By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Tupelo Christian Preparatory School will revamp what it teaches, add honor societies and look for service outreach opportunities, its new headmaster said on Tuesday.
Brian Benscoter, 52, was formally introduced during a news conference. The Air Force veteran had worked the previous 20 years at Shades Mountain Christian School in Hoover, Ala., and was most recently the school’s pre-K through 12th-grade principal.
When the TCPS Board of Trustees hired him, Benscoter said, it tasked him with two primary goals for the 475-student school: improve its academics and become more involved in the community.
He plans to accomplish the first by revamping the school’s curriculum, making it more rigorous, demanding and in-depth.
The work also includes getting students to “realize they can compete at more competitive colleges and universities,” he said, and adding honor societies, like Mu Alpha Theta, and Science National Honor Society.
“They charged me with taking academics to the next level, helping students get more prepared for university work,” he said.
At the same time, he said, the school “wants to have a relational person to lead us into the community to serve and invest.”
The school will actively look for opportunities to partner with the community, he said.
Asked about the school’s relationship with the Tupelo Public School District, Benscoter said he doesn’t see it as competitive.
“We will be working toward getting people in Tupelo to recognize we are not in competition with the public schools, we are another educational option for parents,” he said. “I’d love to partner with the city and partner with the public schools.
“The community should take pride in public schools. I’m a supporter of the public system. That is important to the community where we live. But for those parents who want another option, we’re here.”
Parent Mark Foster said he was most excited about Benscoter’s energy and vision for the school.
“The desire was for someone to take us to the next level, and he seems like the man who can do that,” he said.
Meanwhile, Aubrey Boren, the dean of students and athletic director, said Benscoter made a strong impression when he used the parking spot farthest from the front door on his first day.
“That told me he is serious about serving and humility,” he said.