Myrandi Ballesteros, CCA’s Pre-Grammar and Grammar School Head, has loved teaching children from her youngest years. She was raised in a Christian home by loving parents. Her father was a southern Baptist minister, so the church was like a second home to her. She became a Christian at the age of eight and gladly engaged in every church-related activity offered. She especially enjoyed volunteering in children’s ministry. She found great joy in teaching children about the Bible and building relationships with them in Vacation Bible School and Kids Camps.
Myrandi felt called to Christian education. She went on to earn a degree in Religious education from Dallas Baptist University. While teaching kindergarten in a small Christian school, she continued her education at DBU and received a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Before coming to CCA, she stayed home with her children until they were old enough to attend school. At that point, she was hired at CCA to teach kindergarten. A few short years later, she moved into an administrative role with the Pre-Grammar School and eventually into Grammar School.
If I had to choose one word to describe Myrandi, it would be excellent. She models excellence in all she does. She loves children with excellence and inspires a passion for excellence in her teachers, families, and students. As a mother of four children who have grown up in the Pre-Grammar and Grammar school, I am thankful for Myrandi’s leadership. I cried real tears when my youngest child moved across the pond into the Logic School. It was a bittersweet time to let go and move on, but I knew my children were prepared for the next season. Please enjoy getting to know Myrandi’s heart through this interview.
What was your first job?
My first “jobs” were babysitting for family friends and neighbors. But the first job that I got paid with a real paycheck was working as a summer camp counselor at a Christian day camp.
Why did you choose education as a career?
I have always loved school and would pretend to be a teacher in my play. My grandmother had a chalkboard that I used to “play school” and teach. I believe God was planting seeds in my heart for the love of teaching and education, even as a young girl.
What had the biggest impact on your career choice?
I knew that God was calling me to Christian education as a young adult. But it is Voddie Bauchum, Jr. that continues to confirm that calling for me. He is a strong Christian believer who recognizes the calling that parents have to educate their children as Deuteronomy commands and the struggle to do so in a fallen world. He is a firm believer in Christian education (homeschool or private). He says, “If we continue to send our children to Caesar for their education, we need to stop being surprised when they come home as Romans.” I love that I get to partner with Christian parents to educate their children and truly see it as an honor and privilege.
What do you love about CCA?
I love so many things, but if I had to name one, I would say my faculty/staff. They are absolutely the best group of people to work alongside. We are co-laborers for Christ, and because of the bond we have with Jesus, it makes CCA a very special place. We rejoice with one another, carry one another’s burdens, encourage each other towards excellence, serve one another cheerfully, and genuinely love each other.
What is your favorite CCA tradition?
Adopt-a-Senior. It is so rewarding for our younger students to have the opportunity to build relationships with our Rhetoric school students. Alternately, it is rewarding for our seniors to have the opportunity to serve, love, and support younger students and to be someone that they can look up to and want to be like when they get older.
Would you say you're more of an extrovert or introvert?
To most everyone, it is no surprise that I am very much an introvert. In fact, I am the highest introvert on the senior administrative team. Some may see me as quiet or shy, and maybe even hard to get to know. But really, I love people and place a high value on meaningful friendships/relationships. I enjoy getting to know others, just more slowly and more deeply. I am more reserved and reflective in my thoughts and processes.
What is your enneagram number?
I have never taken any of the quizzes to know exactly. I’ve just never been that interested in it. But oddly enough, my daughter Maycee presented her senior thesis on the topic of the enneagram and its dangers for the Christian. She says that I am probably a 1 due to my perfectionistic tendencies.
What phone app do you use the most?
Besides texting, I would probably say I use the Facebook app most. But I don’t really participate in Facebook. I like to scroll and see what everyone else is doing. I also like to look at Pinterest. I don’t have any games or “fun stuff” on my phone according to my family.
What is your favorite way to spend time with family?
When at home, we love to spend time together while sitting around the table, eating family meals, playing board games, working jigsaw puzzles, and watching movies. Although this season with COVID19 restrictions have been inconvenient, it has been a blessing that we are all home and together.
What is your book of all time?
Besides the Bible? Because of my love of children’s literature, I am going to choose one of my favorites, The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman. This book is about a mom of seven children, all with very unique personalities and eating habits. She works tirelessly to provide a happy home with all the foods that each child enjoys. But despite all her hard work, her seven children forget her birthday. Or did they? You’ll have to read it to find out! This book is creatively written and beautifully illustrated. Your whole family will love it…especially moms who need a sweet reminder about the rewards of why we do all the silly things we do for our children.
And just FYI, I do read other books besides children’s literature. One of my favorite fiction authors is Charles Martin. I would recommend any of his books. His new release, The Water Keeper, is wonderful and was very hard to put down!
Myrandi is a true reflection of CCA’s mission, and we are so honored she has chosen to invest her time, treasure, and talents into our school for the past 15 years. Thank you, Myrandi, for your passion for excellence, heart of grace, and character of Christ.