SPARC 2017

SPARC: Spring Potential And Reality Courses


SPARC- Who, What, When, Why?


PDF—Final SPARC List 2017

ALL local and On Campus courses will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Local and On Campus Courses for MS ONLY


How Things Are Made in 2017
Tyler, TX Area
Judy Bunn, Ben Rogers
MS grades 6-8 or


Tyler is the home of some famous industries. Join us as we travel each day to two different companies to find out how they make their products. Some possibilities are Tyler Candle Co., Tyler Newspaper, Tyler Candy Co., Janie’s Cakes, Goldenbrook Farms Ice Cream, Trane A/C & Heating and the list goes on!!  Included in the price is lunch at a restaurant each day to find out how they make certain things (tortillas, fried ice cream, pastries, etc…)!  We will learn a lot about industries in Tyler while enjoying some culinary delights!!

Glass Slumping
Suzanne Shelton
Grades 6-8; 15 max

Join Mrs. Shelton for a warm glass class where she will show students how to slump glass into amazing forms. The students will learn to make a variety of glass objects including jewelry, plates and mosaics. Students will have the opportunity to “draw” an image with frit which will be melted into the glass surface and used to create a bowl or plate. At the end of the course, the students will leave with four-handmade glass products. Each day the group will eat on campus.

Celebrating Beauty in all Ways
Jessica Berry
Girls grades (6-8)

Throughout this course, the girls will learn about nutrition, and being Godly girls and women. There will be guest speakers during the week to help the girls realize their full potential. The girls will learn about dating relationships, friend relationships, cosmetology, massage, chiropractic care and how to live Godly lives. At the end of the week, the girls will leave with a basket full of tangible cosmetology pieces, healthy oils and other items they will be able to use in the future. They will also leave with valuable information about nutrition, health and being Godly women.

Middle School Trips

Hill Country Hiking and Beyond
Austin, TX Area
Jenny Wallace, Gary Gardner, Crystal Shidler
$300.00-400.00 (dependent on transportation needs)
6th grade only

The Sixth graders are taking on the Hill Country of Texas. We will be visiting Enchanted Rock, Hamilton Pools, and the Mammoth Site in Waco to discover the natural beauty and history of Texas. When we are not visiting these sites, we will be enjoying the fun and adventure of the Highland Lakes Camp on Lake Travis. Camp life will be full of action with opportunities like hiking, archery, zip-lining, paintball, and water activities!!

 Texas History Adventure
Austin, TX and San Antonio, TX
David Collins, Nathanael Mattay, Whitney Figueroa 
7th grade only, or

Come experience Texas with the Brook Hill seventh grade. We will be visiting the Texas State Capitol and the Bob Bullock Museum in Austin, Missions San José and Concepción, the Alamo, outdoor market and the famed Riverwalk in San Antonio. The group will also be participating in leadership and recreational activities at the T Bar M Camp in New Braunfels.

Christianity and the Founding Fathers
Washington, D.C.
Tiffany Hubbard, Les Rhea, Tammy Hayes
$1649.00 students /$1814.00 parents
8th grade only

The eighth grade will be visiting the sites in Washington, D.C. to gain a better understanding of the relationship between our Christian faith and the founding of our nation. There will be tours of the various memorials as well as the Smithsonian Museums, the Holocaust Museum, Washington Monument, Arlington National Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, and other sites. A private tour of the Capitol with Representative Louie Gohmert will highlight the trip. Students will be given the chance to interact with the culture, politics, and heritage of our nation in a way that will ignite in them a love of country that will last a lifetime. The trip will end with a fun-filled evening on the Potomac River Spirit Dinner and Dance Cruise.

Local and On Campus Courses for MS & US


Living & Learning in the Digital Age:
Skills needed for your future
Stephanie Davidson
Max: 20

The students will learn more about MS Word, Excel, Power Point and Adobe Photoshop. They will learn how to implement the different programs into phases of schoolwork and also talk about using these on the job. The group will eat lunch in the Commons.

Understanding and Creating Comics
Kent Travis

BAM! THWIP!!   SNIKT!!!   Comics.   Visual storytelling.   Comic book movies are booming at the box office and graphic novel sales are on the rise. The stories are interesting the masses—and probably you, too. Have you ever thought about what makes comics work? Ever thought about creating your own comics? Well, now’s your chance!! In this course, we’ll learn about the art behind comics and the comic creation process—-from writing….to laying out….to drawing….to inking….to lettering. Then, we’ll create our own comics and print copies at the end of the week. Notice:  It takes MANY people to make a comic. You DO NOT have to be able to do all aspects of this creation process. We need writers, drawers, letterers, people skilled with computers and possibly photographers (who says we can’t make a comic using photographs??) The participants will be eating on the Brook Hill campus.

Military Tactics, Strategies and History
Scott Ryle

Throughout this course, Coach Ryle, aka Sergeant Ryle, will show the participants how to use higher-order thinking skills to work with military tactics and strategies. They will discuss different military ideas that have been used throughout history. The group will eat on campus each day.

Amazing Moments
Mary Ann Williford
12 max. grades 6-12

The students and Mrs. Williford will make an after-school trip to Hobby Lobby and/or Michael’s the week before SPARC so that the students can purchase the supplies they will need for class. The participants will need to bring ALL pictures they want to include in their scrapbook on the first day of class. The class will learn many concepts involved with scrapbooking so that they will be able to have a pictorial history of any life-event. The students will eat in the Commons at Brook Hill each day except on Tuesday. On Tuesday, the group will once again go to Hobby Lobby for supplies and they will eat out. They will need money for this meal. 

Bible Journaling:
Bringing God’s Word to life with Art
Pam Hays
$50.00-100.00 MS/US

The students will work on journaling Bible stories after reading and discussing them. We will not only discuss stories and parables in the Bible, but also meaningful scriptures. We will each create an 8″ x 10″ canvas to display in the library for a few weeks and then the students will take them home. During the week we will work with regular journaling, as well as, learning to journal with transparencies, stamps, stickers and making 3D entries.  The students and Mrs. Hays will travel to the Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Michaels and/or Hobby Lobby the week before SPARC in order to purchase the canvas and all the supplies the participants will need. Mrs. Hays has some more costly supplies the students will be able to use during the week so they do not have to buy expensive items. The students will use their own Bible or journal for their work. The students and Mrs. Hays’ will eat at the school each day.

Developmental Strategies and Safety for
Youngsters in your care
Claire Berger

The students will learn about the basic needs of babysitting children from 6 months to 6 years old. Not all babysitters are created equal, so this course will help the student learn some “tricks of the trade” to help the children & parents be happy with the sitter. Mrs. Berger & the students, will meet in one of the boarding house kitchens and she will teach the students how to cook basic items for children. She will teach them many useful ideas to use while working in child care. At the culmination of the course, the students will have developed a skill that has the possibility of bringing in extra income for the student. CPR certification is included in the price of the course. The students will eat in the Commons at Brook Hill or with Mrs. Berger as they learn to fix different meals.

There’s a Song in My Heart
East Texas
Celia Tucker
Max 10

Do you have a song in your heart? During SPARC week this year let it out! Spend the week with guest instructor singer/songwriter Connie Mims Pinkerton and Mrs. Tucker getting your thoughts on paper and learning the techniques of song writing. During the week this creative group will be a guest in a composing class at UT Tyler and sit one on one with accomplished song writers in the Tyler area. Students will also visit various places around town for inspiration (Starbucks, The Foundry, Brady’s Coffee Shop, the Quad at Brook Hill, etc). The week will culminate with a “concert” at We Hope Ranch where you will have the chance to either perform or have someone else perform your song(s). Let your creativity shine!     *No musical experience required      This group will eat one meal on the campus, but the other meals will be ‘on the road’ since they will be traveling to different venues. The meal money is included in the cost.


     Local and On Campus Courses (Upper school only)


Brian Nelson

Join Mr. Nelson as he prepares you to ACE the SAT! The SAT Cram Session is designed to prepare students for the March 11, 2017 administration of the SAT.  The course will begin with a pre-test to give students a baseline score and inform specific instruction for the week.  During the course of the week, students will develop a solid understanding of the test structure, review the most prevalent concepts, and build fluency in effective test taking strategies.  Students will leave on Friday ready to tackle the SAT on Saturday! Mr. Nelson will have you prepared for this next step in your journey to college and your future.

Project LEAST
Michelle Rozell

Project LEAST is a class where we can put our faith into action. In church, chapel, and just in Christian life, we often talk about how, as Christians, we need to be the hands and feet of Christ. In this class, this mission is what we are going to do. Throughout the week, we will be engaging in service projects to help various groups of people in our community. These may include the homeless, immigrant populations, hospice patients, nursing homes, women and children’s shelters, and various community service projects. My prayer is that we would experience transformation in our own lives as we serve the Least of These around us.

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”– Matthew 25:37-38, 40



Farm to Table: Social Business Venture with Micro Family Farms
Jessica Mize

Join Mrs. Mize as we partner with the local, social business Micro Family Farms to start Brook Hill’s very first garden! We will work along side Micro Family Farms to build the garden, learn about social business, and discover how to grow our own food. In addition, we will develop ways and ideas for how we can use our produce to prepare meals, take ownership in growth, and use the knowledge we gain to be healthier individuals.


The Best Films You Never Saw
Kathy O’Brien
20 max.

This course connects literature, film and Biblical principles through classic films. Each day we’ll watch a film from a different genre, discussing literary elements and life lessons. Some of the movies the class will watch are: Les Miserables, High Noon, Empire of the Sun, Pride and Prejudice and a science fiction movie. All meals will be eaten on campus.

Sex, Dating, and Relationships
Jes Moore
11th and 12th grade boys

How far is too far?     What does the Bible say about sexuality?      How can I have a legit dating relationship?   Considering the sex-crazed, hook-up based culture we live in—not to mention the ever-climbing divorce rate—it’s clear that we need a better understanding of sex, dating, and relationships. Pastors Gerald Hiestand and Jay Thomas give us a paradigm-shifting view of purity and relationships—a view that accounts for the biblical evidence and helps us guard against unnecessary heartache.


Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman
Debbie Brinkley

Ever feel like you don’t meet up to God’s standards? Does your brokenness keep you from fully experiencing God’s grace and love? If either of these are true, then this is the course for you!  We will explore how God turns imperfect to perfect. Throughout this course, the girls will learn about nutrition, and being Godly girls and women. There will be a guest speaker during the week. The girls will learn about dating relationships, friend relationships, cosmetology, massage, chiropractic care and how to live Godly lives.


After the Game: An Introduction to Healthy Living Through Lifetime Sports
East Texas
Joseph Wilson
Max 8 boys, 8 girls


An introduction to life time sports such as golf, tennis, bowling, swimming, weight lifting, basketball, racquetball, and disc golf. Learn about sports that can be enjoyed and played throughout all stages of life that encourage students to be active and healthy beyond high school. Meals will be eaten on campus.

Behind the Scenes:
Careers in Sports
East Texas
Austin Reed

Join Coach Reed as he brings back a fabulous course: Behind the Scenes. This course will focus on the different aspects involved in the sports, entertainment, and media industries in the state of Texas. He will explore sports and entertainment venues, go behind the scenes of the nation’s largest manufacturer and distributer of sporting equipment, go behind the scenes for collegiate athletic healthcare and training insight, discover the science behind the sport, attend a professional and collegiate sporting event, visit with various experts in the field of sports and sports medicine, explore media coverage, and participate in team building adventures. Most of the meals will be eaten on campus.


Hunter Safety and Outdoor Adventure
East Texas
Travis Bunger, Melissa Adkins
Max 30

This class will travel to the Buffalo Creek Gun Club each day and be introduced to the shooting sports; including pistols, rifles, shotguns, and archery. Proper safety procedures will be taught and emphasized throughout the week. Students will learn about the different parts of each firearm and how they operate. Students will be taught basic marksmanship techniques to give them a firm foundation upon which to build and become proficient in each discipline. Students will spend time every day on each of the four disciplines and the week will culminate with a team competition on Friday. Prizes will be awarded to the top team and individual shooters.


Math & Science and Adventure in East Texas
East Texas
Pat Brunson, Shannan McEuen
$400 or

The Math & Science Adventure in East Texas will take daily trips to experience math and science out of the classroom (physics, geology, and biology) and explore God’s creation. Through the various activities such as riding a zip-line, hunting for fossils, discussing pendulum swings, identifying bird and trees and going behind the scenes at the zoo, we hope to expand the students’ enjoyment and appreciation of the science in God’s creation. The group will travel to Tiger Creek, Tyler State Park, Caldwell Zoo, Texas Fish and Game (in Athens), Athens Arboretum and Pine Cove. The group will bring sack lunches each day and eat out one day. The price of the meal is included in the cost, so no money will be needed.

Laurie Humphries, Jamie Whitten,
Travis Albea, Sara Scarborough
Minimum 6—Maximum 15;;;

Do you want to make your world a better place? Do you want to know how to lead with a purpose? Join us for SPARC Week as we help you discover and develop your leadership abilities. This week will help you discover the needs of your world and challege you to develop a vision for making it a better place. Our Advancement Team will share from their own experiences about how they lead Brook Hill with purpose, as well as introduce you to other world changing leaders in the East Texas area. We will spend time in leadership training as well as fun and engaging team building activities.  We will begin the week with team building activities at a local camp and end the week with a leadership retreat at Lake Tyler Petroleum Club.


Dr. Brunson
Upper School students
Max 20


Over the past three decades and largely as a result of the classical, Christian school movement and “new Calvinism,” a three-dimensional revival has arisen among many evangelical Christians, its three dimensions being spiritual, pedagogical, and aesthetical. This seminar touches upon all three dimensions of the revival but focuses primarily on the third dimension- the aesthetical. Derived from the Greek word aesthetikos and often translated as “discernment,” aesthetics is that branch of philosophy that explores Beauty, quite often in context of its Platonic corollaries Goodness and Truth. This seminar will affirm the legitimacy of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth as understood and advocated by Plato and neo-Platonic Christians, but will challenge that view on philosophical, experiential, and biblical grounds as ultimately deficient for its neglect of Terror as an essential component of sublime experience. The seminar will feature short readings, film, Power-Point presentations, and stimulating discussion tethered to God’s Word.



 National Trips


See It, Snap It, Improve It
Texas Hill Country
David Dickerson and Kenna Kempton
(8-12) or

The students will travel to Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildlife Center, the State Capital, LBJ Library, Bob Bullock Museum and other sites around the Austin, TX area. They will also travel to Ennis if the bluebonnets have bloomed. The group will return to Tyler and walk the Azalea Trail for picture taking opportunities. The group will visit many historical buildings in the Tyler area for photo opportunities. The students will learn different ways to take pictures. They will also discuss the six different things about a photograph that the photographer must control to take exceptional photos. The class will take time each day to practice what they have learned by taking pictures and discussing the results. The students will also discuss the practicality of being a professional photographer. At the conclusion of the course, the students will design and order a photo book documenting their week.


Mountain Women
Patti Eden and Abby Rickards
junior and senior girls   Max 15   or

Join Mrs. Eden and Mrs. Rickards as they bring back a past favorite course. The group will drive to the mountains of Arkansas, near Fayetteville. They will be staying at the Buffalo Outdoor Center in Petit Jean State Park for the week. They will hike, ride horses, visit local attractions, cook our own meals, and have a book study of God Loves Ugly by Christa Black.  This book centers around relevant issues high school girls face.


Mere Masculinity: Catalina Island
Rod Fletcher, Shawn Rhoads
9th-12th males only max.30   or  

This week-long course is designed to challenge 9th-12th grade boys to explore Biblical masculinity in the wild and rugged environment of Catalina Island. On this remote island, located off the coast of California, students will study Biblical principles that are foundational to Godly manhood while exploring, engaging, and interacting with the “wild side” of Catalina Island. Students will catch and clean fish, search for moray eels, dive through wild kelp forests in search of marine life, kayak along the island coastline, hike the rugged terrain seeking wild buffalo, and possibly swim with dolphins—if their nerves can take it. This course is NOT for the “faint of heart”, but only for the young man who enjoys conquering the unknown, thrives on adventure, and wants to explore what it means to be a “Real Man”.


California Here We Come!!!
San Francisco, CA
Becky Knight, Candise Wise
Max 20 (US Girls Only) or  or

This trip, through Northern California, will be based in San Francisco. The participants will travel over the Golden Gate and Oakland Bay Bridges. They will visit Alcatraz, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and many other museums and sites near San Francisco. They will visit San Francisco de Asis Mission Dolores. This mission is one of the hundreds on the National Park tour of the California Mission Trail. This course is open to females only grades 9-12.

Arizona Adventure
Sedona, AZ
Greg Jones, Kyle Ford
Max 20 boys (US only) or

Based out of Red-Rock country in Sedona, AZ. Explore Oak Creek Canyon and the surrounding Red Rock wilderness through a variety of day hikes. Day trip to the Grand Canyon and explore the Bright Angel Trail to Plateaus Point just 1,000 feet above the Colorado River. Study the geology, history, and culture of Northern Arizona, as well as the arts and crafts of the area. We will star gaze in the evening, visit a “ghost town” in Jerome, AZ, and discuss the local religious significance of the area.


Great American Cities Tour
New York City 
Glenn Ballard 
max. 36

Our group will travel to Manhattan and experience three Broadway shows, world-class museums, The United Nations Building, Grand Central Station, Central Park, Brooklyn (with a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge) and Coney Island, along with numerous other cultural highlights. This price includes an unlimited ride ticket on the subway, $60.00/day for meals,


 Courage, Character and Leadership
Virginia, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania
Steve Dement
8 max.   US males only


Students will examine the qualities of courage, character and leadership with particular emphasis on those qualities as exhibited on the battlefield by the students of the Virginia Military Institute during the 1864 Battle of New Market in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The course will include lectures on the campus of V.M.I. in Lexington, Virginia, assisted by V.M.I. faculty, close examination of the battlefield itself from the perspective of the V.M.I. Cadets, and personal application of lessons learned.  Additional highlights will include sight-seeing in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. with a performance at Ford’s Theatre and two very “Special Events”. We will also tour Jefferson’s Monticello (Charlottesville, Virginia), make a visit to the Bull Run battlefield (Manassas, Virginia), Stonewall Jackson’s home and Robert E. Lee’s office (Lexington, Virginia).


Hawaiian Ministries:
 Helping the Homeless through Missions and Sports
Open to any student
Anthony Springer
Max 20


Enjoy 6 nights on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Maui. We will partner with local homeless shelters to serve their needs and minister. We will play 2-3 softball games against local high school teams in addition to spending time at the beach. We will learn how to hula, make leis, visit historical landmarks, enjoy the breathtaking island sunrise, and attend an authentic, Hawaiian luau!



International Trips


Experience Spain
Madrid and Barcelona
Ronda Utz and Christie Adams
Max 20 or

We will spend eight days visiting and touring Madrid and Barcelona. We will see the architecture of Gaudi, taste authentic Paella, experience Flamenco dancing, tour the famous Basilica and see works from Picasso, El Greco and Goya. The cost of the trip does not include lunch and snacks.  All entrance fees and guided tours are included, as well as breakfast and dinners while in Spain.


500 Years of Reformation
Wally Dawkins and Laurie Dawkins
Max 20

This will be a 10-day journey through Austria, Germany and Switzerland to visit key sights and historical places related to the Protestant Reformation. Our sponsors and students will be on a Brook Hill only tour bus. The cost of the trip covers air fare, accomodations, ground transportation, all breakfasts and all dinners. It does NOT include lunch meals, tips, or souvenirs. The group will be visiting the cities of: Vienna, Salzburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Lucerne, and the Neuschwanstin Castle.


Australian Basketball Tour
Open to any student
Ivan Johnson, Jacob Agnew
$2,500 plus air fare
Max 20 or

Join Coach Johnson, Coach Agnew, and Coach Simmons for a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Brisbane, Australia and play basketball!  Individuals will be staying with host families. They will visit Brisbane and the surrounding area. The price shown includes meals and lodging, it does NOT include airfare.




Internship Program Information, Guidelines and Timeline

Internship Final Submission and Requirements

Contact Jessica Mize ( or Pam Hays ( for more information

Parent-led college trip


SPARC 2017 College Application

Contact Jessica Mize ( or Pam Hays ( for approval