Systemwide Leadership Team
Dr. Brown has been the Executive Director of Lakeway Christian Schools since its inception in 2016. This system of schools was formed through the merger of Cornerstone Academy and a new school called Lakeway Christian Academy. The schools came together under a single Board of Directors to provide quality Christian education in the Lakeway Region of East Tennessee. Recently, the Tri-Cities Christian School in upper East Tennessee was added to the system.
Dr. Brown lives in Jefferson City with his wife Linnie, a school teacher in Blount County Schools. They have three adult children, all married, and seven grandchildren.
He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1981 and holds post graduate degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, MA. Dr. Brown served as a pastor for over thirty years, as well a Church Revitalization Specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas, as well as Interim Pastor for churches throughout East Tennessee.
Doctor of Education | Educational Leadership
Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, TN
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, TN
Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies | Mathematics & Middle Grades Education
Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, TN
A native of Jefferson County, Dr. Cline brings a proven track record of visionary leadership with a passion for serving Christ through his church and in the community. His record as an educator reveals an accomplished school leadership professional. He has helped in developing high-impact initiatives and educational processes resulting in long-term, sustainable growth. A teambuilding strategist, Dr. Cline brings expertise in cultivating strong teams, creating a culture of excellence, and aligning resources with school mission, values, and objectives.
Dr. Cline came to Christ as a young boy, even though he was not raised in a Christian home. By God’s grace, his grandparents started taking him to church where he understood his need for salvation and placed his faith in Christ. Despite the challenges of his home environment, God’s grace proved sufficient. Later he would meet his future wife, where he observed firsthand through her family what a Christian home looked like. From mentors and church involvement, he would go on to serve the Lord in many varied ways continuing to this day.
Dr. Cline feels just as God called him to salvation years ago, he is also being called to lead Cornerstone and Lakeway as Head of Schools. He stated, “We are very humbled and thankful the Lord has called us to Lakeway Christian Schools to partner with students, families, faculty, and staff to help grow and develop the next generation of world changing followers of Christ.
Jefferson County High School – Principal
Tusculum University – Adjunct Professor
Jefferson Middle School – Principal
Also served as Assistant Principal, IT Specialist, Teacher
Faith and Church Involvement:
Member and Deacon – Manley Baptist Church
Personnel Committee – Manley Baptist Church
Board Member – Renovatus Recovery Community
Wife - Mandy
Children: Brody and Rex at Cornerstone Christian Academy
BS in Journalism
MS in Elementary Education
EdD Administrative Leadership
As a native of Knoxville, Dr. Long has been active in the growth of education throughtout the state of Tennessee for 14 years. Before coming to Cornerstone, she spent 12 years in the classroom teaching all elementary grade levels. Along with her classroom leadership, Dr. Long served on her school's leadership team, gap closure team, and was active in leading professional development in her school, district and at the state level.
With a passion for literacy education, Dr. Long believes books make the same grand adventures available to everyone regardless of geographic or socio-economic limitations. In her words, “when our God decided to communicate His unfathomable love, He did so between the covers of a book”. Furthermore, Dr. Long wants students to see themselves as beginning practitioners in the many disciplines they engage in during a school day by embracing the thinking and behaviors of those practitioners. It is not enough to learn science content, students need learning experiences that allow students to examine information from the perspective of a practitioner like putting on a lab coat, mixing chemicals, dissecting vocabulary, and documenting all of it in a lab journal. She looks forward to expanding those learning opportunities in the coming years.
Dr. Long founded and ran a student outreach ministry called Pawsitive Impact that partnered with various community resources including Second Harvest Food Bank and Compassion Ministries to provide food, medicine, Christmas presents, clothing and hygiene items to students in need. She also wrote a Read to be Ready summer reading grant that served 55 under-performing students with reading recovery, meals, field trips and experiential learning opportunities. After the successful completion of this camp, Dr. Long spent one year working for the TN Department of Education, traveling across the state to train other educators in best literacy practices.
When she isn't working, Dr. Long participates in short term missions both domestic and abroad. The opportunity to serve orphans and impoverished people groups is one of her greatest honors. She also loves to read, eat ice cream and spend time with her family and friends.
Husband - Chad
Daughter - Natalie at Lakeway Christian Academy
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"
-1 John 3:1
BS Science Teaching - Physical Sciences (Clemson University)
MEd Educational Leadership (Covenant College)
This is David’s 20th year in education, with 19 of those in Christian schools. He has served as a physics teacher, middle school science and math teacher, elementary assistant principal, Director of Instruction and Academic Technology, Upper School Head, and Head of School for schools in South Carolina, Georgia, and now in Tennessee.
David grew up in Lexington, SC where he met his wife Bridget at Lexington Presbyterian Church where both families were members. Bridget is also a teacher, with experience in both public and private Christian schools. She currently teaches 3rd grade at Cornerstone. David and Bridget were married in 2002 and have two children: Mary Woods and Hardy.
Some the achievements David is most proud of include: oversight of a 1-to-1 iPad roll-out for over 600 students including faculty training and device management; and a unique series of humanitarian projects that saw students design technical solutions to real problems in poverty-stricken areas and then travel to Swaziland and Jamaica to implement those solutions and train the local people how to recreate them on their own.
David believes that his call to education is to equip students to grow the kingdom of God by giving them the tools they need to bear influence in the world that they will inherit. In order to accomplish this, schools must be places of dynamic, engaged learning where students are challenged to think critically and creatively, to communicate effectively and persuasively, and to collaborate with those around them to achieve the best possible results.
In his spare time, David enjoys music and playing the guitar, hiking and backpacking, fly fishing, and most of all, spending time with his family.
Wife - Bridget
Children - Mary Woods and Hardy at Lakeway Christian Academy
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere."
- James 3:17
BS Business Administration and Management (Virginia Commonwealth University)
Master of Divinity - Church Planting and Leadership, in progress (Asbury Theological Seminary)
Burns has more than 18 years of ministry experience, and has served as a local pastor and producer for Christian concerts, events, and conferences. Before coming to Lakeway Christian Schools, he served as the Executive Director of Marketing for Chick-fil-A West Knoxville. Burns is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and management. He also attended Asbury Theological Seminary, where he studied for his Master of Divinity, with a focus in church planting and leadership.
As communications director, Burns will manage communications, marketing, creative, and community engagement for Lakeway Christian Schools. He joins the administration of Lakeway Christian Schools and will work closely with the Head of Schools.
"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people" - Ephesians 6:7
Staples has worked in youth services for 17 years. During this time, she has served in several capacities, including outreach program director, clinical supervisor, and school counseling director. Staples received her undergraduate degree from University of Richmond, and her Master of Education in School Counseling from Liberty University. Her professional experience has allowed her to celebrate the joy of witnessing youth discover their full potential, specifically as it relates to academic success, overcoming hardships, developing healthy relational skills, and achieving their post-secondary goals.
As Director of Student Services, Staples will oversee the areas of admissions, social & emotional support, academic support, and college and career planning. She will work with a team of talented coordinators and directors as she brings a focus to the student’s entire interaction with the school from interest in attending the school to being a successful student to graduating with a plan for their future. Staples will work with the leadership teams of all three schools in the system, Cornerstone Christian Academy, Lakeway Christian Academy, and Tri-Cities Christian Academy.