U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (left) looks up an answer to a trivia question with students at Redeemer Classical Academy during an Aug. 27, 2013, visit to the new school, located on Sulphur Springs Road in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (TMP Photo/M. Kemph)
Redeemer Classical Academy illustrates just how much parents can accomplish when they join together for a common goal, U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais said Tuesday during a visit to the newly founded private school.
“Based on what I’ve learned today about your school, it seems like you all have accomplished a lot in a very short time,” DesJarlais said, as he was speaking with school officials, faculty members and parents during a tour of the Murfreesboro facilities.
“I must admit, I’m impressed,” he said.
The one-hour visit culminated with DesJarlais presenting an American flag that once flew over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to teachers and students in recognition of their first academic year.
Redeemer, located at 1503 Sulphur Springs Road, opened its doors Aug. 12 with nearly 50 students, less than three months after a group of parents and educators decided to form a K-12 interdenominational Christian school that offered a classical education.
The new school features eight faculty members, and it is governed by a three-member board, comprising Chairman Michael Hein, Louise Barrett and Jennifer McKnight.
The grand opening earlier this month came only a few days after the Murfreesboro Board of Zoning Appeals granted Redeemer a special-use permit to operate the school at the Sulphur Springs Road property, the former site of the Victory Christian Center.
“Our idea to form a school turned into a reality in just 81 days,” said Mike Williams, an administrating instructor at the academy. “Normally, this process takes two years. … None of us can take credit for this short amount of time. It’s all because of God.”
Amanda Bell, who taught at Providence Christian Academy prior to joining Redeemer, said the “Christ-centered, classical” school provides formal instruction from kindergarten through the 12th grade.
“We use a classical teaching method that focuses on history and literature,” Bell said, adding the curriculum is integrated across various disciplines for specific time periods, which allows students to understand how history has shaped the world, including American culture.
“Understanding history in a post-modern world as a Christian is so important,” she said. “That is why we are offering students formal instruction in a context that teaches them not only how to think well, but in a manner that also fosters relationships.”
Hein agreed, noting several parents have said they enrolled their children in Redeemer because they were unhappy with the teaching methods at other schools.
“A lot of parents were dissatisfied with the options out there, and we felt this was the best option for our families,” said Hein, a longtime Middle Tennessee State University psychology professor.
“What we realized during this process is that God has been working in all of our lives to lead us here,” he said, “and we are grateful that God has given us this opportunity to offer a well-rounded, Christian education to students.”
To view more photos of Redeemer Classical Academy congressional tour, visit The Murfreesboro Post online photo gallery.