MCS teachers talk about school’s family atmosphere

Published 12:29 am Wednesday, November 11, 2009

After enrolling in Meadowview Christian School her junior year of high school, Rexene Redd fell in love with it.

“Meadowview has some really unique characteristics,” Redd said. “I actually felt like the teachers cared about me.”

Redd sensed Meadowview had a family atmosphere, and years after her graduation, Redd chose to come back to teach.

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“The teachers at this school care about every aspect of a student, how are you, how things are going,” Redd said. “That same sense that we care about all aspects was still here when I interviewed.”

Meadowview celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

“A 40-year anniversary to anyone or school is a milestone and benchmark,” Redd said. “Meadowview has been through so many things and they’ve always managed to come out on top.”

The Doors Open

In February 1970, parents and the congregation of Meadowview Christian Church collaborated to create a private school that embodied Christian values. Their plans became reality when the school opened for classes on Sept. 7, 1970, with 332 students, 29 of those seniors, and 18 teachers.

Meadowview Christian Church donated 2 acres on which the school could be built, and an additional 14 acres to be used as needed. The school now has 247 students, 47 of those seniors, and 24 teachers.

A Second Home

After her son took an interest in Meadowview’s football program, Stephanie Piper, Pre-K three teacher, enrolled her child at the school. Piper’s brother attended the school, so she was familiar with the academic reputation.

Piper chose to substitute teach for two years with the school before being offered a full-time position with the Pre-K program. Now, still teaching 15 years later, she feels Meadowview teachers and students are part of her family.

“This is my second home, a part of my everyday life,” Piper said. “When I think about retiring, I don’t know what I’d do. I’d miss the kids.”

This year, Piper will watch her first students graduate. Four of the students in the senior class have known her their entire school career.

Can’t walk away

With six of her seven children graduating from Meadowview, Sue Mott joined the teaching staff at Meadowview for extra funding.

“My goal was to work here and pay their tuitions,” Mott said. “I never did plan to teach for 20 years. I just love it here, I can’t seem to quit.”

Mott found the religious setting that reinforces Christian character and morals to be the most alluring aspect of the school.

Upon registering her children for classes, she mumbled that she did not know how to pay tuition. The secretary overheard this, introduced Mott to the headmaster. Three days later Mott had a position teaching sixth grade.

“One of the things that was so nice was if there was a problem with my kids and schoolwork, I always knew,” Mott said. “They did not love the idea that I was here all the time, but they learned to like it.”

Not A Secret Anymore

Carrie Lewellen teaches at Meadowview as part of her retirement after 25 years teaching with Dallas County Schools. Although she has been associated with the school for 32 years while her children were enrolled, she has been teaching second grade with Meadowview only six years.

“This is God’s best-kept secret, but we don’t want to keep this place a secret,” Lewellen said. “We treat these children like we would like our children to be treated. We treat these children as though they are our own because we are their parents during the day.”

Lewellen believes the teachers at Meadowview are the best in the area. Combined, the current teaching staff has more than 600 years of experience.

“We prepare these children to be the best they can be,” Lewellen said. “One day they’re going to be out on their own we have to prepare them for adult life.”

Throughout her years with the school, Lewellen has seen the school persevere through the good and the bad times.

“The biggest change over the years has been because of the economy,” Lewellen said. “I’ve seen parents, teachers and students pulling together.”

Lewellen is confident that Meadowview will be around for many years.

“Headmasters come and go, but this school is an institution,” Lewellen said. “It’s not going anywhere.”