strong proponent of creating a peaceful, disciplined, and joyful learning environment.

In her free time, she enjoys creating new cooking recipes and reading.

Book A Tour Let's Go!