By Amy Box Fellhoelter
Meeting teachers, reconnecting with friends, orientation, and receiving schedules were all part of the “Back 2 School KICK OFF” fun celebrated at Concord Christian School and Preschool last Friday night, August 9. As the largest private school in Knoxville with an enrollment of more than 1,100 students, Concord Christian will be in full gear for the 2019-2020 school year as it begins its first day of school tomorrow Tuesday, Aug. 13.
New to this school year includes some new employees to welcome to the Concord family, a freshly painted gym, a remodeled milk room as well as new vans for transportation. As a one-to-one school for student technology beginning in eight grade, new Mimio boards have also been added to every high school classroom.
This fall also welcomes an administrative change with the addition of a first-time K-8 assistant principal Karen Littleton. Littleton will work beside Leigh Ledet, the current kindergarten through eighth grade principal.
“It’s a new model for us and a new model for our families to learn … so it will be an interesting experience for everyone … it will be an easy transition. Just something that’s new,” explained Stephanie Mason, Concord director of admissions and marketing. Also, Shane Mynatt, previous assistant athletic director, will be taking over the role of interim athletic director.
Another exciting event to come is the preschool program — tending to children from six weeks old to five years old — will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. As a ministry of First Baptist Concord Church that began in 1969, the program has grown to having graduated 119 children into kindergarten last spring, and improved with activities such as a music therapy class for infants and toddlers.
Newly adopted math curriculum has been chosen for kindergarten through twelfth grades, and a physics-based science program — which begins the freshman year for students — are two more differences made this year.
With a retention ratio at the 90th percentile, a wait list for some classes, and its largest freshman class of 60 students, school board members and church leadership continue to collaborate as they currently examine a facility growth review of the Concord campus to ensure spaces either off-site or on-site are used well according to the mission and vision of the school.
Concord Head of School Donald E. Snider commented, “As you know, the ability to teach from a biblical worldview and to pronounce the Lordship of Jesus Christ in everything we do sets us apart. Our faculty and staff are called to Christian education with the primary goal of building meaningful Christ-centered relationships with your child.”
“Concord Christian definitely has a great place in our community. We have about 80 churches that are represented, so even though we are located here on First Baptist Concord campus and we are a ministry of this church, it represents what is great about faith because we have so many people from different church homes who have their children going to school with us,” Mason responded when asked what makes Concord unique.
“The focus of Concord is the influence, to do it better, continue to take what we are doing and perfect our craft. To benchmark what is happening in education throughout the nation and find opportunities that we can bring on our campus to influence the nation’s leaders, the community’s leaders for faith, as well as what will be happening in the coming years in our nation. Our dreams are how we can do it better with the people we have on our campus. It’s about an influence and an impact on our local community, and the people who are in our school, and the people they touch in the world,” clarified Mason.
Concord parents appreciate a safe environment with an eight to one teacher ratio, average class size of 17:1, strong parent-teacher relationships, a taught Biblical worldview, and excellence in fine arts, athletic opportunities and academics. “We are blessed to have a full package that we are able to offer our families,” Mason added. Because the school is a ministry of First Baptist Concord Church some costs are absorbed by the church. This allows the school to offer affordable tuition fees that average $8,000 per student.
Some past examples of positively impacting others are: preschool students collecting needed supplies for those impacted by the flooding in the Midwest; fourth grade students raising funds for special needs students to attend a summer Joni & Friends camp; middle school students introducing recycling to the Concord campus; the 2019 senior class serving refugee camps in Clarkston, Ga.; and eighth grade students distributing Christmas gifts to Oneida schools through Mission of Hope.
Each student of the 2019 graduating class will continue to pursue higher education this fall. Of the 34 graduating seniors, 3.2 million dollars was awarded in scholarships at schools such as Samford University, Clemson University, Lee University, Union University, ETSU, Maryville College, University of Tennessee Knoxville and others.
Located at 11704 Kingston Pike, Concord CS serves infants through twelfth grade, and provides the community with an after-school program for kindergarten through eighth grades.
For more information about CCA, visit the Concord Christian School Facebook page, www.concordchristianschool.org, or contact Stephanie Mason at 865-966-8858.