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THE CRIER SPEAKS TO CELESTE EZELL ABOUT CHRONOS ACADEMY
By: Pamela Parker | March 30, 2022
How did you become a teacher?
When my husband Daniel and I moved to Marin to go to grad school, we worked part-time tutoring math, writing and the SAT. We loved it so much we started our own small tutoring network with our classmates. Eventually, we opened a tiny tutoring center in downtown San Anselmo and created camps and classes for homeschoolers that combined math and science or making and history. We started hosting Maker Camp in 2013 and have continued every summer since! It has stood the test of time—making is really meaningful when it's anchored to a time period of history.
How did you end up starting a school?
We eventually outgrew our tiny space and moved to a church in San Anselmo. Besides tutoring, we offered a full schedule of classes for homeschoolers: History, Geometry, Making Workshops, Art, Science, Latin and Greek. We enjoyed innovating a curriculum that integrated all subjects to make it more memorable. Once we had four full days of programming per week, it didn't take much more to become a school. COVID hit our first year, and we hunkered down as a single cohort of 14 for a couple of years. Now, we're finally ready to expand.
What is Chronos Academy?
Chronos Academy is called Chronos because in our curriculum we anchor every lesson to a chronological timeline. Each week is like a train stop as we time travel through human history, learning key events, scientific discoveries, master artists, mathematicians, literature and even philosophy from the same time period. Students memorize some of these facts and formulas to music, research and present to their classmates each week, and write essays and recreate masterpieces of that time.
What kind of students attend Chronos Academy?
Since Chronos is an accelerated school, most of our students are gifted in at least one area. They may be bored in a traditional classroom and/or benefit from a challenging, individualized curriculum. We're a micro-school, so the class size is 8-12 students, and we have plenty of time for students to achieve skills at their own pace, make in the workshop every day and present essays and research weekly. Since everything integrates so nicely, they learn a lot of information!
Do your kids attend your school?
Yes! We're very proud of them. Our oldest daughter, Jocelyn, just graduated 8th grade from Chronos last June. Our middle guy, Patrick, is a 6th grader this year, in his 4th year of Latin! And Violet, our youngest, will start Kindergarten in the fall. Daniel and I both teach, so we get to spend lots of time together as a family. Daniel manages the Making workshop and teaches history, science and math. I teach Latin, Greek, writing and sentence diagramming. With our kids there, it's easy to treat our other students like family, too.
Why did you re-join SMMC?
When circumstances forced us to move the school’s location out of San Anselmo, it felt like such a personal crisis! We hated leaving the network of friends and students we had built over 13 years. Thankfully, we found the perfect space for our small school in downtown Larkspur, under giant redwoods near quaint shops and cafes.
As I was trying to figure out how to make friends in our new neighborhood, I remembered how meaningful it was to connect with moms in SMMC 15 years ago when I had my first baby. I just joined in January, became a Community Partner and offered to help out with The Crier. I was thrilled when Pam invited me to write an article. That became a column and then she asked me if I'd be willing to be Editor-in-Chief! So, here I am! I'm happy to be back in such a welcoming community!
Pamela Parker lives in Mill Valley with her husband, son and cat. She began her journalism career writing for financial and legal magazines in Sydney, Australia. After spending almost a decade Down Under, she moved to Singapore where she worked as a TV news producer for BBC World News and local broadcaster Channel News Asia. She co-currently serves as Editor-in-chief of The Crier and on the board as the 2021 President-Elect.
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