Cornerstone employees say school has professional, yet loving environment

Middle School Principal Dr Kevin Jenkins (left) chats with Headmaster Colin Creel in his office at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Peachtree Corners on Monday January 25th, 2021 For a story on the Top Workplace small category. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.
Caption
Middle School Principal Dr Kevin Jenkins (left) chats with Headmaster Colin Creel in his office at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Peachtree Corners on Monday January 25th, 2021 For a story on the Top Workplace small category. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

Cornerstone Christian Academy in Peachtree Corners, a private religious school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, is the AJC’s Top Workplace in the small business category for 2021. The school began in 2001 and is celebrating its 20th year. Its team of educators has an average of 14 years of experience.

Each employee plays a part. Here, two teachers and the school’s head of technology discuss Cornerstone as a great place to work.

ExploreCheck out all the Top Workplaces winners for 2021

Bekah Carrington, Middle School English & History teacher

Bekah Carrington, 35, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia, a Master of Arts of Secondary Education from Georgia State University, and a Gifted In-Field endorsement. She started at Cornerstone in 2020 and teaches Middle School English and history.

Bekah Carrington, Cornerstone Christian Academy
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Bekah Carrington, Cornerstone Christian Academy

Credit: Lifetouch National School Studio

Credit: Lifetouch National School Studio

What made you come to Cornerstone and/or what makes you stay?

“I left my public school position in 2014 to stay at home with my two boys, fully trusting that when it was time to return to the classroom, God would provide an ideal work environment. As I toured the school as a parent, it was very clear that Cornerstone is an ideal working environment. I was immediately drawn to the gentleness and professionalism of each teacher. I appreciated the clarity and discernment of the administration. It was my sincere hope that I could be a part of the mission to partner with parents to provide a quality academic education designed to develop students who will follow Christ, embrace Biblical truth, and live lives that glorify God. I feel so incredibly grateful to be a recipient and a provider of that partnership that is so central to our mission.”

What’s the best thing about working at the school?

“Cornerstone creates an environment where each student is truly known, and that particular charge extends to its employees as well. I have never worked in an academic environment in which I felt truly appreciated until now. The parents take the time to inquire about your specific interests. The students are respectful and caring to each of their teachers. Each co-worker is truly invested in your professional and personal life. I feel known, supported, and loved every single day.”

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Josh Whitlock, director of Technology and Design

Josh Whitlock, 37, has worked at Cornerstone for nine years, is the school’s director of technology and design, and directs the worship musicians at Cornerstone while leading Chapel. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Family Consumer Sciences with a major in Child and Family Development from The University of Georgia.

Josh Whitlock, Cornerstone Christian Academy
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Josh Whitlock, Cornerstone Christian Academy

Credit: Lifetouch National School Studio

Credit: Lifetouch National School Studio

What made you come to Cornerstone and/or what makes you stay?

“I clearly remember listening to our Bible teacher, Mrs. Fogle, sharing with the staff about how much Cornerstone has impacted her three children during their nine years at the school. I thought to myself, “If my kids can end up anything like her kids when they graduate, I’ll be so grateful. They are the perfect combination of academic, athletic, artistic, servant-hearted, and they have no problem speaking to adults.” That opened my eyes to the quality young men and women we’re helping send out into the world. It’s rewarding to be a part of that and exciting to see my own children going through that process.”

What’s the best thing about working there?

“My favorite part about Cornerstone is our Chapel service. Our students worship with such genuine and enthusiastic hearts. We have over 30 incredibly talented students in our Chapel bands and tech crew that help lead their peers in worship. It’s definitely a highlight of the week for the staff and students.”

Toey Beatty, a 2nd-grade teacher

Toey Beatty holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, Special Education and Elementary Education from Samford University. Beatty, 40, joined the staff at Cornerstone six years ago and teaches 2nd grade. She is married, has two children, and lives in Dunwoody.

Toey Beatty, Cornerstone Christian Academy
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Toey Beatty, Cornerstone Christian Academy

Credit: Picasa

Credit: Picasa

What made you come to Cornerstone and /or what makes you stay?

“My story of coming to Cornerstone is one that is a mixture of professional and personal reasons. I started teaching at Cornerstone when my oldest child, Ella, was in third grade. She had been at Cornerstone since Kindergarten, and, as a parent, I absolutely loved the ways that I saw her growing and maturing academically, spiritually, and socially. Not to mention, every time I walked into Cornerstone, there was a certain ‘magic in the air,’ a happiness that’s difficult to describe, but you know it when you walk into our building. Anyhow, I had taught in a public school setting before having children and loved my time in public schools, but I could tell there was a huge difference in Cornerstone, and I needed to know what it was and how they did it. My youngest, Eli, was entering Kindergarten, and at that point, I knew I really wanted to be a part of the Cornerstone Family. I had witnessed exceptional teaching, high academic standards, and teachers who truly loved and cared about my child ... Our administrative team is hands down the best group of leaders I have ever worked for. I can see God using them to influence for His good in the way that they lead us. They are professional yet loving. They are encouraging and intentional in all of their actions. They provide a framework in which teachers can grow professionally to truly be their best. They inspire teachers through the way they lead and the professional development opportunities they provide ...

What’s the best thing about working there?

“The best thing about working at CCA is the people. I love my co-workers and administration and am deeply appreciative of the partnership and communication we have with our community of parents. It’s a very upbeat, happy place where colleagues collaborate, problem solve and create together daily ...”