About Our Principal
It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself to the Grand Chapter. I serve as the Worthy Matron of Queen of Sheba Chapter # 104 Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliated, Ocala, Florida where I serve under the protection of the Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge of Florida & Belize, Central America and St John, US Virgin Islands, INC. The Honorable Jeffrey G. Jones is The 19th Most Worshipful Grand Master. My Zone II Coordinator is no other than Elder Bernice McFadden as Grand Associate Conductress.
My favorite scripture is the 41st Psalm. My favorite songs are “God Favored Me” and “Worth.”
I am a Past Matron from Rosetta Chapter #119 Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliate, Virginia Beach, Virginia where Brother Walter Butts was my Grand Patron and Sister Sallie Goodley was our Grand Matron. My name is Kathryn J. Crowell-Grate. I am currently fulfilling my dream as a third career in education at Kingdom Christian Academy Dr. D.D. Brown Academy of Hope, formerly Kingdom Christian Academy—a Title 1 school (Pre-K- 12th). I wake up each morning and make a difference in the lives of children. I am a retired accountant having worked for the Department of Defense for 22 years. I began teaching as a second career in Public School in 1999. After being ordained into the ministry, I left public school and became a private school administrator in 2006. I oversee, administrate, facilitate, and mentor colleagues by modeling, discussing, and presenting effective leadership and instructional strategies. I am the daughter of an Army Retiree, Reverend Henry Crowell-Jr., a 33rd degree Master Mason, the wife of Nathaniel Grate, A Master Mason, a Navy retiree as well as a retired Merchant Marine who sailed on Navy Ships; this makes for a lifelong military affiliation for me.
As an Administrator, teacher, and Professional Study Group facilitator, I benefit from collaborating with fellow colleagues daily as a mentor and discussion facilitator. I am an energetic, passionate, and open-minded educator, leader, and learner.
I always wanted to grow up and become an educator. However, I decided to pursue Accounting and Business Management after working as a Cash-Clerk for one year, I determined that was the way to go for me. Once I graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College, with one bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a focus on Accounting and one in Philosophy, I realized that I wanted to educate children, colleagues, and society. I earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration and a Master of the Arts with a focus on Business Management/Accounting. I serve as a Certified Grief Counselor for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Service members (T.A.P.S.), on the Ministerial Board of Monroe Regional Medical Center, now Advent Health and on the Westside Revitalization Program in Marion County. I am a professional grant writer.
My love and passion for education is shared with a love and passion for the arts. I love to dance, I love to sing, and I love clowning around. I love to write poetry. I have had the opportunity to entertain and share the love of the performing arts with adults and children. I dress up as a clown to entertain the children at church and at school. I love to teach, and I love to entertain.
I believe that we are a direct product of our environment, and to that belief, I was destined to become an Eastern Star. I come from generations of Masons and Stars. My father was a 33rd degree, Prince Hall Mason, My mother, an Eastern Star and a Heroine. I have allowed Jesus Christ to “Order my steps.” It gives me great joy to say that I am an Eastern Star, Heroine of Jericho, and Daughter of Isis. Last but not least, I am a child of King Jesus, a servant of the true and living God, and an ordained Elder and Pastor. I thank God for his mercy and his grace.
He did not cast me aside when I rebelled against him, he spared my life to make me a living testimony of his goodness and mercy.
Keeping with my dream, I reach out to assist those who need a high school diploma to lift them out of poverty by offering an adult education program. The program enables those who received certificates of completions or those who dropped out of high school, regardless of the age, to come to our facility and get a diploma. I am an advocate for children, passionate about education and the arts, and a believer in the power of being able to read successfully.
My father was in the Army. I grew up with 12 siblings; we had our own football, softball, and volleyball team. My mom made us sit around and read and then we had to sing as a group. I was child #7, I consider myself the blessed child. I have followed in my parents’ footsteps with my own children as a military wife and mother. I served as the teacher, administrator, and principal community member to ensure educational success with students I encounter daily.
Finally, being a part of the Order of the Eastern Star affords me the opportunity to always have a large family, a place of servitude, a place of sisterhood and brotherhood, and most of all, a place to shine my light so the World can see that “I have Seen “HIS” Star in the East and continuously Worship (God) HIM.
I enjoy serving others, and from the age of 15, I volunteered at State school for Girls in Marion County, mentoring and tutoring young girls who have been placed in the custody of the state for misbehaving, or being removed from home for other reasons. After six months of volunteering, I was placed on staff as a mentor and eventually became an office assistant to the Director.
It has been my goal from youth to assist others who need a helping hand to become a better citizen in the community. Upon marrying and moving away, I continued to assist others by volunteering to serve as the Ombudsman for the ship where my husband was stationed. Being an Ombudsman required me to receive calls all time of day or night from other young wives who were left back while our husbands were serving at sea. My duties included contacting Red Cross during emergency situations and taking families to Navy Relief Services when necessary. My other duties included having a direct line to the Ship’s Captain to report to the families what was going on during deployment. There were many times I had to babysit for wives who could not afford daycare or did not have family in case of emergency. Being a young wife myself, I eventually ran a home daycare to be a support to other women.
Later, I became a Volunteer at the YMCA. I would tutor children who were having difficulties in school. During the summer, many children had nothing to do so I formed a “Rent-A-Teen Program and attached it to the YMCA. That program provided an opportunity for youth who were too young to get a regular job to earn a fee for assisting members of the communities who needed help and the children were able to receive donations for yard work, household duties such as sitting with the elderly, dish washing, and house cleaning. The children were able to receive a stipend, develop work ethics, and receive community service hours.
The Virginia Beach Program was such as success, the Recreation Center on the Military Base asked me to set up the program on the Military Base. Eventually, I wrote a grant and to this day they have such programs throughout the Hampton Roads area to keep the children off the streets during the summer.
Often, parents were at work or had various reasons why their children could not participate, and I became the driver responsible for making sure they kept their commitments.
All my childhood we were taught to help others. It is in me. I was a Brownie Scout, A Girl Scout, a member of the 4H-Club, and many other service organizations that instilled in me to share with others.
My own mother took in many children from the community and we always share what God blessed us with.
Pleasantly, I served on the Board of Deliverance Refuge Center and am active in providing food baskets, clothes, and furniture to those in need free of charge. We provide cooked meals to the less fortunate and on cold nights our Refuge Center provide a place where people can come in from the cold and have hot coffee or hot chocolate in a warm and safe environment.
It is my philosophy that when we give to the poor we are lending to the Lord. Proverbs 19:17.
If you want to view her full qualifications, you can download her CV here.