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 Althetics

Robert Downing

With a career in leading junior high and high school athletic programs, Robert has been a coach and mentor to countless students in his 40+ years in the world of education. Currently, Robert manages all facets of athletic programming here on campus, including scheduling, hiring coaches, promoting programs and events and facilitating operations.

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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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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 Student Life

April Spain

Life surrounding academics is critical to the social and emotional development of a student during their formative school years. April leads the charge giving students have the opportunity to experience the joy of life through school spirit and service-oriented activities. April is most often seen around campus smiling and laughing. She has been part of the FACS family for over a decade and has been a confidant, friend and leader to countless students on campus. 

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Director of Community Relations

Charli Sanders

Charli is known as the storyteller on campus, leading the school's endeavors to tell the FACS story well. This comes to life through digital and social marketing, the website and blog and other brand identity efforts. Hailing from a career in corporate communications, Charli has had the opportunity to apply her skillset to advance the mission of the school through communications.