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Tom Wood Announced as Director of Advancement

Mount Pisgah Christian School is excited to announce the hiring of Mr. Tom Wood as Director of Advancement. Tom comes to Mount Pisgah with 30 years of experience in fundraising and leadership within the education, foundation and the non-profit sectors. He started his career at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where he was involved in one of the first successful billion-dollar campaigns in the country. He and his wife, Sherry, moved to Atlanta in 1990, where Wood led the fundraising efforts at three Christian organizations including the In Touch Foundation with Dr. Charles Stanley, Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef and Whitfield Academy for the past 15 years.

Tom has also consulted with a number of independent schools, ministries and non-profit organizations across the country, most recently with Families First, a foster care agency in Georgia. Wood received his Bachelors of Arts in Communication from Moody Bible Institute and earned his Masters of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship from Kennesaw State University. He is known nationally for the work he has done in non-profit fundraising.  Mount Pisgah Head of School Ruston Pierce shares, “We are very fortunate to hire a man of his caliber to lead our advancement efforts. I am excited to work with Tom, and I know his character will be a perfect fit in the Mount Pisgah community.”

Mr. Wood had this to say about his philosophy of advancement, “I was fortunate as a young man to have been mentored by several godly men who taught me that raising money is as much a ministry as the work of the organization. They instilled in me the importance of creating personal relationships with your supporters, having the mindset of the Apostle Paul when he wrote, “Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.”

Tom and Sherry have two college-age children and Sherry teaches children with special needs at Teasley Elementary, a Cobb County public school. “Sherry and I have faced many challenges in our lives, but one of the most demanding has been parenting our two children in a post 9/11 world. The best decision we ever made was sending our children to Christ-centered private schools. Both schools provided faculty and coaches who invested in their lives far beyond the classroom and playing field. I have worked with many organizations and ministries over the year and nothing is as important as the work of a school in partnering with parents to develop boys and girls into godly men and women. I am excited at what I see God doing at Mount Pisgah under Ruston Pierce’s leadership and I am honored to have an opportunity to partner with this community in training the next generation of leaders.” 

Tom Wood will start working full time at the beginning of September, yet will be with us part-time for the month of August as he transitions into this role.  

 

 

News and Announcements Archive

Mount Pisgah had a total of fourteen players named to the All-Region or All-Area teams for Fall 2018 sports. See the complete lists below:

The Mount Pisgah Varsity Football team had 9 players selected for the Georgia High School Association All-Region Football teams for the 2018 season. The Patriots finished the season with a 3-7 overall record. The players who were recognized are:

First Team – Offense

Connor Norwood (QB) - Senior

Chase Grande (WR) - Senior

First Team – Defense

Lukas Aden (OL) - Senior

Nick Jackson (DL) - Sophomore

Second Team – Offense

Nick Speros (WR) - Sophomore

Second Team – Defense

AJ Crawford (DL) - Freshman

Jakob Wooten (DB) - Senior

Honorable Mention

Mikey Nardella (LB) - Senior

Greyson Stevens (TE) - Junior

The Mount Pisgah Varsity Softball team had 3 players selected for the Georgia High School Association All-Region Softball teams for the 2018 season. The Patriots finished with an 10-13 overall record for the season and made it to the first round of the State Tournament. The players who were recognized are:

First Team

Tori Dalton - Junior

Grace Hudson - Freshman

Second Team

Megan Messinger - Junior

The Mount Pisgah Varsity Volleyball team had two players selected for the Georgia High School Association All-Area team for the 2018 season. The Patriots finished with a 13-21 overall record for the season and made it the semifinals of the Area Tournament and the first round of the State Tournament. The players who were recognized are:

 

First Team

Taylor Bater - Senior

Brooke Bini - Junior

Mount Pisgah Christian School is excited to announce the hiring of Mr. Tom Wood as Director of Advancement. Tom comes to Mount Pisgah with 30 years of experience in fundraising and leadership within the education, foundation and the non-profit sectors. He started his career at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where he was involved in one of the first successful billion-dollar campaigns in the country. He and his wife, Sherry, moved to Atlanta in 1990, where Wood led the fundraising efforts at three Christian organizations including the In Touch Foundation with Dr. Charles Stanley, Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef and Whitfield Academy for the past 15 years.

Tom has also consulted with a number of independent schools, ministries and non-profit organizations across the country, most recently with Families First, a foster care agency in Georgia. Wood received his Bachelors of Arts in Communication from Moody Bible Institute and earned his Masters of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship from Kennesaw State University. He is known nationally for the work he has done in non-profit fundraising.  Mount Pisgah Head of School Ruston Pierce shares, “We are very fortunate to hire a man of his caliber to lead our advancement efforts. I am excited to work with Tom, and I know his character will be a perfect fit in the Mount Pisgah community.”

Mr. Wood had this to say about his philosophy of advancement, “I was fortunate as a young man to have been mentored by several godly men who taught me that raising money is as much a ministry as the work of the organization. They instilled in me the importance of creating personal relationships with your supporters, having the mindset of the Apostle Paul when he wrote, “Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.”

Tom and Sherry have two college-age children and Sherry teaches children with special needs at Teasley Elementary, a Cobb County public school. “Sherry and I have faced many challenges in our lives, but one of the most demanding has been parenting our two children in a post 9/11 world. The best decision we ever made was sending our children to Christ-centered private schools. Both schools provided faculty and coaches who invested in their lives far beyond the classroom and playing field. I have worked with many organizations and ministries over the year and nothing is as important as the work of a school in partnering with parents to develop boys and girls into godly men and women. I am excited at what I see God doing at Mount Pisgah under Ruston Pierce’s leadership and I am honored to have an opportunity to partner with this community in training the next generation of leaders.” 

Tom Wood will start working full time at the beginning of September, yet will be with us part-time for the month of August as he transitions into this role.  

Athletics Department Adds Angela Crosby and Ardin Tucker as Assistant Directors and Coaches

Crosby To Coach Girls Basketball, Tucker to Assist Track Team

April 2018 - Mount Pisgah Christian School is pleased to announce the addition of Angela Crosby and Ardin Tucker to its Athletics staff. Crosby and Tucker, both experienced coaches, athletes, and administrators, will join the Patriots this summer.

Crosby and Tucker will serve as Assistant Directors of Athletics, working alongside new Director of Athletics Ryan Livezey. In addition to these important roles, Crosby will serve as Mount Pisgah’s new head women's basketball coach, while Tucker will work as a coaching mentor throughout the department as well as assist with the school’s track and field teams.

"We are extremely fortunate to be adding both Angela and Ardin to the Mount Pisgah family," said Livezey. "They both have tremendous experience in athletics and leadership, but more importantly, they are great people. Their passion for developing young people and building relationships makes them a perfect fit for our school. To be able to add just one of these women would have been phenomenal, but to be able to add both, is exceptional."

ATHLETICS MEET AND GREET: On Monday, May 7, the school will host an athletics Meet and Greet at 6:30 p.m. in the LEC (Upper School, Geier Hall). During this event, we will introduce several of the department’s newest staff members, including Angela and Ardin. As a way to give you a chance to get to know more about them prior to that event, please read below.

Getting to know... Angela Crosby

Assistant Director of Athletics, Head Girls Basketball Coach

College: Appalachian State University

Degree: B.S. Habilitive Science, 1995

Coaching Experience:  

Whitefield Academy, Mableton. GA-2015-2018

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 2012-2015

UNC-Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 2011-2012

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 2008-2011

University of Memphis, TN 2004-2007

UT-Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN 2000-2004

Appalachian State University Boone, NC 1996-2000

Administrative Experience:

Whitefield Academy-Assistant Dean of Students, 2007-2008; Whitefield Academy-Dean of Students 2015-2018

Family: My family is from Anderson S.C. and I am the 2nd of 3 girls. Most of my family is still in that area which is very close to Atlanta. I have three nephews and a niece whom I enjoy spending time with as well as my other “children” I have picked up along the way.

What do you like most about coaching and education: What I like most about education and coaching is that I get to impact young lives daily. Relationships are important and I deem it an honor and privilege to serve God and Mount Pisgah while sharing my passion for young people and athletics.

Why you are excited to join the Mount Pisgah team: Mount Pisgah is committed and dedicated to building character and developing each student-athlete. I am excited about mentoring and aiding student-athletes while they are competing at Mount Pisgah as well as assisting them and their families with finding a place to compete on the collegiate level.

 

Getting to know...Ardin Tucker

Assistant Director of Athetics, Track & Field Coach

College: attended Fresno State University, member of the Track and Field team all 4 years. Completed Master’s degree at California University of Pennsylvania.

Athletic Background: Member of Fresno State Track and Field team - competed in 400m, 400m hurdles, pole vault and heptathlon. 1996 WAC Indoor 400m Champion and 1998 Heptathlon Champion in the Cal/Nevada State Championship. Qualified for 1998 NCAA Division I Outdoor Championship in the inaugural year of the Women’s Pole Vault.  

Professional Athletic Career: Member of Team Canada for four years. 2000 Canadian Olympic Trials Champion, member of Team Canada at 2001 Francophonie Games and 2002 Commonwealth Games. Former Indoor Canadian National Record Holder in Pole Vault.

Degrees: Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies and Master's of Science in Exercise Science

Coaching Experience: Coached track and field at National, Club and High School level for past 20 years. Most recently coached at Milton High School and was Head Varsity/JV Women’s coach for two years. Moved to King's Ridge Christian School four years ago and was Head Varsity Softball coach, Head Boys and Girls Varsity Track Coach and Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach. 

Administrative Experience: Associate Athletic Director at King's Ridge Christian School for past four years.

Where have you been most recently and what do you consider your greatest accomplishment during this time: Currently, I am the Associate Athletic Director at King’s Ridge Christian School. When I was first hired, one of my responsibilities was to grow the softball and track and field teams. Our softball team started with five players in 2013, and after a lot of hard work and dedication from the girls, the softball team qualified for the State tournament this past Fall. It was so amazing to watch the girls grow as student-athletes and accomplish the goals that they set for themselves. Our track team started with 10 athletes between Middle School and High School. There are now more than 60 athletes participating in Track and Field. Last year, we had our first Individual State Champion at King’s Ridge in the 110m Hurdles.

Family and Children: I am married to Ben Tucker and am a proud mom of four kids. Nathan (23), Benjy (14), Max (13), and Avery (10).  Our family has a very rich background in Athletics.  My husband, Ben, played college baseball at University of Southern California and professional baseball for the San Francisco Giants. My dad, Jim Harrison, played in the National Hockey League for 12 years, my father-in-law played football and lacrosse for the Naval Academy, my brother played rugby for Team USA and Team Canada, and my brother-in-law played baseball for Pepperdine University and the Philadelphia Phillies organization.

My son Nathan ran track and cross-country at Furman University and South Alabama. He is currently training in Arizona and is a member of Team Canada’s Track and Field team. Benjy plays baseball for Colt 45’s and basketball for the GA Stars. Max played six Middle School sports (cross-country, basketball, lacrosse, track, tennis and golf) this past year and was the Metro 10 Cross-Country Champion and 1600m Metro 10 Champion. Avery plays on the GA Fire 10U Fastpitch team and Lacrosse on the Eagle Stix Summer Elite team.

What do you like most about coaching and education: I love how the skills learned through sports can impact a student’s education. My favorite moments are not always associated with trophies, but rather when a student accomplishes something they did not believe that they could.

Why you are excited to join the Mount Pisgah team:  I am very excited to be working directly with coaches in order to implement Christian values and athletic excellence within their programs. Encouraging students to try new sports and growing the current athletics’ programs are areas that I am excited to be part of at Mount Pisgah.

Get to Know Janey Smith Learning Specialist, Middle and Upper Schools

We are happy to announce an expansion to Mount Pisgah’s student learning team with the addition of Mount Pisgah alum Janey Smith (‘08). Mrs. Smith will serve as a Learning Specialist, working specifically with our Middle and Upper School students. She joins a team that already includes Learning Specialists Caprice Pickering (Lower School) and Vicki Smith (Middle School).

Maiden name: Gibson

Year graduated from MPCS: 2008

College/Degrees: BSE, Early Childhood/Special Education/Elementary/Collaborative Education, Samford University and M.Ed., Early Childhood Special Education, Peabody College at Vanderbilt University

Where’ve you been: In Nashville, I was an instructional coach for Metro Nashville Public Schools. I also taught inclusion pre-k at the Susan Gray School, the lab school on the campus of Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, and at Kirkpatrick Elementary in East Nashville.  

Family: My husband, Nate, and I have been married for 4 years. We have 2 girls - Jaylin, whom we adopted from South Africa in March 2017, and Addy K, who was born in November 2017.  

Why education: From a very young age, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. My mom loves to tell a story about me at age 2 setting up a classroom in my playroom for all my dolls and stuffed animals and pretending to be the teacher. I love learning, and I love helping students figure out how they best learn. Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  I believe that a strong educational foundation can equip students to develop their individual strengths and passions and leverage these to serve others.  

What you loved most about MPCS as a student:  As a student at MPCS, I loved being part of a Christian community, the focus on spiritual development and service (especially our mission trips to Montana, Russia, and Costa Rica), and participating in athletics.

Why are you excited to join the team: I am so excited to join the MPCS team in an Academic Support role for Middle School and Upper School! Mount Pisgah is a wonderful community to be a part of, and it is so special to be able to come back to teach at the place I went to school.  I am looking forward to collaborating with teachers and students to provide academic support.  

Carly Morris

Carly Morris (’09) Returns to Mount Pisgah - Veteran Educator/Coach to Teach Language Arts, Coach Volleyball

Carly Morris, a 2009 graduate of Mount Pisgah Christian School, is returning home to the Patriots.

Morris will rejoin Mount Pisgah in the fall, holding a variety of roles throughout the Middle School after spending the past five years teaching and coaching at King’s Ridge Christian School in Alpharetta, Ga.

In the classroom at Mount Pisgah, Morris will teach Middle School language arts. Beyond the classroom, she will be part of a new school-wide Student Life team, working primarily with Middle School students. On the athletics staff, Morris will serve as head coach of the Middle School Girls Volleyball squad and an assistant for the Girls Varsity team.

“We’re beyond thrilled to have Carly back home again,” said Marie Woods, Head of Middle School. “As a graduate of Mount Pisgah, she represents the best of what we do. A passionate educator, exemplary student leader, and dedicated coach, Carly will elevate our students to achieve and lead in line with our mission of preparing them for college and life beyond the classroom.”

Morris, who went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English from Samford University in 2013 after graduating from Mount Pisgah, began teaching at King’s Ridge Christian School later that same year. There, Morris taught English, and coached volleyball. She was head coach for the varsity team while also serving as the program coordinator, overseeing both junior varsity and middle school volleyball teams.

As a Mount Pisgah student from grades 3-12, Morris said the connections she made with her teachers are her fondest memories. Now as a teacher herself, she aims to create those same bonds with her students.

“Here, the ministry of the teachers isn't confined to a room with four walls,” Morris said of Mount Pisgah. “The teachers have the opportunity to coach, mentor, and lead their students in a variety of different ways that are unique to the Mount Pisgah student experience. It is the teachers and other leaders who uphold the beliefs and vision of the school, equipping students to be servant leaders, to be empathetic and understanding, and to make contributions in a world that desperately needs Christ-like leaders. Those teachers are the ones who prepared me for college and for this moment, as I assume the same role that they once played in my life. I am so excited to get started and to once again be a Patriot!” 

Morris is the daughter of Bob Morris and Mary Ann Morris, Mount Pisgah’s Head of Upper School.

 

Ryan Livezey

Ryan Livezey Accepts Position as Mount Pisgah Director of Athletics

Veteran School Administrator Will Also Remain on Football Staff

April 2018 - After a lengthy search that attracted more than 160 candidates, Mount Pisgah Christian School has named veteran school administrator and coach Ryan Livezey as its new Director of Athletics.

Livezey spent the past year serving as assistant head coach of Mount Pisgah’s football team as well as teaching Middle School social studies. He’ll transition into the new role over the next 4-6 weeks before assuming the role on a full-time basis in June.

Livezey, who holds a master’s degree in education from Mercer University and has taught at the middle school and high school level since 1997, served as the 11th Grade Boys’ Dean at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School for seven years and assistant athletic director in 2007-08 before coming to Mount Pisgah.

“I am humbled and honored to be given the responsibility to lead the Athletic Department at Mount Pisgah Christian School,” Livezey said. “In the short time I have been here, I have seen first-hand the tremendous faith-centered coaches and teachers who work with our student-athletes. I am excited about building upon the past successes of our athletic program and partnering with our school leadership to lead us to new heights.”

The 2009 Region Coach of the Year, Livezey spent 14 years as head football coach at Holy Innocents’ after establishing its football program in 2003. He guided his teams to a 67-56 (84-59 overall) record over 11 seasons at the helm of the varsity program.

A graduate of Norcross (Ga.) High School and a three-time All-Southern Conference player as a defensive lineman at Furman University, Livezey’s football coaching career spans more than two decades, beginning at the Marist School in 1996. He also spent the 2002-03 season at Winder-Barrow High School before joining Holy Innocents’.

“I am thankful to our search team for their diligence in a very difficult search,” Head of School Ruston Pierce said. “Ryan Livezey embodies the guiding principles of Mount Pisgah, and I can’t wait to see the growth of our athletic department that will take place under his leadership. He brings a wealth of knowledge and will do an excellent job helping our athletic programs taking the next step to become a key driver of our school climate.”

Livezey, 47, and his wife, Pam, have been married 21 years and live in Peachtree Corners. The couple have two daughters, Amelia and Emma. Emma is a current 7th grader at Mount Pisgah.

Mount Pisgah Introduces Marcia Bettis as New Head of Preschool

Marcia Bettis

Mount Pisgah Christian School welcomes Marcia Bettis as its new Head of Preschool. Marcia brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our preschool program having served 17 years as a teacher, assistant director, and director.

Mrs. Bettis, whose first day will be Monday, Feb. 26, was most recently Director of Grace Children’s Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she was responsible for all aspects of budget, teacher training, admissions, human resources, and state licensing. This wealth of knowledge will be invaluable as we grow and develop our preschool programs.

 “The early years of a child’s life are critical when it comes to their development,’’ Bettis said about her preschool education philosophy. “It’s important to recognize and understand that each child’s learning style is unique, and it’s our responsibility as teachers/caregivers to provide each child with the opportunity to develop their individual skills, knowledge, and attitudes in a secure and consistent environment. It’s important to build a strong relationship between families and staff for each child, and imperative to have an “open door” policy to maintain good communication. My goal is to give each child the loving care and guidance he or she needs during the early years, and provide a variety of learning experiences that allow each child to develop socially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

While in Chattanooga, Bettis spent six years at Grace Baptist Academy working alongside Sheree Du Preez, Mount Pisgah’s new Head of Lower School. During their time together, Grace Baptist achieved its highest enrollment in school history.

“I am very excited to add Marcia to our team,” Head of School Ruston Pierce said. “She is a tireless worker who loves kids and families in ways I wish I could emulate. Her connection with Sheree will be invaluable as we work on synergizing the school and preschool. Our families will love her because they will see quickly how much she loves them and their children. Our teachers will grow dramatically with her help and encouragement. This is a huge win for all of our families.” 

Marcia and her husband, Jimmy, are relocating to Canton, Georgia. She has two adult daughters, Ashley and Katie, and her son, Ben, is a 7th grader who will be attending Mount Pisgah in the fall. Marcia also has a grandson, Jude, and two stepchildren, Blake and Lila. We are excited to welcome the Bettis family to our community.

Sheree Du Preez

Mount Pisgah Christian School is pleased to announce the hire of Sheree Du Preez as its new Head of Lower School, culminating an extensive search for a visionary educational leader to help guide its students and school to a bright new future.

Du Preez comes to Mount Pisgah with three decades of educational experience in the U.S., Africa, and most recently Dubai, UAE, where she served as the Assistant Head of School for Mirdif Private School. During her time in education, Du Preez has spent seven years as an elementary school teacher, two years as director of gifted programming, 15 years as an elementary principal, and five years as a head of school. 

This background has enabled her to develop a vast understanding of teacher training, best practices in education, program and curriculum development, differentiated instruction, effective communication, intercultural competencies, data-driven teaching and learning, strategic planning, collaboration/team building, and biblical integration.

“Sheree is one of the best educational leaders I have ever seen,” Mount Pisgah Head of School Ruston Pierce said. “Her teachers display incredible personal and professional growth, she loves children for who they uniquely are and conveys that love to them, and she runs a school of excellence. Nothing less. I am thrilled to add someone of her caliber. She will do great things at Mount Pisgah.”

Du Preez, who was selected from over 40 applicants, previously held positions as Assistant Head of School and Head of Lower School at Grace Baptist Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, between 1997-2011.

Mount Pisgah’s search team was especially impressed with Du Preez’s education philosophy, which aligns with many of the school’s Guiding Principles.

“I believe strongly that a quality elementary school is one that works to find inner passion for learning and curiosity in students,” Du Preez said. “It is paramount that elementary school educators seek to develop students as independent, active learners and understand that all students learn differently. An excellent education needs to address the whole child, not simply focus on traditional academic skills. Only the combination of academic skills, strong character development (service, kindness, integrity, etc.), and strong biblical training will prepare students for God’s purpose for their lives.”   

Over her career in education leadership, Du Preez has also demonstrated the effectiveness of working alongside her team to support all aspects of a child’s development.

“My greatest strength is building congenial, mutually respectful relationships with those that I work with and working as a team to bring about excellent student performance and growth,” Du Preez said. “Collaboration and establishing trust are essential to effective school leadership and ultimately student progress.”

Du Preez holds a Master’s Degree of Education in Administration and Instructional Leadership. She has presented numerous seminars on topics including leadership development, developing child-centered educational programs, and understanding by design. She will be moving to Johns Creek this semester with her husband, Jan. She has two adult children, J.R. and Emma, who live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and two step children, Jandre and Derik, who live in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Du Preez will assume her role after her transition back to the U.S. has been completed.

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