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For over 30 years, Mariners Christian School has partnered with parents to build a firm foundation through Christ-centered education. We are a distinctly Christian school dedicated to the continual pursuit of our core values to foster a deep Love for Christ, provide Exemplary Academics, build Connected Community, and promote a Culture of innovation with a purposeful Focus on the Whole Child. From transitional kindergarten through eighth grade, we desire for our students to thrive in every way as we provide an outstanding education with authentic spiritual development in a Christ-honoring environment.
At MCS we are passionate about discovering and nurturing the unique gifts of each child. Our highly skilled and dedicated faculty is committed to inspiring children to grow in who God has created them to be as they explore their God given gifts and talents, uncover the creativity inside of them, strengthen their ability to think critically and solve problems, and expand the necessary skills of communicating and collaborating with others. Our rigorous and comprehensive programs focus not only on learning but on developing skills, habits, and character that will shape them for a lifetime. Above all else, our entire staff is committed to encouraging students to building an authentic and personal relationship with Jesus Christ and this is our highest calling.
In this ever-changing and challenging world, it is vital that children know God’s truth, understand their identity lies in being a son or daughter of the King, mature in wisdom and knowledge, and grow in confidence in all God created them to be. Within the Mariners Christian School community of administration, faculty, staff, parents, and students are safe to learn and grow as they become difference makers for His kingdom.
I invite you to visit our campus, tour our classrooms, and personally discover the difference that a Mariners education can make in the life of a child.
Head of School
Mariners Christian School’s elementary program builds a firm foundation through Christ-centered education. Our elementary team is called to shepherd the young hearts and minds of our students while confirming their identity in Christ. Whether your student is entering transitional kindergarten, fifth grade, or any of the grades in between, we are committed to serving each student academically, social-emotionally, and spiritually.
In a world that is ever-changing, our calling and missional work has been consistent for over three decades. The focus on the whole-child, connected community, and joy infused learning ensures that every child can thrive. Our highly effective teachers are skilled in providing differentiated instruction in the core curriculum to each student. Exemplary academics, taught through unique experiences, fosters the deepest learning. Utilizing Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) we are able to reach the diverse needs of students. And, we do all of this while intentionally building meaningful partnership with the families we serve.
I personally invite you to visit our elementary school to see the work that God is doing and experience firsthand how your child would flourish at Mariners Christian School.
Mrs. Celek, who is originally from Ohio, graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in Elementary Education. She joined the MCS faculty in 1994 as a second grade teacher. In addition to the classroom, Mrs. Celek has served MCS over the years as an administrator both as the Vice Principal and the Elementary Principal, and more recently in her role as Community Connector. She and her husband, Tim, attend The Crossing Church. They have two daughters, Emily and Lauren, both MCS alumni. Mrs. Celek enjoys spending time with her daughters, sons-in-law, and two grandsons, going to the beach, and riding a Harley with her husband.
Elementary Vice Principal
Welcome to Mariners Christian School… Home of the Lions!
I am honored to serve as the middle school principal alongside an incredibly gifted and talented faculty and staff who are committed to working faithfully and tirelessly to honor God’s calling and uphold the mission to “build a firm foundation through Christ-centered education”.
At MCS, we strive to foster a loving, caring, and fun-filled community, while sustaining exemplary academics that refine and equip our scholars with the skills and biblical worldview necessary to be transformative leaders for His name’s sake.
We offer a robust and rigorous academic program focused on preparing and engaging our scholars to think critically, work collaboratively, and solve problems in innovative and creative ways. By engaging in dynamic learning opportunities, our scholars will discover their spiritual gifts and talents, develop skills to be lifelong learners with strong biblical perspective, and build upright character so they can lead as effective and impactful difference makers in our world.
It is equally important that we foster deep and meaningful relationships with the families we serve. MCS works with great enthusiasm to create opportunities for families to collaborate with the teachers in areas of academics, extra-curricular activities, and worshiping God. With our continual partnership with families, we trust that God will move mightily each year.
This combination of Christ-centered exemplary education, discovering and affirming the uniqueness and giftedness of each child, and a strong community synergy epitomizes the MCS culture. We are confident every child will grow and mature academically, spiritually, and relationally.
Middle School Principal
When I say MCS, you say Lions! MCS...Lions! MCS...Lions!
Here at MCS we have so much pride in our school. Not simply for the awesome sports teams we have, or the amazing teachers, or the incredible students, but because we know we are not just representing the bravery and leadership of a lion, but also striving to emulate the servitude and compassion of the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ. It is my great privilege to model a faithful walk with Christ everyday, as well as train via discipleship, our students as their middle school vice principal.
At MCS, one of our core values is Whole-Child Focused, and I could not be more excited to share this perspective of education with our school. I have worked in education for over 15 years, and in every educational setting what has been a key to the success of students has been a combination of strong academic instruction, as well as caring, compassionate educators. MCS is blessed to have both of these traits in abundance. In my role as vice principal for middle school, I have the opportunity of observing rigorous teaching, as well as the privilege of talking with students and speaking the truth of God's word with them.
MCS is such a great community to call home. I am excited for you to have the opportunity to learn more about our middle school, and witness for yourself how we don't just have school spirit, but how we walk by the Spirit every day.
Middle School Vice Principal
I am very honored to serve the MCS family as the Director of Advancement.
With over 20 years of marketing and development experience, I feel fortunate to use my skills and abilities to further the mission and core values of Mariners Christian School. Through leading the advancement efforts, my goal is to ensure the continuity, influence, and growth of MCS in order that current and future generations will be blessed through receiving Christ-centered education. My belief is that every student has a great purpose to fulfill. Starting with a firm foundation in Christ, established through the love and guidance of their parents and the care and knowledge of amazing educators, each student is set on a powerful course towards their God-given destiny.
I am particularly proud of the commitment of Mariners Christian School to provide exemplary academics and solid spiritual direction. This is especially critical at this moment in time. I feel privileged that my role and efforts support the ministry of every faculty and staff member as they work tirelessly to ensure this mission is accomplished. I am also inspired to ensure that MCS continues for decades to come in order to partner with parents in their most challenging task, equipping and launching their children.
I am very grateful to be in this position and I am excited to know every member of the MCS family! I will be in touch to keep you informed of future needs and opportunities.
Director of Advancement
I grew up on a farm in Minnesota enjoying family, animals, crops, and four seasons. I accepted the Lord Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior during college and He led me to a career in education. After graduating from SDSU (the one in South Dakota) I started my teaching career at Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum Colorado. There I taught Algebra, Calculus, Computer Science, Physics, Drafting and coached basketball and track.
While in CO for 12 years, I met my wife Terry and expanded my family with 2 children. This time in CO included skiing, mountain biking, hiking, traveling, and house building. In 1997 this family of 4 (soon to be 6) moved to MN for the start of a new chapter in education within an innovative network of charter schools.
Twenty years working in personalized project-based learning greatly expanded my knowledge, experience, and breadth of understanding regarding education. I had many opportunities to share my learning at conferences locally, nationally, and internationally. I also jumped into school finance and even expanded that portion of my expertise into a small business. I always wonder how my past experiences will prepare me for the next chapter, well in 2017 I accepted the call to MCS. Terry and I loaded up a truck one more time and moved to California.
I thoroughly enjoy working at MCS and the responsibilities and challenges this brings. I continue to enjoy walking, hiking, mountain biking, golfing, sunshine, and no winters!
Chief Operating Officer
The School Board is a dynamic group of volunteers committed to the success of the students, families, and faculty of Mariners Christian School. Their primary responsibilities are to set policy, assist in long-range planning, provide financial and legal oversight, serve as ambassadors for the school, and to hire, support, and evaluate the Head of School.
Board members are committed Christians who typically have experience in leadership and/or management, or prior leadership on non-profit boards. Members are carefully selected through a self-perpetuation process, and they reflect a balance in church affiliation, gender, age of children, home city, and professional background.
Please feel free to contact the MCS Board at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
Aaron and Cari Hudy have been married for 16 years and have three children, Ava (MCS Class of 2022), Alexandra (MCS Class of 2022) and Bo (recently married to their new daughter-in-law, Molly). They enjoy sailing, skiing, sports and family time at the beach. They attend Mariners Church in Irvine where they serve as shepherding elders and in the Junior High Ministry. Aaron is currently the President for GE Healthcare’s West Region and has spent more than 25 years in leadership roles at healthcare companies including Siemens Healthcare, Philips Healthcare and Toshiba Medical Systems. He graduated from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Finance). He has served on MCS’s Finance Committee since 2019 and was part of MCS’s Head of School Search Committee in 2019-2020. He’s honored to serve this amazing school as a member of the MCS Board.
Clifton has served on the MCS Board since 2018. He and his wife, Yuwen have two children at MCS - CJ (Class of ‘24) and Sydney (Class of ‘26). He is currently the HR Director at Mariners Church in Irvine and prior to that he worked in HR at Johnson & Johnson and at Allergan. He attended Cornell University where he studied Industrial and Labor Relations and went to USC for his MBA. Experiencing God’s presence at Mariners Christian School and through its staff has blessed his family and they desire for other families in the community to experience the same.
Charlie and Amy Haggard have been married for 20 years and have three children: Hudson (MCS Class of 2021), Dalton (MCS Class of 2021) and Vivian (MCS Class of 2023). They feel blessed to have found MCS and are thankful for the Christ-centered education and love their children receive at MCS, as well as for the stewardship from the faculty and staff. Charlie and Amy met in Charlotte, North Carolina and lived in Charlotte and Chicago before deciding to call Newport Beach home in 2009. The Haggard family attend Mariners Church where they have enjoyed the children's ministry and serving in various community outreach projects. Amy has been actively involved at MCS volunteering in the classroom as well as serving on the planning committee for the school's Spring Auction the past several years, with Charlie recently serving on the MCS Finance Committee. Charlie is a Managing Director with real estate finance firm Berkeley Point Capital. He holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a master's degree in Land Economics and Real Estate from Texas A&M University. Charlie considers it a privilege to have the opportunity to serve the MCS Community in this capacity.
Ruth is a former MCS parent and board member. She has been married to Don Kobayashi for 35 years and is mother to Lauren, a recent graduate of Southern Methodist University, and Kelly, a senior at Biola University.
After graduating from Pepperdine University, Ruth spent 20 years in the tech industry in sales for Xerox, DEC, Compaq, and Hewlett-Packard. Her post-MCS volunteerism has included co-chairing Moms in Prayer at Corona Del Mar High School, serving on the Human Relations Task Force for the Newport Mesa Unified School District, and advising local educational and political candidates. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Newport Beach Police Foundation.
Prior to joining the Board, Ruth served the MCS community through co-leading the Head of School Search Committee in 2019-2020 for Mariners Christian School. Ruth’s favorite way to serve the Lord is by advocating for young people and assisting civic and educational leaders achieve their full potential. The Kobayashi family attends Mariners Church in Irvine.
Mark and Angela have been married for 19 years and have three sons, Micah (MCS Class of 2017), Joshua (Class of 2019) and Caleb (Class of 2022). Mark grew up in Connecticut while Angela was raised in Huntington Beach. They currently attend Westminster OPC in Westminster. They enjoy reading, sports, music, and spending time with family. Mark and Angela feel very blessed to be a part of the Mariners Christian School community and are thankful for the Christ-centered education that is so important in these formative years for their children. Mark received his undergraduate degree from Fresno State, and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Boston University. He has been practicing as a Physical Therapist since 1999 in Orange County. With God's prompting and leading, he opened his clinic Power Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Costa Mesa in 2011. His specialty is in the recovery from musculoskeletal injury, including post-surgical rehabilitation. In addition, Mark serves as Adjunct Professor for Vanguard University in the Kinesiology Department. Mark is honored and humbled to serve as a Board member for MCS. Soli Deo Gloria!
Dr. Ben Roberson has been an educator at the Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Collegiate level for the past 16 years. After completing his undergraduate work at Point Loma Nazarene University, Dr. Roberson completed his teaching credential at Chapman University and began his teaching career at Maranatha Christian Academy in Orange County. Dr. Roberson joined the Bible Department at Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village and taught courses in Old and New Testament. During his years at Oaks, he also served as the Head Women’s Tennis coach at California Lutheran University while completing his Masters degree in Physical Education at Azusa Pacific University.
With a desire to pursue leadership, Dr. Roberson completed his Masters degree in Educational Leadership and Administration at Pepperdine University before taking on the Dean of Students role at Pacifica Christian High School in Santa Monica where he also has taught courses in the Theology Department. As the Dean of Students, Ben led a variety of programs including college counseling, academic support, and weekly chapels.
Dr. Roberson furthered his academic pursuits by completing his Doctorate at Pepperdine University in Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy. He completed his dissertation on the motivation towards learning perceived in Socratic Seminar vs. traditional lecture in High School level students.
After completing his doctoral coursework at Pepperdine, Dr. Roberson took on the role of Head of School at Calvary Christian School in Santa Ana. During his years at Calvary Christian School, Dr. Roberson served to strengthen the academic reputation through effective faculty development resulting in significantly increased test scores in mathematics, reading, and language. Dr. Roberson also serves as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University where he teaches courses in Secondary Methods, Content Methods for History, and Human Development.
Dr. Roberson returned to the Pacifica community in 2014 when he was named founding Principal for the Orange County campus.
Ben, his wife Cassidy, and their children, Griffin, Peyton, and Callan live in Huntington Beach where they attend Grace Fellowship Church. Ben enjoys surfing, tennis, reading, and spending time with his family during his free time.