Christ Church Episcopal School experiences have prepared graduating seniors for whatever comes next and to make a positive difference in the world. Each week, we will put the spotlight on a graduating senior from the Class of 2021. We hope you enjoy getting to know these amazing CCES students!
McCrady Mann is no stranger to the University of South Carolina. Multiple members of his family are USC alumni and he grew up visiting campus for football games. He always kind of figured he would end up there as well, but intentionally took a step back from the childhood nostalgia as he contemplated Wofford and USC. After one last visit to both campuses, he knew USC was where he was supposed to be.
While he’s not exactly sure what he will end up pursuing for a career, McCrady does know for sure it will be related to real estate. He has been around real estate his whole life with his dad being a residential agent and his uncle a commercial agent. As he was looking for summer jobs in 2020, he decided he wanted something that would “help in the future, not just make him money” and ended up getting a position with Bell, Carrington, Price & Gregg, LLC – a law firm that handles a large number of real estate cases. McCrady went in having quite a bit of background knowledge on the buying and selling side, thanks to his dad, but came out of this experience having learned a lot about the legal side of things. He says, “It’s good to know both sides. It allows you to more fully grasp what real estate is about.” McCrady will be pursuing Business at USC as he narrows down what side of real estate he wants to be on.
McCrady didn’t come to CCES until the 2nd grade, but he is so woven into the fabric of CCES that one would assume he’s just been here all along. He calls his time at CCES a “great experience” and feels that the school helped “prepare him to be the best he could be” for college. He speaks highly of his teachers and the “great friendships” he’s been able to build over the years. Some of his favorite memories range from helping Ms. Valerie with announcements in the Lower School to spirit week events in the Upper School, from dancing the night away at prom to road tripping to watch the Boys Varsity Basketball team win their first state championship in March.
It’s no surprise that his interests in school and extra-curricular activities are also very wide in range; he’s a well-rounded student who isn’t afraid to try new things. His most memorable classes range from European History with Mr. Burford to math with Mr. Wilkie, from Senior English with Dr. Stone to Art with Ms. Kimmell, and Spanish with Senior Greer. Outside the classroom, McCrady served as a Student Ambassador for four years (chair this year), was a member of the Art Club for two years (chair this year), participated in Ducks Unlimited for four years, and Fantasy Football for three years.
Speaking of trying new things, McCrady decided to join the swim team this past fall, not even knowing how to do a flip turn. He says, “I figured why not?” He talked to Coach Matt Jacobssen who told him to not worry about his lack of experience in the pool and to come out. With regards to the flip turns, he laughs and says he was able to figure it out and he ended up earning the “Rookie of the Year” award for the team!
While he’s tried a few different sports (in addition to swim, he has also been a member of the football and wrestling teams) over the years, the one constant was always baseball, having played at CCES since the seventh grade. Quite fittingly, it’s this sport that has taught him so much about staying positive, a characteristic of McCrady’s that is one of the first used to describe him by all who know and love him. McCrady shares that baseball is “a game of failure,” using the illustration that while a success rate of 30 percent is not great in most spaces, in the sport of baseball if you are able to hit 3 out of 10 times, it will get you into the Hall of Fame. While positivity comes fairly naturally to him, baseball has ingrained in McCrady the mindset of moving on and staying positive – whether on the field after an error, or in life after a discouragement. When things get hard, he is quick to rely on his faith and always reminds himself to “try to slow down.” He says, “When I try to do too much or overdo something, that’s when things tend to go wrong. When things get tough, I try to take a step back and slow down.” Wise words that will certainly serve him well as he navigates life!
“What’s not to like about McCrady Mann?” asks Bartley Sides, Associate Director of College Counseling. “He is one of the most likeable students I’ve ever met – respectful yet comfortable with adults, hardworking yet never flustered, loyal to his friends, but friendly to everyone.” Mr. Sides shares, “If I were a faculty sponsor of a club or a coach, I would want McCrady to be a part of my team. He adds life to every organization, team, or project. His positive attitude attracts others to join together for a common purpose.”
While McCrady is excited to move to Columbia in the fall and start a new chapter, he notes that this transition will be bittersweet, especially as it concerns his family. McCrady shares that he takes after his dad when it comes to his outgoing and fun personality, but that his dad is also an extremely hard worker who shows up every day. From his grandfather (on his dad’s side), he has learned how important it is to like what you do because it makes you “want to excel in it.” He calls his mom and her mom (his grandma) “great women” who have both taught him positivity and “good manners.” While he will certainly miss seeing them regularly, he will take all the wisdom his different family members have imparted on him to this next chapter and beyond.
Just for fun!
Go-to dance party song? “Gangnum Style” (“It doesn’t ever miss.”)
Name something this world could use a lot more of. Happiness
If you could share an afternoon with anyone, who would it be? Dave Portnoy
Favorite professional sports team(s)? Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Braves
Tell us something people probably don’t know about you. I’m a 4th generation USC student on my dad’s side.