This year has been one of most stressful on record for Sunrise Montessori. As if worrying about Covid wasn’t enough, my team had to endure either being laid off for 5 weeks or watch 60% of their colleagues be laid off (we’ve since hired almost all of them back), remain flexible and upbeat with the ever evolving rules being revamped from the Health Department/Dept of Family and Protective Services/Governor/County, and keep the faith even though our enrollment has not yet recovered. This year, to put it mildly, has been a doozy, full of unchartered waters and uncertain footing, so to show my appreciation, I am dedicating my blog today to the AMAZING Ladies of Sunrise!
Sunrise’s Team Members are professionals who lead with their heart. They ask how they can help if they see someone who needs it. They love caring for their group of children, providing the much-needed routine of normalcy to our families with a smile for the past nine months. I am in awe of what they do every single day and want to share with you why I am thankful for them.
Ms. Allison‘s drive to always do her best is something to marvel at. Above average isn’t enough for Ms. Allison. She is a force of nature with a giving heart. Mature and wise beyond her years, she is also our back up closer at Sunrise East when one of our Administrator’s is out. A natural leader, both in and outside of her Cardinal classroom.
Ms. Brittany has an infectious bubbly personality, a wonderful foil for her Caterpillar infants. She is also the most artistic at Sunrise West and has created some amazing things for us, like our classroom signs above each door at both locations.
Ms. Carmen of the Tigerlilies is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is she a fantastic teacher with her children (watching her is still quite the treat), in her 7+ years so far at Sunrise, she has become known for the science materials she creates for her students to work with. What she is able to get them to do in real world problem solving and investigation is incredible. She’s calm, cool and collected, rarely letting anything or one ruffle her feathers. She also happens to be one of our best language teachers.
Ms. Cass is our newest promotion, from Assistant to Lead Teacher of the Doodlebugs. She is an independent soul who loves the Montessori method and how each child becomes their best self when immersed in it. She is calm and loving, a wonderful example for her two year olds to model.
Ms. Jessica…The pillar of an Early Childhood education and the Montessori philosophy. She has been with Sunrise for over ten years and how lucky we have all been that she has dedicated her talents to her Sandpiper children! She has a genuine interest in keeping the curiosity of her students burning bright as evidenced in the constant updating of the work in her room. She displays the highest level of love and care for each child’s life she touches and I am humbled that she could work anywhere and is at Sunrise.
Ms. Karina of our after school program is a pure sense of joy. She creates fantastic parent relationships by taking enormous pride and ownership in her part time role, beyond even our high expectations. She is studying to be a nurse one day and we will all mourn when she leaves, but until then, we are thrilled that she is a part of our team!
Ms. Lara has been with Sunrise for over 13 years and has gone from Assistant Teacher to Sparrows Lead to Montessori trainer extraordinaire! She consistently models the core values of Sunrise and is an incredible source of Montessori knowledge and support for our entire team. She is the only person at Sunrise with two Montessori credentials and is the one I send to Montessori conferences, much to her delight, so she can share with us during team meetings what she learned. Once we have three locations, she is going to be promoted to Trainer of all of our new Team Members so they can learn from the guru what Montessori and Sunrise are all about. I rely on Ms. Lara’s perspective like an Administrator and am so very grateful she continues to trust me and work with Admin as we guide the ship.
Ms. Leti‘s genuine love of infants knows no bounds in the Duckling classroom. Her ability to support and guide each infant through all the important milestones in a loving way with both brand new first time parents, and seasoned families with multiple siblings, is a beautiful thing to witness. She has, by far, the most experience with babies. We call her the Baby Whisperer!
Ms. Mandy is one of the best fits I’ve ever seen at Sunrise because she just LOVES babies, the Sweet Pea babies to be specific! She is also fantastic with her families, who are typically brand new to parenting. Her reassurance and wealth of real world experience are gifts that keep on giving.
Ms. Patty…The most accepting person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She bursts with positive energy and is the last person to judge someone. Her genuine love for every person she meets is felt by all. Oh, and she happens to be a FANTASTIC teacher to boot! The Blue Jays adore her and how could they not? She practically has sunshine beaming out of her talented fingertips!
Ms. Raejean of the Owlets is so sincere with every action she takes, from mentoring our younger Team Members with grace to displaying to toddlers what a wonderfully happy place our world is. From starting as a part time floater to now the Lead Teacher of our Bambini level toddler classroom, she is a story of inspiration and an example of how to live your life.
Ms. Sabrina of the Snapdragons has a genuine love for teaching Montessori to toddlers. She takes great pride in her classroom and setting it up to create dozens of opportunities for her students to learn how to do things independently. She is strong in her faith, a natural leader.
Ms. Stefanie of the Dandelions has been a delight to watch at Sunrise. She came to us with Montessori lead teaching experience but wasn’t sure if what we were peddling in positivity was legit. I am proud to say, she’s drunk the punch and is one of the friendliest, most passionate teachers we’ve ever had. She is protective of her students and takes serious pride in making her classroom everything it needs to be for her students. Watching her transform in our positive workplace culture has been one of the highlights of my life.
Ms. Stephanie is one of our inspirations. She started with us over two years ago with no experience other than as a mother of two and transformed that with dedication and hard work to learn the Montessori curriculum and become the Hummingbirds’ Lead Teacher! She is constantly self-reflecting as a teacher, on her classroom, and with her relationships with families.
Ms. Tiffany is a natural leader, a perfect fit for the Butterfly classroom. She started as an Assistant Teacher but quickly aspired to more and began working on the steps to reach Lead in record time. When you look up “self-motivated” in a dictionary, you’ll see her picture. 😉 She strives to be the best she can in whatever role she finds herself in and is not afraid to voice her opinion if she sees something that she thinks can be improved. She is our back up closer at Sunrise West when one of our Administrator’s is out and is training to one day become an Assistant Director. What makes all this so impressive is that she is only in her mid twenties, but she acts like she’s decades older.
Ms. Yedid has created one of the most homey, comfortable Montessori classroom environments in the Chickadee classroom. She loves children and it shines through in both how she models calm positivity in her classroom as well as creating loving moments for her two year olds, like holding them in her lap during story time or complimenting them as they dance with a big smile.
Ms. Amber is new to Sunrise, but in her short time with us, she has been extremely approachable and a great communicator with her Chickadee families. I’m looking forward to seeing Amber in action in the coming months!
Ms. Angela is Sunrise’s purest example of a stoic personality with her calm positive way and faith, she models inner strength and purpose. She would make an astounding Lead Teacher, if only she wanted it. 😉 She’s happy as an Assistant Teacher of the Blue Jays classroom, and since we love having her with us, we haven’t bugged her (lately) about becoming a Lead one day.
Ms. Betsy‘s work ethic knows no equal, in any role, any duty. She possesses a true servant’s heart; she loves what she does and gives with her whole heart. Currently assisting in the Ducklings classroom, she has been training with Ms. Leti to open one of our new classrooms at Sunrise East once our expansion is complete.
Ms. Briana of the Sparrows classroom is an “implementer” or creator of solutions with anything she encounters. Youthful energy, strong sense of responsibility, and inherently flexible, she is a model for our younger new Team Members.
Ms. Briana of the Sandpipers is the epitome of your “go to” employee. Willing to do whatever it takes for the greater good, she stays true to what she says and does despite outside circumstances. She is like a sponge, trying to improve what she brings to the children in her Montessori knowledge. Ms. Michelle and I are excited to see the journey she is on to become a Lead Teacher one day!
Ms. Courtney has had amazing growth since starting with us. She began as a floater and now is assisting Ms. Carmen in the Tigerlily classroom. She loves learning about every age group and what she can do to help them soar. She is incredibly friendly (as the Sunrise West families can attest to!) and is one of the most flexible Team Members we’ve ever had.
Ms. Crystal…So beautiful inside and out! She is VERY crafty and is by far our most artistic Team Member at Sunrise East. She takes pride in giving her Owlet parents special memories of their children’s time in her class and helps other classrooms do the same with a smile whenever asked. Mature beyond her years, she is in training to become a Lead Teacher for one of our Expansion classrooms.
Ms. Kate of the Hummingbirds has just started with us and I’m thankful she joined our team! She is incredibly on top of certification and training requirements and has made a fantastic first impression with Administration and Ms. Stephanie.
Ms. Michal is what I call an old soul. She is in her twenties but acts like a wizened women who has seen it all. She is extremely flexible and dependable. We’ve had her work with every age group at both locations and she is outstanding at whatever we have thrown at her, most recently the Assistant of the Caterpillars. She has a special love for babies and they for her, the kind of gift that can’t be taught.
Ms. Jayleen has a “student” mindset; she is coachable and wants to learn how to perform her job better. She also has a fun sense of humor and lightness about her. She loves to make people smile and laugh.
Ms. Joanna is so happy and grateful for every moment of every day. She only works afternoons while attending college, but she is memorable because she has worldly personal and professional accomplishments at such a young age. I see her going far in whatever she puts her mind to.
Ms. Karla is extremely versatile. She has been an Assistant Teacher, a Lead Teacher and now a part time Floater (her choice so she can balance her family life with work). She is our go to person when we need someone to be in charge of a class when someone is out or a new temporary one, like our Virtual Distant Learning class we had earlier this year. She allows herself to only be influenced positively and is incredibly loyal to Sunrise because she loves the women she works with and the families she helps. I am so grateful to Ms. Karla for working part time even though she doesn’t have to. Her “do the best you can” spirit is contagious and we are all the better for it.
Ms. Madison has a strong presence of someone who is “in tune” with others and what they need, both children and adults alike. Common sense in spades, she naturally lends herself to the Montessori way.
Ms. Nancy, I have come to believe, was a high ranking military officer in a former life in a “making your bed so a quarter bounces off it” kind of way. She keeps the school running, knows everyone’s schedule and never stops going. She knows what is going on at all times. I think when they made that Energizer bunny commercial, they got the idea from her. And even more amazing? She’s in her seventies, people. She puts us to shame on a daily basis and we adore her for it! As we often say, how would we function without Ms. Nancy? She also waters the plants I put out for our families. (Thank you, Ms. Nancy!)
Ms. Vanessa has worked in several roles already in her short time at Sunrise West. She is hands down the Best Greeter when she sees you (no need to explain great customer service to Ms. Vanessa!), loves learning about all the classes and children, and is always asking how she can do better.
Ms. Kari is our Office Manager Administrator extraordinaire! With years of Montessori lead experience, she is full of knowledge and exudes calmness. She also has an excellent eye and does a fantastic job taking pictures of the children to post on Facebook and Instagram each week (she takes pictures of 4 classrooms each week). She is quiet but is great with people. She doesn’t like the limelight, yet shines when asked to fill in for Admin. She is one of the most unbiased people I have ever worked with and someone I can trust to give me her unvarnished truth. She loves Sunrise and works hard to keep all of our behind-the-scenes functioning on all thrusters.
Ms. Laura as Assistant Director of Sunrise East is extremely positive and calm, a role model to our team who does what she says and says what she does. With her 5 years of Pre-Primary teaching background and AMS credential, she also has serious Montessori chops, which she shares with our team. She displays the Montessori philosophy in her position with grace and peace in an authentic way and is a natural leader. I can’t wait to see her in a Director role one day!
Ms. Michelle as Director of Sunrise East these past two years has been a pleasure to work with. She leads with her heart in all she does, striving to make every experience for everyone at Sunrise a memorable one! She is also one of the friendliest, most positive people I have ever worked with. Covid and all the challenges that it presented got her down for like maybe a minute and then off she goes, somehow always seeing the silver lining (she and Ms. Patty have a LOT in common). She is fiercely protective of her team and is a natural leader. Once we have three locations, I plan to have her help me run them. She is a marvel of details, care, excellence, and doing the right thing.
Ms. Samantha as Director of Sunrise West has had the longest and most impressive arc of promotions in Sunrise history. She started out almost 5 years ago as an Assistant, then trained to become a Lead, then was promoted to Assistant Director and now Director. She has one of the most insane work ethics I’ve ever seen. She loves bringing her team up and supporting them so that they can give their best to their students. She also is a rabid Cowboys fan, which for those who love discussing their latest game, is a serious treat. Loyal and loving to all, she is a talented leader.
Ms. Shavonda as Assistant Director of Sunrise West started with us as a Lead when she applied for a floating position (could be we read her resume and thought…hmmm, former Director of a child care center in Japan?!? Where should someone of that experience be best suited?). She then became back up closer and finally Assistant Director. She is leaving us for a new job with more opportunity than we can provide her and while I’m sad we are losing her and her wicked, dry sense of humor (you know it’s going to be hilarious when she starts out a sentence with, “Friend,…”), I am also happy for her that she’s on the next rung in a career she’s working hard to climb.
Some of my team reading this right now are thinking…how does she know that about me?!? I keep tabs on you all, on your performance, on what’s happening in your life if you’re struggling (in the most uncreepy, professional way. 😉 Knowing how you are doing is important to me because you are the reason Sunrise is Sunrise. Of course, those who have been with us for awhile I’ve seen in action, but I relied on your Directors, Ms. Michelle and Ms. Samantha, for their feedback if you are newer. Thank you, M and S, for your help!
Thank you to you ALL for choosing to work at Sunrise and sharing your immense talents with us! You are the best team anyone could ask for. =)
Sunrise Montessori Preschool has two locations in Round Rock. Interested in learning first hand what we can offer your child? Then book a tour on our website at Sunrise-Montessori.com or call us so you can discover why Sunrise Montessori Preschool is where YOUR family belongs!