Mary Claudia Huntley has been part of the GRACE community for 14 years. She was already a GRACE parent when the opportunity to join the GRACE staff presented itself. At the time, she was teaching in the public schools and she was excited that she would no longer have to hide her faith as a teacher.
Mary Claudia considers it a joy to teach and especially enjoys watching her students’ personalities emerge. She loves being able to openly point students to Jesus Christ when they come to her with issues, to encourage them to have strong character, and challenge them to live Godly lives. Asked what she loves best about being a first-grade teacher, Mary Claudia was quick to state that she loves that first graders have wonder about everything. From the smallest ant to God’s mightiest creation, they are amazed at it all. This is the childlike mindset God calls us to have and Mary Claudia thinks we should all be more like her first graders!
Mary Claudia grew up in Wilson, North Carolina, surrounded by music. She was involved in choir, piano, and a well-known high school chorus. In addition to music, her two brothers gave her many years of experience in backyard sports and during school she played soccer and ran track. She states that this was valuable experience to prepare her to be a mom of two boys and a teacher to so many boys each year! Mary Claudia earned her degree in elementary education from Meredith College. While at Meredith she met Scott Huntley and they married shortly after graduation.
As a young adult, Mary Claudia was in a 12-member singing group from her church near Washington, D.C. They performed live for the National Day of Prayer where Dr. James Dobson, the Senate Chaplain Dr. Richard Halverson, and many other famous people were in attendance. While singing was memorable, Mary Claudia also remembers bumping (literally) into Justice Sandra Day O’Connor during a break! Mary Claudia describes her as being quite surprised, yet very kind as her entourage escorted her away!
Mary Claudia’s favorite Bible verse is Micah 6:8 which says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Mary Claudia claimed this verse for her young boys 20+ years ago because she knew that if they grew up and did justly, loved mercy, and walked humbly with their God, all the other things would come together. Through the years, this verse helped so much in raising her boys. When things were not going well or life was uncertain, she clung to this verse as a promise.