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Leadership Team

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Head of School

Bryan Sanders

Bryan Sanders has served in K-12 education as a headmaster for nearly a decade. He has served as a professor of Government and Legal Studies at Evangel University and served as the Chairman of the Social Sciences Department. Dr. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Science in government and social science and a Juris Doctor degree from Oral Roberts University. He has received numerous awards for his community service and teaching, including the E.M. and Estella Clark Award for excellence in teaching.

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Elementary Principal

Laura Farien

Dr. Laura Farien joined the FACS staff as a teacher in the fall of 2015 and was promoted to Elementary Principal in the fall of 2020. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a Master of Arts in Education from Union University. She most recently completed her Ed.D. in Christian Leadership through Liberty University. Prior to coming to FACS, Dr. Farien taught for 10 years in Christian education, with an emphasis in upper elementary education. She has a particular love for science education with a hands-on STEAM approach and is passionate about drawing clear connections between the Bible and Science.

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Admissions Director

Ellen DiGirolamo

Ellen DiGirolamo provides tours to interested families, coordinates the school’s open house and preview day opportunities, and shepherds new families through the admissions process. She received her Bachelor of Science in business administration from Evangel College in Springfield, Missouri. Mrs. DiGirolamo has served in admissions at FACS since 2000. Previously, she worked as a sales representative for a major soft lines company. 

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Director of Spiritual Development

Jason Hall

Jason's heart and commitment to the spiritual development of students at FACS is unmatched. With a professional background in teaching and youth ministry, he holds his undergraduate degree from Central Bible College and is an FACS alum. In this role, Reverend Hall seeks to implement effective strategies that engage students in spiritual matters beyond the classroom. From serving as a confidant to students, connecting them to additional pastoral support, to organizing chapel services and ministry opportunities on and off campus in order to build a thriving others-first mindset for students, Reverend Hall invests countless unseen hours to making this happen. He also teaches biblical studies courses and serves in a support role for other service opportunities on campus. 

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Director of Community Relations

Joy Johnson

Joy Johnson serves as the Director of Community Relations at FACS. She joined the team in the summer of 2023. Joy has spent time working as a Communications Director, and doing other administrative and Public Relations work over the past decade. She earned her Bachelors degree in Public Relations Management from Belmont University. Around campus, some of the things Joy is responsible for is PR, Marketing, overseeing Communications, website updates, etc. Outside of FACS, she enjoys time spent with her husband and their three boys: Zeke, Eli, and MJ. She also enjoys writing, listening to podcasts, cooking, and running. 

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Secondary Prinicipal

Shawn Hardiman

Shawn Hardiman joined FACS in the fall of 2020 and serves as secondary principal (grades 7-12). He also teaches history. Mr. Hardiman holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies Education with a minor in history and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, both from Evangel University. He is an Advanced Placement Board-Certified Teacher and AP Reader. He comes to FACS from Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, Florida, where he taught history. Previously, he served in the Springfield, Republic, Willard and Marshfield school districts in Missouri.

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Guidance & Counseling Director

Jeannie Smeltser

Jeannie Smeltser coordinates testing for students in K-12, directs college and career planning activities, develops secondary student and master schedules, and coordinates senior graduation. Her department also conducts parent workshops and provides personal counseling to secondary students. Mrs. Smeltser holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and a Master of Science in education (with elementary and secondary school counseling endorsements) from the University of Memphis. 

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Director of Library Services

Carrie McDaniel

FACS alumna, Carrie McDaniel, joined the FACS faculty as the Director of Library Services in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Evangel University and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Drexel University. Ms. McDaniel strives to create a welcoming atmosphere in the FACS library, helping students of all ages discover the joys of reading. While her educational background is in elementary education, Ms. McDaniel loves helping junior high and high school students with research and source evaluation. In addition to her daily library duties, Ms. McDaniel also oversees the school’s accreditation process through Cognia and the Association of Christian Teachers & Schools (ACTS).

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Director of Athletics

Mitch McDaniel

Mitch McDaniel began his coaching career straight out of high school, starting with freshman football at Bartlett HS. After attending Southwest Tennessee Community College, he coached at various schools including Riverdale HS and Arlington HS, where he served as Varsity Assistant. In 2008, Mitch became Varsity Coordinator at Bartlett HS, his alma mater, at just 23 years old. In 2020, he took on roles as Bartlett Middle School head football coach and Youth Football Program Director. In 2021, Mitch joined FACS as Varsity Football Head Coach, later becoming Athletic Director in July 2024. Mitch is married to Crystal McDaniel and is a proud father of four children, all attending FACS.

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Director of Information Technology Services

Kathy Petermann

Kathy wears many hats around the school's campus, and we appreciate her for it. She manages the laptop program for all secondary students and faculty and staff, ensuring the school remains in compliance with federal guidelines. She is also a champion for cyber safety. Along with the laptop program, she keeps the campus "connected" digitally and is also able to figure out a solution to any IT problem. Prior to her current role, she taught mathematics to students. 

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