Our Welcome Back Celebration on September 2nd, 2015 featured fun for the whole family: art, balloons, bounce castles, face painting, a magic show, obstacle courses, a petting zoo, rock climbing, and more.
Read more about this special first day of school celebration in The Half Moon Bay Review:
“Sea Crest celebrates two decades of Coastside education.”
Sea Crest School third-grader Shane McGuirk was just putting his shoes back on after jumping through the bounce house when he heard that this party at his school was to celebrate the new year and the school’s 20th anniversary.
“That’s really old!” said a wide-eyed McGuirk.
The “really old” private school in Half Moon Bay kicked off the 2015-16 school year on Sept. 2 with an outdoor celebration after the first day of school. Complete with a petting zoo, rock climbing wall and a popcorn maker — McGuirk’s favorite part of the party — the event served as the kickoff for Sea Crest School’s recognition of its 20th year educating Coastside kids.
Sea Crest School was founded in 1996 by Ginger Girvin, Rick and Diane Mazer, and Bob and Joni Williamson. Originally housed in the Mazer’s basement, the school moved into its first formal campus on Monte Vista Lane in Half Moon Bay in the fall of 1996. It’s been at its current location on Arnold Way since January 2001.
Third-grade teacher Kathe Bybee was one of the school’s founding teachers.
“The time has gone so fast,” Bybee said. “It seems like yesterday we had 26 kids and a house. Everything we could have imagined, Sea Crest is.”
The school has its own campus now, and there are more than 10 times the students than it had when it opened. But through two decades’ worth of growth and change, Bybee says one thing hasn’t changed.
“We’ve always kept the same vision — to provide an innovative education for kids, challenge them and keep them curious,” she said.
Sixth-graders Ryan Rose and Sam Knowles, standing in line for their crack at the climbing wall, said they both appreciate the variation in how their teachers teach.
“It’s really unique,” Knowles said. “They always find a way to make something exciting. I feel like this is a great school.”
Sea Crest School will mark its 20th year in a number of ways, says its head of school Tekakwitha Pernambuco-Wise. The theme of its anniversary is, “Celebrating Community,” and the school intends to find ways to connect with its neighbors and the city at-large throughout the academic year. It will also focus on environmental stewardship and promoting awareness of health and wellness. One way the school is addressing the latter is by expanding its use of mindfulness exercises, incorporating them into teacher meetings and assemblies.
As for celebrating its 20th year, the school plans to hold special events for alumni and incorporate the anniversary into its annual events. Middle-schoolers will also make a documentary about the school’s founding and its last 20 years.
“Everything we do will have the ‘celebrating community’ theme, meaning Sea Crest and the Half Moon Bay community,” Pernambuco-Wise said.
That sense of community was evident to Bybee as she looked out across the blacktop that afternoon.
“Just looking at the number of people here is gratifying,” Bybee said. “It’s like (in the movie) ‘Field of Dreams.’ ‘If you build it, they will come.’”