Maranatha High School: Studying the Past, Learning About Yourself, and Preparing for the Future All in One Department

Published : Tuesday, November 21, 2017 | 2:34 PM

(front) Sharon Chung, Penny Maclaren-Cross, Lois Cronin (back) Jason Wang, Lee Noble, and Charles Hampton (not pictured: Steve Bogan)

Grab your roadmaps and stop to get to know the Maranatha Social Science Department. While teaching students a variety of subjects, including History, Economics, Psychology, and Sociology, they create an atmosphere that makes learning contagious.

Each week we have been introducing one of our hardworking and dedicated faculty and staff departments. This allows us to showcase the talented people God has brought to our school, and to give readers a little insight into each department, its members, and the calling the Lord has placed on their lives. We hope these articles give you an even greater appreciation for our staff and the ways they enrich our students’ lives and help make Maranatha High School a Christ-centered and welcoming community.

The Social Science Department

Lois Cronin, Department Chair
Lois is officially a “junior” here at Maranatha High School because she joined Maranatha three years ago. “My favorite part about MHS is our community. My students, the parents, and my fellow co-workers have a created a home for me. I was initially drawn to Maranatha because I was ready for a challenge. I was at my previous school for 10 years and I wanted a place that would allow me to grow more. Maranatha has definitely been giving me the opportunity to do just that here,” says Lois.

Just this school year, Lois became the Social Sciences Chairperson and she loves working for a department where each person has an incredible passion for their subject area. “Each one of my coworkers has an incredible passion for teaching that is contagious and feeds my soul. The mission of the Social Sciences Department is to teach our students the importance of knowing the past. Many students approach history with the attitude of asking ‘Why?’ In reality, the importance of knowing and learning about our history creates not only a roadmap for our future, but our character and our identity as well. Our goal is to make our love for the past contagious.”

Quirky Fact: “My favorite movie is ‘Jaws.’ It is truly my comfort film. I probably watch it 10 times a year, and it is my go-to movie whether I’m feeling bored, sad, happy, or even celebrating a holiday. I love it! So much so, that I went out of my way to take an hour long ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard to see where it was filmed.”

Steve Bogan
It was the chance to work in a Christian environment that drew Steve to teach at Maranatha High School. This is Steve’s fourth year of teaching and coaching at Maranatha, after retiring from working in the public school systems for 32 years. “Working in a place where my faith can be integrated into my teaching is huge! It is a blessing to work with great people,” says Steve.

Quirky Fact: “I spent most of my career (32 years) teaching and coaching at a high school that was one of Maranatha’s rivals when I was in high school.”

Sharon Chung
Sharon started her sixth year of teaching at Maranatha and what she loves the most is the relationships that she has developed with her students. “I love being a mentor to them and I love having the ability to make an impact on their lives. God led me to Maranatha. I spent a couple years applying and looking for a job and with every application I would pray, that if that is where God wanted me, then to let it happen,” says Sharon, who loves the collaboration within the Social Science Department. “The faculty I work with are amazing men and women of God and we encourage each other on a daily basis.”

Quirky Fact: “I played paintball all through high school and college. My husband and I are both MHS alumni, and we graduated in the same class but never really hung out. In college, our love of paintballing brought us together.”

Charles Hampton
This is Charles’ fifth year of teaching at Maranatha and he loves the sense of community about MHS. “We’re a family, and even when we’re acting dysfunctional, we’re still a family. I love being able to share nerdy history jokes and facts with them, and they know exactly when to laugh or why to be amazed,” says Charles.

Quirky Fact: “Despite my at-school persona, I’m very introverted. I don’t like loud noises or interruptions, and I can feel shy around people.”

Penny Maclaren-Cross
Penny loves working at Maranatha High School and has worked here for three years. “I feel privileged to be able to combine my faith and career and to also share that faith with the students God has blessed me with,” says Penny, who loves being a part of the Social Science Department. “We complement each other, and out of each of my team members I see an outpouring of love for their jobs, for each other, and for our students.”

Quirky Fact: “I am very passionate about my Scottish heritage and participate in Highland gatherings and games. I have also recently gotten to meet Chief Donald MacLaren of the Highland Scottish Clan Maclaren.”

Lee Noble
This is Lee’s first year of teaching at Maranatha, and what led him here was Maranatha’s Head of School, Dr. Steve Sherman. “I worked with Dr. Sherman in Arizona and I respect and appreciate his leadership and style,” says Lee. “I currently teach four AP classes and coach Cross Country. I love my students because they are respectful and hardworking kids, and I enjoy working with them everyday.”

Quirky Fact: “When I graduated from high school I was voted ‘Most Likely to Never Grow Up.’ ”

Jason Wang
Jason is the newest member to the Social Science Department, having joined us in October. Jason loves how supportive and encouraging the MHS administration and faculty are. “So many people have been offering to help me in any way, and it’s made the transition easier for me. Above all, I love my students. I am constantly amazed by their capacity to take on academically challenging schedules while also participating in various extracurricular activities. They strive for excellence in every area while also taking care to develop their character. My students make me love my job,” says Jason.

Initially, Jason was drawn to MHS because he had met so many parents and alumni who hold Maranatha in high regard. “I wanted the opportunity to be a part of the mission and vision of MHS in training up students in excellence in every facet of their lives. High school is such an important time of development for students as they form their identity and decide what kind of impact they want to leave on this world. I’m excited that I get to be a part of that development for students. Working for the Social Science Department is amazing. We all collaborate well together and they give me advice on teaching tips that go beyond course content. I’ve had the privilege of being able to sit in on a couple of their classes and they all love what they are teaching and their students. Also, Lois is incredible. I am so amazed at how much she takes on and how excellent she is as our department head.”

Quirky Fact: “I organize my socks into left and right socks. It bothers me if I put the wrong sock on the wrong foot. It doesn’t seem that quirky to me, maybe just a bit neurotic, but everyone else thinks it’s weird.”

Maranatha High School, 169 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 817-4000 or visit







blog comments powered by Disqus