Sam Bernstein staff writer
New House C assistant principal Jeanne McCrea has been working in education for 20 years with stops in her hometown of Santa Barbara, and the Goleta Valley and Napa Valley. The new destination for her on the education express is Beverly. McCrea has many interests, including riding her bike, cooking and playing tennis, but for her, interacting with young minds takes the cake.
“I just love all kids. I love kids. I’m in the wrong job if I don’t like kids. I like people in general, so I’m interested in everything everybody’s doing and I want to hear about it,” McCrea said.
McCrea, who previously worked with chemistry teacher Lisa Dickens and former principal Dave Jackson at other schools, praised Beverly’s administrative staff.
“The only thing I can liken it to is a family and these guys are fantastic. I’ve worked in a lot of administrative teams and they’re wonderful, they’re kind, they’re smart and it’s about as good as it gets,” McCrea said. “I would say we’re really blessed because within the first meeting we were all together, there was kind of a natural chemistry between us which is really hard to find. You don’t just find that anywhere. Because all of us are seasoned in what we do with other districts, we’re bringing all of that knowledge and all that experience here.”
McCrea stressed the importance of learning school and community culture to be fully equipped to serve that community.
“I’m still learning the culture here, so I’d say that every community has its own culture. There’s a learning curve that you have to learn. For instance, Santa Barbara is laid back and yet the school I worked is the second oldest high school in the state, so it had very deep traditions. I’m finding that Beverly has very deep traditions also because it’s an older school,” McCrea explained.
McCrea previously worked as a science teacher, a dean and an assistant principal, meaning she has had experience dealing with teenage minds. She wants to tackle the low spirit issue head on.
“If you watch me, I talk to everyone. The more you have personal relationships with people and the more you reach out, the more people feel involved, one person at a time,” McCrea elaborated.
Although she is not influential in planning school events, she hopes to bring some ideas to the table to improve extracurricular student participation on campus.
“We had a lot of dances at the schools I was at, and I think it’s a lot of fun and I think it’s a great way for teens to kind of get together and get off their phones for a few minutes and actually engage,” McCrea said.
For McCrea, the biggest thing at her new job is making students feel at home. She wants to do whatever she can do for the students to make them feel comfortable.
“My goals are to get to know people and to understand the culture and to see if the gifts that I bring will work here and what things I can do to enhance the experience here at Beverly High. I will spend so much time getting to know someone and taking care of people. I love to take care of people,” McCrea exclaimed. “Those would be the kind of things that I would be bringing to the table. I think that’s kind of unusual for administrators because we just don’t have a lot of time.”