Administrative Leadership & Staff

Senior Administrators

Wendell Meadows, Head of School

Wendell Meadows assumed his duties as head of school at FACS in1996. His resume includes more than three decades of experience in Christian education. He has served as head of school at Christian schools in Georgia, California and Tennessee. Mr. Meadows holds a Bachelor of Science in education with a double major in history and Bible from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. He earned his Master of Science in education from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama. “To be able to interact with and develop relationships with students and point them toward Christ is an awesome privilege,” he said.

Joe Newman, Secondary Principal

Joe Newman, Ph.D., began teaching history at FACS in 1998 and became our dean of students in 2004. In 2006, he accepted his current position as secondary principal, overseeing personnel, course content, classroom instruction and student discipline. He holds a Bachelor of Science in philosophy and theology from North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a Master of Educational Administration from the University of Memphis, and a Ph.D. in U.S. history after 1877, also from the University of Memphis. Prior to coming to FACS, he served as a pastor in Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee, taught history in Louisiana and Tennessee, and served as headmaster at Frayser Assembly Christian School, Memphis.

Sharon Schaade, Elementary Principal

Sharon Schaade has served FACS in various capacities since 1976. She assumed her present duties in the July, 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Evangel University and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Liberty University. Mrs. Schaade taught elementary school at FACS for 12 years beginning in 1976, served on the FACS School Board for several years while her children were preschool aged, served for a time as Chidren's Director for Memphis First Assembly, worked several years in an FACS administrative assistant position that involved curriculum coordination and discipline, and most recently served as guidance counselor and curriculum coordinator for the elementary school. "Our goal is to work alongside parents to lay a foundation spiritually, academically, and emotionally, that will help students become strong men and women who stand heads above their peers in their generation," Mrs. Schaade said.


Ellen DiGirolamo, Director of Admissions

Ellen DiGirolamo coordinates all FACS admissions activities. She received her Bachelor of Science in business administration from Evangel College in Springfield, Mo. Mrs. DiGirolamo has served in admissions at FACS since 2000. Previously, she worked as a sales representative for a major soft lines company. “I feel this is a continuation of experiencing and enjoying new relationships,” she said of the transition from business sales to admissions. “One of the very special times of my job is when I am able to sit in my office and pray with parents and students. I love being able to share that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above anything we ask or think.”

Jeannie Smeltser, Director of School Counseling

Jeannie Smeltser coordinates testing for students in K-12, directs college and career planning activities, disseminates scholarship information, develops secondary student and master schedules, and coordinates senior graduation. Her department also conducts parent workshops, oversees character education activities, and provides personal counseling to secondary students. She graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Master of Science in Education (with elementary and secondary school counseling endorsements) from the University of Memphis. Ms. Smeltser taught at FACS for nine years early in her career. She then worked in education in Texas and in counseling ministry in Indiana before assuming her current position with FACS in 1994.

Philip Spain, Director of Athletics

Philip Spain directs all FACS athletic programs. He began teaching and coaching at FACS in 1977. He taught Tennessee history for more than 20 years. He assumed the school’s athletic directorship in 1983. Coach Spain holds a Bachelor of Science with degrees in health and physical education and history from the University of Tennessee-Martin.

Deborah Wade, Director of Communications

Deborah Wade directs the school's marketing and business communications functions including the school website, advertising, media relations, school publications, and email communication, and coordinates advancement efforts related to major gifts. She also serves as sponsor for the high school Student Ambassador student leadership organization. Mrs. Wade graduated with honors from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a minor in speech. She also has completed development training with the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and certification in grantwriting from The Grantsmanship Center Inc. She previously worked as education reporter for a Midwestern metro daily, creative supervisor for a regional advertising agency in the Northeast, and communications director for a national consumer finance company.

Carrie McDaniel, Director of Media Services

Carrie McDaniel, FACS Class of 2001, joined the administration as Media Services Director in 2007. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (emphasis in English) at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, and her Master of Science in Library and Information Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Under her direction, the FACS library has become fully automated.

Gerry Marcum, Director of Security

Gerry Marcum was named FACS Security Director in 2013. Called “Sarge” by students, Mr. Marcum formerly served as Sergeant for the Shelby County Sherriff's Office. He holds an AAS degree in Criminal Justice. In addition to graduating from the Shelby County Sheriff's Department Training Academy, he also is a graduate of the Drug Enforcement Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, GA, the Memphis Police Department Dog Academy, and targeted training seminars in the fields of narcotics; felony fugitive apprehension; illegal firearms, alcohol, and smuggling operations; counterfeit and fraud; and homicide.  Mr. Marcum has worked on federal taskforces with the DEA, ATF, FBI, and Secret Service, and has been deputized as a Deputy U.S. Marshal.

Merilyn Turman, Director of School Care

Merilyn Turman directs our elementary before- and after-school care programs as well as our summer Crusader Care program and coordinates our preschool licensure compliance. She has served FACS in early childhood education positions since 1987. Previously, she worked for several years as a Certified Dental Assistant and in the transportation industry. Of her work here, she says, "I am so thankful to God for allowing me the awesome privilege of watching the children grow in His love at FACS.

Joey Lowe, Assistant Athletic Director

Joey Lowe serves as the FACS varsity football head coach and assistant athletic director. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in sociology from the University of Memphis. Mr. Lowe said he appreciates the opportunity to work in a "friendly, small-school atmosphere. It feels like a family."


John Grant, Dean of Students, High School

John Grant, an FACS alum, is Dean of Students for grades 9-12, an administrative leadership position that encompasses all facets of campus life. He also serves as head coach for varsity girls’ basketball. He previously led our Bible Education Department at FACS. Mr. Grant holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Crichton College and a Master of Arts from Reformed Theological Seminary. He also holds certification in secondary administration through the Association of Christian Schools International. Mr. Grant describes his approach to serving as Dean of Students as being relationship-focused. Paul’s relationship with Timothy helps illuminate Mr. Grant’s vision for leading FACS students. “Paul admonishes Timothy to ‘watch his life and doctrine closely.’ Sound doctrine is knowledge we must have, but it does not stand alone,” Mr. Grant said. “Watching our lives means that our actions, particularly those actions that become habits, play an important role in our spiritual formation. Paul goes on to say in that same verse, I Timothy 4:16, that as Timothy watches his life and doctrine closely he will ‘save’ both himself and his hearers. Why? If Timothy watches only his doctrine, his life will not square with that doctrine. His hearers will turn a deaf ear and Timothy himself will be spiritually destitute.”

Jason Hall, Dean of Students, Junior High School

Jason Hall serves as Dean of Students for junior high and as an assistant varsity football coach. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and missions from Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. He also has studied history at the University of Memphis and commercial aviation at Delta State University. He is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, and served for seven years as a youth pastor before coming to FACS in 2005. “I’m thrilled to be at FACS because I believe in the school’s purpose and mission,” Mr. Hall said.

School Counselors

Teran Conley, Elementary and High School Counseling

Teran Conley joined the guidance department staff in 2013 to assist elementary and high school students with counseling and guidance within the five systemic systems: individual, peer, family, community and school counseling. He also aids student athletes in collegiate eligibility requirements and teaches a junior high values course. He graduated cum laude from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and holds a Masters of Education in Administration/Supervision and Leadership from Cambridge College. He previously served as an in-home counselor for Youth Villages and as a Behavioral Specialist for the Memphis City Schools. Mr. Conley lives by a favorite quote from Maya Angelou: "Love is a lot of things, it varies, but one thing it is not is unsure." To this Mr. Conley adds: "Every child deserves to be trained in the love and grace of the Lord and should never be unsure if he or she is loved, even in the midst of correction."

Clay Meadows, Junior High School Counseling

Clay Meadows joined FACS in 2008. In addition to teaching responsibilities, he develops and implements spiritual-development and peer-relationship programs for junior high students and provides counseling to junior high students. He holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Crichton University and is pursuing an advanced degree through Union University. He is a graduate of the FACS Class of 1999. Past work includes experience in retail management and banking. “My main goal at FACS is to allow God to use me in any way He wants for His purposes,” Mr. Meadows said.

School Nurse

Janet R. Adair, RN, CPNP

Janet Adiar provides school health educational programs to students, oversees screenings, audits immunization cards, manages school reporting to the State Health Department, trains faculty and staff on health issues, and provides CPR, First Aid and AED training. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, completed certification as a coronary care nurse with Greater Community Hospital in Creston, Iowa, and completed her Pediatric Nurse Practitioner training at the University of Iowa College of Nursing. She is a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner. Ms. Adiar has nearly 40 years' experience in various nursing, research, and nursing administrative positions, including service to both Methodist/LeBonheur Healthcare and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

Business Staff

Susan Gilmore, Office Manager

Susan Gilmore joined the FACS staff as an administrative assistant in 2007. She completed four years of childhood education at the University of Memphis. She has worked for more than five years as an administrative assistant, with experience at Christ United Methodist Church, Bellevue Baptist Church and Capital Investment Realty. "FACS does a fantastic job of pairing Biblical truth with all academic subjects," she comments.

Jennifer Sedory, Accounts Payable

Jennifer Sedory has worked in various finance positions for more than 16 years. Since her son Dylan’s first day in JrK at FACS six years ago, Jennifer says she has been in love with our school, the faculty, and the staff, adding that it has been her desire and prayer to find a place to serve with the FACS team. This year the Lord answered that prayer, as she has accepted a full-time position in the Finance Office as an FACS Bookkeeper.  In her new role, Jennifer is responsible for the all of our payroll, our outgoing expenses, and our general accounting.

Angie Kerby, Accounts Receivable

Angie Kerby has a strong business background with experience in general office management, accounts payable and receivable, payroll and tax accounting. She is also experienced in marketing and sales. She came to FACS in March, 2016, from Regel ParmaLab in Germantown. She has also worked for HealthNet Federal Credit Union, Liquid Grafix, Bott Radio Network, and Synchronics, Inc. For ten years, she owned and operated her own business, SeaLyon Marine Hut & Canvas Works, at Pickwick Lake. Ms. Kerby earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Data Processing (minor in accounting) from State Technical Institute of Memphis and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Christian Brothers University.

Cindy Pillow, Finance Office Assistant

Cindy Pillow serves parents in the Finance Office. She began working at FACS in 2003 and previously served as a junior Kindergarten teacher and as an educational assistant. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego. “I’m so grateful and blessed to have a great job that I love,” she said.

Peggy Nickles, Office Receptionist

Peggy Nickles now welcomes our parents and students in the main office as an administrative assistant.  Peggy’s diverse creativity has produced many twists and turns throughout her life.  Retail merchandiser, artist, giftware creator, public speaker, author, lyricist, founder of The Beautiful Hat Society, and creator of Hymn Blessings are all roles she has enjoyed in her various artistic expressions.  She also has worked as an administrative assistant for Holt Engineering.  “The Lord is constantly changing us, making us into vessels He chooses to use at different times, in different ways, and in different situations.”  Peggy said adding that she is “very blessed that God has chosen to weave FACS into the fabric of my life.”

Karen Lane, Office Receptionist

Karen Lane has welcomed our parents and students in the school office since 2004, and now welcomes them to the office in our new educational building. Prior to moving to the office position, she taught junior kindergarten here for one year. She also worked as an educational assistant at Altruria Elementary School. “I love the students and enjoy getting to know their parents,” she comments.

Carolyn Long, Administrative Assistant

Carolyn Long joined the FACS staff in 2008 and serves as administrative assistant in the Guidance Office where she maintains school records. She also serves as sponsor for the secondary school Chapel Band. Mrs. Long has been active on Memphis-area worship teams for the last nine years. As an independent artist, she has released two CDs.

Judy Bragg, Administrative Assistant

Judy Bragg serves as an administrative assistant to the elementary principal. She previously taught the FACS SPARK Program, SrK, JrK, second and third grades, and music, and served as a substitute teacher, all at FACS. Mrs. Bragg holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Memphis. “My favorite verse is Proverbs 22:6: ‘Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.’”

Dee Dee Volz, Photographer, Office Receptionist

Dee Dee Volz takes most of the photos for the school's web site, Legacy Magazine, and various marketing and advertising materials. She has a strong background in photography, including several years of operating her own portrait studio. Ms. Volz also serves parents and other school visitors as a receptionist in the main school office, the junior high office, and the Jones Center for Guidance and Counseling.

Michelle Nobles, Library Assistant

Michelle Nobles joined the FACS staff in 2016 where she serves in the library assisting the Director of Media Services, helping to coordinate library programs, and providing individual attention to students conducting research on library databases or completing tasks related to the Accelerated Reader Program. Mrs. Nobles previously sserved as a substitute teacher at FACS.

Cindy Delugach, Attendance Secretary

Mrs. Delugach joined the FACS staff full time in 2016 as Attendance Secretary. She previously served as a substitute teacher and as a long-term sub in the Attendance Office. 

Judi Bramlett, Athletic Office Assistant

Mrs. Bramlett serves as administrative assistant to the Athletic Director. She began work at FACS in 1999 as a substitute teacher and has worked at FACS as an elementary educational assistant, junior high physical education teacher, freshman girls' wellness and physical education teacher, and varsity volleyball and softball coach.