COSTA MESA — When Chris Spurgin walked the halls of Mariners Christian School as a student, it was a lot different.
The private school in Costa Mesa was on Bison Avenue in Irvine. It only offered one class per grade, and there weren't any extracurricular or athletic activities, either.
Much has changed since Spurgin, now 29, attended the school, but the feeling he got of being welcomed as a student didn't change when he came back as a teacher.
"From the moment I stepped on that campus, I was accepted with open arms," he said.
Spurgin came back in fall as the private school's first alumni teacher. The Lake Forest resident attended Mariners when it opened in 1988 for first grade and stayed through sixth grade.
A part of a "Mariners family," Spurgin was the first of four siblings to attend the school.
Plaques and awards bearing his family's surname from their time at the now-K-8 school still hang in the halls, leaving students with questions for their teacher.