Houston Levee Upper Elementary Faculty and Staff
Phyllis Armstrong paarmstrong@briarcrest
3rd Grade Teacher
Phyllis Armstrong is a graduate of Briarcrest and Union University. Her husband Tommy, is a CPA, and they have 2 sons- Travis (08) and Robert (11) who have attended Briarcrest since junior kindergarten. They are members of Covenant Baptist Church. Her teaching career has included 3 year olds to 4th grade. Mrs. Armstrong considers it a privilege to be teaching at Briarcrest.
Kim Avant Kwavant@briarcrest.com
4th Grade teacher
Kimberly Avant attended Christian Brothers University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance. She completed her course work at CBU for her Master of Art in Teaching in 2005. She has been teaching at Briarcrest since 2006. Kimberly is the proud mommy of Brooke (’20) and Brady (’26), stepson Ryan (’15) and stepdaughter Ragan ('15). Kimberly and her husband, Jeff are active members of Fisherville Baptist Church. Her life verse is "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me." Psalm 138:8
Cristan Billions email@example.com
4th Grade Teacher
Cristan Billions is a fourth grade teacher at the Houston Levee campus. She is married to her husband Jeff and has three children, Courtney (18), Caroline (14) and Andrew (8), who all attend Briarcrest. Cristan is a 1987 graduate of Briarcrest, after attending all 12 years here. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education at the University of Mississippi. Cristan has been teaching for 22 years. She taught for 11 years in the Memphis City Schools. She has been at Briarcrest for 10 years. Her family attends Second Presbyterian Church. Cristan truly has a heart for Briarcrest and loves teaching here.
Erin Brantley firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd Grade Teacher
Erin began teaching at Briarcrest in 2009 in the two-year old “Little Saints” classroom. She is now teaching second grade at the Houston Levee campus. Erin attended Mississippi State University where she obtained a Bachelor's of Science and a Master's of Science in Elementary Education. She moved to Birmingham, Alabama where she lived for eight years. While there, she taught fifth grade for four years and second grade for one. Erin temporarily retired to be a stay- at- home mom, then returned to teaching. Her husband, Ronnie is a banker in the Memphis/North Mississippi area. Laura Leigh is her daughter and Grant is her son. They both attend Briarcrest. Erin and her family attend Germantown Baptist Church, where she sings in the choir and helps with the school-age choir.
Her life verse is “For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you” Jeremiah 29:11. I know that God has a plan for each of our lives and we may not always understand our circumstances, but we need to trust that God will take care of us and do what is best for us.
Shannon Carter email@example.com
5th Grade Teacher
Shannon Carter is the fifth grade language arts teacher at the Houston Levee campus. Shannon has been teaching since 1999. Shannon is married to David Carter who is in the education field as well. Shannon received her bachelor’s degree in Education from Crichton College and her master’s degree in Education from Union University. Shannon is the daughter of Coach Jim Heinz, the MS and Elementary Athletic Director. She is thrilled to be at Briarcrest and desires to inspire young men and women to enjoy reading, achieve their highest potential, and become followers of Christ.
Julie Chow Jlchow@briarcrest.com
Elementary Computer and ESS
Julie Chow graduated from the University of Memphis with a B.S. in Computer Science and Math, an M.A.T. with certification in Secondary Math. She previously worked for University of Tennessee as a Programmer Analyst, consulted for the Regional Med, and then developed software for FedEx as a Senior Analyst for many years. After staying home with her children, Julie began teaching high school math in Memphis City Schools, tutored math for several years and taught Technology at Evangelical Christian School prior to coming to Briarcrest. She and her family are members of Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett where Julie actively serves in the Media Ministry. Julie enjoys digital photography, computer-generated media, running and spending time with family. Her favorite bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
Juli Clarkson firstname.lastname@example.org
4th Grade Teacher
Julie attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a Masters of Science in Curriculum and Instruction. Then, Juli went back to school to earn her Master’s + 30 in teaching. Juli is in her 6th year at Briarcrest and her 14th year of teaching. Juli is married to Kevin and they are blessed with children, Alli (’20) and twins Kayli and Blake (’23). Juli loves the Lord and feels it is her calling to be a teacher at Briarcrest!
Debra Donaldson email@example.com
4th Grade Teacher
Debra Donaldson is a 4th grade teacher at the Houston Levee Campus. She recieved her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education at the University of Memphis in 2002. She has been married to Steve for 36 years. They are members of Bellevue Baptist Church. All three of her children graduated from Briarcrest: Cindy ('97), Robby ('99) and Steven ('03), as well as her two daughters-in-law, Ashley Howell Donaldson ('99) and Katie Fienup Donaldson ('03). Debra is blessed to have 3 of her 6 grandchildren attending Briarcrest, and her ultimate wish is to have them all here one day. "I love this school and feel blessed to be teaching here."
Carole Eady firstname.lastname@example.org
Elementary Guidance Counselor
Carole Eady is the elementary guidance counselor for the Houston Levee campus. She has been at Briarcrest for over thirty-five years as a teacher and counselor. She holds a BS degree in Elementary Education and a MA in Guidance and Counseling. She has two sons, both BCS graduates. Mrs. Eady desires to share the wisdom of Christ’s teachings with students and encourage them to seek His will for their lives.
Angela Ellis email@example.com
Elementary/Middle School Nurse
Angela Ellis serves as our Houston Levee Middle/Elementary Nurse. She has been a registered nurse for 1992. Her nursing background includes neonatal ICU, home health (pediatric and adult care), otolaryngology, allergy and immunology, facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, and school health. She is a graduate of Briarcrest Christian School and earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing degree from The University of Memphis Loewenberg School of Nursing. She is a member of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) and is certified as a BLS Instructor for the American Heart Association. She and her husband, Conn, are the proud parents of three daughters, Taylor ('11), Chandler ('14), and Camber ('20) all attend Briarcrest. Angela and her family are members of Trinity Baptist Church.
Karen Fienup firstname.lastname@example.org
Elementary Assistant Principal
Karen Fienup is the Elementary School Assistant Principal at the Houston Levee campus. Karen was a second grade teacher for 14 years before assuming her current role as assistant principal. She graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Elementary Education. She and her husband, Craig, have three children who are Briarcrest graduates: Chris ('98), Kevin ('01) and Katie ('03). Craig and Karen are active members of Germantown Baptist Church. Karen's desire is for each child to grow in their relationship with Jesus, to develope a love for learning, and to become a successful learner in the classroom. Her favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 22:6 - "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Kim Fleming email@example.com
Elementary PE Teacher
Kim Fleming is an elementary physical education teacher for grades Pre K- 5th grades at Briarcrest. She graduated from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education grades K-12. Kim has 26 years of teaching experience with 19 of those years at BCS.
Kim is married and has 3 daughters who all graduated from BCS. She and her family attend Collierville First Baptist Church.
Lyndia Fuller Ljfuller@briarcrest.com
Elementary Music Specialist
Lyndia Fuller is so grateful for the new path that God has opened for her at BCS as Elementary Music Specialist. She taught 6 years at Sango
Elementary in Clarksville, TN where she was also director of the Clarksville Community Children’s Choir for 2 years. In addition, she was the choral director for 6-12 grades in west KY schools for 5 years. She is passionateabout lighting the spark of music in every child and has specific interest and studies in their singing voices. Her Master’s of Music from Austin Peay in 2002 helped her to refine those interests. (She attended Union University and University of Mississippi, receiving her Bachelor’s in Music Education.) Married 38 years to Howard Fuller, a Minister of Education, they have 2
daughters in the Memphis area: Mandy and Robert Grisham, church planters and the parents of Lyndia’s two grand boys, Adam and Micah. Daughter Megan is married to Stephen Wilson, a nurse practitioner at LeBonheur, new parents of Olivia Joy, born in June. Ephesians 3:14-21 has been her life verse. “For
this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you,
according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love
of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
Katherine Groom firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd Grade Teacher
Katherine Groom is a second grade teacher at our Houston Levee Campus. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Blue Mountain College and a Master’s degree from Cumberland University. Katherine has taught at Briarcrest for the past sixteen years. Prior to her service at our school, she taught kindergarten for five years at Olive Branch Elementary School in Desoto County. Katherine is the wife of Phillip Groom. They have one child, Heather, who attends Southeast Missouri State University.
Barbara Harris email@example.com
Elementary Principal - Houston Levee Campus
Dr. Barbara Harris received her undergraduate degree from University of Tennessee at Martin and completed her Master’s and doctoral work at the University of Memphis. Dr. Harris began her career teaching in the Memphis City Schools. After teaching at Presbyterian Day School for a number of years, she was appointed Principal in 1995 and then promoted to Associate Headmaster where she served until 2004. At that time she accepted a position as Principal of the Ridge Lake campus of Evangelical Christian School. Dr. Harris came to Briarcrest as elementary principal in 2010. Her experiences in both public and private school education have been a joy to her.
Dr. Harris is a native of Memphian, and she and her husband, Dr. Joe Harris, have three married sons and a granddaughter. They are members of Covenant Baptist Church.
Jim Heinz firstname.lastname@example.org
Elementary Athletic Director
Jim Heinz graduated from the University of Memphis and began his teaching career in the Memphis City Schools. In 1974-1978, Jim taught and coached at Briarcrest. In 1978-2010, he taught, coached, and was athletic director at Evangelical Christian School. In the summer of 2010, Coach Heinz became the athletic director of the Briarcrest elementary and middle school and also became a high school assistant football coach.
Cathy Jobe email@example.com
Secretary - Elementary Office
Cathy Jobe is the Administrative Assistant for Dr. Barbara Harris, Principal of Houston Levee Elementary School. She is also the secretary for Jim Heinz, Athletic Director for Elementary and Middle School. Cathy attended Memphis State University (University of Memphis) and has worked in the education setting for over 25 years spending five in the Shelby County school system and the remaining years in the private school setting.
Missy Keough firstname.lastname@example.org
3rd Grade Teacher
Missy has been at Briarcrest since 2006. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in Managerial Finance and Christian Brothers University with a Master of Art in Teaching. Missy has two children who are students at Briarcrest. She and her family attend the Orchard Fellowship. Spending time with family and friends, as well as watching movies, exercising and sports are some of her favorite things.
Her favorite Bible passage is Philippians 3:13-14, "...I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me."
Jennifer McKelroy email@example.com
5th Grade Teacher
Jennifer McKelroy’s has been teaching since 1999. She is a graduated of Crichton College. She has taught math, reading, English, and science. She currently teaches 5th grade math. Jennifer enjoys going to Mississippi State football games, spending time with family and friends, Broadway shows, outdoor activities, and traveling. Jennifer is a member at New Hope Christian Church in Bartlett. Her life verse is “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Chelsea Malone Clmalone@briarcrest.com
Elementary PE Teacher
Chelsea Malone is a physical education teacher at the Houston Levee Campus. She is also the head high school softball coach. She married Brett in October 2011. Mrs. Malone recently graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Pedagogy with an endorsement in Health. She also
played softball at Mississippi State for four years as well as competing with the USA National team for two years. She is excited to be a part of the Briarcrest community and is anxious to start helping the children whether it is in the classroom or on the softball field. Mrs. Malone is also in the process of getting her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Theory from Arkansas State University.
Susan Melone firstname.lastname@example.org
Susie Melone is a life-long Memphian and a graduate of the University of Memphis. She is in her 40th year of teaching – all at Briarcrest . As the Assistant Librarian, she meets with students in PK through 1st grade as the Lower Elementary Librarian. She assists the Upper Elementary Librarian, working with students in 2nd grade through 5th grade. Susie and husband, Steve, have one son and are members of Bellevue Baptist Church. She enjoys cooking, gardening and shopping. Her favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13 which say “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
Lynn Mullen email@example.com
3rd Grade Teacher
Lynn Mullen is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Master’s degree in Education. She and her husband, Craig, have been married for over 25 years. They are active members of Hope Presbyterian Church. Lynn enjoys spending time gardening, golfing, reading, and going to the theater or matinee movies on the weekends. She loves to travel during the summer months and has been blessed with many experiences in other countries around the world. Lynn is thankful to Hope Presbyterian and BCS for the opportunity to grow in her Christian faith.
Lois Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
Lois Hawkins Parker is the Coordinator of Plus and Passport, programs offered at Briarcrest for gifted elementary and middle school students. Mrs. Parker has a Master's Degree in Education and an endorsement in Gifted Education. She is an active member of local, state, and national organizations for teachers of the gifted and has conducted teacher workshops at various independent schools in the Memphis area, as well as the state TAG Conference. She has been listed three times in Who's Who Among America's Teachers and, in 1993, was selected by her peers to receive the Dr. Clair E. Cox Award for Teacher Excellence. In 2005, Mrs. Parker was inducted as a member of the Danny Childs Distinguished Faculty Society.
When reflecting on her students and her teaching career, Mrs. Parker is reminded of a quote that has been a personal motto since her own college days – "Believe in yourself and your own abilities. Be glad you are who you are, but strive to grow. Living is becoming; life is a journey." ~Dean Walley
Jenny Pounds email@example.com
2nd Grade Teacher
Jenny is a Briarcrest graduate and attended the University of Mississippi where she received her B.A. degree in Elementary Education. She is married to Darin and they have three children. Hallie, her oldest daughter is a sophomore in high school, Katie is in the seventh grade and Parker is in junior kindergarten. She has been teaching at Briarcrest for six years and has taught kindergarten and second grade during her teaching career. She and her family are actively involved in Hope Presbyterian Church and her life verse is Psalm 27:1 - "The Lord is my light and my salvation - who shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?"
Lucie Rutledge firstname.lastname@example.org
5th Grade Teacher
Lucie Rutledge is the 5th grade Science teacher at the Houston Levee campus. She is married to Steve and has a son, John, who is a sophomore at Washington & Lee University. This is her first year at Briarcrest after teaching at Evangelical Christian School and Presbyterian Day School in Memphis. Lucie received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Studies and Education from Marshall University and her M.A.T. degree from Rollins College.
Bob Shirey email@example.com
5th Grade Teacher
Bob Shirey has served as an elementary teacher for Briarcrest Christian School System since the beginning of the school in 1973. He received his Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Union University. Mr. Shirey and his family are very active serving the Lord at Wells Station Baptist Church. One of his many favorite verses is found in Psalm 8:1 “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.”
Tara Sparks firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd Grade Teacher
Tara Sparks is excited about teaching Pre Kindergaten at her alma mater this year! She recently graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, and a Masters of Education in Literacy Education. In her spare time, she enjoys being with friends and family, traveling, and attending Ole Miss football games. Tara worships at the Orchard Church with her family. One of her favorite verses is Psalms 37: 23-24, The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand."
Elementary Technology Coach (2nd-5th grade)
Cindy Thompson is an elementary technology coach for second through fifth grades at Briarcrest Houston Levee and East. She graduated from University of Memphis, with a Bachelor of Science in Education K-8. Cindy has been at Briarcrest off and on since 1974 as a student, teacher and a parent. Joining Cindy as Briarcrest alumni are her husband, daughter and son. She and her husband attend Hope Presbyterian Church.
Angela Tillman email@example.com
Angela Tillman is an elementary ESS support teacher at the Houston Levee campus. She has been with Briarcrest for 30 years and loves helping her students achieve success. Angela is a member at Faith Baptist Church and a graduate of Arkansas State University with degrees in elementary education and special education.
One of her favorite verses is Romans 8:28, “And we know that God works in all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Amanda Williams firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative Writing Teacher
Amanda Williams is a native Memphian and a graduate of the University of Memphis. She holds a Master's degree in English with a concentration in writing. She is married to Bryan Williams and is blessed with three precious children: Fenton, Ella and Maddie Grace. She and her family attend Bellevue Baptist Church. She enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends -- especially her husband and children! One of her favorite Scripture verses is Psalm 90:1: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."
Maricel York email@example.com
Elementary Spanish Teacher
Maricel York is the Spanish teacher for grades Pre-K -5th at the Briarcrest Houston Levee campus. She is originally from Cuba. Maricel is a graduate of the University of Memphis and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Indiana. Maricel is the parent of 4 Briarcrest graduates: Emily(’98), Andy(’00), Allison(’03), Ashley(’05). She is a member of First Evangelical Church.