Wendy Russ

Upper Elementary- Sequoia

Assistant Teacher

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Madera, California. Our family has been in Madera for generations. I came to Napa 25 years ago with my husband. He is a chef and there was more


Where did you grow up?

I was born in Danville, California and lived there until I was in my mid twenties. I moved to Napa in 2001 with my husband who was in the wine business.


What were your dreams as a child?

At first I dreamt of being a nurse. I always wanted to be a Mom. My father advocated for a profession and advised that teaching was a great partner profession for motherhood. 

Where were you educated?

I attended Monte Vista High School in Danville, California. I graduated from University of the Pacific, Stockton, California with a BA in Sociology and then received my California teaching credential at St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California.

How did you learn about the Montessori philosophy?

I answered an advertisement for an Upper Elementary assistant at Sunrise!

How long have you worked at Sunrise?

I have worked at Sunrise since 2002.

Which age groups have you worked with at Sunrise?

I have worked in upper elementary.

Where else have you worked?

I worked at St. Peter and Paul Catholic School in the Mission District in San Francisco, California, for 6 years. I worked with Kindergarten children for 3 years and 1st grade children for 3 years.

What excites you about the Montessori philosophy?

I love the respect for the whole child, letting the children be themselves and working within their personal learning style. As teachers we really get to know the children and can have deep conversations. I also love the beautiful prepared environment of the classroom.

What is the essence of the Montessori philosophy for you?

The Montessori philosophy allows each child to work at their own ability level – to go deeper in their interest areas and to take as much time as is needed on their challenge areas, with no sense of rush.

What do you love to do outside of school?

I love being with my family. I enjoy hiking and going to the beach.