In 1971, Mary Ann was a full-time music teacher in Bellflower when she got a call from some-one named Paul Cummins. He was the co-founder and headmaster of the yet-to-open Crossroads School, and was interested in hiring her as the Elementary School’s music teacher.
Uninterested but wanting to help, Mary Ann invited Paul to her house for dinner to meet two potential music teachers. The next day, Paul called and once again offered Mary Ann the position, with an added incentive.
“She had two children, Liesl and Julie, who were unhappy at the local public school,” Paul recalls. “I said, ‘You can come teach for me and your two daughters can come to Crossroads tuition-free.’” Mary Ann—who only learned later that the school had been under-enrolled when Paul made this “generous” offer— took the position. Since then, Mary Ann has created one of the finest classical music programs in the country.
“That’s how I met her,” says Paul of the woman he would eventually marry. “I met her in the home that I’ve now been living in for 50 years.” Crossroads has become a family affair: In addition to Liesl Erman ’77 and Julie Hansen ’78, Paul and Mary Ann are also the parents of Anna Cummins ’91 and Emily Polk ’94 and proud grandparents of Crossroads third-graders Avani and Dax, and seventh grader, Della.