2006 Homecoming Awards
Front row (L-R): Ginger Whitehead, Kathleen Carter, Meredith Wright, Kathy Elder, Len Hamner, Roma Henderson, Leisha Prather Pickering Second row(L-R): Sally Peters, Tim Dulin, Skip Redmond, Jeff Fite, Jason McCommon, Erica Wyatt, Paula Wyatt, Sharon Watson, Joe Clayton, Dr. David McKinley, Bill McGee
The Paul Piper Distinguished Alumni Award is given to graduates of Briarcrest who have shown outstanding achievement in their professional careers and/or have been recognized for their influential leadership and support of educational, civic, religious, or charitable causes. The recipients for 2006 are:
Dr. David McKinley - Dr. David McKinley is a 1976 graduate of Briarcrest. Since leaving the school, Dr. McKinley has gone on to receive his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Memphis, his Master of Divinity from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, and his Doctor of Ministry from Talbot School of Theology. He has served in the Ministry at several different churches all throughout the South. Currently, Dr. McKinley is serving as the Teaching Pastor at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, TX. In addition to his ministry, Dr. McKinley serves as a Trustee for Palm Beach Atlantic University and on the Board of Mission One. Recently, Dr. McKinley became a published writer with his book The Search for Satisfaction. Dr. McKinley, his wife Connie, have two children, Joseph and Mary Elizabeth.
Leisha Prather Pickering - Mrs. Leisha Prather Pickering is a 1977 Briarcrest graduate. Mrs. Pickering received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Mississippi where she was also a cheerleader. Upon graduating from The University of Mississippi, Mrs. Pickering served in missions work in China, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic. Leisha's husband, Chip, serves as the Third District Congressman from Mississippi. She currently owns her own event planning business where she has coordinated events for Presidential Inaugurations and planned the 9-11 Widows' Baby Shower in New York. When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast last September, Leisha organized a non-profit organization called HANDS: Helping Americans Needing Disaster Support in which they supplied and coordinated relief for thousands of Mississippians. Her efforts during this disaster were featured on national news programs, including Focus on the Family, where she was praised for the effectiveness and compassion during the disaster. Leisha, husband Chip, and their 5 sons are residing in rural Madison County, MS.
The Danny Childs Distinguished Faculty Society was formed to recognize current and former faculty members for their exemplary career in the pursuit of academic excellence and the development of young Christian men and women. The recipients for 2006 are:
Kathy Elder - Ms. Kathy Elder is in her 29th year at Briarcrest, teaching as one of the high school's Bible teachers. She has faithfully shared the Word of God and taught multitudes of young men and women how to live as Christians. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Elder has coached the Freshmen Girl's Basketball team and Varsity Softball, served as the Bible Department Coordinator, as well as coordinating weekly chapel programs.
Len Hamner - Ms. Len Hamner has been a teacher at Briarcrest since 1973. During her tenure at Briarcrest, she has taught 11 different subjects at the high school. She has also sponsored 6 different clubs and organizations. Ms. Hamner has also taken groups of students to study in Washington, D.C. and all over Europe. Ms. Hamner holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin and a Master of Arts in History from the University of Memphis.
Roma Henderson – Mrs. Roma Henderson is in her 32nd year at Briarcrest. During those 32 years she has taught English on the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade levels. She is currently the senior English teacher. In addition to teaching, she has served the school as a sponsor of the Student Council, Honor Council, Honor Society. Mrs. Henderson has also been the Chair of the English Department. She has also had 3 children who have graduated from Briarcrest.
Sharon Watson – Sharon Watson has been on staff at Briarcrest sense 1976. From 1976-2002 Ms. Watson taught in the Science Department and was volleyball, track, and basketball coach. She is currently serving the school as the Middle School Principal. Last, the Alumni Association inducted her into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame for her accomplishments as a coach. And this year they are recognizing her accomplishments as an educator.
The Briarcrest Athletic Hall of Fame was established to recognize the various coaches, administrators, athletes, and friends who have contributed to the overall outstanding nature of the BCS athletic program. The recipients for 2006 are:
Sally Peters – Sally Peters is a 1977 graduate of BCS. She was the first highly decorated female athlete in the school’s history. As member of the tennis team, she won the district title 3 years in a row, won the Commercial Appeal’s Best of the Preps Female Tennis Player of the Year award in 1976, and was ranked by the United States Tennis Association as the 8th best player in the southern section and 4th best player in the state. Sally received a scholarship from the University of Alabama as a singles and doubles player. Sally has entered the technology field where she designed and developed training for the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and NATO. She is currently living in Germantown where she has an IT consulting practice.
Tim Dulin – Tim Dulin is a 1981 graduate of BCS. He is the school’s first 4-year letterman in baseball. During his senior year at BCS, Tim was named All-State. He received a baseball scholarship to the University of Memphis where he became a 2 time all-American. Tim was then selected in the Major League Baseball draft and went on to play 6 years of professional baseball with the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tim, his wife Barbara, and their two children, Kristen and Dalton, are all living in Eads, TN. Tim is the owner and operator of Gameday Sports Academy in Cordova.
Cindy Whitehead – Cindy Whitehead is a 1985 graduate of BCS where she was a standout athlete in basketball, soccer, and track. In basketball, she was named all district, all metro, and all state honorable mention along with being ranked in the top of several statistical categories in the city. Cindy also was named the MVP in soccer. In track, Cindy broke 9 school and region records in various events. Cindy went on to play Division 1 college basketball, Division 1 track, and Division 2 softball. She has even competed against American Gladiators. Currently, Cindy is living in Byhalia, MS, and is working for Baptist Hospital as a Physical Therapist.
Jeff Fite – Jeff Fite is a 1987 graduate of BCS and lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. In basketball, he was named team MVP and District Tournament MVP during his senior year. In football, Jeff set many records that remain today. He was named Bigger, Faster, Stronger 1st team All-American, received the Walter Camp Trophy as the best offensive player in the city, and was named the Commercial Appeal’s Best of the Preps Athlete of the Year in 1987. Jeff attended the University of Memphis on a football scholarship where he was named an All-American as a punter. The National Scholastic Football Hall of Fame honored him for his achievements as a student athlete. In 1991, Jeff was drafted by the Green Bay Packers as a punter. Jeff, his wife Jan, and their son Jack are currently living in Oakland, TN. Jeff is now a middle school teacher at Schilling Farms Middle School in Collierville, TN.
Jason McCommon – Jason McCommon graduated from BCS in 1990. As a 3-year letter winter in 3 different sports, Jason holds the career-passing leader with 3,783 yards in football and was named Touchdown Club Player of the year. In basketball, Jason was named all-district and all-metro honorable mention. In baseball, Jason finished in the top 5 in assists, batting average, R.B.I’s, homeruns, and in strikeouts as a pitcher. In 1990, Jason was named the Commercial Appeal Best of the Preps Male Athlete of the Year. Jason received a scholarship from the University of Memphis as a pitcher where he was named all-conference in 1993 and 1994. He finished in the top ten in strikeouts at the U of M. Jason was drafted in the 10th round of the 1994 Major League Baseball draft and played 6 years of professional baseball. Jason, his wife Cara, and their two sons K.C. and Jackson are all currently living in Memphis.
Joe Clayton – From 1974 until 1996, there was one person that you could always find standing on the sidelines or sitting in the stands at almost every Briarcrest athletic event. Mr. Joe Clayton served Briarcrest for 22 years as high school Principal and later System President. Mr. Clayton bleeds green and gold. Even today, Mr. Clayton attends many BCS sporting events. His leadership during the late 80’s serves as a benchmark of how all coaches should lead there respective teams during times of adversity. And it was through his leadership that Briarcrest was able to become one of the finest athletic programs in the state. The BCS Administration and Athletic Department recognized Mr. Clayton in 2000 by naming the football field in his honor. Mr. Clayton and his wife Nell are currently living in Collierville, TN.
Al Wright – From 1988 to 1992, Briarcrest was blessed to have Al Wright as a coach and teacher. Coach Wright was one of the more beloved faculty members on staff. He was the freshmen boys basketball coach, assistant varsity baseball coach, and an assistant varsity football coach. In the classroom, Coach Wright taught various levels of mathematics from Algebra to Geometry. No matter if he was in the classroom or on the athletic field, Coach Wright could always be found teaching and mentoring the students of Briarcrest. In May of 1994, Coach Wright died suddenly of a heart related disease. The fact that the Alumni have nominated Coach Wright for this award only after teaching and coaching at BCS for 4 years show the impact that he had on this school. Therefore, the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee would like to remember Coach Al Wright by inducting him into the Briarcrest Christian School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Bill Wyatt – Bill Wyatt was a BCS parent and former President of the Saints Booster Club. From the moment his daughter Erica became as student at Briarcrest, Bill immersed himself as a volunteer at the school. If there was a job that needed to be done and nobody wanted to do it, Bill was the first to sign up for it. Whether it was repairing torn down fences at Towering Oaks or driving 6 hours out of his way to make sure that the football team had what it needed before a state championship game, Bill was there for the school and the athletic program. Bill’s hard work and dedication did not stop once his daughter graduated. During the three years that BCS held the Spring Fling, Bill was there every day and doing whatever it took to make sure the Briarcrest was the best. In February of 2004, Bill died suddenly of a heart attack. It is because of Bill’s hard work, sweet spirit, and his love Briarcrest Athletics that the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee would like to remember Bill by inducting him into the Briarcrest Christian School Athletic Hall of Fame.