MKU University Heights Team

Meet Our Team

Montessori Kids Universe University Heights recognizes that our caring, dedicated teachers are what makes our school so valuable. MKU University Heights recruits and maintains a high-quality staff through an intensive selection and vetting process. We provide on-going professional development and growth opportunities within our school, and foster a healthy work environment for our employees. Meet the most important aspect of our school: Our quality teaching staff!

Crissy Peña

Co-Owner and Head of School

After earning her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Psychology
from Southwest Texas State University, Crissy was presented
with the opportunity to become a teacher. Her journey as a
bilingual elementary teacher combined with her language
studies from her time at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares,
in Madrid Spain shaped her career. Crissy pursued her graduate
studies in Bilingual Bicultural Studies and Educational
Leadership from the University of Texas in San Antonio. She was
one of the first dual language educators in North East ISD. While
teaching, she wrote a bilingual & dual language curriculum and
eventually became an Instructional Coach in Literacy, coaching
and mentoring educators in Northeast ISD.
After becoming a mother, she dedicated her time and passion
to homeschooling her children. She found that her natural
teaching methods aligned to Maria Montessori’s educational
philosophy. From that moment on, her love of Montessori
began to take shape.
In partnership with Mitesh Patel, Montessori Kids Universe
Shavano opened in 2021 with incredible success. They proudly
opened their second location, Montessori Kids Universe
University Heights in January of 2024. Crissy earned her
Infant/Toddler Montessori Diploma from the North American
Montessori Center. She is currently the Head of School at MKU
University Heights. Crissy’s love of Montessori and her passion
for early childhood education have made MKU an inviting
learning center for both educators and children alike.

Cheyla Sadullayev

Assistant Head of School

Cheyla’s experience at a childcare has been incredibly fulfilling.
It allowed her to develop her skills in early childhood education
and make a positive impact on the lives of the children in her
She is dedicated to creating a nurturing environment where
every child feels valued and cared for. Her passion for
education is driven by the belief that every child has an innate
potential that, when nurtured in the right environment, can lead
to extraordinary personal growth and development. Being part
of this transformative process is both a privilege and a
profound source of joy for her.
She started working with the Montessori approach in 2021.
Her passion for Montessori education stems from its unique
approach to fostering a child’s natural curiosity and desire to
learn. What excites her the most about Montessori education is
its respect for each child’s individual development pace. It’s
incredibly admirable the mixed-age classrooms that leads to
create a collaborative learning environment where older
children mentor younger ones, reinforcing their own skills and
fostering a sense of community and cooperation.
I enjoy reading, creative arts and physical activities like hiking,
running and cycling.
My family is a source of immense love and strength. We have
wonderful pets. Our 7 years old cat Smitty and our 5 months old
dog Olive.
Because the teacher respects each child and refrains from
interference, the children treat one another with the same
respect and kindness.

Jiaqi Duan

Lead Montessori Teacher Delfines Classroom

Jiaqi is from China and moved to the United States in
2013. She began her journey teaching in 2017 at a
trilingual Montessori school in Chicago. She has
recently relocated to San Antonio with her family and
began teaching at Montessori Kids Universe University
Jiaqi earned her Master Degree of Science in Education
from Harding University. She was awarded her
Montessori certification with her Infant and Toddler
Credential through the American Montessori Society.
Through her time as a Montessori educator, she
discovered that each child grows at their own pace and
that her responsibility as a teacher is to follow and
support them to reach their full potential. In her free
time, Jiaqi enjoys hiking, cooking, and having fun
spending time with her son.

Amy Garza

Co-Teacher Delfines Classroom

Amy is from the South Texas and just started her career
as a teacher here at Montessori Kids Universe
University Heights. She studied at the University of
Texas at San Antonio and received her Bachelor of
Science in Kinesiology. Although she has just begun her
career in teaching, she is deeply passionate about ins
and outs of Montessori Education. Amy has expressed
her commitment to fostering an environment that
nurtures independence, creativity, and a love for
learning for her students. Amy has a beautiful
relationship with her husband and in her free time she
enjoys being outdoors, swimming, and tending to her

Brigitte Henry

Lead Montessori Teacher Aguilas Classroom

Brigitte’s journey as a teacher began when she was a
student in her home country of Colombia. She has
experience teaching children of all ages. She is a
founding teacher here at Montessori Kids Universe
University Heights.
She loves that the Montessori philosophy allows us to
guide children to be independent, have freedom within
limits and most importantly, love the child.
Outside of MKU, she loves taking walks and listening to
music while painting.
She has two beautiful daughters, 5 and 7 years old. She
has the beautiful gift of having her mother here with her
and a precious cat named Sweet.

Fatima Soler

Co-Teacher Oso’s Classroom

Fatima is from Cuba and recently began teaching at
Montessori Kids Universe University Heights. She has
described her experience in childcare as something beautiful
to witness and gratifying to see children grow and help them
expand their knowledge so that they can practice the
necessities of life. Through her time in childcare, she has
become passionate in helping children become independent,
to have dreams, habits, respect, and discipline. Fatima lives
with family and many wonderful pets. In her free time, she
enjoys playing dominoes with her family, going to the river,
and the beach.

Abigail Escobar

Lead Montessori Teacher Canario’s Classroom

Abigail is from San Antonio and started her journey as a
preschool educator in 2021. She joined Montessori Kids
Universe University Heights as a Nido teacher, infant
classroom. She is currently enrolled in Montessori Kids
Universe Teacher Training Institute and becoming a certified
guide in our Infant and Toddler program.
Abigail believes that teaching is a rewarding job. She has
found so much joy in showing people just how capable
children are as they explore their independence. She also
loves that she gets to learn and experience life alongside her
students. Outside of the classroom Abigail enjoys the
outdoors, especially the beach, alongside her mother and
her two cute Shihtzu dogs, Pacino and Louie.

Elizabeth Reynoso

Co-Teacher Canario’s Classroom

Elizabeth is from Mexico and has been working with children
for 7 years. She is a founding teacher here at MKU University
Heights. Elizabeth earned her Montessori certification
through Montessori Kids Universe Teacher Training Institute
in the Infant and Toddler program.
Elizabeth has a deep love for teaching her students new
things every day and wants them to grow in a nurturing
environment. Her passion for Montessori began as she
witnessed children becoming independent and working on
their personal development.
Elizabeth also has an 8-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old
son. In her free time, she enjoys speing time with her
husband and children engaging in outdoor activities,
shopping and eating ice cream.

Lorena Figueroa

Co-Teacher Aguilas Classroom

Lorena is from Venezuela. Her journey as an educator began
in Venezuela before she moving to the United States. She
began teaching in 2013 in both private and public schools.
Her journey as a new Montessori teacher began here at
Montessori Kids Universe University Heights. Lorena enjoys
of time outside of the classroom volunteering with children
in her community helping through tutoring, babysitting, and
leading mission activities.
Her experience as a Montessori teacher has shown Lorena
just how special it is for her to be responsible for preparing
the environment, accompanying the children, allowing their
natural development, and facilitating a more attractive way
of learning.
Family is extremely important to Lorena, especially since
they are living in different countries. Outside of teaching,
Lorena enjoys exercising, hiking, listening to music, and
volunteering at church.

Kristlyn Sweet

Classroom Support Teacher

Kristlyn is from Houston Texas and has been teaching in
2023. She earned her Bachelor degree in Environmental
Science from the University of Texas San Antonio.
Kristlyn worked as a teaching assistant at University of Texas
San Antonio. She plans on perusing her master’s degree from
Kristlyn loves watching the children learn and grow each day.
She enjoys reading and listening to music in her free time.