Kerry Reiling, Class of 1988 – Clairbourn School’s Trustee
We are delighted to recently welcome current parent Kerry Reiling to the Board of Trustees. Kerry has a long history with Clairbourn School. She attended Clairbourn herself as a child from Kindergarten through third grade (her husband Mike Reiling also attended Clairbourn at the same time when he was a child). Kerry is a devoted mother to her sons Matthew and Jeffrey. Both of her sons started at Clairbourn in Kindergarten. Matthew is now in the 7th grade at Clairbourn and Jeffrey graduated from Clairbourn last year and is now a freshman at Flintridge Prep. Kerry loves to volunteer for organizations that serve children. Kerry is also a teacher with a BA in Liberal Studies and a teaching credential from San Diego State University. She has worked as a 2nd and 3rd grade in Northern California for 4 years, and is currently in her 6th year of teaching at a local preschool in San Marino. She took the time out of her busy schedule to do a brief blog interview with us.
When did you come to Clairbourn?
I attended Clairbourn from 1979-83 from Kindergarten thru third grade.
Where did you go after that? Where did you attend high school and university? Your husband is also an alumnus of the school. Did you meet at Clairbourn?
I transferred to San Marino schools and graduated from San Marino High School in 1992 and then graduated from San Diego State University. My husband was two grades below me, We were at Clairbourn at the same time, but we didn’t meet each other until high school.
What do you remember most about your time at Clairbourn? What motivated you to send your children to Clairbourn?
I had a great group of friends and we were all in Girl Scouts together. I remember Mrs. Sensenbach and her wonderful spring programs and the fun carnivals afterwards. At the Christmas program, the Clairbourn singers would sing “We Need A Little Christmas” and to this day, I always think of Clairbourn when I hear that song. I remember Pizza Day, although not for the pizza, but rather for the homemade cupcakes the parents brought in. I loved playing in “the jungle” and in the summer we used to be able to come swim in the pool. There used to be cheerleaders and they had Pep Rallies. Coach Paciorek will always be remembered as someone who encouraged me to play flag football. He was a great coach and he taught good sportsmanship and he is one of the reasons I wanted to send my kids to Clairbourn. Another reason I wanted to send them to Clairbourn was for the ethics they teach. Clairbourn teaches more than just the academics; they help children grow into kindhearted, young adults. The school is a community of nice children and families, which is exactly what I want them to be surrounded by every day.
Has Clairbourn stayed within your memory? Why or why not?
Yes, it has. Most of my life I have lived very close to Clairbourn – this is another reason why my kids have gone to or currently attend Clairbourn. Even if I wasn’t dropping my son off every day, I would be driving by it every day. Those memories don’t easily go away when you are constantly being reminded of them.
Do you still keep in touch with your classmates from Clairbourn?
Two of my classmates have had children also at Clairbourn and another classmate I see every once in a while.
What was it like raising two boys? Do you have any parenting advice for raising exceptional young men, as you have done?
Boys are fun and they are easy going, there isn’t much drama in our house. My boys get along really well; very rarely do they want to fight. We have raised our children to have good morals and ethics, which is one of the reasons why we chose Clairbourn. I whole-heartedly believe in the Golden Rule and have taught my children to follow it. I believe children learn by example, and parents need to live their lives how they want their children to live their lives. I also think it is important for parents to be parents and not their child’s best friend. We have rules in our house that everyone needs to follow. If you don’t, there will be consequences and I don’t care if they hate me at that moment, they’ll get over it. Kids need boundaries and parents need to enforce them even if it means you have to be the bad guy. We also make sure to give our boys lots of love, support, and encouragement.
Clairbourn School, 8400 Huntington Drive, San Gabriel, (626) 286-3108 or visit www.clairbourn.org.