Laurie Dawkins has been a part of the Brook Hill community for 16 years! She has taught in the local community since 2002 as a Pre-K, Kinder, 1st grade, and 4th grade teacher – and now teaches our Lower School Science Lab special! She also supports her husband and our beloved Director of Athletics, Wally Dawkins.
Laurie mentioned to us that her favorite subject to teach has been Texas History! She started the “Tall Texan” project that takes place in 4th grade and said “watching my students present, in character, their famous Texan was something I enjoyed doing every year. Now every lesson in the Science lab helps God’s creation come to life. I love it!”
“My favorite thing about Brook Hill is the excitement of the students coming into school each day, the comradery with my coworkers, and the belief that we have in the Lord,” Laurie said.
Laurie told us that almost everyday a Lower School student will bring in something fun for the science lab that they have discovered or found around their home. “I love all of the critters, bones, and rocks that we have added to our collection. Stay curious about God’s incredible creation, students!”
Barb Hines serves as a Kindergarten Teaching Assistant and After School Cadet Director. She also leads our Garden Club and Book Illustration Club at the Lower School!
She’s also best known as the smiling face that greets our LS families during carline. “Every day at school motivates me for the next. I love being one of the first to greet our families and then deliver them to their parents knowing another great day is just a sleep away,” Barb said.
Barb loves to bring out creativity in and out of the classroom! She led our Illustration Club to create a Children’s book and recalls it as one of her favorite memories when she was able to present the library with the published book. One of her favorite aspects of the Lower School is the Garden Club and she hopes some day that it will be a permanent part of the curriculum.
Sherry Smith joined our Lower School faculty as a First Grade Teacher shortly after retiring from 34 years of teaching in public school. “Brook Hill was growing and adding a 3rd first grade class at that time and I was blessed to be hired for the additional first grade class,” Sherry said.
Sherry has been with us for 9 years now and her favorite subject to teach at Brook Hill has been reading and language arts. “I love that Brook Hill is a Christ-centered school. I appreciate how our school allows and trusts teachers to truly teach our curriculum and meet the needs of our students,” Sherry said.
Her favorite memories at Brook Hill were the first time she experienced events like Penguins and Pizza lunch for dads, Mother’s Day Brunch, and Grandparent’s Day because she realized how much of a family Brook Hill is! “We are more than a school, we are family,” Sherry said.
Brittany Hersey is in her 4th year at Brook Hill! Brittany taught 5th grade for 3 years at BH before she joined the 3rd grade team this past year. Brittany taught at a local public school and desired to teach at Brook Hill for a while.
One of Brittany’s favorite things about Brook Hill is that her principal and faculty encourage professional development because the needs of her students are always changing and it is critical that she has the support to meet those needs. She also loves learning and trying new things in the classroom!
Brittany loves that the community at Brook Hill is so diverse! “I love, love, love that Brook Hill is a school that has students from other countries throughout the world. How amazing is it that the students come here, learn about Jesus, and then go back to their home countries and share the gospel,” Brittany said, “the Parade of Nations and International Night are two of my favorite Brook Hill events because you can visually see the various cultures represented at our school is incredible.”
Personally, her favorite subject to teach is fifth grade grammar, while professionally she enjoys teaching math! “Math is not a subject that comes naturally to some learners, myself included. I have to be creative in my delivery to meet the needs of all my students,” Brittany said. She explained that if one method of teaching a concept doesn’t work, she loves the task of coming up with a different approach to help them be successful. “Most recently we struggled with word problems involving multiple steps. Having students get to an understanding where they were successful without me was so exciting!”
“The teachers here at BH love God, love each other, and love BH. They were hand selected by God and I was honored to have many of them teach my own children. They are professionally the best, but it’s more than that. They continually pour Godly truth into my children and you can’t get that anywhere else. BH is full of teachers and administrators who refuse to conform to the patterns of this world and are continually praying for protection to avoid mission drift. My husband and I can’t even begin to express our gratitude for that mindset in those partnering with us to raise our children.” – Brittany Hersey
David Collins is a 7th grade science teacher, assistant athletic director, head boys soccer coach, AND an assistant football coach! Oh, and he’s been a part of the Brook Hill community for over 20 years – wow!
Coach Collins began his coaching career at East Texas Baptist University where he served as the assistant Men’s soccer coach for seven years (1996-2003) and was part of the Tigers back to back National Championships in 1998 and 1999. In 2013, Coach Collins was named Private School Coach of the Year for the state of Texas by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America!
David’s favorite lesson or topic to teach in the classroom is the study of cells and all of the systems in the human body. He enjoys seeing his students succeed in the classroom and on the field!
JodiLyn Vance is an Education Specialist in our A.C.E. program at the Middle and Upper School! JodiLyn loves that she gets to lead an Advisory group, be a boarding buddy, and watch her Brook Hill kids participate in chapel, athletics, and plays.
Education has been her profession for 28 years! Most of her experience has been as an Education Specialist, a Program Specialist at several charter schools, a Personalized Learner Teacher, and a Secondary English Instructor. “God led me to Brook Hill; it was truly ALL Him! It’s a long story that I am happy to share with anyone who asks,” JodiLyn said.
JodiLyn’s favorite thing about being an Education Specialist is teaching individuals how to become “experts on their own brains” and how to process and store information in a way that works best for them. “I also LOVE working at Brook Hill, where I can share my love of God with others,” JodiLyn said.
“I love that Brook Hill is a small community (and large family) of believers learning together, and spreading God’s love to all we meet. The many memories of laughing with my students; they’re the best!” – JodiLyn Vance
Kelli Gardner came to Brook Hill with over 35 years of experience as a teacher and elementary principal! She’s served as our 6th & 7th grade math teacher and PSIA Number Sense coach for the past year and a half. “My experience has been divided between both public and private, Christian schools. In 2016, my husband and I moved to Texas and I took a job teaching in Tyler ISD while my husband began teaching at Brook Hill. I missed the environment and family atmosphere of a Christian school and felt led to apply at Brook Hill where I accepted a position teaching middle school in 2022,” Kelli said.
Kelli enjoys teaching anything related to math, she couldn’t even pick a favorite topic or lesson, but what she enjoys the most is the atmosphere at BH! “I like the family-friendly atmosphere and the ability to share Christ and talk about God with my students on a daily basis,” Kelli said.
Kelli told us her favorite memory so far at Brook Hill has been worshiping with her middle school students at MS Retreat! “The students are such a blessing to me! I love hearing them encourage and pray for others. My prayer for them is that they would continue to see God at work in their lives and grow closer to Him each day,” Kelli said.
Prior to coming to Brook Hill, Jereme Hubbard came to Brook Hill from the oil and gas industry where he had worked for over 15 years. “I just felt God calling me to the educational setting. It was what I desired as a teenager and life got in the way! Coach Dawkins and Mr. Fletcher, along with Coach Collins and Coach Brasher hired me on as part-time and then Coach Ryle hired me as his first full-time coach when he came to Brook Hill.”
Since then, Jereme Hubbard has served in different roles across campus. Hubbard currently serves as a 6th Grade Bible and US Sports Management Teacher, Community Service Director, Sports Information Director, Head Girls Basketball Coach, and Football and Softball assistant coach.
Hubbard has been a part of the Brook Hill community for nearly 10 years, and when we asked him his all time favorite moment or “peak” memory he said Oasis Week 2023. “The spiritual awakening that took place during Oasis Week 2023 is hard to top! Getting to baptize our youngest two children during that, was definitely a highlight,” Jereme said.
Hubbard wants to encourage his students and the community to “dive in” to the culture here this year!
“Do multiple things and try new things…support each other and love one another unconditionally!” – Jereme Hubbard
Ben Longenecker is our beloved Physics teacher at the Upper School! This is his 6th year at Brook Hill. He and his wife also serve as Auxiliary House Parents in our Boarding Village.
Ben taught science in a public school for five years, and then taught science in an international school in China for 9 years! ‘When my family moved back to the United States in 2018, we had no idea where “home” was anymore. We were praying about where we were meant to be. We believe God led us to Brook Hill and opened the door for us to work with the incredible people here,” Ben said, “my family loves living on campus and we are very grateful for the opportunities we have at Brook Hill to connect with students inside and outside the classroom.”
Ben’s favorite topic or lesson to teach is anything involving electricity! He loves being part of Christian education. “I am thankful that staff in every area of the school community are fully committed to honoring God,” Ben said.
His favorite memory at Brook Hill so far was watching Annie the Musical a few years ago! “The play was extremely well done and very entertaining…and my whole family loved it!”
Ben would like to encourage his students to always get a good night of sleep and remember to bring your calculator to class (haha!).
Meredith Attebery is one of our beloved Spanish teachers, Tennis coach, and DECA Club and Debate Club sponsor! Meredith began her career in education in 2000 and then pivoted to working in the oil and gas industry for 5 years before beginning her career in the music industry. She owns K-Pro Music Products, LLC, and Kyser Musical Products, Inc. Her companies manufacture and sell guitar accessories and she loves that she is able to use this platform to talk about her faith with people who would not have otherwise heard about the good news of Jesus.
Meredith began her journey at Brook Hill as a parent in 2015! Maggie Hamlin and Bryce Attebery currently attend Brook Hill while her oldest daughter, Emma Hamlin ‘22, is now attending the University of Wyoming. “The teachers at Brook Hill are the reason I applied to teach in 2020. They were SO crucial to our family during COVID,” Meredith said.
She has learned through all of her different careers that being able to communicate in other languages has given her many opportunities that she wouldn’t have otherwise had if she had not pursued learning Spanish. “I love to teach my students to present the Gospel en español. Foreign languages open up the world for our students and that is the entire reason for it: to present the gospel of Jesus.”
When we asked Meredith for some motivation for our students, she said, “with all of the changes in schedules, classes, friendships, teachers, please remember that God never changes. This is a simple lesson that always encourages me. No matter what…HE NEVER CHANGES.”
Jon P. Starling
Jon Starling is in his first year at Brook Hill! He serves as our Middle and Upper School Choral Director and helps teach our Chapel Practicum class at the Upper School! He began his teaching career at his alma mater, Henderson High School, as head choral director, and overseer of the Middle School choir program.
Jon appreciates that Brook Hill participates in the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Choir competitions because they “changed his life for the better” in his youth. Starling is a current member of Texas Music Educators Association and has been a member of Texas Choral Directors Association, and The American Choral Directors Association.
Jon’s favorite things to teach are Vocal Music/Christmas Literature and Vocal Solo’s/Rhythmic and Tonal Sight-Reading. “My favorite part of Brook Hill so far is seeing the joy on the students’ faces and hearing their melodious voices singing each day.”
Ashley is our Director of Academic & College Counseling and has been a part of the Brook Hill community for nearly a decade! Ashley enjoys having an advisory group every year, going on SPARC trips, college trips and Senior trip. “The best memories are always made on these trips,” Ashley said.
Ashley was the Director of Recruitment at Houston Baptist University before joining our Upper School academics office. “I loved working in higher education and college admissions. When my husband and I moved to Tyler, Brook Hill was a great fit (my husband was in the first graduating class of Brook Hill!) and I loved the idea of being on the flip side of college admissions.”
Ashley loves to encourage our students during their college admissions process to remember that God is in control! “There is typically a lot of stress and anxiety around applying to college, but the reality is that God has a plan and a place for each student and it always works out exactly like it should.” Ashley said.
Her favorite aspect about Brook Hill is the boarding program! She loves that Brook Hill has so many cultures represented on campus and enjoys getting to know the students.
“I love getting to play a small role in students realizing their dreams, sharing in the excitement and joy when students are accepted into their dream school! I have many specific memories of past students receiving acceptance letters and scholarships that changed the trajectory of their life.” – Ashley Bouwer