Sunnymont-Westside teachers have extensive education and training in teaching young children and in providing parent education to their parents. But most importantly, our teachers have passion about children's learning and about childhood.
Justine Saffir is our Director and teaches the 3 Day Class. Justine has been teaching at Sunnymont-Westside for over 20 years, and brings to the classroom her love of expanded curriculum. She's the one who dumps brightly colored fall leaves inside the school each fall. She's also the one who brought in not only smelly fish, but also life-sized pictures of plankton, a herring, octopus, a tuna, a great white shark, and yes even an orca whale for the children to decorate during an exploration of the food chain from the Slippery Fish song. Justine has a passion for understanding children's individual temperament and needs, and for spreading positive discipline skills to the entire world. Justine has a degree in psychology, a teaching credential, and is the mom of 3 children who went through co-op schools, and grandmama of two of our current students.
Debbie Barnes teaches the 1 Day Toddler and 2 Day Classes. This is Debbie’s 7th year at Sunnymont-Westside. Debbie is the drama whiz, who brings in compelling props, and whose impromptu group dramatizations of “The Three Little Pigs”—pig and wolf hats included of course—are legendary. Debbie also has a knack for using familiar curriculum in new ways, bringing new dimensions to the children's learning, and leaving her colleagues saying, “Whoa, I never thought of that!” A preschool student recently wrote “I love Debbie because she's always happy to see me!” Debbie has a master's degree in early childhood education, a teaching credential, and is mom to a blended family of five children who have all attended or are attending co-op schools.
Saundra Fischer is in her third year at Sunnymont-Westside as our 4 Day teacher. Saundra realized while her children were attending co-op nursery school that this was where she was meant to be, and we’re thrilled she chose Sunnymont-Westside to launch her teaching career. Saundra is passionate about letting the children lead, and is excited to be in an environment where her deep belief in child-centered curriculum can be expressed. Saundra is known for her dedication, professional integrity, peaceful upbeat nature, and passion for bringing meaningful curriculum to our children, and her colleagues value her easy, supportive nature. Saundra is mom to two children who are attending co-op schools.
Rebekah Wunderlich is in her first year at Sunnymont-Westside co-teaching the 4 Day Class, and she brings many years of experience. Most recently Rebekah taught Spanish Immersion Kindergarten in Minnesota. After being in a parent participation preschool setting with her daughters, she knew that she wanted to teach in a co-op setting. Rebekah has a masters degree in differentiated instruction and loves following the magic that unfolds daily in a child-centered curriculum. She is so thrilled to be at a school that embodies all of her strong beliefs about the way that children learn and develop.