“This is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face…” Psalm 24:6
Little did founders Stephanie and Bob McClellan know, as they helped build the foundation of Mariners Christian School in 1987, that one day they would watch their own granddaughter reap the fruit of their prayers and labor.
This is just the sort of legacy that MCS is known for: a uniquely connected community with roots that run deep and a history filled with relationships that will last a lifetime, strengthened with an eternal bond in the Christian Faith.
Remarkably, the McClellan family tree has a number of branches that extend from that founding year:
- Michael McClellan (married to Samantha), now a proud current MCS parent
- younger brothers Tyler and Gunnar McClellan, graduates of Alumni Classes 1997 and 1998
- cousins Taylor Nichols, Alumni Class 2004, and Matthew Nichols, Alumni Class of 2006 (Matthew passed away in 2014)
- cousins Mason and Merrick Nichols, current Kinder and 3rd grade students
- and now the youngest of the McClellan generation: Catherine, daughter of Michael and Samantha, current student in Miss Chandler’s TK class.
Michael and Samantha McClellan are the first of what MCS considers a ‘Legacy’ Alumni family: parents who attended MCS and are continuing that legacy by giving their own children the gift of an MCS education. Michael was a student in MCS’s very first class in 1987, on the original Mariners Church campus in Newport Beach, though he graduated in sixth grade because the middle school program had not yet been established.
When Michael and Samantha were evaluating schools for their children, there was no question that MCS was at the top of the list. “MCS has always been a special place for our family, and we had hoped Catherine would have a chance to attend. We want all of Catherine’s conversations both in and out of school to build a moral foundation for her that she can carry with her into the rest of her life. MCS helps us give that consistency in her world.”
The MCS elementary program has surpassed their expectations in every way.
“We love that Ms. Chandler has been consistent with the goals she shared at the beginning of the year. Her priority is not high pressure academics with homework; it’s mastering the ability to follow directions, be part of a group, show kindness to others, and – have fun. This aligns with our priority as parents that she feel safe and joyful at school, and we feel this describes her everyday experience at MCS.”
From Michael’s perspective, the distinctiveness of the MCS mission has remained strong: “I’m really excited about our school community – from the teachers to the parents to the kids. It is unique to be in an environment where the goals of so many families are aligned. I think that was true back in the late 1980s, and still holds true today. It’s pretty amazing how resilient that culture has been at MCS.”
Michael, currently a partner with Newmeyer & Dillion Law Firm, a 75 lawyer law firm headquartered in Newport Beach, is the start of a new generation of MCS families, as more and more Alumni in the Orange County area seek to partner with MCS in providing a top-notch private education for their children. What greater evidence is there of the long-lasting impact of the MCS mission than the success of our Alumni?
Imagine the day when MCS hallways will be filled with ‘legacy’ families to carry on the tradition and embrace the BRIGHT FUTURE of Mariners Christian School!
Should other Alumni consider sending their children to MCS? If you ask the McClellan family, the answer is “100% yes.”