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Chantal MacDonald – Alumni Success Story

September 11, 2023

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Chantal MacDonald – Alumni Success Story

Chantal MacDonald

BA in English and Concurrent BEd, Class of 2007 & 2008

My arrival at Crandall (then ABU) in the fall of 2003 was both surprising and expected. Surprising because I had visited the school as a high school student and definitively declared to my parents that it was not the right fit for me. Expected because when the time came to submit post-secondary education applications, Crandall was the only school I applied to. Despite early reservations, it was unequivocally the right decision. I found myself getting involved in academic life quickly. I played on several worship teams, joined the social committee, participated in drama productions, and acted as grad rep. During the five years that I spent at Crandall completing my BA and BEd I developed rich friendships and was stretched both academically and spiritually. I still get nostalgic every time that I drive past the building or walk through the halls.

After leaving Crandall in 2008, I attended the University of Ottawa to obtain my Master of Arts in English Literature. I graduated with that degree in 2010 and moved to Miramichi, NB where I was hired as a high school English/Music teacher. I was grateful to have been able to pursue graduate studies, but my passion was to become a high school English teacher. I was thrilled to be hired right away into my dream position. While I was working at North & South Esk Regional High (the same high school I had attended), I reconnected with Jeremy MacDonald who was working as the youth pastor at Moncton Wesleyan Church at the time. We got married and spent three years in Miramichi before Jeremy’s career as a pastor took us and our son, Ryker, to Orillia, Ontario.

While in Orillia, I shifted my focus from the brick-and-mortar school system to online education so that I would be able to stay at home with our children. I worked for an online ESL company as a teacher and mentor for four years and I loved the freedom and flexibility it offered. We welcomed our second son, Archer into our family in 2018 and then made the difficult decision to leave the close community we had found and move to Moncton, New Brunswick to be closer to family in 2019.

Since moving back to Moncton, I have spent my time raising our three children and pursuing a long-dormant dream of becoming an author. At the beginning of 2020, just a couple months after the birth of our daughter, Ember, I began writing. I have since self-published two YA Christian fiction novels (Hope at the Ocean’s Edge and A Harbour for Broken Hearts) and one children’s picture book (Lester the Lobster and the Great Escape) which I co-published with illustrator and friend as well as fellow Crandall alum, Mark Cann. I am not sure what the future of my professional life holds, but considering the twists and turns I have experienced over the past couple decades, I am excited about the possibilities.

My years at Crandall were some of the most formative of my life. I could spend days talking about all the ways that my life has been impacted by my classmates, professors, and friends. It was because of Crandall that I was able to complete a semester as an associate student of Oxford University (which still blows my mind!) and it was at Crandall that I made the decision to complete my Masters degree. I will be forever grateful for the influence of Dr. Doug Mantz, Prof. Graeme Ching, and Dr. Sam Reimer for their belief in me and their encouragement to pursue graduate studies. I am also grateful to Bryan Taylor, Vince Ryan and the incredible team of education professors who equipped me to excel in the school system. As much as my teaching journey has had its learning curves, I have never felt unprepared.

Looking back to my time as a Crandall student always makes me smile with fond memories. I thank God for the ways that my post-secondary experience helped to shape my future.

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