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We are an independently-owned, family-run small business that has been serving the greater Happy Valley community for 30+ years. We believe that the proper implementation of the Montessori learning method provides children with the tools needed to excel in their educational journey and in life.


Sunnyside Montessori staff

BACK ROW: Erica Strong, Gillian Karabatsos, Rochelle Gurusinghe, Alaina Smith
FRONT ROW: Swarupa Deb, Charlotte Gurusinghe

Rochelle Gurusinghe has been steeped in Montessori pedagogy her whole life. The oldest of the Gurusinghe children, she’s experienced the Montessori difference from the perspective of a student, teacher and mother. Having trained at Charlotte’s side in the classroom (in addition to every other aspect of running the school), Rochelle’s 25 years of experience allow us to maintain the levels of excellence parents have come to expect from Sunnyside Montessori. 


While Charlotte has stepped away from daily class duties, she visits regularly for story time and to see all her tiny fans…You’ll know when she’s here by the chorus of little voices calling out “Mrs. Gurusinghe! Mrs. Gurusinghe!”

Sunnyside Montessori staff

Our Founder, Charlotte Gurusinghe and Director, Rochelle Gurusinghe 

Our AMI (American Montessori International)-certified staff is highly trained to guide your child through his or her Montessori education. With over 45 years of combined experience, we’re here to support and facilitate your child’s growth and development.


Our story begins in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where Charlotte Gurusinghe (Goo-roo-sing-ha) was trained in the Montessori method. When the American Montessori International association reached out with an opportunity to teach in the U.S., Charlotte and her husband, Durward, decided to pursue their own American dream, moving 8,500 miles to Portland, Oregon in 1968.

Charlotte taught at Providence Montessori in Portland for 20 years before she and Durward opened Sunnyside Montessori in 1989 at its original location on Sunnyside Road before moving to our current home in 2003. 

We were heartbroken when Durward passed in 1996, but are proud to carry on his legacy of a nurturing environment where children can learn and grow as individuals.

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