In the mid-1970s Dan and Pauline Condrick owned a basket shop in Ocean Beach that wasn’t doing very well. They were looking for another business that they could be successful at and wouldn’t have to work additional full time jobs to subsidize. Dan was a Yellow Pages advertising salesman and called on a preschool to sell them a Yellow Pages ad. Dan loves children and was intrigued by how the preschool business ran. He befriended the owner to learn about the secrets of running a high quality successful business. When Dan came home he told Pauline how excited he was about opening a preschool because they both share a love of children and the desire to make a positive influence on children. Pauline was a camp counselor and worked for two years at Head Start but she was no longer working in the childcare business. Pauline has an AA degree in child development and Dan got his bachelor’s degree at SDSU in social welfare, so they both were excited to finally put their degrees to work.
Dan and Pauline first located a piece of land in Allied Gardens area and spent a lot of time and energy getting permits in place to open their first preschool, only to be denied a conditional use permit. The Condricks were sad that it didn’t work out and continued on with their career paths. Dan left the Yellow Pages and started doing real estate loans at Santa Fe Federal Savings. Dan got involved in a subdivision in a little known area of San Diego called Rancho Penasquitos in the late 1970’s and came across the amazing piece of land along Carmel Mountain Road. Dan and Pauline immediately refinanced their home and were able to purchase the land. It took two years to get a conditional use permit approved by the City of San Diego and then the uphill struggle started to try to get a construction loan. The lenders balked at two individuals that had never owned a preschool. It seemed nearly impossible and the Condricks thought that once again their dreams would be crushed. After a stressful and long year of hearing “no” from every lender, Dan and Pauline finally got a “yes,” on the stipulation that they hired someone with a lot of preschool experience.
At this point in time Dan and Pauline had started their own family and while they were working on making their dream a reality they were also raising two young daughters, Arianne and Nicole. Dan and Pauline got to experience the preschool experience first hand and figure out what they loved and what they could improve at their new preschool. In May of 1983 the Condricks were finally able to start construction and they opened the preschool on their younger daughter Nicole’s 2nd birthday on August 28th, 1983 with ten full classrooms. In 1991 the Condricks added the upstairs building to fill the growing need for the expanding community and the Condrick’s expanding family. Dan and Pauline welcomed a son, Ryan, in 1986 and he was now attending the preschool. Arianne and Nicole were attending the Before & After School Program at Carmel Mountain Preschool and the school age after care demand was significant, so in 1994 the Condricks added classrooms 12AB and the upper parking lot.
Dan and Pauline have been leaders in the Rancho Penasquitos community and are constantly making a stand for children by supporting many non-profits that protect and benefit children and continuing their dream of having the highest quality preschool in the area. Carmel Mountain Preschool is a place that the Condricks were proud to send their three children and now are excited to send their grandson, Finn.
Dan and Pauline are still involved in ensuring that Carmel Mountain Preschool is kept up to their standards; after all, “Gigi” Pauline has even more time now to make sure her precious grandson is at the best preschool in San Diego. Dan & Pauline’s oldest daughter, Arianne, grew up babysitting, coaching PQ Grommets Water Polo and working as a camp counselor at SRSRC. She followed her father to SDSU and then became a broker at the Condrick’s family real estate business. In 2007 Arianne started working at the preschool and she is still busy making sure that Carmel Mountain Preschool is a great place for children, parents, and our wonderful staff.
The Condricks are amazed how often they are stopped by former students and parents who reminisce about their fond memories of Carmel Mountain Preschool: the ice cream socials, the holiday programs, the wonderful classroom experiences, and the lifelong friends they made. Those same former students and parents are now bringing their children and grandchildren to Carmel Mountain Preschool so they, too, can make those lifelong memories.
We thank the community of Rancho Penasquitos and all of our amazing children, parents and staff for helping our dream become a reality.