Our Teachers

Photo of Stephanie Avelino.  Stephanie is smiling and standing in front of an old and large tree.  The large bark ridges will the background.

Stephanie Avelino

Lead Teacher

Stephanie first arrived at Russell Preschool on the parent side of the equation. During the time her younger child (her son Matheus) was at Russell, Stephanie was very actively involved in the school. She worked on the enrollment committee and served on the board as secretary and vice-president. Stephanie has been a teacher at Russell since 2016.

Her own educational background includes time spent growing and learning in both Progressive and Quaker schools. She earned a BA in English literature from Haverford College. She credits these school experiences with encouraging her natural curiosity, her love of learning (especially of reading and writing), and also fostering creative thinking and artistic self-expression.

Her work life has included a range of experiences. These include teaching in a special education setting, working as a server and manager in the restaurant world, and serving as a volunteer breastfeeding counselor and then as a Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

She now lives in West Newton with her husband of just about 25 years, their daughter Gabriella and their son Matheus. Stephanie is an avid reader, an amateur knitter and a novice ukulele player.

Photo of Jenna Rounds.  Jenna is smiling with her head turned towards the camera and has sunglasses on top of her head

Jenna Rounds


Jenna has been teaching at Russell since 2009. Her college background of fine art and early childhood education was originally meant to lead to a job as an art teacher. Instead, after graduating, she began working as a graphic designer at newspapers in Great Barrington and Northampton, MA. After moving to Chicago, her interest turned toward advertising and she spent several years as an art director at an advertising agency. Then along came her first daughter, Jane, and Jenna became a stay-at-home mom. As Jane grew, Jenna's fascination with child development was rekindled. After moving back East to Watertown, they discovered Russell where Jane attended for two years. Jenna so loved being at school, she talked to the director at the time about getting her teaching license and was thrilled to be invited to do her teacher training there and became certified in time to be her second daughter's teacher when she was old enough for school. Now she is a certified teacher and excited to be part of the staff. Jenna lives in Watertown with her family.

Photo of Naomi Shea.  Naomi smiles with her head tilted to the side while standing in front of a gray wooden fence with beautiful grain

Naomi Shea


Naomi first fell in love with Russell Preschool when her son Sam attended in 2011-2013. After Sam moved on to kindergarten, Naomi continued to stay connected to the Russell community by substitute teaching. During her time as a substitute, she completed her Preschool Teaching Certification and joined Russell Preschool teaching staff full-time in January 2019. She is dedicated to working with children and parents to ensure the best possible experience for every family.

Naomi moved from Minnesota to Boston for college and graduated from Curry College with a BA in communications. She has always been interested in early childhood education and was a nanny for over five years after graduating from college before becoming a stay-at-home mom.

Naomi has also worked as a farmer on an organic vegetable farm in Waltham and helped to start a school garden at her son’s elementary school. She also enjoys cooking and baking with fresh and local produce. She looks forward to sharing these skills with the Russell community.

Naomi lives in Watertown with her husband and son. In her free time, she enjoys going for walks, reading, going to the beach, and traveling.