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Crane Country Day School in Montecito Celebrates 85 Years

This week's assemblies will be followed by a weekend of events planned for Oct. 26-28

Montecito’s Crane Country Day School officially turned 85 on Wednesday, making it one of the oldest private elementary schools in the Santa Barbara area.

While the school is celebrating its birthday throughout the fall, more than 300 cookies were distributed to mark the milestone. In addition, a week of special campuswide assemblies recounts historical moments in the life of the school.

Former student and current parent Sarah O’Brien (class of 1982) addressed the students Monday, sharing photographs and reflections on how the school has changed since she attended three decades ago. O’Brien said she decided to move back to Santa Barbara so her children could attend Crane.

“We were applying to schools in San Francisco but I couldn’t stop thinking about Crane and what a great experience it would be for Pierce (age 5) and hopefully Ronan (age 3),” she said.

O’Brien and her three siblings were all Crane lifers, noting that “there was an O’Brien from our family attending Crane from 1968 to 1984!”

She credited Crane with instilling in her a lifelong curiosity for learning, and that it prepared her well for The Thacher School, Boston University and a 20-year career in the fashion business in San Francisco. She also said her oldest and dearest friend today was a Crane classmate.

Other speakers throughout the week included Selden Edwards, former headmaster and now a bestselling author. Edwards’ reign at the helm lasted a decade and he, too, shared recollections. Current Head of School Joel Weiss led Wednesday’s assembly marking the actual birthday of the school. He conducted a game show of the school’s history before handing out the 300 Crane cookies.

The week will end with former, beloved English teacher Cathy Rose.

The celebration will continue throughout the weekend of Oct. 26-28, with decades reunion parties that Friday evening, an all-alumni reunion and softball game that Saturday at Crane from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., and the culminating event, the annual Crane Country Fair, a communitywide celebration now in its 19th consecutive year. The Country Fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, and will include game booths, prizes, an obstacle course, a petting zoo, a cake walk, a dunk tank, a Country Kitchen, Big Daddy’s BBQ, a bake-off and much more.

Crane Country Day School is a K-8 school located on 11 acres in Montecito. The school is dedicated to providing an experiential education characterized by a thoughtful balance of academic challenge and creative expression. Click here for more information.

— Ann Pieramici represents Crane Country Day School.

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