Testimonials
Testimonials

 

 

What Parents and Students are Saying

 

 

My children have attended Carden Academy for the past four years and our experience has been stellar.  Prior to Carden, my children attended a local Montessori school and after being thoroughly disappointed with the education they were receiving, I decided to seek out a better option for them.  I toured many schools in the area, but from the moment I visited Carden for the first time, I knew it was the right choice for our family.  I was impressed with the outstanding curriculum, and the fact that the school emphasizes character building and individuality in their students.  The teacher to student ratio is wonderful, averaging 12 students per teacher.  The classrooms are bright and inviting and the campus grounds are beautiful. There is a grass amphitheatre where the students perform songs and skits throughout the year, and there is also a few acres of natural land that is absolutely beautiful.  Our experience throughout the years has really been wonderful.  My children have had exceptional teachers, who have nurtured their individuality, strengthened their skills, and most importantly, have been there to encourage and support them.  The curriculum is very well rounded, including art, music, Spanish and computers, along with the core subjects like math, literature, physical education, social studies, history and science.  My daughter participates in an elective cooking class as well, which she absolutely loves!  Carden encourages parents to volunteer and be an active participant in their children's educations, and I appreciate that I'm able to be so involved in their school life.  I never feel like my children are lost in the crowd or slip through the cracks, as I had at their previous school.  I can say without hesitation that my children are in good hands at Carden, and the team at Carden is helping to prepare them for their successful futures. 

--Shannon W., Parent

 

I can't say enough about this incredible school. Whether by watching assemblies and programs, observing in the classrooms, or through the happy words from the mouths of my children, my husband I have witnessed the amazing experience that is Carden Academy.  We find it is incredibly refreshing to have found a school that places such an importance on excellence in education--all the while, instilling a passion for learning.  Everyday our children are eager and excited to go to school. And why wouldn't they be? Each morning they are greeted by name and enter into a warm and nurturing classroom for a full day of learning. Carden Academy has been a lifeline for our children. Not only have they transitioned from their previous school, they have transitioned and are flourishing--and that is because of the amazing staff and community of Carden Academy.

 --Schehera M., Parent

 

 I was given teachers who cared about me, books that captivated me, and ideas that showed me not only what I could learn, but who I could become. I will always be grateful for my Carden education and the solid foundation it has given me.

--Sarah Smallcomb, former student

 

I am loving it here at college and each day I realize more and more how much Carden has prepared me for this new chapter of my life. From academic discipline to a strong sense of self and character, I am thankful for the solid foundation I had throughout elementary and middle school.

 

--Lauren Chong, former student

 

Please share with the Carden staff that Hailey and some of her Carden friends have mentioned throughout the last two years how much they miss the school.  They admit that they didn’t realize how good they had it at Carden.  Please also note that my wife and I will always be grateful for the experience Carden gave Hailey.  She is turning into a wonderful young lady and we both acknowledge the role the school played in helping her develop.  I hope you can share this with the staff and let them know that they are all remembered with great fondness, respect and gratitude.

 --Cooper Bayliss, parent

 

The writing skills I acquired at Carden and the expectation of a higher standard from my teachers have surpassed any learning and/or requirements that I have experienced in high school and college.  The expectations were so much greater at Carden Academy that it inspired me to put forth more effort in all my work even though it was not required.

--Brittany Walker, former student

 

Portia cannot look at the bad side of a person, she always gives a person the benefit of doubt.  Character building at Carden was an absolute plus and it has made Portia the nice person she is.  She just shines… Carden was always great about manners and it sets one apart from others.  “You can be dirt poor, but if you have manners you can dine with kings.”

--Mrs. Nagano, parent

 

I felt Melissa acquired such great organizational skills at Carden which was a huge plus for her in high school.  Melissa is able to organize her time, studies and homework.  She has been on the honor roll for the past 3 semesters.  She saw that the students from other feeder schools into [her high school] were not as focused, responsible or organized.

--Laura Duchene, parent

 

Mrs. Davenport, I have been meaning to send this email for quite some time to thank you for your time at the open house.  l so enjoyed listening to you answer other parents' questions and my own. l fell even more in love with Carden hearing your answers, and as my husband and I walked away, our decision to apply to Carden was cemented in stone because of you.

 

--Kathy Cutchins, parent

 

Dear Ms. Winker, Thank you so much for inviting me to sit in and observe your classroom morning teaching this past week.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the children interacting with the lesson and the dialog I observed was quite surprising and amazing.

 

You had expressed to the parents at Open House that our children’s school day consists of a fairly steady paced and challenging curriculum.  I had previously had concerns regarding the lack of homework but I think I am beginning to understand and appreciate the Carden method of teaching and the difference between the teaching standard that most other public and private schools follow…

 

I am amazed by your level of true understanding of each child and your ability to tailor your questions, responses, and dialog accordingly.  I observed a classroom of children of very different, diverse abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.  It is certainly a very difficult endeavor you take on with each and every school day, and yet it appears to be so natural and easy for you…

--Kimberly-Ann S. Barnes, parent

 

… I’m very passionate and a strong believer in providing our children with the best possible education.  My initial feeling about [our previous school] was excitement, blinded excitement that is, as a new parent I just wanted a private education and uniforms – I suppose the new field looked great and the exterior cosmetics looked good too… after 1 ½ years of being there we finally decided this was not for us.

 

Carden Academy on the other hand has been an amazing experience… Children develop character, self-confidence, creativity, and communication skills needed to share their gifts with the world.  One of my favorite teaching techniques at Carden is that each student will be given independent work (desk work) as well as one on one work with the teacher - daily. I find this technique very essential, as it provides a clear perspective to the teacher of where the student(s) are academically. Also the practice of independent studies is a wonderful start for them at this age…

 

Another fascinating point that gets me over and over is the salutation that takes place every morning between EACH student and the principal of the school, Mrs. De Avila.  This formal greeting and introduction to character quality has given my 5-year-old so much confidence, teaches the importance of eye contact, the good old hand shake as well as a daily open door to good character.   (Truly amazing what a simple greeting gesture can do.)…

 --Mari Dhingra, parent  

 

When my parents chose to enroll me in this school, I doubt anyone thought of the critical impact it would have in my future educational endeavors.  … I came to appreciate the fact that I never had to stand in front of my closet every morning and decide what to wear. In addition, there were no cliques based on clothes; nobody was discriminated against based on a t-shirt or the wrong styled pants. Friendships were created based on character and personality.

 

… As I would often tell my parents, everything was taught “the Carden way.” There were multiplication tables, spelling lessons, and seatwork. Everything was taught in a new rigorous fashion. I was introduced to controls and dictionary marks. I had to check all of my problems in arithmetic. When I was younger, I wondered when I would ever have to use these complex ways to pronounce words. Why would I ever have to check division problems? I learned the answers when I entered the frightening new world called high school…

 

Carden Academy was not only my school; it defined who I was. It shaped me into the person that I am today and allowed me to be myself… To this day, I still drive over and visit the wonderful faculty there that aided me through my obstacles in life. I see the faces of all the students that have filled my old seat and smile, knowing that every single one of them will do great things in the future, because of course, there is nothing less to be expected from the Carden Academy Pioneers.

--Sahar Bagheri, former student

            

My time at Carden only lasted a span of two years, but in those short years I obtained every tool I would need to succeed in high school and beyond.  The teachers presented challenging material in a step by step method which taught me how to approach difficult tasks without being intimidated.  Instead of being daunted by a large novel or a major project, I use Carden’s method to handle assignments in an organized and thoughtful manner.  When I started as a freshman at St. Margaret‘s, my teachers were most impressed with my critical reading and writing skills, and also my insight during class discussions.   Besides the high standard of academic excellence, Carden taught me to have confidence in myself and to always strive to be the best that I can be.  When armed with these qualities, it is nearly impossible to fail.  Because of the lessons I learned at Carden I continue to push and challenge myself, and to never doubt myself even when a task seems overwhelming.

--Ashtin Evans, former student

 

My Carden vocabulary, literature, and composition education served me invaluably through the remainder of my schooling career. To provide an idea of Carden's accelerated degree of vocabulary education, I had the SAME vocabulary book my sophomore year in a private high school that I had in my seventh grade year at Carden Academy. My deep knowledge of and comfort with the fundamentals of sentence composition and parts of speech served as an indispensable skill while in high school honors and Advanced Placement courses, and in college, writing my larger papers was a breeze. In fact, the high grades and accolades I received from Professors warranted me the opportunity to act as an undergraduate teaching assistant for several courses - a role otherwise generally saved for graduate students. In this position, I actually graded the papers of many of my peers…

 

And as for my Carden education - I will always feel grateful for the strong building blocks it provided me for the remainder of my academic and professional life.

--Kelsey Minarik, former student

 

Carden Academy, Mission Viejo provides a high academic programs combined with a very orderly and calm atmosphere where the students are given the opportunity to learn at their own state of development. All the teachings are provided at two levels: 1) in a classroom and 2) in a group of 4-5 students that have similar learning capabilities. This format allows the students to create their educational environment. The academic curriculum is based on Mae Carden whom has established a very fun way of teaching in primary students in a phonic based method. The curriculum is continued year after year and builds on the last year studies. The same theme is carried forward with adding new teachings and complexity that keeps the students at any level interested and intrigued. I have two sons in the program one graduated and the second one is still at school.

 

 I absolutely highly recommend the school.

--Soheila Mirhashemi, parent

 

Dear Mrs. De Avila, I wanted to share a story with you regarding Hanna.  As you know Hanna is on a dance team at her dance studio in San Clemente.  This past weekend, her team was invited to perform at Disneyland along with a few other teams…

 

The head coach of her studio informed me today that he witnessed the most unbelievable act from Hanna.  Apparently when one of the choreographers asked about 60 girls what the word integrity meant, Hanna was the only one who raised her hand and said, “Integrity is doing the right thing whether someone is watching you or not”.  All the adults in the room including the choreographer had their mouths wide open… 

I wanted you to know this and tell you thank you.  This is all because of the teachings at Carden.  I appreciate you and Mrs. Collins greeting the children every day and asking about their quality and appreciate the emphasis in the classroom on qualities.  Thank you again.

 --Vafa Talieh, parent

 

Dear Miss Smallcomb, Coach Mansour, and Mrs. de Avila, I wanted to take a minute to thank you all for your kind and thoughtful management of the situation between my son, Sebastien, and his classmate...  Every school boasts that they work together with parents for the best interest of the children; however, not every school can come through with that kind of promise.  Carden is exceptional and we are so very glad we’re here.  Thank you again for guiding the children when we parents can’t be there.     Have a wonderful day.

--Linda Fregeau, parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Parents and Students are Saying

 

 

My children have attended Carden Academy for the past four years and our experience has been stellar.  Prior to Carden, my children attended a local Montessori school and after being thoroughly disappointed with the education they were receiving, I decided to seek out a better option for them.  I toured many schools in the area, but from the moment I visited Carden for the first time, I knew it was the right choice for our family.  I was impressed with the outstanding curriculum, and the fact that the school emphasizes character building and individuality in their students.  The teacher to student ratio is wonderful, averaging 12 students per teacher.  The classrooms are bright and inviting and the campus grounds are beautiful. There is a grass amphitheatre where the students perform songs and skits throughout the year, and there is also a few acres of natural land that is absolutely beautiful.  Our experience throughout the years has really been wonderful.  My children have had exceptional teachers, who have nurtured their individuality, strengthened their skills, and most importantly, have been there to encourage and support them.  The curriculum is very well rounded, including art, music, Spanish and computers, along with the core subjects like math, literature, physical education, social studies, history and science.  My daughter participates in an elective cooking class as well, which she absolutely loves!  Carden encourages parents to volunteer and be an active participant in their children's educations, and I appreciate that I'm able to be so involved in their school life.  I never feel like my children are lost in the crowd or slip through the cracks, as I had at their previous school.  I can say without hesitation that my children are in good hands at Carden, and the team at Carden is helping to prepare them for their successful futures. 

--Shannon W., Parent

 

I can't say enough about this incredible school. Whether by watching assemblies and programs, observing in the classrooms, or through the happy words from the mouths of my children, my husband I have witnessed the amazing experience that is Carden Academy.  We find it is incredibly refreshing to have found a school that places such an importance on excellence in education--all the while, instilling a passion for learning.  Everyday our children are eager and excited to go to school. And why wouldn't they be? Each morning they are greeted by name and enter into a warm and nurturing classroom for a full day of learning. Carden Academy has been a lifeline for our children. Not only have they transitioned from their previous school, they have transitioned and are flourishing--and that is because of the amazing staff and community of Carden Academy.

 --Schehera M., Parent

 

 I was given teachers who cared about me, books that captivated me, and ideas that showed me not only what I could learn, but who I could become. I will always be grateful for my Carden education and the solid foundation it has given me.

--Sarah Smallcomb, former student

 

I am loving it here at college and each day I realize more and more how much Carden has prepared me for this new chapter of my life. From academic discipline to a strong sense of self and character, I am thankful for the solid foundation I had throughout elementary and middle school.

 

--Lauren Chong, former student

 

Please share with the Carden staff that Hailey and some of her Carden friends have mentioned throughout the last two years how much they miss the school.  They admit that they didn’t realize how good they had it at Carden.  Please also note that my wife and I will always be grateful for the experience Carden gave Hailey.  She is turning into a wonderful young lady and we both acknowledge the role the school played in helping her develop.  I hope you can share this with the staff and let them know that they are all remembered with great fondness, respect and gratitude.

 --Cooper Bayliss, parent

 

The writing skills I acquired at Carden and the expectation of a higher standard from my teachers have surpassed any learning and/or requirements that I have experienced in high school and college.  The expectations were so much greater at Carden Academy that it inspired me to put forth more effort in all my work even though it was not required.

--Brittany Walker, former student

 

Portia cannot look at the bad side of a person, she always gives a person the benefit of doubt.  Character building at Carden was an absolute plus and it has made Portia the nice person she is.  She just shines… Carden was always great about manners and it sets one apart from others.  “You can be dirt poor, but if you have manners you can dine with kings.”

--Mrs. Nagano, parent

 

I felt Melissa acquired such great organizational skills at Carden which was a huge plus for her in high school.  Melissa is able to organize her time, studies and homework.  She has been on the honor roll for the past 3 semesters.  She saw that the students from other feeder schools into [her high school] were not as focused, responsible or organized.

--Laura Duchene, parent

 

Mrs. Davenport, I have been meaning to send this email for quite some time to thank you for your time at the open house.  l so enjoyed listening to you answer other parents' questions and my own. l fell even more in love with Carden hearing your answers, and as my husband and I walked away, our decision to apply to Carden was cemented in stone because of you.

 

--Kathy Cutchins, parent

 

Dear Ms. Winker, Thank you so much for inviting me to sit in and observe your classroom morning teaching this past week.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the children interacting with the lesson and the dialog I observed was quite surprising and amazing.

 

You had expressed to the parents at Open House that our children’s school day consists of a fairly steady paced and challenging curriculum.  I had previously had concerns regarding the lack of homework but I think I am beginning to understand and appreciate the Carden method of teaching and the difference between the teaching standard that most other public and private schools follow…

 

I am amazed by your level of true understanding of each child and your ability to tailor your questions, responses, and dialog accordingly.  I observed a classroom of children of very different, diverse abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.  It is certainly a very difficult endeavor you take on with each and every school day, and yet it appears to be so natural and easy for you…

--Kimberly-Ann S. Barnes, parent

 

… I’m very passionate and a strong believer in providing our children with the best possible education.  My initial feeling about [our previous school] was excitement, blinded excitement that is, as a new parent I just wanted a private education and uniforms – I suppose the new field looked great and the exterior cosmetics looked good too… after 1 ½ years of being there we finally decided this was not for us.

 

Carden Academy on the other hand has been an amazing experience… Children develop character, self-confidence, creativity, and communication skills needed to share their gifts with the world.  One of my favorite teaching techniques at Carden is that each student will be given independent work (desk work) as well as one on one work with the teacher - daily. I find this technique very essential, as it provides a clear perspective to the teacher of where the student(s) are academically. Also the practice of independent studies is a wonderful start for them at this age…

 

Another fascinating point that gets me over and over is the salutation that takes place every morning between EACH student and the principal of the school, Mrs. De Avila.  This formal greeting and introduction to character quality has given my 5-year-old so much confidence, teaches the importance of eye contact, the good old hand shake as well as a daily open door to good character.   (Truly amazing what a simple greeting gesture can do.)…

 --Mari Dhingra, parent  

 

When my parents chose to enroll me in this school, I doubt anyone thought of the critical impact it would have in my future educational endeavors.  … I came to appreciate the fact that I never had to stand in front of my closet every morning and decide what to wear. In addition, there were no cliques based on clothes; nobody was discriminated against based on a t-shirt or the wrong styled pants. Friendships were created based on character and personality.

 

… As I would often tell my parents, everything was taught “the Carden way.” There were multiplication tables, spelling lessons, and seatwork. Everything was taught in a new rigorous fashion. I was introduced to controls and dictionary marks. I had to check all of my problems in arithmetic. When I was younger, I wondered when I would ever have to use these complex ways to pronounce words. Why would I ever have to check division problems? I learned the answers when I entered the frightening new world called high school…

 

Carden Academy was not only my school; it defined who I was. It shaped me into the person that I am today and allowed me to be myself… To this day, I still drive over and visit the wonderful faculty there that aided me through my obstacles in life. I see the faces of all the students that have filled my old seat and smile, knowing that every single one of them will do great things in the future, because of course, there is nothing less to be expected from the Carden Academy Pioneers.

--Sahar Bagheri, former student

            

My time at Carden only lasted a span of two years, but in those short years I obtained every tool I would need to succeed in high school and beyond.  The teachers presented challenging material in a step by step method which taught me how to approach difficult tasks without being intimidated.  Instead of being daunted by a large novel or a major project, I use Carden’s method to handle assignments in an organized and thoughtful manner.  When I started as a freshman at St. Margaret‘s, my teachers were most impressed with my critical reading and writing skills, and also my insight during class discussions.   Besides the high standard of academic excellence, Carden taught me to have confidence in myself and to always strive to be the best that I can be.  When armed with these qualities, it is nearly impossible to fail.  Because of the lessons I learned at Carden I continue to push and challenge myself, and to never doubt myself even when a task seems overwhelming.

--Ashtin Evans, former student

 

My Carden vocabulary, literature, and composition education served me invaluably through the remainder of my schooling career. To provide an idea of Carden's accelerated degree of vocabulary education, I had the SAME vocabulary book my sophomore year in a private high school that I had in my seventh grade year at Carden Academy. My deep knowledge of and comfort with the fundamentals of sentence composition and parts of speech served as an indispensable skill while in high school honors and Advanced Placement courses, and in college, writing my larger papers was a breeze. In fact, the high grades and accolades I received from Professors warranted me the opportunity to act as an undergraduate teaching assistant for several courses - a role otherwise generally saved for graduate students. In this position, I actually graded the papers of many of my peers…

 

And as for my Carden education - I will always feel grateful for the strong building blocks it provided me for the remainder of my academic and professional life.

--Kelsey Minarik, former student

 

Carden Academy, Mission Viejo provides a high academic programs combined with a very orderly and calm atmosphere where the students are given the opportunity to learn at their own state of development. All the teachings are provided at two levels: 1) in a classroom and 2) in a group of 4-5 students that have similar learning capabilities. This format allows the students to create their educational environment. The academic curriculum is based on Mae Carden whom has established a very fun way of teaching in primary students in a phonic based method. The curriculum is continued year after year and builds on the last year studies. The same theme is carried forward with adding new teachings and complexity that keeps the students at any level interested and intrigued. I have two sons in the program one graduated and the second one is still at school.

 

 I absolutely highly recommend the school.

--Soheila Mirhashemi, parent

 

Dear Mrs. De Avila, I wanted to share a story with you regarding Hanna.  As you know Hanna is on a dance team at her dance studio in San Clemente.  This past weekend, her team was invited to perform at Disneyland along with a few other teams…

 

The head coach of her studio informed me today that he witnessed the most unbelievable act from Hanna.  Apparently when one of the choreographers asked about 60 girls what the word integrity meant, Hanna was the only one who raised her hand and said, “Integrity is doing the right thing whether someone is watching you or not”.  All the adults in the room including the choreographer had their mouths wide open… 

I wanted you to know this and tell you thank you.  This is all because of the teachings at Carden.  I appreciate you and Mrs. Collins greeting the children every day and asking about their quality and appreciate the emphasis in the classroom on qualities.  Thank you again.

 --Vafa Talieh, parent

 

Dear Miss Smallcomb, Coach Mansour, and Mrs. de Avila, I wanted to take a minute to thank you all for your kind and thoughtful management of the situation between my son, Sebastien, and his classmate...  Every school boasts that they work together with parents for the best interest of the children; however, not every school can come through with that kind of promise.  Carden is exceptional and we are so very glad we’re here.  Thank you again for guiding the children when we parents can’t be there.     Have a wonderful day.

--Linda Fregeau, parent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carden Academy
24741 Chrisanta Drive
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
phone: 949.458.1776
Carden Academy
24741 Chrisanta Drive
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
phone: 949.458.1776