Briarcrest highlights school growth, recent student achievements

Briarcrest Christian School has announced its successful fundraising and the achievements of the choir and marching band.

$1M raised for elementary school expansion

Briarcrest Christian School announced that $1,000,000 has been raised for the expansion of its elementary school, thanks to a matching gift from Briarcrest alumni Duncan Williams, BCS ’86, and his sister, Emily Williams Dunn, BCS ’88.

The new addition will be officially named “A. Duncan and Carolyn S. Williams Elementary Wing” as a tribute to their parents. These commitments help Briarcrest move forward with construction plans and into its final, public phase of fundraising.

This new 25,737 square-foot expansion will feature a spacious multi-purpose gymnasium, a dedicated STEM lab (science, technology, engineering and math), a new art room and additional classrooms. All of these new facilities will provide scheduling flexibility and space to enhance the current academic and athletic programs schoolwide.

“For many years, Duncan and I considered how we could give back to Briarcrest in honor of the sacrifices that our parents made so many years ago,” Emily Williams Dunn said.

Her brother added, “Supporting the final phase of the Briarcrest Master Plan with the expansion of the elementary school resonated with Emily and me in a powerful way. Having an opportunity to reach families in the earliest years of their Briarcrest experience was the answer.”

More than $5 million has been secured toward the $5.4 million goal to begin construction of the project.

Jamie Augustine, chairman of the Briarcrest Board of Trustees, said, “This construction project is the final step in fulfilling Briarcrest’s long-term Master Plan that was developed many years ago. We believe that this new facility will help fulfill our mission and serve future generations of elementary students desiring a Christ-centered, Biblically based education for many years to come.”

Mark Merrill, president of Briarcrest Christian School, said, “The Williams’ involvement and support certainly energized our fundraising efforts. It has been a blessing to see so many Briarcrest families step forward to be a part of this special campaign for the expansion of our elementary school.”

For the elementary school expansion, the exterior facade maintains the architectural theme established at the high school that opened in 2003, the elementary and middle school addition that opened in 2009 and the Sparks Chapel and Central Office additions that opened in 2014.

Briarcrest Christian School has operated since 1973 and is a co-educational and non-denominational institution for grades pre-K to 12. It is the largest private school in the Mid-South. For admissions information, call (901) 765-4600 or go online to

Briarcrest Choir students participate In TN All-Southwest Honor Choir

Twenty-three Briarcrest Choir students were selected to participate in the Tennessee All-Southwest Honor Choir. Their vocal talents were displayed during a concert at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 17.

Benjamin Cheng and Morgan Story were presented plaques for five years of continuous All-West Honor Choir participation. Senior Taylor Elliott was also honored, as he was presented a trophy for achieving the goal of six consecutive years of All-Southwest participation.

High school marching band wins honors

The Briarcrest High School Marching Band has been celebrating its recent successful competition in South Gibson County.

Class awards included first-place band, first-place color guard, second-place percussion and second-place drum major.

Division awards included first-place band, first-place color guard, second-place percussion and second place drum major.

They also won honors in the Overall awards, which included competition from every band at the event, including bands that are six times the size of Briarcrest’s. Honors included Best Soloist Award for Lizzie DeSantis, Highest Music Effect Score, second-place color guard (only one point away from first place) and third-place band.