BELDEN, Miss. (WTVA) - Brian Benscoter says he's getting settled in nicely with his new role as headmaster at Tupelo Christian Prep School.
After two decades with a Christian school in Birmingham, he says he's happy about being in Tupelo.
Benscoter said, "I came here from Birmingham. I was there for 20 years. The Lord has moved us now to Tupelo and just absolutely loving the community and this school."
For him, it's a chance to build upon what's already working here and add to the learning in order to produce the best graduates possible.
Benscoter said, "We've been working on ramping up the academics. We're not there yet. I heard a comment from a student the other day. He said 'Mr. B, history is different. We're
not just having to memorize facts. We're actually having to think and analyze about what happened.' [It's about] what went into their decision making process and how did that affect their future decisions."
That is similar to the public school's Common Core Curriculum which is currently being implemented.
Benscoter said, "Of course we're still waiting for all that data to come out. We'll be making our curriculum adjustments as well so we can not only meet those standards but exceed them."
Beyond academics, developing positive relationships with students, teachers and staff is another goal of this new school leader.
Tupelo Christian Prep School started in 1988 at what's now Hope Church on McCullough Boulevard.
The school moved to its current location in Belden in the early 2000's and now has a student population of 473 in pre-K through grade 12.
Benscoter said, "It is an expense to send their children here so we do have to deliver that product, in a sense, to our customers. That's kind of the business side to the whole thing. It's a reality. Our main focus is helping them develop spiritually and prepare academically."
Benscoter says he's perhaps most impressed with the energy among parents and other supporters of the school.
He hopes that translates into even greater things for all who attend here.