Del Mar Pines School: A History of Learning Success
Judy Panton, the founder of Del Mar Pines School
Del Mar Pines School, a private elementary school in San Diego CA, was founded in 1978 by Judi Panton and Wini Rassmussen who created a unique learning environment where students are taught at their ability level with science based programs for reading and math instruction. Mrs. Panton was trained as a Speech and Language Pathologist as well as a reading specialist who always believed that all students need a strong phonics foundation in addition to a more whole language approach. And since that time, Del Mar Pines School has never veered away from these proven methods of teaching reading.
Just like in language arts, the approach to teaching math skills was founded on evidence based teaching strategies that generate meaningful results. Teaching students to form a strong conceptual understanding of how numbers are related, especially in our base 10 system, is instrumental in giving children the best foundation for all math understanding. This strategy makes it possible for Del Mar Pines students to easily transition to more abstract concepts and application of mathematical principles as they move up through the grades.
Marci McCord, the current director, is the daughter of Judi Panton and joined Del Mar Pines School in 1990 as a teacher. She first taught second and third grade reading and math groups, then became the full-time teacher in second grade for several years before moving to kindergarten and teaching reading and math groups there. After having her own children, Mrs. McCord assumed the role of the school’s Business Manager while also teaching the accelerated sixth grade math students.
Continuing on her mother’s legacy, Mrs. McCord took ownership of Del Mar Pines School and has been the Director of this special independent school since 2014. Both of her children attended this school from kindergarten through sixth grade and she was able to see firsthand, as a parent, the benefits of a Del Mar Pines education. Mrs.Panton is now enjoying her retirement in San Diego and happy to know that her Del Mar Pines School legacy is doing so well.
Mrs. McCord credits the school’s long-term success to a strong foundation of teaching strategies and educational values that have remained consistent throughout its history of over 40 years. “With an experienced, dedicated, and exceptional group of teachers and staff, as well as wonderful families who support our school in numerous ways, students at Del Mar Pines School continue to receive one of the best private school educations in San Diego County,” said McCord.