Barbara Crowell

An MCS Grandparent Comes Full Circle

When MCS Grandparent Barbara Crowell heard “30 Stories for 30 Years,” it took her right back to her time as the very first teacher hired at MCS. Forty-seven students were enrolled on that first day in 1987, and Barbara had a combo class of 2nd-4th graders to lead. She and her fellow teachers walked by faith as the school opened its doors on the former Mariners Church campus in Newport Beach.

Barbara recalls how involved the parents were in those early years. “Many of the parents had just gone through an abrupt closing of a local Christian school. They kept the curriculum and other materials and responded to every need we had.” From Barbara’s perspective, these founding families and teachers were determined to make MCS unlike any other Christian school in the area, equally strong in terms of academic preparation and spiritual training.

“We began every day in prayer together. Because we were such a small staff, we were very close – and I know that family-like environment is still true of MCS today.”

“This family-like environment is one of the hallmarks of MCS. We have so many ‘full circle’ stories, and they all point to the connected community that God has knitted into MCS’s identity since the beginning,” commented Head of School Troy Moore.

Mrs. Crowell’s former student, incoming MCS Parent and MCS Alumni Michael McClellan

One ‘full circle’ story recently came to light involving a former student of Mrs. Crowell’s, Michael McClellan.  There on that first day in 1987, Michael remembers Mrs.  Crowell as being a highly-skilled and effective teacher, yet equally kind, creating a welcoming learning environment for her students.  “I remember feeling very comfortable in Mrs. Crowell’s class, and that my classroom felt like a place that I belonged.  Mrs. Crowell exhibited the values and traits that have come to define MCS over the years.  There were only a handful of teachers in those early years, and Mrs. Crowell had a tremendous impact on the school’s culture.  Now 30 years later, my wife Samantha and I are about to send our oldest daughter Catherine to TK at MCS in the fall.  When we went on our admissions tour earlier this year, we had an amazing tour guide.  He was this phenomenally mature eighth grader – poised, well-spoken and totally comfortable answering a bunch of questions from a group of adults.  I looked at his name tag and it read ‘James Crowell’.  ‘Any relation to Barbara Crowell?’ I asked.  ‘Yes, she’s my grandmother,’ he said.   Needless to say, that was an emotional moment for me.  We feel incredibly blessed by the continuity in this community.”

As a grandparent of two current MCS students, Barbara is happy to see that the school’s mission to raise up students who are strong in the Lord has not wavered. “While I know my two grandsons are being challenged with excellent academic preparation, as well as fantastic arts and athletic opportunities; I am confident that, above all else, their teachers are intent passing on the baton of Faith.”