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.

Ms. Marlen Barrios

Lead Teacher - Toddlers

Ms. Marlen is a loving and peaceful toddler teacher who joined our team as an assistant teacher and continuously proved her dedication, patience, and strength to become a lead teacher. She holds an Associate degree in Child Development and will complete her Montessori certification from the North American Montessori Centre in the Summer of 2021.

In her spare time she enjoys meditating, hiking, and wrestling.

Ms. Kelsey Haag

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.

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.

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. Sarah Sullivan

Lead Teacher - Primary 1 Dragonflies

Prior to joining our team, Mrs. Sarah had worked in a Montessori school for 3 years and previous to that she has worked in child care settings since 2015. She is a firm believer in honesty and respect and has joined our team with a sincere desire to offer a whole-hearted approach in engaging the class, incorporating the grounding foundation of the Montessori curriculum. Although she already possesses extensive Montessori experience and knowledge, she will be finishing her formal Montessori training from the North American Montessori Centre by the end of 2021.

She is into holistic living, nutrition, organizing, yoga, sustainability, and travel to Peru, Australia, and New Zealand.

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.

Mr. Matthias Gautreaux

Co-Lead Teacher - Primary 2 Butterflies

Mr. Matthias holds a Masters in Liberal Studies, a Bachelors of Arts, and a Montessori Teacher Certification from the Houston Montessori Center (AMS/MACTE Accredited). He is an experienced Montessori Lead Teacher who brings his expertise, joy, and loving demeanor to our community during the Summer of 2021.

In his spare time, he enjoys travel, dance, reading, musical instruments, and video editing.

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