26 May People with passion: the Criders
The Oxford dictionary defines commitment as engagement or dedication, or to pledge oneself to something. At Woodstock, Dana and Judy (’69) Crider’s service to the school is a perfect example of dedication. Married for 40 years, almost 33 of which they have worked at Woodstock, they have built their lives around the school and Mussoorie.
Whether it’s a swish of purple in the corridor or a roaring laugh in the quad, the Criders are always around. Having been here more than 30 years, Dana and Judy have touched many lives and tutored many minds. Currently holding the position of staff representative of the board, head of CARE for Grades 10-12 , and campus safety officer, Dana is much more to this school than just a maths teacher. Judy meanwhile is on the staff social committee, housing committee and is officially staff welfare officer. Their experience at Woodstock has been vastly different from many others here, starting with Judy graduating from the school herself. The Criders then came back and raised and put all four of their kids through Woodstock, and are still influencing lives here.
Along with a familiar face and an easy smile, the Criders have given the school continuity, solid foundations, and built relationships and growth through their respective jobs and responsibilities. Judy and Dana are also greatly involved in church and bring their strong faith and Christian values into the community of Woodstock.
Their relationships with members of the Woodstock family extend to those who have left the school as well – students and staff alike. Dana says that it is a “thrill to have students come back and touch base with us”, and to see that a lasting relationship has been built.
Dana has also built a strong relationship between the employees and the staff of the school by reaching out to them. The Criders are popular with the people of Mussoorie as well, and are loved and known by all those who have become familiar to them in the bazaar throughout these 30-odd years. Regarding Mussoorie, they love the monsoon and all the ferns, moss, mist and greenness it brings – especially the sound of rain on the roof. Although the monkeys, dog packs and leeches are less than appealing, both Judy and Dana consider Mussoorie as their true home; so much so that after retirement, they want to stay in Mussoorie for the rest of their lives and build a home here for the elderly. Judy also wants to build a handicraft store and training centre here.
The Criders have created and been part of many memories over the years in Woodstock. Having buried two parents and a daughter here, this place is truly unforgettable for them. Building relationships, creating a home and saying farewell to many friends is an integral part of life here for one and all. Breaking the normality of leaving Woodstock after just a few years, the Criders have touched many lives with their continuity and dedication; hopefully they will be able to do so for many more years to come.
Story by Development Associate Hazel Ebenezer, photo by Development Associate Phuriwat Chiraphisit