Faculty & Staff

Ms. Merima (Meri) Krdzalic

Head of Schools
I was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and moved to Houston in 1999. I graduated from the University of Houston with my B.S. in Business and B.A. in Liberal Arts. I started my Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy journey in 2000. Over the last few years, I had the opportunity to work in all positions and at both Smaller Scholars locations.

Children inspire and move me, to make a difference and to be a better person every single day. I also believe that Montessori Philosophy and Methodology are the best foundation for young children.

I am also the mother of two young daughters, both of them are Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy students.

I enjoy spending time with family, cooking, painting, traveling and getting to know people and new cultures from all around the world.

Ms. Ashley Nguyen

Assistant Head of School
I have worked in Early Childhood Education and Montessori since 2014. I received my B.A. in Sociology from Texas A&M University and received my Director’s Credential in 2017. I have been with Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy since 2017.

I married my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Emily who is here in our Toddler Community and has been a Montessori Student since she was 6 weeks old. I enjoy NCAA football on the weekends and in my spare time, I enjoy dancing, photography, traveling and crafting.

I love Montessori because it fosters independence and teaches children the ability to do things for themselves. Montessori boosts a child’s confidence and empowers the child as well.


Ms. Teri Lloyd

Elementary Director
I have my B.S. Elementary Education and MSEd from Baylor University with an emphasis in Montessori and Technology. I am Montessori Certified for 1st - 6th grades. I have been the Elementary Director since 2007. Beginning in 1992 I developed and taught both Lower & Upper Elementary Programs at Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy. I also taught Gifted & Talented Programs.

My hobbies include dancing and dining. I enjoy football, culture, music and meeting new people.

Ms. Janet Branstiter

Early Childhood Director
I have been an educator since 1990 and a Montessori educator since 1995. I have been with Smaller Scholars Montessori Academy since 1998.

I was born in England while my father served in the U.S. Air Force and I am the youngest of four daughters. Although I wasn't born here, after living in Texas for most of my life, I consider myself a native Texan.

I love to travel and take pictures. I enjoy being creative, reading and spending time with family and friends.