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Briarcrest Headmaster Simpson announces retirement

Steve Simpson

Longtime Headmaster Steve Simpson announced Tuesday morning that he will step down from his duties at Briarcrest Christian School at the end of the current school year.

The school plans to promote Caron Swatley to the position on July 1. Mershon Cummings will assume Swatley’s current role as the principal of the middle school.

“As Mr. Simpson concludes a 49-year career, the last 16 of which have been at Briarcrest, it is difficult to describe the debt of gratitude that we owe him for his wise and caring leadership,” said Mark Merrill, president of Briarcrest. “Steve, his wife Dianna and his entire family are truly loved by the Briarcrest community, and we look forward to seeing them around campus at their grandchildren’s events.”

Merrill expressed excitement over the promotion of Swatley, who has been at Briarcrest for 12 years.

“The headmaster search process was selective and wide ranging, including candidates from across the Southeast,” said Merrill. “We interviewed several excellent candidates, but are delighted to be filling the position with the person we believe is prepared for this position at this time.”

Swatley said, “Briarcrest Christian School graduates attend some of the nation’s finest colleges and universities. They leave well-prepared for the academic challenges that await them, armed with life skills and having the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.”

Swatley is a native Memphian and a graduate of the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, a Master of Science degree in Instructional Design and a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

She has 17 years of experience in education. Her administrative experience began as Briarcrest’s Middle School Director of Academic and Student Services. She also served as the elementary principal and currently serves as the middle school principal.

Swatley has been married to her husband, Terry, for 31 years. They have twin boys and are members of Highpoint Church in Collierville.

Cummings holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Mississippi State University and a Master of Education degree from Union University.

She has 23 years of teaching and administrative experience in elementary and middle school. Cummings has served as a middle school director at Woodland Presbyterian School.

She currently serves as Director of Academic and Student Services in the Middle School at Briarcrest. She has been married to her husband, Doug, for 22 years.

They have two children who attend Briarcrest and are members of Woodland Presbyterian Church in Memphis.

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