By BRIAN GRAVES
The Board of Directors of the Tennessee Christian Preparatory School have chosen Dr. Jimmy Harper as the new president of the school.
The board of directors of the Tennessee Christian Preparatory School has chosen Dr. Jimmy Harper as the new president of the school.
Harper succeeds Dr. Bill Balzano after a 20-year tenure.
The new president comes to his new role after an almost 20-year role at Lee University, where he has most recently served as campus pastor and director of campus ministries.
Harper has maintained a constant classroom presence where he has taught many courses on the Bible, ministry and church leadership.
He also has been involved within the Cleveland and Bradley County community, most notably volunteering his time as a chaplain with the Cleveland Police Department, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office and Bradley County Fire and Rescue.
“It’s an exciting time to be at Tennessee Christian Preparatory School,” said Brad Benton, president the school’s board of trustees. “After interviewing a multitude of highly qualified individuals over the last several months, the Lord led us to the one person that not only met, but exceeded, our expectations.”
“It is my belief that Dr. Harper will lead TCPS to an entirely new level of excellence and growth at our school,” Benton said.
Harper said the school wants to make a difference in the lives of those who live in Cleveland and Bradley County.
“When I consider TCPS, I see potential possibilities and such amazing opportunities for the future of our school in this local community,” Harper said. “TCPS is a top-notch educational institution. It provides a phenomenal atmosphere, has a dedicated and qualified staff, works diligently to support its students and desires to model success for its families and for the community.”
Harper said he “honestly thought I would never leave Lee University."
He added, "But when the door opened to join TCPS, the opportunity and the potential grabbed my heart and would not relinquish its grip."
The school president, under whom Harper has served for so long, says TCPS has made a good choice.
"Dr. Harper came to Lee University at an important time and has made a major contribution here,” said Lee University President Dr. Paul Conn.
“Both as a classroom teacher, and more importantly as the director of our spiritual life program, he has done lots of wonderful work,” Conn said. “We congratulate Jimmy and TCPS. They are getting a leader who is a tireless worker and whose heart for students is exceptional. Lee University is grateful for what he has done here, and wishes him all the best in his new challenge."
Dan Chord, vice chairman of the TCPS Board of Trustees, has served as the interim president since the position became vacant.
“For the past 18 years at Lee University, Dr. Harper has embraced leadership that was the very essence of excellence,” Chord said. “We are grateful he has chosen to bring that rich experience to the position of president of TCPS and we are confident that his commitment to excellence will lead TCPS to the next year.”
The TCPS board has not announced when Harper will officially take the office, but that special “meet and greet” event be held in the near future.
Harper will more than likely be in his new position when the school hosts its annual Presidential Gala on March 2, which is one of the school’s major fundraising events.
TCPS is currently preparing to formally purchase the site on which it now sits (the former Tomlinson College campus) and undertake a major renovation.
For more information on the gala, contact Wendy Benton at 423-559-8939
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