As I look back on my eight years spent here at the Mount Pleasant Christian School, I can remember so many things as if they happened yesterday. Back in 2001, when I came to Mount Pleasant Christian School as a first grader, I was happy but a little scared. It was a new school and I was only six years old. I was Valedictorian of my kindergarten class so I figured this should be easy. I was so naïve. One of my best friends from my previous school, New Creations Christian School, started with me but soon transferred, leaving me feeling alone. Although, I warmed up to people, I still felt something was missing.
My happiest “little girl” experience was in the first grade with Sister Stevenson. She was great! I used to call her my “School Mom” because she acted similar to my mom. Sister Stevenson was also great because she gave out candy and student of the week and month awards. I hated leaving her class. I’ve asked her many times over the past eight years if I could come back to her class but she just smiles and says “No”. Going into the second grade, I was still in my shy and quiet mode. But I started to come out of my shell somewhat with our former second grade teacher, Sister Smith. She was also kind and generous like Sister Stevenson, yet very strict at times. I remember her most by her diet soda cans that would be in the trash can every day and the bottle she would drink from daily. Third grade was one of the funniest school years of my life. Sister Washington and the classmates, who were with me in the third grade, will tell you that we were a bad group of children. We acted up so much that Sister Washington had to constantly chastise us with a very strict voice but we loved her and she loved us. In the fourth grade my math-loving teacher, Sister Jackson, was the queen of drawing and numbers. She had a board in her classroom that had a drawing of ducks and frogs. Besides drawing and math, Sister Jackson could play her trumpet and bring you to tears.
Fifth grade was a bit more intensive for me because the work became harder and I had to study more than what I usually did. I remember Sister Johnson with her exceptional organization skills. She always had a delightful fragrance bottle by her desk. I was beginning to realize that a lot more was being required of me. Sixth grade with Brother Johnson was challenging. The homework and class work nearly doubled in size and I almost failed. But Brother Johnson and my parents were firm and never gave up on me and they forced me to grow up and take responsibility for my school work. Just as I was coming out of my slump, bringing up my grades and looking forward to graduation, Brother Johnson announced to the class that Dr. Haynes had decided to add two more grades to the school to make a Mount Pleasant Middle School. I thought “What! Are you kidding me?” I can tell you now that at the time I was definitely not at all happy because all I wanted to do was to graduate and leave Mount Pleasant and see the world.
As it turns out, seventh grade was pretty cool because I and some of my classmates had the same teacher we had in third grade, Sister Washington. Our seventh grade class got the title of the “bad/immature class”. We, being exactly like that, did not care much about the title we were given. We were twelve and trying to find ourselves. Sister Washington wasn’t buying that excuse and though she had to push and pull to get us through, we made it.
For the eighth grade, things definitely got much harder with more book reports and tests than I could ever imagine. Ugh! Now we had two teachers, Sister Robinson for Homeroom, Bible, History and Science; Sister Jones-Fosu for English and Math. In the beginning I thought this had to be a conspiracy between Dr. Haynes, the parents, and the teachers. There were times that I said, “I cannot stand eighth grade!” But my mother would only say, “Pray about it and get over it, you haven’t seen anything yet. It’s only a test from God and He’s watching to see if you can step up to what He created you to be. You just have to trust Him and obey.” I thought, ok, she doesn’t get it either. It was really me who didn’t get it until now.
I realize now that I love my classmates like my brothers and sisters. The class trip that we went on to Fredericksburg showed the inner unique quality about us. I never imagined that saying “good night” to Sis. Robinson and my entire class would be this tough. I will miss the never ending daily morning devotionals, the Christmas plays that got us less class work, the class trips which got us out of school, the May Days, Music classes with Brother Goulaus and Brother Thompson, the Scrabble Club, the Karate Club with Brother Paul Lewis, Dance with Sister Loftin, and the Art Clubs with Sister Smith and Sister Riddick, the fussing over the number of balls out at recess, the little kids, the teachers, the Office, Dr. Haynes, Bishop Johnson, and so many other people, places and things. Through my eight-year experience at M.P.C.S., I have learned to be a better person inside and out. I learned great studying skills for all of my subjects, even the ones that I didn’t like. I am now a master of poster board reports. Thanks to Sister Riddick my college major will be in Computer Software Engineering. I realize now that all of my teachers at M.P.C.S. were doing the task that was given to them and that was to train and prepare me for the next chapter. I learned how to handle the good days and the bad days and I don’t feel alone any more. I can tackle the hard subjects and pass them with honors. But most importantly, I started understanding how to trust in God and do His will. I know in my heart that Dr. Haynes and all of the staff at M.P.C.S have only done what God told them to do, “Train up a child in the way he should go; when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. I promise that I will not depart from it.
I am sad and teary-eyed to say that I am leaving the Mount Pleasant Christian School Family. With the current conditions of some of our schools, neighborhoods, the economy, and our world, I understand now how blessed my parents and I were able to attend M.P.C.S. When I complain my mother just looks at me and says “You’ll understand it by and by”. Well, I’m starting to understand it now. I pray that as the years go by that I make everyone proud of me and show them that their work was not in vain. And now, that it’s time to move on and say goodbye, my final question to Bishop Johnson, Dr. Haynes, and the M.P.C.S family, especially Sister Stevenson is “May I please come back?”
I love you, I thank you and may God bless you always,
Jasmin Nicole McLean
Class of 2009, M.P.C.S.