MRA Teachers & Staff

Who We Are

Education and care is provided by Montessori certified or trained teachers who are CPR certified, have years of classroom experience, and receive ongoing training.


meet the faces of

Montessori Reggio Academy

Mra Sugarland Team

“As featured on



Mrs. Martina Murphy is our amazing head of school. Recognized locally for her efforts in successfully leading MRA Sugar Land day by day. She was recently given Professional Recognition by the Houston Business Journal’s People on the Move.

“Mrs. Martina is a well respected leader in the Sugar Land community. With over 14 years in education, it’s truly her passion. Working parents and staff praise her close attention to detail, childhood understanding and enthusiasm- especially during the recent challenging months. Through her strong leadership, MRa was named Best in Sugar Land for the 5th year in a row! A parent shared, “She is super professional and approachable; The culture and authentic education of MRA is truly one of a kind!”

Amber Contreras

“I look forward to building relationships through constant communication with parents. ”

Amber Contreras

Director of Admissions

Meet Amber !

  • Graduated from University of Houston – Downtown with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Minor in Spanish.
  • Has her Associates Degree in Teaching.
  • Has 7 years of experience in Management Administration and 3 years of experience in Classroom Management.
  • Focus:
    • Having the ability of making parents look at Montessori as their child’s second home by providing a welcoming environment.
    • Providing parents comfort to voice all of their concerns.

Mra Sugarland Team

“ My primary goal is to make sure our school is a safe, happy, and positive environment for the children, parents, and teachers. ”

Sandra Blackbird


Meet  Sandra!

  • She has been part of our team since MRA opened its doors!
  • Received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.
  • Her position consists of many areas, such as
    • Daily checks, ensuring safety regulations are followed
    • Daily counts of all children in attendance

Mra Sugarland Team

“We are not only a team but a family with their children’s best interest at heart!”

Ms. Bonnie Gillis

Parent Liason

Meet Bonnie !

  • Worked as an Escrow Officer for 21 years.
  • Volunteered at an Assisted Living Center for over 4 years.
  • Focus: To build and maintain a relationship with the parents. I want to be able to hear their thoughts & suggestions so we can maintain the wonderful reputation this school already has. I would like them to feel at home here & comfortable enough to voice their opinions

Mra Sugarland Team

“I enjoy seeing kids happy and look forward to making them smile.”

Saher Momin


Meet Saher!

  • Has over 10 years of experience in all aspects of childcare
  • Focus: I strive to provide a positive environment for all kids.

Mra Sugarland Team

“I hope to create long lasting relationships with parents & their children.”

Lauren Cortes

Administrative Assistant and Floate

Meet Lauren!

  • She has worked as a Childcare educator & in Administration for 2 years.
  • CPR, First Aid Certified
  • Focus: To create a warm, friendly, and inviting environment.

Mra Sugarland Team


“I look forward to making connections and sharing lasting memories of our students.”

Ms. Chloe Carrillo

Social Media & Marketing Specialist

Meet Chloe!

  • Graduated from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi with a Bachelor of Arts in Media.
  • She has experience as a content creator, social media manager, & marketing
  • Focus:
    • To enhance student and parent engagement.
    • To display the wonderful MRA learning environment.

Mra Sugarland Team

“ I am so grateful for the patience and kindness of Ms. Mehri towards my daughter. It makes a big difference each day!”  -MRA Parent

Ms. Mehri Khajeh

Infant Lead Teacher

Meet Mehri!

  • She has been in the field of education since 2004 and part of the MRA team since 2016.
  • Earned her bachelor’s degree
  • Completed her teacher certification training at Region 4 Texas.
  • Focus: Create a Montessori Infant environment that provides:
    • A safe, calm carefully designed setting for guided learning.
    • Watchful observation to explore his/her new world
    • Nurtures the physical and spiritual well being of the child

Nusrat Khoja

“I look forward to watching & helping your child grow.”

Nusrat Khoja

Toddler Co-Lead Teacher

Meet Ms. Nusrat!

    • She has over 7 years of experience as a teacher.
    • She has worked as a nurse aide, volunteer, & resource coordinator.
    • CPR Certified
  • Focus: To nurture curiosity, confidence, creativity, & compassion within the classroom.

Mra Sugarland Team

“ We strongly recommend Ms. Sunhye… She is very caring, knowledgeable, passionate, and extremely committed. And we are lucky to have her. ”  -MRA Parent

Ms. Sunhye Lee

Pre-Primary Lead Teacher and Music Movement Teacher

Meet Sunhye!

  • She has been an MRA educator since 2018.
  • Advises, counsels, and trains MRA Lead educators on classroom organization and efficient ways to communicate with parents.
  • Zumbini instructor certified natures student’s love of movement through music, dance, and educational tools.
  • Focus: Educates MRA students
    • To become independent and confident through hands- on learning activities geared towards experience, guidance, and practice.
    • To positively use their energy and movement through dance, music, and art- all while improving gross and fine motor skills.
  • Proud to be Montessori Certified!

Mra Sugarland Team

“Ms.Aysha is a very hands-on teacher. She’s patient and loving towards every child and works with you to help your child accomplish their milestones.”

Ms. Aysha Rajifa

Pre – Primary 1 Lead Teacher

Meet Aysha!

  • She has been a part of the MRA team since 2017
  • Earned her Bachelor’s Degree
  • Plans and implements new reggio activities and lessons based on the unique needs of her students
  • Focus:
    • To create a peaceful, ordered, caring context to support the skills being sharpened
    • Spark a child’s interest in learning while developing independence and self-confidence

Mra Sugarland Team

“ Together we are committed to provide a loving and developmentally appropriate foundation for a lifetime of learning.”

Ms. Zohra Sachwani

Primary 1 Teacher

Meet  Zohra Sachwani

  • Has a Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from the Houston Community College
  • She believes children need someone to love, care, and educate them.
  • Has over 9 years in Early Childhood Education.
  • She loves working with children and making sure that they grow and learn through play each day in a safe and happy environment to stimulate the physical, intellectual , social and emotional growth at their own pace.

Mra Sugarland Team

“ Ms. Chrisitina is fabulous. She is so nice and patient! She takes care of every child like if they were her own children. ”  – MRA Parent

Ms. Chrisitina Garrison

Primary 3/Private Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Meet Chrisitina!

  • She has been an MRA educator since 2017.
  • Implements educational activities through.
    • Montessori Reggio lessons.
    • STEAM learning.
    • Kindergarten readiness, preparing students for lifelong learning ahead.
    • Focus: Maximize exploration, creativity, and independent learning.
    • Proud to be Montessori Certified!

Mra Sugarland Team

“ Miss Mara is truly passionate about her little ones. There is never a dull moment in her classroom! ”  -MRA Parent

Miss Maria Morgan

Pre-primary Lead Teacher

Meet Maria!

  • She has 21 years of experience in childhood education-an MRA educator since 2018.
  • (CDA) Child Development Associate Certified and (CEI) Childhood Education International member.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.
  • Focus: Build a strong learning foundation for student’s vital early years of development through a safe prepared environment where the child is free to explore his new world.

Mra Sugarland Team

“ I look forward to establishing relationships with children & watching them become who they are made to be. ”

Ms. Kim Esteb

Co-Lead Teacher

Meet Kim !

  • She has worked as a teacher for 7 years with a focus on 2-3 year olds.
  • Working towards an Occupational Therapy Degree with a focus on children.
  • Focus: To learn as much as I can about the Montessori way of learning & apply it to the classroom.

Mra Sugarland Team

“ I want parents to know that their child is in very good hands when you drop them off in
my care.”

Ms. Yue

Science & Mandarin Specialist

Meet Ms. Yue!


  • She is a neuroscientist and studies the human brain.
  • She is a native Chinese/Mandarin speaker.
  • Focus:Create a fun filled and understandable Chinese/Mandarin learning experience for primary and lower elementary classes. As well as, provide neuroscience enrichment knowledge for our curious young brains.

Mra Sugarland Team

“ I just joined Montessori Reggio Academy and I am excited to be part of the MRA family! ”

Ms. Peace Eleyae

Primary 2 Teacher

Meet Peace Eleyae

  • Has a Bachelor’s Degree in Art (English) Education and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
  • Has 32 years experience in Early Childhood Education.
    • -Child Care Development Center for 4 years
  • Married with 3 children, a son in-law, & a 4 month old grandson.
  • Proud to be Montessori certified

Mra Sugarland Team

“ I just joined Montessori Reggio Academy and I am excited to be part of the MRA family! ”

Amy Storthz

Primary Two Co-Lead

Meet Amy Storthz

  • Graduated from University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies & Psychology
  • Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on literacy
  • Has been a teacher for 14 years
  • Montessori Certified by the Houston Montessori Center in 2016

Mra Sugarland Team

“ Since my child was placed in Ms. John’s class, I have seen her grow in many ways in a short amount of time. She is an amazing teacher! ” -MRA Parent

Ms. Ruchika John

Lower Elementary Lead Teacher

Meet John!

  • Has 16 years of teaching experience as a Montessori teacher for 1-3 grades.
  • She has earned a Master’s degree in Psychology.
  • Focus: On academically challenging kids for the advancement beyond their potential.
    • Preparing kids for test-taking abilities.
    • Educating kids with a firm foundation to later on become confident individuals with higher self-esteem.
    • Create a fun filled and understandable learning experience for every child.
  • Proud to be Montessori Certified!

Mra Sugarland Team

“ Healthy isn’t a goal: it’s a way of living”

Aisha Panjwani

Yoga Specialist

Meet Aisha!

  • Born and Raised in Sugar Land
  • Graduate of Clements High School
  • Certified Yoga Instructor by My Vinyasa Practice
  • Working on Montessori Training
  • Focus: To Teach and Guide MRA Students about Health and Fitness through a fun and hands-on learning experience.
    • Preparing kids for test-taking abilities.
    • Educating kids with a firm foundation to later on become confident individuals with higher self-esteem.
    • Create a fun filled and understandable learning experience for every child.

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