Our Staff

Our Montessori and Support Guides are the designers of the environment, resources, role models, record-keepers and meticulous observers of each child's behavior and growth.


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Sarah Kirkpatrick

Lead Guide: Honeybee Classroom (3-6)

Sarah Kirkpatrick is a California native,  raised in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain. Surrounded by trees and natural bodies of water, she grew up dreaming of one day becoming a teacher. She received her B.A. in Liberal Studies from CSU Chico, with the intention of teaching public school Kindergarten. However, when she was introduced to Montessori Education, she knew throughout her whole being that she had found her place. Sarah took her AMI training in Portland Oregon under Ginni Sackett. She joined Nature’s Way Montessori with two years experience teaching children 3-6 years old. When Sarah found Nature’s Way Montessori, she knew immediately she had found a school and community she could call home. It has been nearly 5 years and Sarah is still overjoyed to be a part of our beautiful school. She feels blessed everyday to be surrounded by such amazing children and adults.


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Claudia Luna

Lead Guide: Butterfly Classroom (3-6)

Claudia Luna was born in Lima, Peru and moved to California when she was 12 years old. Her family has been working with children for two generations! Claudia found a love for children when she started working at a daycare at the age of 15. Peer counseling and guidance for young children became a passion. This lead to her to studies in Psychology and Early Childhood Education. Claudia was introduced to  Montessori Pedagogy when her nephew started his Primary Program. She became an Assistant for 3 years and decided to become a  Montessori Teacher. She received her AMI Montessori Training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. She feels honored to be part of the Montessori Community at Nature’s Way and loves to creating  a learning community that meets the needs of the children.


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Persy Williams

Lead Guide-Bilingual: Ladybug Classroom (2-3)

Persy Williams was born and raised in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a B.S. in Psychology.  Her intentions were to continue her studies in Child Psychology, but while taking a class on Special Education, she discovered the Montessori Philosophy. After graduating from college she moved to Maitland, Florida, began working at Maitland Montessori School as a Primary and Elementary assistant.  In 2001 she completed the teacher education training, received her diploma from the National Center for Montessori Education, and commenced her Montessori teaching career. She has worked as a toddler and primary teachers in Florida, Utah, and now in California. She home-schooled her children using the Montessori Philosophy.  She comes to Nature's Way with 16 years of experience. Persy is proud of being a part of Nature's Way Montessori where she brings her fluent Spanish and love  each day to the classroom.


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Emily Newman

Lead Teacher: Garden

Emily Newman is deeply rooted in the Napa Valley as a plant lover, cook, and lifelong adventurer. She grew up with her hands in the dirt of her grandparents edible gardens and her mother’s cut-flower garden. Emily is constantly fascinated by children's observations on phenomenons! Ex: How slugs can chew heart-shaped holes in the leaves of lettuce… or how a lambs ear leaf can become a doll blanket!  She’s inspired by the amount of fun and learning that can transpire, while crawling through a fava bean forrest, hiding in a tipi of “fragrant sweet pea flowers,” or simply pulling up a fresh carrot. Keen on tactile experiences which evoke the senses, she loves to design structured projects that facilitate creativity. She comes from many experiences and places such as our local Connolly Ranch while bringing critical thinking which fosters connections to the marvelous world of plants. Emily is excited every day to integrate the Montessori methods into her teachings, while also helping the students be stewardship of the Earth!


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Brenda Talavera

Lead Assistant- Bilingual Spanish: Butterfly Classroom (3-6)

Brenda was born in St. Helena and has lived in Napa for many years.  She began babysitting for children when she was 15 and realized the being around children gave her deep joy.  She attended Napa Valley College and received her units to teach.  She is thrilled to able to assist children in their learning.  When not at work, Brenda enjoys going out to parks and spending time with her family and friends.


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Ry Severi

Lead Assistant: Honeybee Classroom (3-6)



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Lindsay Maudru

Floating Assistant: All Classes

Lindsay Maudru was born and raised here in Napa, California. She grew up as the middle child of four, and she knew early on that she would pursue and have a career in education. She has worked with children ranging from toddlers to pre-teens and received her B.A. of Liberal Studies from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, in 2016. She is passionate about creating an enjoyable educational experience for all children and loves getting to see their personal growth each and every day here at NWM.


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ANIKO Villasi

Aniko is a Hungarian native and has proudly called Napa her home for the past 7 years. She is a mom, an avid Montessori enthusiast and a life long learner. Aniko fell in love with Nature’s Way Montessori while looking for a preschool for her son, Matthew. Little did she know that she would become an assistant to Ms. Monica. She loves the community, her work and being a strong support of our school. She received a B.A. in English and is planning on advancing her studies in the Montessori educational system as well. Besides her love for culture and traveling, she is also passionate about music, dancing, jogging, cooking and nature. You can always find her giving a great big hug and a smile when you meet her.