Staff Bio » Administration Staff

Administration Staff

Bob Core

Title: Facilitator/SOAR Founder
Education: B. S. Chem. E., M.S. & Ph.D. University of Tennessee
Education: B.S. University of Tennessee Education
Phone: (865) 521-6054 ext.104
Bio: Dr. Core taught in the Knox County school system for 32 years before coming to Berean Christian School. Here, he served as high school principal and teacher of physics, chemistry and mathematics for ten years before becoming the Soar director. In 2013, Dr. Core became headmaster assistant and director of elementary school enrichment in science and mathematics. With 48 years of classroom and administrative experience, he continually strives for spiritual and academic excellence of each student. Enjoys Fishing, playing golf and reading.

Jonathan Farra

Title: Head of School
Education: B.S., M.Ed. Columbia International University Cum Laude
Education: Postgraduate studies: University of South Carolina
Phone: (865) 521-6054 ext. 103
Bio: Jon Farra completed his undergraduate degree in psychology and Bible from Columbia International University. He also obtained a TEFL certificate which allowed him to teach English in Thailand. Upon returning to the United States, Farra worked as a youth pastor while completing a Master of Education degree from CIU and pursuing supplemental coursework at the University of South Carolina. In both the areas of teaching and administration, Mr. Farra’s focus is to develop and build teams to help Berean Christian School continue to become more efficient and caring. Farra moved to Knoxville in 2005, married fellow teacher Rae Rawlings, and has since experienced the joy of becoming a father.

Emily Fiveash

Title: Campus Counselor/SOAR Coordinator  
Education: Undergraduate: Tennessee Tech University, Secondary Education
Education: Masters: Carson Newman University, Counseling
Phone: (865) 521-6054 ext. 209
Bio: Emily Fiveash and her husband, Patrick, have two children – Zadie and Grey – who both attend Berean. For the last 20 years, Mrs. Fiveash has worked in education in various roles and has been a stay-at-home mom along the way. When she’s not working, she enjoys camping, kayaking, running, hiking, and family time. Mrs. Fiveash’s passion is to see kids realize that they are “fearfully and wonderfully made” in the image of Christ. (Psalm 139:14) That is her prayer for the kids at Berean to embrace and believe!
Favorite Verse or Quote: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." (Psalms 139:14)

Tab Jordan

 Title: Bible, History, Graphic Design/Yearbook, Marketing Director, Fine Arts Director
Education: B.A. University of Tennessee
Education: Postgraduate Studies: Columbia International University
Phone: (865) 521-6054 ext. 200
Bio: After earning a degree in Art/Graphic Design, Tab Jordan worked as an art director in advertising for 11 years. During that time, he also served as a part-time youth pastor and later made a career change to full time Youth Ministry, where he spent 16 years leading various youth events and founding a citywide home-missions service project. He presently teaches Bible, Biblically integrated History, and Graphic Design at Berean. Mr. Jordan’s expertise comes from the union of his art/advertising degree, his Biblical studies at Columbia International University, and his study of education methods through Walden University. Committed to guiding students to a proper relationship with God, self, and others, Mr. Jordan is actively involved on campus as Fine Arts Director and Marketing Director.  He believes that extra-curricular activities enhance the curriculum of the school, provide student participation and leadership as well as parent involvement and positive publicity. He and his wife, Becky (also a teacher at Berean) have two sons, Isaac (2012) and Noah (2015) both are graduates of Berean.

Terri Lakin

Title: Elementary Principal
Education: B.S. University of Tennessee
Education: Postgraduate studies: University of San Diego
Phone: (865) 521-6054 ext.107
Bio: Terri Lakin received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Tennessee. She has also completed graduate studies from the University of San Diego, Cumberland University and Tennessee Tech. Mrs. Lakin taught at Berean for 24 years before becoming elementary principal. She considers it a privilege to be a part of the Berean family. She loves playing with her grandchildren, reading, and being a pastor’s wife.
Favorite Verse or Quote: Every word of God is pure. He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. (Prov 30:5)

Cheryll Longnecker

Title: Office Manager
Education: University of Tennessee
Phone: (865) 521-6054 ext 100
Bio: Cheryll is the Office Manager at Berean Christian School. She attended the University of Tennessee, and then worked for the City of Knoxville for several years. During that time she was the secretary for the Finance Director as well as for the Mayor. After her first child was born, she chose to stay home and raise a family. God led them to Berean when their oldest son started kindergarten. She now has 3 grown children, who all attended Berean Christian School. She began working at Berean part-time in 1994 as a teacher’s aid and then moved to the office in 1995. Cheryll says, “It has been such a blessing to be part of Berean Christian School as a parent and also as an employee. Over the years at the front desk, I have enjoyed getting to know the wonderful children and families of this school.”
Favorite Verse or Quote: For I know the plans I have for you, ..., plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jer 29:11

Eric Palmer

Title: Athletic Director/MS Bible
Education: BS University of Tennessee History/Geography
Education: Master
Bio: Eric held the same Athletic Director  position in 2008-2011. He brings a wealth of experience back to Berean Christian School. Eric worked at YOKE ministry full/part time staff, was a summer director, and led a backpacking ministry during college . He studied history and education at the University of Tennessee. He interned at Fulton High School from 1998-1999 and began teaching and coaching in Knox County Schools in 1999 at Northwest Middle. While there he worked with the track, volleyball, and coached girls’ basketball in addition joined the baseball coaching staff at West High School. In 2004 he moved to teach and coach full time at West High School in baseball, golf, and boys’ basketball. In 2008 he came to Berean Christian School as head boys’ basketball coach and Athletic Director, while still teaching and coaching golf at WHS. In 2011 he made the move when God called him into a full time Church ministry at Sevier Heights Baptist Church.  Eric will teach in the high school in addition to his position as Athletic Director and Stone Gymnasium Director. Eric has a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Geography from the University of Tennessee and holds a Master’s in Secondary Education from the University of Tennessee.

Kristie Hees

  • Title: SOAR Lead Teacher/Reading Specialist
  • Education: B.S. Tennessee Tech University
  • Education: Post-Bac with teacher licensure, Lincoln Memorial University
  • Education: Orton Gillingham certified
  • Phone: 865-521-6054 ext. 100
  • Email:
Bio: Mrs. Hees received her bachelor degree from Tennessee Tech University and later received her teacher license from Lincoln Memorial University. Her previous experience includes teaching first and third grades in the Knox County School System. Kristie and her husband Ron have two children, Daniel and Olivia who both attend Berean. In her spare time, she loves to read, travel, hike and run.
  • Mark Little
  • Title: Upper School Principal
  • Education: B.S. Southeastern Bible College
  • Education: M.A. Dallas Theological Seminary
  • Phone: 865-521-6054 ext. 216
  • Email:
  • Bio:

    Mark has served Berean Christian School as a parent, coach, and teacher since 2004. He is excited to be taking this step into being Upper School Principal.  Mark enjoys coaching, pick up basketball, and wood working. He and his wife, Susan, have two children who are BCS graduates — Victoria and Grant. 

George Waller
Title: School Chancellor

Education: B.A. Columbia International University, M.A. Liberty University Honors, Certificate in Business: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Postgraduate studies: University of Tennessee

Phone: (865) 521-6054


Bio: George Waller served as Headmaster of Berean Christian School for 14 years. He received a B.A. from Columbia International University and an M.A. with Honors from Liberty University. Waller also received a Certificate in Business from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and completed postgraduate work at the University of Tennessee. Prior to joining the faculty at BCS, he served as pastor of Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Kingston, Tennessee in addition to having a counseling practice for many years. While at BCS, Mr. Waller has taught Bible and psychology courses at the high school level and he also serves as an adjunct instructor at Bryan College. As Chancellor, George will partner and assist BCS Head of School as well as develop a financial plan to raise funds for the operations and long-term vision of BCS. He and his wife, Judy, have two children and three grandchildren. His interests, outside of school, include listening to music, reading and traveling.