Briarcrest Christian School news

Briarcrest Christian School has announced the recent accomplishments of its students and teachers.

DAR student winners

PICTURED, from left: Freshman Lauren Ourth, college counselor Laurie Gray, Taylor Elliott and Olivia Reynolds.

On Saturday, March 23, the Watauga Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) held an Awards Luncheon at Chickasaw Country Club to present their three most prominent awards to Briarcrest Christian School students.

Eighth-grader Olivia Reynolds of Germantown received the American History Award for her essay on women’s suffrage. Freshman Lauren Ourth, also of Germatown, was presented with the Christopher Columbus Essay Award. The DAR Good Citizen Award, eligible only to a high school senior, was bestowed upon Taylor Elliott of Bartlett. His Good Citizen essay captured the local and district Watauga awards.

At the luncheon, it was announced that his essay advanced to win the state award, which will be presented by Governor Bill Lee in a ceremony in the House Chamber on Tennessee Statehood Day, May 31.

11 BCS choir students participating In TNMEA All-State Choir

After octet testing, Briarcrest Arts Department has announced that three alternates moved up, giving the school a total of 11 students who will participate in the the Tennessee Music Education Association (TNMEA) All-State Choir this week in Nashville. This is the most of any private school in the state, as well as the most Briarcrest has had in the past 10 years. They include:

  • Benjamin Cheng of Lakeland
  • Taylor Elliott of Bartlett
  • Lauren Green of Cordova
  • Jack Hollis of Memphis
  • Ethan Maness of Memphis
  • Sassy Mednikow of Memphis
  • Sarah Mikkola of Collierville
  • Morgen Story of Germantown
  • Peyton Tarver of Cordova
  • Avery Veteto of Germantown
  • West Sepko of Piperton

BCHS World Language Department soars

This has been a busy and productive school year for the BCHS world language department. French and Spanish teacher Catherine Childs won Teacher of the Year for the Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Association (TFLTA) and was recognized by her colleagues and peers throughout the state of Tennessee at the annual conference in Franklin in November.

She went on to represent TFLTA at the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Childs was acknowledged for her outstanding commitment to foreign language education. She is devoted to inspiring her students to learn about and appreciate other cultures, customs and languages.

Melanie Morton was awarded a scholarship by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) to study abroad in Madrid, Spain this summer. She will attend intensive classes for AP Spanish Language and Culture training hosted by Centro Mundolengua. Morton was selected out of a nationwide pool of applicants for this scholarship.

She said, “I am so grateful to have been selected for this professional development opportunity. There is nothing more invigorating than being immersed in my subject. This type of training is invaluable. I look forward to bringing back my newly acquired knowledge and sharing it with my colleagues and students.”

French and Spanish students from three classes attended the University of Memphis Language Fair competition on Saturday, March 30, where they competed in numerous events in the target language, including vocabulary quizzes, essay writing, poetry writing, poetry recitation, music, art, greeting cards, videos and research projects. There were 28 local schools in attendance with nearly 1,000 students competing. Briarcrest brought home the following 19 awards.

  • French: Benjamin Cheng and Olivia Cheng, both of Lakeland, second place, French Music Group; Taylor Kearbey of Lakeland, second place, Vocabulary Quiz French II; Emily Lankford of Cordova, second place, Greeting Card; and Nadia Spann of Collierville, third place, Vocabulary Quiz French I
  • Spanish: Kaelee Baker of Germantown, third place, Spanish III Poem; Lundy Burns of Lakeland, first place, Spanish IV Vocabulary Quiz, and first place, Spanish IV Poem; Preston Burns of Lakeland, Spencer Cox of Lakeland, Connor Dang of Cordova; Chris Jones of Germantown; Ayanna King of Memphis; Emma Miller of Eads; and Jacob Wong of Arlington, third place, Spanish IV Video, “Cumbia de los Muertos”Ally Cummings of Collierville, third place, Spanish IV/AP Essay; Elizabeth Enamorado of Collierville, third place, Heritage Speaker Essay Level II, and third place, Heritage Speaker Poem Level II; Luke Houston of Willston, second place, Spanish I Essay; Sarah Hunter of Collierville, first place, Spanish I Essay; Ella Miller of Collierville, third place, Spanish III Vocabulary Quiz; Dawson Maynard of Cordova, third place, Spanish IV/AP Poem; Lindsey Morgan of Memphis, second place, Spanish I Vocabulary Quiz; Elysia Whiteley of Germantown, second place, Heritage Speaker Essay Level IV/AP, and first place, Heritage Speaker Poem Level IV/AP; Grant Whiteley of Germantown, second place, Heritage Speaker Essay Level II

Middle school art teacher exhibits art in New York

Melody Weintraub

Middle school art teacher Melody Weintraub of Briarcrest Christian School recently returned from New York City, where her artwork, “The Dream,” was auctioned at artist Faith Ringgold’s “Anyone Can Fly Foundation” benefit.

The event was at The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling in Harlem, where a special exhibit of Ringgold’s art was on display. That exhibit included selected paintings from many of Ringgold’s widely acclaimed children’s books, including, “Tar Beach.” Also on display were some of Ringgold’s larger paintings and sculptures.

“It was such an honor for me to take part in this benefit,” Weintraub said. “I have known Faith for several years and she continues to amaze and inspire me. Her foundation is also very near and dear to my heart as she endeavors to broaden the canon of art to include more art of African Diaspora and bring this knowledge to inspire and motivate school children. The painting that I donated was themed around Faith and her work. It pictures Faith flying and spreading love to the children as they also fly over a representation of the United States.”

Before leaving the event, Weintraub took a photo with Ringgold and the person who purchased the painting. Weintraub also brought along one of the guitar ornaments that Briarcrest seventh-grade art students had glazed to give to Faith.

“She loved that the students had glazed it,” Weintraub said.

Earlier in the day, Weintraub toured the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). “I went to MoMA to ‘visit’ several works of art that my students have discovered this year, including Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’ and Salvador Dali’s ‘The Persistence of Memory.’ I stopped to take my photo with these paintings and more, so that students can know I saw the actual works of art they had been learning about. I also learned more about these works that I am now able to share with them.”

In March, Briarcrest Middle School announced that Weintraub had just returned from the National Art Education Association Convention in Boston, Mass., where she presented a sold-out studio workshop, “Altered Books/Changed Lives.” At the workshop, she shared how this project had been a positive learning experience for her students as she showed slides of their work. This was a hands-on workshop, so Weintraub also lead her participants through some tips and techniques for altering books. She also shared the handouts and rubric that she had used with her eighth-grade students. She also shared a video interview with Briarcrest Informational Technology and Accreditation Director, Lynn Williams. Williams discussed being inspired by this lesson on a visit to Weintraub’s classroom and how this lead to her interest in altering books.

Lynn Williams, Director of Instructional Technology and Accreditation at Briarcrest recently visited the middle school art room where students in the 8th Grade and Art Club are making Altered Books! She showed students the altered book that she made for her mother and explained the process to them. Mrs. Weintraub, who is presenting a workshop on Altered Books at the National Art Education Association’s Spring Convention in March said, “I knew that students would be inspired by seeing Mrs. Williams’ work and hearing her discuss it. It’s always nice for students to see the actual work of working artists. Mrs. Williams said she was inspired to learn this process of making art by observing our altered book lesson last year in 8th Grade. It’s amazing to see how beautifully her work has developed and now it’s being used to inspire others!”

Mrs. Weintraub is the President-Elect of the Tennessee Art Education Association, so prior to the convention, she participated as an NAEA delegate. There she participated in the discussion of several national position statements and policies with art education leaders from across the U.S. and Canada. A fun tradition at Delegates is where participants exchange mementos from their state. Weintraub brought 150 ceramic guitar ornaments that were glazed by her students. They were a big hit.

“I was just so proud of my students’ work and it’s always so nice to be able to share it with others on a national level,” said Weintraub. “I also love to honestly share with others about how supportive my school is and how much all of the arts are valued at Briarcrest!”

2 win scholarships to Governor’s School for Arts

Two Briarcrest Christian High School band students, Emma Miller and Spencer Cox, both of Lakeland, have been accepted and awarded substantial scholarships to the 2019 Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts.