“This then is the first duty of an educator: to stir up life but leave it free to develop.” 

– Maria Montessori
Owner / Head of School Brooke Khawaja

As Director and owner of Hummingbird Montessori School, I am grateful for each child under our care and the trust that comes with it.  My passion is working with children and my goal is to provide skilled and compassionate teachers, the best educational programs and the safest environment for your child and mine.

I have developed a 20-year career ranging from one-on-one work with children with disabilities, working in preschools and daycare facilities, and in head management positions at 2 Montessori schools. I studied Child Psychology and Elementary Education and have received numerous certificates with dozens of hours of education, business, and medical training.

Along with being a wife to a loving husband, my most important role is being the mother of three girls and one boy – two of whom attend Hummingbird right next to yours! 

I am very excited to have your little Hummingbirds become part of our family and watch them fly off into the world. 

Assistant Director Lauryn Le

Hello Families! My name is Lauryn and I am proud to introduce myself as the Assistant Director here at Hummingbird Montessori School. I have been an Early childhood Education Professional since 2016. I started off my career as a youth health counselor and infant teacher. Wanting to further my career, I started pursuing a career in education management in 2019.

I enjoy using my knowledge and skills to advocate for young children thriving academically in a safe, nurturing and fun environment. In my spare time, I enjoy trying new restaurants and going on walks at the Houston Arboretum and going to local farmer’s markets.

I truly believe it takes a village to raise children, and I would love to help you build yours. I look forward to partnering with you on your child’s path to success.

Assistant Director Deanna Mackin

My name is Deanna Mackin and I’m excited to join the Hummingbird Montessori School as Assistant Director. I have worked in the early childhood field for 15 years as a teacher, trainer, and mentor coach and continue to grow in my passion for supporting teachers in providing the best care and education experience for little ones. I was born and raised in Montana and enjoy all things nature and outdoors.

I have recently moved to Texas and am excited to explore all the fun opportunities this area has to offer! When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and 5-year-old daughter, Marlena. I also sew almost every day for her, testing and photographing sewing patterns for PDF pattern companies.

Education Director
Primary Class Lead – The Hummingbirds
Melissa Jackson

My name is Melissa Jackson and I have had the honor of teaching young children for over 28 years. I am a mother of two beautiful adult children and newly blessed as a grandmother. I am a proud native Texan. My time is spent with my family and I enjoy cooking.

As a teacher and Educational Director, I believe in a very simple philosophy – every child needs to feel a bond between their teacher, then they will feel the freedom to explore their full potential. I believe Montessori teaching is important for young children because it allows them to grow and learn at their own pace as well as guide their independence.

Every day is a new experience not only for the child but to see their little faces light up when making a new discovery…that is the true beauty of teaching. My main focus is to provide a loving, warm, and welcoming environment for my children as well as their parents. I am looking forward to another new year and exciting new discoveries.

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn”. Maria Montessori

Primary Class Lead – Hummingbird 2 Shabnam Hafizi

My name is Ms.Shabnam Hafizi, Lead teacher of the Hummingbird 2 classroom. I grew up in India and moved to Houston in early 2001. Since then, I have passionately worked with children as it gives me immense joy to nurture them in their early years of development.

This is my second year at Hummingbird Montessori. I strongly believe in being calm and patient around children so that they find comfort in learning independently. My classroom goal is to have a happy learning environment through fun-filled activities, projects and songs. Apart from teaching I love gardening, painting, cooking and exploring places. In my free time I like to read and learn new skills. I am extremely excited and looking forward to working with your child in the classroom.

“Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them.”
Dr. Maria Montessori

Primary Class Lead – Hummingbird 3 Jyoti Grover

My name is Jyoti Grover. I was born and raised in India. I came to Houston after getting married in 2005. I have been teaching in Early Childhood and Montessori setting since 2013. Teaching in the early childhood setting gives me great joy! I am surrounded daily by eager minds and a unique love of learning. My special interests are music, dance and yoga. I’m blessed to be a mother of a wonderful teenager boy. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and cooking. I also enjoy learning new skills. I’m super excited to be a part of Hummingbird Montessori School.

As a teacher, I believe children are unique individuals, and they learn best when they feel secure, loved and valued. When they feel they are accepted and appreciated, they are free to take risks, make mistakes and learn from their errors and successes. I believe Montessori teaching is important because Montessori classrooms develop the child’s inner motivation to learn and children are encouraged to be independent.

“Do not tell them how to do it. Show them how to do it and do not say a word. If you tell them, they will watch your lips move. If you show them, they will want to do it themselves.” Maria Montessori

Pre-Primary Class Lead – The Chicklets
Maria Romero

Hello, my name is Maria “Mari” Romero and I am the Pre-Primary Class Lead. I have been in the Montessori Environment for 23 years and believe that Montessori is very important for children because it helps develop their young minds to become successful adults. I am a mother of 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy and a grandmother to 9 amazing grandchildren. I enjoy cooking for large family and traveling when possible.

My philosophy of teaching is that each child is a unique individual that needs a secure and caring environment to grow which I make sure to give them. I treat each child as if they are my own, providing love and safety as well as a wonderful education.

“Free the child’s potential and you will transform him into the world”. Maria Montessori

Toddler Class Lead – The Nestlings
Kenzie Younger

Hello Families, my name is Ms. Kenzie. I am the Lead Teacher for the Nestling classroom. I have been working in the child development field for 9 years. I absolutely love working with toddlers, this is the age that they show their little personalities and curiosity and I enjoy helping them grow and develop. I cannot wait to watch each of your little ones flourish!

My philosophy of teaching is to be sure that I get to know each and every one of your children so I can help them develop at their own pace while enjoying being in my class.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. 
Nelson Mandela

Infant Class Lead – The Younger Hatchlings Michelle Smith

Hello, my name is Michelle Smith. I have a strong passion to work with children to help build their mind, body and soul. I am a person who loves to be surrounded around family and encourage young children and older people to stay positive and “Never Give Up” on anything you put your mind to. I am the lead teacher for the younger hatchlings and have been working in the early child development field for 10 years. I believe Montessori is important for young children as it encourages their little minds to be independent and enjoy learning. Being an infant teacher also allows me to keep learning and growing in knowledge while building meaningful relationships with the children and parents. My philosophy of teaching is that the classroom should be a safe and caring environment nurtured by teaching and independence for little minds to blossom and grow.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Primary Class Lead – The Hummingbirds 2
Colleen Alexander

Hello, my name is Colleen Alexander.

I have over 30 years of teaching experience with education of which 18 have been in a Private Montessori School setting. I enjoy reading dramatically, singing off key, and dancing off beat. I love creating poetry and accepting all decorating challenges. Super excited to be a part of the Hummingbird Team.

I am all for children blossoming into their own and mastering at their own rate. My philosophy in teaching is that I believe all children are able to flourish just by showing the child an inviting environment. My favorite quote from Maria Montessori is – “Play is the work of the child”. I look forward to all the play your child will have the opportunity to experience in my classroom.

“Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society” -Maria Montessori.