Mayflower Preschool

Los Alamitos, California

Supporters of Mayflower Preschool Directors Cathi and Lee Ann, taken at Laurel Park, 8/02/07.  Photo courtesy of Kathi Kent.


This spring has been another roller coaster ride for Mayflower Preschool. 

Reverend Dr. John S. Ellington finally resigned.  That seemed like a good thing.  However, that unfortunately left J. Lynwood Walker in charge.  Now J. Lynwood Walker has gone underground (again), leaving the church with no pastor.  Who is running it?  We have to guess it is the same lay people who have been in charge for the past few years.  According to the News Enterprise, Rev. Reinhold Klein is heading the pulpit for now.  He is the man who ineffectively facilitated the meeting between parents and this church back in 2007 (but does deserve credit for being the only church representative to show up.)

Once again, under J. Lynwood Walker’s leadership, the church has wreaked havoc and has voted to close Mayflower Preschool. 

Kendy Gioia, Mayflower Preschool’s most recent director is reportedly trying to either purchase Mayflower Preschool and lease the space from the church, or move to another location.  Those sound likes great ideas, but ones that are nearly impossible to implement.  She will not likely ever be able to reach an agreement with the people of this church.  Finding a new location is not an easy feat either, unless she has been planning this for quite some time and already has a space lined up.  This is something Cathi and Lee Ann (previous directors with more than 40 years combined service to Mayflower Preschool) tried to accomplish after they were fired (when they had nearly 200 students and a loyal group of families and qualified staff), and is reportedly something Sally Sherlock tried prior to her termination as well.  (Do you see a pattern here?  The same people are at this church, on the boards and voting—I really can’t imagine trusting them in any capacity.)

So, save yourselves the stress folks.  We have heard that Hopkinson Elementary (Los Alamitos School District ) is opening a Child Development Center.  The tuition rates are comparable, and it would be a great and stable place for your children to learn.


It looks like the rumors are true and the CCUCC Board of Directors has done it again.  Sally Sherlock-Bach is no longer the director of Mayflower Preschool, after only 18 months on the job.  Will the Church blame it on "God's will", or a "disconnect" between Sally Sherlock and the Church?  We can only wonder.


We are hearing two disturbing rumors out of Mayflower Preschool and its “parent company”, CCUCC.  Yes, we said rumors.  They are unconfirmed, but are from sources we deem extremely reliable.  If, for some reason, you are still considering sending your children to Mayflower Preschool, we recommend that you ask some tough questions first.  It does not seem that children are a priority at this institution.


The first thing we are hearing is that CCUCC is trying to terminate current Mayflower Preschool director Sally Sherlock-Bach over financial issues.  Where is this stability that Sally Sherlock spoke of?  Firing again after less than 18 months and financial issues does not sound like a stable environment.  (File under "Oops...they're doing it again".)


Second, according to people who have read The Window, CCUCC’s newsletter, the church has created a new position, “Minister of Administration”. (Hmmm, we understood that the whole reason Rev. Dr. John S. Ellington was promoted to “Senior Minister” was because he was undertaking so many administrative responsibilities.)  The troubling aspect of this is that the person apparently appointed to this position is James Lynwood Walker, the man who is said to have initiated the previous havoc at Mayflower Preschool and is featured in this article: .  (File under "He's Baaaack".)


Fasten your seatbelts, folks.  It looks like this year is going to be another wild ride!


Welcome to the official website. 


This is not our religious or moral leader.  This person has been confused with someone from a similarly named website set up by former actors and other suspicious characters who disagreed with the success that Mayflower Preschool had enjoyed for decades, in order to make some changes to further their own self-interest and salaries.  This is not their website.  While we respect everyone’s right to free speech, the other website contains untruths and comments by people who have destroyed lives and damaged a community.


If you visit that beautiful school that others built, we encourage you to ask those in charge today the following three questions:


        1. How long have you worked at Mayflower Preschool?
        2. What happened to Lee Ann, Cathi, Kerry, Susan, Karen, Mrs. Hara, and all of the others who had been here for DECADES and made Mayflower Preschool a success?
        3. Is Mayflower Preschool really a community outreach, or is it a subsidiary and revenue source, fully owned and operated by CCUCC?


The bottom line is this…the Mayflower Preschool you have heard great things about for so many years NO LONGER EXISTS.  It has DIFFERENT STAFF with DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHIES serving DIFFERENT FAMILIES and results in DIFFERENT OUTCOMES for children.


Keep looking; there are other preschools out there.  Don’t be fooled by a name.  If you wouldn’t buy a car from some guy, then you probably shouldn’t send your kids to a school that he is in charge of.

                                                                                                                       …Rock the boat.


(This is a parody.)



Happy Holidays!!!

We would like to wish all of you much peace and happiness this holiday season and throughout the coming year.  Even though 2007 has been a difficult year for us all, it is our hope that each of us takes time to reflect on what's important this time of year—giving thanks and spreading joy.

Though our kids may be attending other schools, let's not forget Mayflower Preschool’s long history of supporting WE CARE, a local non-profit organization committed to helping families in need.  Who can forget the food drives, Little Elves shopping (some of you dads probably still have a funky tie hanging in your closet!), or purchasing a gift or two for names we chose off the Christmas tree?  These are more examples of the things that made our preschool so special.

Here are some ideas of how we can continue to help...

WE CARE is in great need of canned goods and other non-perishable items.  Maybe next time you go to the store you can pick up a few extra groceries to drop off…or simply clean out your pantry.   If you'd like, consider donating some money to support their programs or perhaps sign up to purchase gifts for families in need.  I'm sure they'll appreciate hearing from their former Mayflower Preschool Families.

Whatever we can do—giving canned foods, buying a gift for a child, adopting a family, making a donation to a favorite charity—it all helps.  Whether you support WE Care or another organization, the important thing is that we do what we can to improve the lives of others.  Remember, the values we learned at Mayflower Preschool last a lifetime.

 We wish you all the best this holiday season.

 Here is WE CARE’s information:

WE CARE of Los Alamitos
10941 Reagan St.
Los Alamitos CA 90720
(562) 598-9790


We understand that, while the Moderator had prepared answers to some of the questions below, the church will not be releasing any written answers, based on the advice of their attorney.


Here is the list of questions from the 8/28/07 meeting, submitted to Reinhold Klein.

Questions for Pastor John, Members of the Board of Directors and Sally Sherlock

From Parents Attending the Open Forum Meeting, August 28, 2007


  1. Why isn’t Pastor John here? 
  2. Why aren’t any board members here? 
  3. Why isn’t Sally Sherlock here?
  4. Were they (the above people) invited?  Are you disappointed that they aren’t here?
  5. Will Mayflower be a preschool or only a “daycare” program?
  6. What is the philosophy of the “new Mayflower Preschool”?
  7. What are the core values of the new program?  If they are not different than before, why was there such a dramatic change?
  8. What is the background/philosophy of the director?
  9. The newly appointed director’s resume said she has not been in the “preschool business” since 1989. Is she familiar with current practices, methods, regulations?
  10. Who is going to be teaching the kids?  What is their background and experience?
  11. What will the tuition be?
  12. Will Mayflower Preschool become a Montessori program?
  13. What changes to curriculum will be made?
  14. If communication between the church and school was the reason for the reorganization and dismissals, what specific steps have been taken by the pastor and church to improve the connection with the parents and teachers?
  15. Is there a business plan, a “road map” or is this haphazard approach going to continue?
  16. What are the teachers' views of what happened?
  17. Will Pastor John be held responsible for the poor communication, lack of response to the parents and dismal leadership during this critical time?
  18. Who is accountable to the parents, the “stockholders and customers”?
  19. Some parents did and others did not receive the letter from Sally Sherlock asking if they were going to attend.  How do they decide who gets letters? 
  20. Why was there such a “lack of effort” in keeping parents informed?
  21. Were you just relying on the waiting list?
  22. What are you doing to retain the parents who may leave due to a lack of trust?
  23. Pastor John stated that he had “no objection” to Cathi and Lee Ann’s work.  It is widely known that they got good reviews and had their contracts renewed as recently as a few weeks before they were fired.  If things were so bad, why did you renew the contracts?
  24. Please explain how you would handle any of this differently.
  25. Will Pastor John be “more present” now?
  26. Is anyone thinking forward, what are long-term plans for the school?
  27. Why weren’t the Mayflower Preschool directors given an opportunity to work within the new structure?
  28. Did the directors’ contracts require that they “grow the church”?
  29. What are the “missing records” that the church keeps using as an excuse for closing the school?  Has anyone asked Cathi or Lee Ann for help in finding them?
  30. How can we decide whether our children will attend Mayflower Preschool or not when we don’t know the direction, tuition, who will be teaching?
  31. Why didn’t the church try to keep the teachers?
  32. Why didn’t they try to keep the parents?


The discussion/meeting at the church took place.  Rev. Reinhold Klein (a church member, not an active pastor) deserves credit for his willingness to participate and for being one of only three current church members to attend.  The pastor, members of the board and the interim director did not attend.  Mr. Klein said that he would take the list of questions to the pastor, the members of the board and the interim director.  Hopefully they will be answered.


CCUCC will hold an "open-forum" discussion for Mayflower Preschool Families interested in having questions answered.  TUESDAY, AUGUST 28, 6:30 PM IN THE FELLOWSHIP HALL.  Please try to attend.
If you will be attending the meeting and have questions/comments, please write them down.  Also, if anyone has the "Parent Question Box" from a few weeks ago, please bring it with you.

We have now consolidated the information people have posted about preschools they have found into a discussion on the forum.  Follow the purple link at the bottom of the page, click on "Discussions" tab, and then click on "Preschools that have been found".  You may view discussions without a "Log In", but in order to post or start a new discussion, you need to register.


Stay tuned for important information about "Mayflower Preschool on the Rocks"


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Okay... This website builder thing wants me to put something in this block, so here you go....  Cathi and Lee Ann are cool.

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