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25 Years as Cross Creek Educators

A lot can change in 25 years, but time has not altered Kelly Greshak’s and Kathy Garvin’s dedication to Cross Creek Charter Academy.
 
Both Ms. Greshak, dean of lower elementary, and Ms. Garvin, physical education teacher, have been with the school since its opening in 1997. In that time, they’ve seen the school grow to serve even more students. Keep reading for how the school has changed through the years through their perspective.


 
What has been your favorite thing to watch evolve at Cross Creek?
 
Ms. Greshak: “I’ve loved watching our school community grow and change. We started with about eight staff members and now have nearly 70. Our student community has grown, not only in size, but in diversity.”
 
Ms. Garvin: “My favorite thing to watch evolve has been the growing diversity of backgrounds and cultures. Cross Creek began 25 years ago with a small group of 134 students with very similar backgrounds. It has grown to almost 800 students of varying backgrounds and cultures, which makes our school very unique and fun to teach!”

 
What has kept you at Cross Creek for 25 years?
 
Ms. Greshak: “We have a special sense of family in our building. It’s something I haven’t seen in any other building I’ve visited. Leadership, staff, students, and parents look out for one another and genuinely care for one another.”
 
Ms. Garvin: “I have stayed at Cross Creek because I totally believe in the Moral Focus, which filters through everything we teach. I am not only teaching a subject but can openly be a part in building the character of each student.”


Describe the last 25 years.
 
Ms. Greshak: “It’s been a whirlwind! Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday that we were opening the building. It’s amazing to have been a part of this school from the very beginning.”
 
Ms. Garvin: “Cross Creek has grown in numbers and cultural diversity. Its focus and mission, however, have remained the same: first, building character; next, helping students reach their highest potential academically.”
 
What is your favorite memory at Cross Creek?
 
Ms. Greshak: “In August 1997, we had our first open house. We didn’t get approval from the Fire Marshal to occupy the building until 4 p.m. that day. It was a crazy rush to throw some things on the wall and make the classrooms look presentable for our first set of families coming that evening.”
 
Ms. Garvin: “My favorite memory in 25 years is watching children grow from Young 5s to eighth grade. This is 10 years I get to be a part of their lives, which is unique to NHA Y5-8 schools. As a PE teacher, I get to teach all of the grades.”
 
Why do you love your school?
 
Ms. Greshak: “My favorite things about being at Cross Creek for so long is that we build lasting relationships with our families. I see them in the community. Now we have former students that are back as parents, enrolling their own children in our school. It’s fun to watch it come full circle.”
 
Ms. Garvin: “I love the fact that I am a part of an amazing group of people who have a passion to affect the lives of children each day.”


 
Cross Creek Charter Academy, a school in Byron Center, Michigan, is a partner school in the National Heritage Academies network of over 95 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.
 
Keep up the excellent work, Kelly and Kathy!