Thomas new Christ Covenant director of SonLight Academy

Christ Covenant Church welcomes Jana Thomas as director of its SonLight Academy, a weekday program for children ages 1 through 5.

The church, located at 12915 Kingston Pike near Dixie Lee Junction, hired Thomas in late May.

“I am loving it,” she said. “So far, working with the church staff here has been wonderful.

“They’re so friendly and helpful,” Thomas added.

“The parents and kids have been so sweet, so I’m really enjoying that personal side of getting to know people.”

A Florida native, she taught fifth grade at a private Christian school in Florida and later middle school in White House, Tennessee.

After spending several years home, raising her three children, Thomas taught preschool last year at Fellowship Church in West Knoxville.

At Christ Covenant, she said, “I will have many responsibilities.”

Those include making sure the children are safe, having fun and learning.

Thomas will be in charge of the teachers and making sure they have everything they need, being the main contact person for parents and the point person between the school and the church.

“We plan to order “Wee Learn” curriculum and supplement that with Tara West (curriculum) from Teacher Pay Teacher website (for teachers),” she said.

The academic part of the academy is designed to help prepare the children for kindergarten.

“But, we will also be teaching the Bible, helping them get to know Jesus,” Thomas said.

She will be under the direction of Karen Trent, Christ Covenant Children’s Ministry director, who also recently joined the church’s staff.

“I just have the highest regard for her and love her so much,” Thomas said about Trent. “So I will be happy working with her.

“When we first talked after I got the job, she said, ‘Jana, we’ve just got to love these kids,’” she added.

Thomas said her top priority is “letting them know they are loved and they have a God who loves them and made them.”