DAVM Faculty

"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."

DAV Montessori School's dedicated staff consists of Montessori certified, college educated lead teachers and trained assistants. These teachers have a passion for teaching and are committed to spark the curiosity and ignite a zest for learning in every student. We ensure that a positive, respectful and a nurturing environment is maintained in all the classroom, as we believe that each child is a born learner and helping them reach their full potential is our goal. Small class size makes it possible for the teachers to spend more one-on-one time and provide individualized attention to each child. DAVM staff goes beyond the call of duty to help the students, whether it is helping them finish their lunch or to challenge them with advanced lessons or to provide extra help for the ones who need it. At DAVM there is a sense of community; teamwork and collaboration creates a special bond between the staff, parents and the students.

Arti Khanna
Arti Khanna
(Director)
Acharya Praveen
Acharya Praveen
(Acharya)
Arti Khanna (Director)

I joined DAV Montessori in 2005 as the Director of the school. My career in education started in 1995 here in Houston, when I joined the Little Red Schoolhouse as a Primary Lead Teacher. I earned my undergraduate degree in Political Science and Education from the University of Delhi, India. I received my AMS, Early Childhood credentials from the Houston Montessori Center in 1995.

My husband and I have two wonderful daughters. The elder one is now working and the younger one attends college. We volunteer a lot of our time at the Arya Samaj. I also love to cook, sew, read and watch Indian movies in my free time.

I am blessed to have become associated with the DAV Montessori School, it’s extremely dedicated staff and of course the bright young children, who bring a smile to my face every morning.

Acharya Praveen (Acharya)

Teaching the young children of DAVMS is one of the most enriching and satisfying experiences of my life. “Sanskaaraat dvij uchyate” (The one inducted with righteous thoughts has an exalted status of ‘twice born’). This ages old scriptural maxim from Manu Smriti, obliged acharyas of the ancient Gurukul educational system in India, with tremendous responsibility, to provide a parent-like watchful guidance to his students. As an Acharya, a mentor, and a teacher since last twenty years, I see myself responsible for the moral & spiritual uplift of my students at DAVSS & DAV Montessori School.

Throughout my childhood, I was schooled regularly at home in Vedic ideology, concepts, and various scriptures. I was greatly influenced by eminent Vedic scholars & teachers such as Swami Vedanand ji, the great Vedic grammarian, and Pt. Ram Chandra Dehlavi ji, the great logician. I Joined Arya Samaj Houston as its first Acharya during its birthing period (Honorary, 1991-1997), established the DAV Sanskriti School (1993), and organized the first adult classes (Upanishads). Voluntarily retired from the engineering profession, I am currently fully devoted to managing DAV Sanskriti School, teaching Naitik Shiksha to the teachers & senior class of DAVSS, and teaching all DAVMS classes in the capacity of an acharya. I am also continuing as Acharya of ASGH on an as-needed basis and conducting Vedic sacraments for Arya Samaj.

Chetna Desai
Chetna Desai
(Primary Lead Teacher)
Chetna Desai (Primary Lead Teacher)

My name is Chetna Desai. I obtained my graduate and post graduate degrees in English literature and education from India. I received my early childhood teaching diploma from AMS, Houston, Texas. I am a certified director.

I was a high school teacher for 13 years in India I have been teaching preschoolers for over 16 years in Houston. DAV Montessori has been my home since its inception in the year 2000.

Teaching is my passion and I find great joy in coming into the class room, every day. I enjoy every minute of my time at DAV Montessori.

Shilpa Pokhriyal
Shilpa Pokhriyal
(Primary Lead Teacher)
Aruna Gummadi
Aruna Gummadi
(Assistant Teacher)
Shilpa Pokhriyal (Primary Lead Teacher)

My family is from Dehradun but I was born in Meerut, India. In India I did Bachelor of Commerce from Delhi University and soon after moved to the US.

I began my teaching career as an intern in Montessori Country Day School and was part of the school for 4 years. I earned my AMS degree from Houston Montessori Center in Early childhood in the year 2002. In the year 2006 got the opportunity to be part of DAVMS. I have two daughters and can proudly say that their primary education is based on Montessori Philosophy. I enjoy working with the children and feel fortunate to play a role in their social, intellectual and emotional development of their lives.

Aruna Gummadi (Assistant Teacher)

My name is Aruna Gummadi. I received my Science Graduation from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India in 1996 and continued further higher studies in Post graduate diploma in environmental management and MA in English. My teaching passion motivated me to work in India for 5 years after graduation.

We came to Houston in 2004 along with our two boys. I am associated with DAV Montessori since 2007 as an assistant teacher and love to work with kids to help them in continuous learning.

My hobbies are reading, dance, learning new things and love to spend leisure time with my two wonderful sons.

Rita Gulati
Rita Gulati
(Transition Class Lead Teacher)
Monita Mehtaji
Monita Mehtaji
(Assistant Teacher)
Rita Gulati (Transition Class Lead Teacher)

My name is Rita Gulati. I came to United States in 1984. I am happily married and blessed with two wonderful children, a son and a daughter. Both of them are in collage in Austin at University of Texas. I did my B.A. in English and Economics in India and continued to further my studies in Accounting and Management after coming to USA, worked in Retail Sales and Management for almost 12 years. In 2003, I decided to change my career to get out of the crazy schedule of Retail and work with young children. I acquired my Director’s certificate from Child Care Council and worked as an Assistant Director at Growing Scholars’ Montessori. While working as an Administrator at GSM, I had an opportunity to explore the classrooms and work with children occasionally. I loved helping children and decided to earn an early childhood certification from Houston Montessori Center. I completed my certification in 2006 and worked as a primary class Teacher at GSM for two years. In 2008, I joined the wonderful team of DAV Montessori School. I feel blessed and very proud to be a part of such a unique and community oriented school working with exceptionally cooperative staff, management, and a very special group of parents and children.

Monita Mehtaji (Assistant Teacher)

My name is Monita Mehtaji. I received my bachelor's degree in Commerce from the University Of Bombay, India and a Diploma in Montessori Training also from Mumbai, India. For 7years I owned and operated a kindergarten school in Mumbai. In 2002 my family and I migrated to United States and lived in North Carolina till 2008. I have 10 years of teaching experience and have been teaching at DAV Montessori School since 2008. Upon moving to Houston, I got my Assistant Teacher and a Montessori Infant & Toddler Assistant certificates from Houston Montessori Association.

My hobbies include travel, gardening, and baking. She is married with two children.

Madhu Bangia
Madhu Bangia
(Elementary Lead Teacher)
Madhu Bangia (Elementary Lead Teacher)

I have been in teaching profession since 1984. I received my Bachelors degree in commerce from Bombay University, Diploma in Computers from NIIT, Montessori and Primary Teacher’s Training from New Delhi. I started my teaching career from the Montessori department of Bal Bharti School, New Delhi where I was also Head Coordinator of 1st grade, editor of the school magazine, choreographed cultural programs, published a workbook named ‘Key to the Environment; and curriculum coordinator of pre-primary classes.

I have been proudly working with D.A.V. Montessori School, Houston since its inception in the year 2000. I joined as a Hindi and Assistant teacher during the 1st year and thereafter have been working as the Lead teacher of the K.G. and 1st grade. Teaching is my passion. I thoroughly enjoy being with my students. Smiles on their faces are my biggest priceless reward.

Sangeeta Gupte
Sangeeta Gupte
(Hindi Teacher)
Nirmala Munshi
Nirmala Munshi
(Afterschool Program Teacher)
Sangeeta Gupte (Hindi Teacher)

I was born in India, completed my Masters in Commerce. My husband was in Defense services and we moved to various places in India, which gave me opportunities to work as a volunteer in schools run by Naval and Army organizations. I completed ECCE (Early Child and Care Education) from Mumbai University. With my love, passion and experience in Education I joined DAV Montessori in Oct. 2008 as a Lead Teacher in toddler’s class (2.5yrs to 4yrs). Since, then I am a part of DAVM. This year I am enjoying teaching Hindi to children from 3 to 6 yrs of age.

My hobbies are gardening, playing games, drawing.

Nirmala Munshi (Afterschool Program Teacher)

I graduated from nursing collage in UK and migrated to the US after that. My experience in teaching started with private tutoring. I started working at DAV Montessori in 2005 and enjoy every minute of it. In my spare time I help with the sandwich project for homeless people and also enjoy reading and cooking.