Director and Teacher
Melissa joined Russell in the summer of 2021 after discovering the school through a friend who had previously taught there (Naomi Shea). Melissa has worked in Early Education for over 11 years. Before joining Russell, Melissa oversaw the creation and implementation of her school’s curriculum for infants through Pre-K at a childcare center in Natick.
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.
Camelia is excited to be in the Russell Community as an Assistant Teacher. She first walked into the doors of the preschool as a parent to a 4-year old. While at Russell, she was on the enrollment committee, and gave tours of the school to prospective parents.
Camelia has always enjoyed working with children. She has over seven years experience teaching internationally and locally to preschoolers and adults. She is a firm believer that through play and exploration, young children build independence and confidence. She lives by her motto - joy in learning - and brings fun to the classroom everyday.
She holds a BA from the University of Calgary and an ESL Teaching Certificate from the University of Cambridge.
Outside the classroom, Camelia enjoys yoga, cooking, exploring and trying out new restaurants with her family.