Lead Montessori Teachers


Ms. Jessica
Sandpipers Lead Teacher
Primary, 3 to 6 year olds

I am originally from Laredo, TX and have lived in Austin for the past fourteen years. I always knew that I wanted to work with children but was unsure in what capacity. While studying at Texas State, I began volunteering at the San Marcos Housing Authority’s Kids Against Drugs (KAD) Program. It was then that I realized that becoming a teacher was something I HAD TO do! After graduating from Texas State, I began working at a charter school in Austin. I learned so much about myself while working as an assistant teacher there. I learned that I could help children learn and succeed by setting high expectations for them. I learned that I am patient and creative. I learned that although I am a very quiet and reserved person, I could be fun and silly when around children. I learned that they bring out the very best in me. I began working at Sunrise in July of 2008 and received my Montessori teacher certification the following year. I absolutely love the warm and friendly environment here at Sunrise. I worked at Sunrise for eight years and loved every minute of it!

In June of 2016 I decided to pursue other interests and began working as a Pre-Literacy teacher for a non-profit organization, which provides housing and education for low income families. While working there, I learned about the Pre-K curriculum currently being used at AISD and helped implement it into the Pre-Lit Program. Although my time as a Pre-Literacy teacher was incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, returning to Sunrise was always on the back of my mind. I am beyond excited to be back and to have the opportunity make a difference in the lives of the children at Sunrise.


Ms. Kari
Cardinals Lead Teacher
Primary, 3 to 6 year olds

I moved to Austin in 2009 and soon after accepted my first Montessori teaching position. When I started, I didn’t even know what Montessori was! As I worked in the classroom and experienced the magic of Montessori first hand, I was amazed. The levels that the children were able to achieve was eye-opening in reading and math. I also loved how the children were taught manners, how to handle conflicts, and were able to work with the materials they wanted for as long as they wanted. I worked three years as an Assistant and then earned my Lead Primary Certification from North American Montessori Center. During my three years as a Lead I also earned my Children’s Yoga Certification and my 200hr yoga instructor certification. I have spent the last few years running my own business teaching children’s yoga classes and camps in and around the Austin area. As much as I loved running my own business, I missed teaching Montessori! I am so excited to be a part of Sunrise and back in the classroom! Please let me know if I can ever answer any questions you may have. And welcome to the Cardinals classroom!


Ms. Karla
Owlets Lead Teacher
Bambini, 9 to 18 month olds

I’ve always had a passion for helping and taking care of others. I grew up helping to care for my sister and cousins at family gatherings. After graduating high school in 2012, I was given the opportunity to work for a Montessori school. When my husband and I moved to the Round Rock area, I had to change jobs, I decided to try a traditional preschool, but it wasn’t a good fit (I missed the Montessori method of learning!) so I found a Montessori school, where I worked happily until I became pregnant with my daughter. After taking a year off, I wanted to go back to work but only if it was the right Montessori school for both of us, a place where she would thrive and feel loved and I would be happy to work at, not an easy task. And then I found Sunrise Montessori! During my time at Sunrise, I have worked in a Primary classroom (3 – 5 years old) as well as a Bambini level classroom (9 – 18 months old). I was happiest caring for the babies, so when a position at Sunrise’s next location came up, I was thrilled to accept the Lead Owlet position! I love watching them explore their environment and make so many connections so quickly. Please let me know if I can answer any questions you may have while you are a part or our classroom. Welcome to the Owlets and Sunrise!


Ms. Lara
Hummingbirds Lead Teacher
Pre-Primary, 18 to 36 month olds

I came to Sunrise Montessori in May of 2007, and it is a genuine pleasure to work with such caring and professional educators every day. The core of Montessori philosophy for me is the respect it shows for children and the amazing efforts they make as they work toward the full development of their minds and bodies. I have held multiple positions in the field, as an Assistant Teacher, a Lead Teacher, and, here at Sunrise, as Assistant Director. I returned to the classroom as the Doodlebugs Lead Teacher in September of 2010 and could not be more pleased to have done so. I have worked with all ages of young children, from infants to 6-year olds, although I have a special fondness for working with children between the ages of 18 and 36 months. I am AMS certified in the Infant/Toddler discipline and help train our Pre-Primary teachers during staff development and monthly staff trainings. It is my goal to help your family have a wonderful first year here at Sunrise!


Ms. Leti
Ducklings Lead Teacher
Nido, 9 weeks to 9 months old

My name is Leticia Sanchez. I am a mother of three amazing children Stacy 24, Liliana 13 and Alejandro 10. My husband and I spend all of our free time running the kids around to all their spots. ( Soccer, Baseball, Basketball and Volleyball) As a family we enjoy going to the movies and just spending time together. I have worked in the early childhood field for over 20 years. I have worked with ages 6 weeks to 3 years as well as in administration. I find that the 6 weeks to 12 months is my favorite age. Watching the babies develop from sleep all-day to walking and exploring is an amazing thing. Seeing their personalities develop is also a joy of mine. I am excited to be here at Sunrise Montessori and to learn more about Montessori philosophy. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of caring and loving your child.




Ms. Patty
Cardinals Co-Lead Teacher
Primary, 3 to 6 year olds

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have several amazing teachers who inspired me so greatly that I realized early on that I was meant to teach. As I grew older, I found that my passion lies with the early stages of childhood. For this reason, I majored in Child Development and Early Childhood Education in Los Angeles, CA. While studying, I worked and had internships in multiple different settings, with different curriculums and philosophies. I found my passion to be a mixture of several philosophies including Reggio, Waldorf and Montessori.
After moving to Texas in 2016, I searched for a preschool that reflected my same passion for children, and although it took longer than I had hoped for, I am happy to say I have truly found it in Sunrise! I have been working in the classroom for more than 10 years and there is nowhere else I would rather have my own two children than with this loving and intentional group of teachers and staff.




Ms. Shavonda
Chickadees Lead Teacher
Pre-Primary, 18 to 36 month olds

Originally from Denver, Colorado, after being a military spouse for almost ten years my husband and two boys recently relocated to Austin, Texas in March of 2018. We have had the opportunity to travel the world and enjoyed Austin so much we decided to call her home! I have been in the childcare field for 6 years and enjoy being that critical asset to a child’s future. As a child, I studied German for 13 years and later lived there for 3 years which is also where I found my love for teaching. I’m currently working on my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and also have experience in the medical field. In my spare time I enjoy traveling and reading. I’m so excited to be apart of the great Sunrise Montessori Team and look forward to meeting you all!


Administration


Ms. Michelle, Director

I am very excited to be a member of the Sunrise Montessori family! My whole career has been within the Early Childhood Education field. Working with children is my passion, and I believe the early years set the tone for a life full of learning. For 12 years I was a lead teacher in both Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten classrooms at Mrs. Mac’s Shining Stars in Georgetown. I gained valuable experience through a variety of roles and responsibilities, such as organizing fundraisers and sponsorship projects, opening and closing the school, and being an afternoon supervisor. With the effort to advance a future management career, I transitioned to another preschool in Cedar Park and served as their Assistant Director for almost 6 years. This path has now brought me here. I live in Liberty Hill with my husband of 15 years, Billy, and our two boys Christopher and Kevin. Our evenings and weekends are busy and filled with baseball games, homework, and family gatherings. A few of my favorite things are: Cowboys football games, any beach, and reading magazines. It is very evident that Sunrise Montessori is a school full of happy children, pleased parents, and committed staff members. I am blessed to be a part of it and look forward to building a fruitful and lasting relationship with you!


Ms. Samantha, Assistant Director

I come from a big family, and a small Texas town. Coming from a big extended family, we always had many children at get-togethers, which is where my love for working with children started. I moved to Austin in 2008, and a few years later, I discovered the beautiful world of Montessori education, which I had never heard of before. I immediately fell in love with the philosophy! Every single lesson, from learning their letters and numbers to self-care, has a direct and indirect purpose. It is in those indirect purposes where the child is developing a skill they are not aware of. Watching the progression of a child grow more independent, self-confident and a skilled problem-solver in a Montessori environment is quite incredible. The curriculum has so many interconnecting skill sets plus it teaches children how to be a more thoughtful, caring person. I knew right away Montessori was where I needed to be, and Sunrise has been the perfect fit for me! I started out as an Assistant Teacher for several years, I then earned my Montessori credential and became a co-Lead, soon after I had my own class, and with the opening of our beautiful new location I have been promoted to Assistant Director. I could not be more excited for this new journey. I have worn several hats with Sunrise, and I feel I can be a great asset on the administrative side. I now get to spread my love of Montessori across the entire campus, instead of just one classroom. On top of my love for Montessori, I am a die-hard Dallas Cowboys & Texas Rangers fan!
“Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.” – Maria Montessori


Ms. Shannon, Owner

Born in Southern California, I didn’t move to the Austin area until I was 32 years old with my husband, Rob, and 3 month old son, John, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We LOVE living here! Texans are remarkably friendly and go out of their way to help one another, plus all the trees (beautiful) and seasons (it’s cold in the winter…woo hoo!) are a bonus. Sunrise was born when I couldn’t find a great Montessori school for my muse, John. Rob has also been influential in the success of Sunrise as well. In addition to his emotional support and laid-back nature, he is talented at fixing things (he used to help his father and grandfather make furniture and build houses) as well as designing/programming websites (the perfect spouse for a small business owner!). Although I loved being a math teacher once upon a time, I love being a business owner even more. Providing the kind of school I would want my son to attend, would like to work as a staff member, or learn as a student is an indescribable and addictive joy. My sincerest wish is that all of us here at Sunrise create exactly what you want for your child, so please let us know how we can improve your experience.