In the summer of 2004, My wife Susie and I had a decision to make. We were serving at a church in Fountain City where I was serving as the pastor. Being new to Knoxville, we had asked several people about a school for our son, Grant, to attend for kindergarten. We were impressed with the fact that Berean was the ministry of a local church. After our headmaster interview, we were even more impressed and made the decision to enroll him. At that time, we knew we could only afford to send him for a half day; we simply trusted God to provide for whatever He wanted for first grade.
In 2014 our daughter, Victoria, graduated from Berean, and, In the spring of 2017, Grant graduated from BCS as well. God’s provision in the 13 years between included Susie working part- time in the office and me serving as a coach, a substitute, and a part-time teacher. In the summer of 2016, I resigned from our church in Fountain City to devote my energies completely to the ministry of making disciples for Jesus Christ through education at Berean. And now, my involvement at Berean has changed again.
When I was asked to take the role of Principal for the upper campus, I was humbled, overwhelmed, and at peace. Humbled because I will be following in the footsteps of Susan Wallis and Jon Farra, who have both been incredible leaders in the high school and middle school. Overwhelmed because I have a gigantic learning curve. At peace, for many reasons. One, Susie and I are both certain that God has called us to this ministry. Two, I know that God has placed me here and now for such a time as this. Three, I love working with students and already have a good relationship with many of them. Finally, because the faculty and staff I will be working with are a tremendous group of godly people.
Emily Fiveash will be serving the upper campus as guidance counselor and supervisor of the SOAR program. Emily has many years of experience in public high schools as a guidance counselor and has already begun bringing her expertise to this transition. Eric Palmer has served as the athletic director at Berean in the past while he was teaching in Knox County Schools. Since then, he has been the youth pastor at Sevier Heights Baptist Church. Eric’s heart for disciple making and students matches my own desires for growth both in and out of the classroom.
The last few weeks have been filled with whispers and rumors. I have heard people say that the school is closing, we no longer will have athletics, and there will be all new teachers. All of that demonstrates the concern people have for Berean; none of it reflects truth. The upper campus will have fourteen out of sixteen teachers returning for next year. Our students will be prepared to excel after high school. Our athletes will continue to be discipled through competition. God will continue to be honored in our community.
One of my responsibilities will be communication with students and parents. If there is any question that I can answer for you concerning the 2018-19 school year, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark has been teaching HS Bible and History and has taught MS Bible and History
He has a M.A. from Dallas Theological Seminary
Mark also has been Assistant HS Boys’ Soccer team coach the past 3 years