Office Staff

Janice Tres- Co-Owner and Co-Director
After receiving her Montessori training and teaching in San Ramon, Janice and her husband moved to Napa in 1979 to become part owners in Sunrise Montessori.  She spent 11 years in the classroom and has been a Director since 1987.  She holds a Montessori credential and a Master's in Education.  Both of her children attended Sunrise as toddlers and graduated from the elementary program.  Janice enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and attending plays and musicals.

Sabine Hirsohn- Co-Director
Sabine, a native of Ireland, moved to California in 1993 with her husband Don. After completing a BA degree in Psychology from University College Dublin, Ireland and a post graduate degree in viola performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England she traveled extensively performing and teaching violin and viola. Sabine studied Suzuki Method in Ireland, England and Japan and had a very successful career as a Suzuki violin/viola teacher for 25 years. She has always been passionate about the Montessori Method and both her children are graduates of Sunrise. Sabine is delighted to have joined the talented Sunrise team and to remain an important part of the educational fabric of the Napa Valley.

Bonnie Hildebrand Sauer- Co-Owner
Upon returning from a two-year teaching assignment with the US Peace Corps, Bonnie enrolled in the Montessori Teacher Training Program at the College of Notre Dame where she received a Montessori credential and a Masters Degree in Education.   Along with her husband, Chris, son, Luke and daughter, Chloe, Bonnie enjoys vacationing in Hawaii, Lake Tahoe and on just about any sunny beach.  She likes to read, attend ballet performances, musical theater, garden, and do a little watercolor painting.

Heidi Caberto- Administrator
Heidi joined Sunrise in June, 2009 and says she is thrilled to be at the school.  She has a degree in Psychology from Cal State Long Beach and studied at National University in the teaching credential program.  Her number one passion is children, as evidenced by her two adorable children, Jack and Kyra - a graduate and current Sunrise student!

Lisa Reed- Administrative Assistant
Lisa joined the Sunrise team in August, 2015.  She has a background in Montessori admin and was a preschool teacher for several years as well.  Lisa brings with her an adorable son, Maverick, who is in our preschool program.

Melanie Oftedal- Site Manager
Mel has worked at Sunrise since 1990 in a variety of capacities.  Currently, she is a teaching assistant in Maple and the school's site manager.  Her hobbies include whipping up gourmet meals (she is often joined by son, Tyler, a Sunrise graduate), gardening, traveling, and music.   At one time, Mel was a competitive 50-mile endurance rider -- on horseback!

Rene' Hall- Programs Assistant
Originally from Detroit Michigan, Rene' has lived in Napa most of her life.  She has been married to her husband, John, for 35 years and they have two children, Heather and John, and a grandson, Mason.

Toddler Staff- Bonsai Room

Dinora Medrano- Teacher
In addition to her role as head teacher in the Bonsai room, Dinora is an active mother of three boys, Daniel, Gaby, and Martin, all graduates of Sunrise Montessori.  She enjoys kickboxing, cycling, movies, and spending time with her family.  She holds an AA degree in Early Childhood Education and has completed her Montessori training at Contra Costa College.  Dinora teaches Spanish and coaches our students in Ballet Folklorico.

Suzanne Foss- Assistant Teacher
Suzanne Foss, a long time and still current, Sunrise Mom, has been a substitute in the pre/k program and will join Dinora next year in the Bonsai room.  Suzanne has a daughter, Eleanor who recently graduated from Sunrise and a 4th year son, Henry in the Sequoia room. She and her husband Kurt are totally committed to Sunrise and the Montessori philosophy. Suzanne holds a BA in Design and is currently enrolled at the Napa Valley College in the Early Childhood Education program. Before children Suzanne worked as a national corporate training consultant for the telecommunications industry. In her leisure time she enjoys going to the beach, traveling and visiting Disneyland with her family.

Preschool/Kindergarten Staff- Willow Room

Victoria Gentry- Co-Head Teacher
Born and raised in San Francisco, Victoria has spent the last 31 years as a teacher, 29 of which have been at Sunrise Montessori.  She has a Montessori teaching credential, has taught traditional preschool, as well as Kindergarten in the public school system, and served as a mentor for preschool student teachers through Napa Valley College.  Victoria enjoys reading, gardening, music, and theater.

Yolanda Sanchez- Co-Head Teacher
Originally from Jalisco, Mexico, Yolanda and her family now make Napa their home.  She holds a Montessori Credential in Early Childhood and has been at Sunrise since 2002. In addition to being a proud mother to son Dominic (a Sunrise student), Yolanda loves to dance and ride her bicycle.  Each year she coaches our students in the lively and popular Ballet Folklorico presentation, which enhances their understanding of cultural traditions, music, and dance.

Gina Trethewey- Co-Head Teacher
Gina started at Sunrise in 1999 and holds an Early Childhood Certificate in addition to her Montessori training.  Gina enjoys hiking, camping, and doing anything outdoors with her two children, Owen and Trevor (a Sunrise graduate). 

Preschool/Kindergarten Staff- Mulberry Room

Laura Michels- Co-Head Teacher
After attending Sunrise for ten years, receiving her B.A. In Child and Adolescent Development, and completing her AMS Montessori training, Laura returned to Sunrise in 2010.  Laura has been teaching Montessori since 2008, with children ages 2 to 6. Laura will be also be teaching Afternoon Kindergarten the 2013-14 school year.   Laura enjoys gardening with her husband, walking their dogs, and spending time with her family.

Karen Winget Flores- Assistant Teacher, Spanish Teacher
Karen is new to Sunrise and will officially be starting with us in 2016.  A native Spanish speaker, Karen will teach Spanish to the children of the Mulberry Room.

Jim Bartscherer - Assistant Teacher, Childcare
Jim came to us as a parent, ready to help out in any way possible.  He has taken his Early Childhood Education classes and found that working with the kids of Sunrise was right up his alley!  You can find Jim in Mulberry assistant teaching, in Willow with his son Noah or in Maple with his son, Dylan!  Jim has also proven to be quite the handyman around campus.  What did we ever do without Jim?

Ilda Dennis- Assistant Teacher
Ilda is an avid camper, as well as a baker, gardener, and seamstress.  She is always on hand to read a story, push someone on a swing, or tuck them in at nap-time.

Lower Elementary Staff- Maple Room- 1st-3rd Year

Judy Donovan- Head Teacher
Hailing from Lansing, Michigan, Judy holds a BS Degree in Early Childhood Education, and received Montessori training in primary and lower elementary.  Prior to joining Sunrise, Judy was a Montessori primary teacher for sixteen years.  Judy loves collecting amusing anecdotes about her students, storytelling, and making up children's songs about nature and peace.

Melanie Oftedal- Assistant Teacher
Mel has worked at Sunrise since 1990 in a variety of capacities.  Currently, she is a teaching assistant in Maple and the school's site manager.  Her hobbies include whipping up gourmet meals (she is often joined by son, Tyler, a Sunrise graduate), gardening, traveling, and music.   At one time, Mel was a competitive 50-mile endurance rider -- on horseback!

Paula Teixeira- Assistant Teacher
Paula called Africa and Portugal home before settling in the United States.  A parent, along with her husband, Pedro, of two Sunrise graduates, Eduardo and Maria, Paula has worn many hats at the school including working in the office, serving on the Friends of Sunrise Board, and working as a substitute teacher. She became an assistant teacher in the Maple room in 2007.

Patricia Manrique-  Assistant Teacher
Originally from Mexico, Patricia moved to Napa in 1981.  She worked in the wine industry for 20 years before beginning her career in childhood education at Sunrise Montessori in 2002.  She is currently completing her internship in Montessori training.  She enjoys spending time with her family, including her teenage twins.

Upper Elementary Staff- Sequoia Room- 4th-6th Year

Amanda Hallahan- Teacher
Amanda Hallahan was born and raised in Northern California.  She holds a B.A. and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Sonoma State University.  She has worked at book stores, co-taught Kindergarten and Lower Elementary children on the Autism Spectrum, and has been a private tutor since 2009. She continues to educate herself on students with learning difficulties and disabilities, and is dedicated to discovering how children learn, which has lead her to the Montessori philosophy.

Vincent Pagniucci- Co-Teacher
Vincent is new to Sunrise as of 2016. He has had experience with the whole spectrum of ages from preschool through college age and beyond and has found that his preferred age group is the Upper Elementary 9-12 year old. Vincent has taught in 2 different Montessori schools over the last 10 years, first in a preschool, 3-6, classroom and second in a newly formed Upper Elementary, 9-12, classroom. Vincent is an accomplished artist and musician. He has a BFA degree from Ringling College of Art and Design. Vincent loves science and has taught for many years at a science-based camp for 7-12 year olds.

Wendy Russ- Assistant Teacher
Before joining Sunrise in 2002, Wendy taught Kindergarten and First Grade at Saint Peter's Catholic School in San Francisco.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from the University of the Pacific and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Wendy and her husband, Luke, have twin sons in 3rd grade.

Extended Day: Preschool - 6th Year

Jan Ilsley- Co-Teacher
Jan first started with Sunrise in 1982, left to teach at One World Montessori in San Jose for ten years, and returned to our school in 2006 to assist in the upper elementary and preschool classrooms.  She is now co-director of our childcare program, where she brings creative art projects, games and even cooking lessons to this fun-filled extension of the students' day.  She has a teaching credential in early childhood education, and has received her Montessori training.  Jan is active in her family's winery, Ilsley Vineyards.