A new administrator who “loves the Lord, desires to follow His plan and wants to share the Gospel” is the new leader of Concord Christian School’s sixth through eighth grades.
Brice Richards of Washington state was hired earlier this summer as CCS’s new middle school principal.
Born and raised in Kelso, Washington, where he met and began dating his wife, Mandy, as high school sophomores, the couple and their two youngest children, Mabrie and Lily, moved to East Tennessee in July.
After dealing with several missed housing opportunities due to the unprecedented housing market, the family has settled in the Blue Grass area.
Richards said he left his home state “for several reasons.”
“We had visited Tennessee a number of times in the past two years and loved it,” he said. “We loved the people and the beauty of the state. Eastern Tennessee with all of the green, opportunity to hike and proximity to so many options for family activities was a big draw.”
Professionally, Richards said, “I was drawn to the mission of the school to ‘Inspire students to follow Jesus by equipping them to serve, lead and transform the world.’ It was evident during my interview process that CCS is committed to (this) mission.
“The relational environment created at the school with a focus on excellent Biblically-based instruction was very appealing to my family and me.”
Also appealing was “moving to a state that honored our rights as Christians and our constitutional rights as citizens,” he added.
“We have loved the move so far and are excited to see what lies ahead. I am encouraged also by the number of opportunities at church, in school and in the community for my family to take part in.”
Another draw? “My family loves seeing the sunshine on a regular basis,” Richards said.
Working with middle school students was not always on Richards’ radar. He started his professional career in business as a process engineer.
“But God had other plans for my life,” Richards said. “I knew He was calling me to work in education and share the Gospel with my students. I have followed this calling with great passion the past 15 years.
“I find middle school students captivating,” he added. “There is so much occurring as they move from young children to young adults. They ask questions that are both thoughtful and impulsive. I enjoy being a guide as they mature and seek to establish who they are in Christ. The challenge is matching their seemingly endless energy.”
Richards said he is excited about many aspects of his new job, especially “being able to work with a relational staff who desire to surround our students with the word of God.
“I am excited and encouraged by the staff’s desire to inspire our students and use the gifts God has blessed them with to help transform the world,” he added.
In his free time, Richards said he enjoys sports, hiking, traveling and exploring new areas.
Additionally, “I love spending time with family, reading, and I also love dogs ... specifically my Golden Retrievers, Gus and Wrigley,” he added.
Both Mabrie, 17, and Lily, 15, are students at CCS. The Richards’ oldest child, Wyatt, 19, stayed behind in Washington. where he works with cattle and horses as a ranch hand/farrier.