Meet Sister Christina Trudeau

Loved Teaching

As a young girl at St. Columbkille School in Los Angeles, Eloise knew that she wanted to be a Sister, “but didn’t let it show too much.” But she was always active, helping the Sisters teach catechism and bringing flowers and food to the sick in the parish….

Sister Christina Marie entered the SND community in Saratoga after graduating from Moreland Notre Dame High School in Watsonville. She taught her first first-grade class at St. Joseph’s School in San Jose and soon learned about Dr. Maria Montessori’s work with young children. In the simplicity and naturalness of Montessori’s methods, she found her life mission – bringing Dr. Montessori’s wisdom and great respect of children to the world.

Award time!

After teaching in classrooms in San Jose, Los Angeles, and Marysville, Sister was assigned to Belmont where she opened the Notre Dame Montessori Preschool (now the Early Learning Center) and started the Early Childhood and Montessori Teacher Training programs at then College of Notre Dame. She has trained teachers at Seattle University, Chaminade University in Honolulu, and Notre Dame Seishin University in Okayama, Japan, and in India, the Philippines and Tahiti.

To understand Sr. Christina’s influence in the Montessori world, one need only to “google” her name! In 2010 Sr. Christina was honored with the American Montessori Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

For several years in retirement she worked with the Casa de la Cultura community center in Pajaro, a farm-worker community near Watsonville. CA. Once a week she taught parents how to teach their children. “The parents made hands-on materials that helped their young ones learn to speak and read English. Of course, the parents learned too,” says Sr. Christina with joy.

Today Sister resides at the Mercy Center in Oakland.


  1. I’ve known Sr. Christina when she visited Cebu City some time in 1994 and started the Montessori Program at the University of San Carlos. I was one of the teachers of the College of Education trained to train teachers on the Montessori Method. The mission of the Montessori Teacher Training Program was and still is to “give Montessori Education to the poor”. We carry out that mission until now, reaching out to Early Childhood teachers specially those coming from the depressed communities, parishes and day care centers in the suburbs of Cebu City.. Because of her, Montessori Education has flourished in some parts of Mindanao. I miss Sister Christina and I wish she is here to see how many children in Southern Philippines have been touched by her labor of love – sowing the seed of Montessori in our region.
    I wish her well and pray that in spite of her advanced age she is still okay…Please extend my warm regards to her.
    Note: I am happy I found this website and this article of her. Thank you. Queennie

  2. I was in possibly the last first-grade class Sr. Christina Marie taught at Notre Dame Elementary in Belmont in 1961-1962. I had no idea at the time, but Sr. Christina Marie’s approach to elementary school education was groundbreaking. She saw each girl for her gifts and potential and didn’t try to make us fit into the pre-fab boxes so many in education tried to use for all students. I was definitely an odd child, but I had intellectual gifts that Sr. Christina Marie worked to cultivate, as she did with every girl in the class. If she hadn’t recognized the intelligent girl behind the one who got lost looking out the window and had to be reminded to sit down after we all stood up to stretch, I believe I would have squelched my gifts in an effort to fit in. Instead, I research and assemble study guides for films shown in an education outreach program through a film institute. It was while researching the social effects of deforestation in Brazil that I came to the SNDdN site. I have never lost my curiosity, my desire to understand why things happen, and my ability to be distracted. However, I learn more from diversions into “unrelated” subjects than I would in a completely direct approach. Thank you, Sister Christina.

    1. I was in that same class with you Roberta! I think we all had our oddities – it’s what makes us individuals. Good for you that you developed your gifts accordingly.
      There is a group of about 8 -9 Notre Dame Elementary Alumni Class of 69 on Facebook. Look us up for a chuckle on where some of us have landed. Would love to find more.

  3. We are a teacher training institution in Bangalore, India, trying to take Montessori Method to the millions of low SES children of our country as best as we can. With this intention, we have been attempting to create low cost materials, provide in-service training to existing teachers, conducting and publishing research on our work in various forums. As a part of this work, we are setting up a library of research work, particularly on Montessori’s work in India. That is when we came across Sister Christina’s research work on Montessori. We find that the book is not available in the market, and we cannot afford to pay the full amount either. Is there some way of acquiring a copy for our library?

    Looking forward to an early reply.

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