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It’s no secret individualized attention from a talented, dedicated teaching staff creates positive results, but Briarcrest Christian School has its own approach to ensuring each student receives the mentorship they need to flourish — both academically and spiritually. From the classroom and extracurricular activities to life beyond Briarcrest, each student is given the opportunity to learn, thrive, and grow in all aspects of life.

Briarcrest’s individualized teaching approach begins with well-equipped teachers who not only have the right teaching skills but the desire to create meaningful relationships with their students. “What makes our students successful and our approach so unique is [that] we are as intentional as you can imagine in building relationships with our students,” explains Briarcrest President Caron Swatley. “That intentionality is what allows us to determine the needs of our students in a very unique way and to offer them support. Not only is that support [given] while they’re at Briarcrest, but it’s also after graduation because we want to continue to help them grow and mature in all areas of life.”

Briarcrest female student holding up robot

Teachers at Briarcrest Christian School are invested in both their students and the school’s mission, ensuring students are prepared for life both academically and spiritually.

From the school’s early childhood program through high school, teachers individually work with students to ensure they are receiving the necessary guidance and support. In fact, many teachers help students outside of regular teaching hours, often meeting with them before or after school.

“The teachers work hard to provide additional encouragement, assistance, and a lot of individualized one-on-one attention to help [students] be successful because not every kid’s going to learn at the same pace,” says Jennifer Anthamatten, an eighth-grade physical science teacher at Briarcrest. “Some kids are going to need more reinforcement; some kids are going to need more enrichment, and we strive to provide all of those different opportunities to our students.”

This dedication is also made evident through the teachers who believe in the school’s mission so much that they enroll their own children at Briarcrest. Such is the case for high school science teacher Dr. Lawanda Schief, who has seen first-hand — as both a teacher and parent — how far teachers are willing to go to ensure their students succeed. “The teachers care 100%! I have three kids who [attend Briarcrest], and the teachers are always reaching out to them and helping them,” Dr. Schief explains. “I think that’s important — having teachers who love what they do and who want their students to do well.”

Young male student posing in front of quadratic formula written on whiteboard

“One of the neatest things about our teachers is they are invested in their students and in the mission of our school,” says Swatley. “Not only do they possess all of the necessary skills to be what you would consider a highly effective teacher, but they also have the desire and they have the resources. It’s not just a job; it’s a mission for them.”

Briarcrest is also committed to educating the whole student, not just academically, but spiritually and emotionally as well. This emphasis on spirituality is seen in each teacher’s classroom and throughout the school’s curricula. “Our curricula — and this is from 2-year-olds through seniors in high school — are written from a Christian worldview, which means we use the lens of the gospel,” says Swatley. “We use scripture to approach learning so that our students will learn how to interpret what is taking place in the world from a biblical viewpoint.”

For Anthamatten, she incorporates spirituality into her classroom by relating physical science to Christianity and the Bible. “Everything we do in my classroom, we look at it through the lens of scripture, so that definitely pillars all of our discussions,” she explains. “When we talk about Newton’s laws of motion, we talk about the order of the universe and the order of our world and how it’s not accidental … We try to equip [students] as best we can with the ability to have an intellectual discussion with someone and defend their viewpoint.”

Group of Briarcrest male students huddling together

Briarcrest’s curricula are written from a Christian worldview, which is seen in individual classrooms, chapel services, and daily Bible lessons.

In addition to Briarcrest’s focus on academics and spirituality, the school also gives students the opportunity to explore all types of activities. In fact, the school is known for both its fine arts and sports programs, and oftentimes, students are involved in both. “Our sports program and our arts program are just phenomenal,” says third-grade teacher Alison Bryan. “All students have an opportunity to do something — they are able to be plugged in somewhere … There are so many options for kids to excel and just try new things.”

Briarcrest Saints football team running onto field

“We want students to experience being a part of something bigger than themselves, and with our philosophy and with all of the different extracurricular activities we offer, we are looking for well-roundedness because this also helps students build strong resumes for college acceptance,” says Swatley.

Young female student singing on stage

Briarcrest’s fine arts program, which includes both vocal and instrumental groups, has received national recognition. Some have even performed in prominent venues like Carnegie Hall.

From the moment a student starts their journey at Briarcrest, the school aims to ensure they will feel loved and supported by both their peers and teachers. The school creates a strong sense of community through its focus on academics, spirituality, and preparing students for life beyond school. For Swatley, this community is what she loves most about Briarcrest: “What I love most is truly the support, the care, the love, and the ministry of our families to our school community. You will be known when you become a part of Briarcrest.”

Briarcrest Christian School is located at 76 South Houston Levee Road, Eads, TN 38028. To learn more, visit briarcrest.com or call (901) 765-4600. You can also visit the school during one of its school-wide open house dates:

  • Sunday, February 6, 2022, at 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 3, 2022, at 2 p.m.

This article is sponsored by Briarcrest Christian School. All photography provided.

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