Dear Brookstone Friends and Families,

It is hard to believe the start of school is almost here!

I want to take a moment to share the exciting news about the upcoming school year in several important areas:

  • New Faculty and Staff Hires
  • New Facilities
  • End of Year Test Scores and Accreditation
  • Fundraising Report



By God’s grace and provision, we have been able to add a group of amazing new faculty and staff to the school. Please read about them below and be sure to welcome them to the Brookstone community today:


Lower School

Amelia Griffin, Kindergarten

Ms. Griffin received a Bachelor of Science in Health Early Childhood Education and a Masters and Licensure Program for Early Childhood Education from the University of Tennessee.

Grace Ganim, 1st Grade

Mrs. Ganim received a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Duquesne University and brings 7 years of classroom experience, most recently at Charlotte Lab Primary School.

Abria Ellis, 4th Grade

Mrs. Ellis received a Bachelor of Arts from North Carolina A&T and brings 6 years of classroom experience, most recently at Kipp NC here in Charlotte.


Upper School

Sarah Arensman, Upper School Dean of Academics, 7th grade U.S. History

Mrs. Arensman received a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and is currently completing a Master of Arts in Professional Communications from East Carolina University. She brings a wealth of experience, with over a decade of teaching and administrative work—including serving as the Dean of Upper School (grades 7-12) and Head of School at Covenant Classical School in Concord, NC.

Sedae Slaughter, 7th-8th grade English, 6th grade Modern World History

Mrs. Slaughter received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Independence University and a Masters in Christian Education from Union Presbyterian Seminary and brings three years of classroom teaching experience.

Dr. Eric Bartel, 7th-8th grade Math, 5th grade Ancient World History

Dr. Bartel received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Northern Michigan University, a Masters of Divinity from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Biola University and brings 15 years of classroom experience.

Angela Crawley, 7th-8th grade Science

Mrs. Crawley received a Bachelor of Science from Tennessee Tech University and brings 15 years of classroom experience.

Tamiko Greenlee, 5th-6th grade English/Language Arts

Ms. Greenlee received a Masters of Education from Strayer University and her Bachelors from Winthrop University and brings 17 years of experience.



Jon Baldwin, School Counselor

An Alumni of Brookstone Schools, Mr. Baldwin received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Wingate University and a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pfeiffer University and brings three years of counseling experience with Christ-Centered Community Counseling (C-4).

Kay Valaoras, Math Specialist

Mrs. Valaoras received a Bachelor of Science from Furman University and brings 23 years of classroom experience. 

Vanna Hodges, Security-Receptionist

Mrs. Hodges has served in many important capacities during her time at Brookstone—from substitute teaching, to assisting in the school and business offices–and will now serve as our Security-Receptionist.



We have been greatly blessed through our partnership with First Baptist Church and their willingness to facilitate our growth. Through their support, we have moved our Upper School classrooms to the 3rd floor of the building which include the following 8 classrooms:

  • 5th-6th grade Math, Science, History, English-Language Arts, and Bible
  • 7th-8th grade Math, Science, History, English-Language Arts and Bible

We have also been able to move our 3rd grade classrooms upstairs to join the 4th grade–creating space for our new Junior Kindergarten program, which will begin in the fall of 2024 and allow us to add up to 26 four-year-old students to Brookstone!


Thanks to several generous donors, we have also expanded our Upper School playground area to include a new Basketball/Volleyball/Pickleball Court, as well as a new Gaga Pit with a concrete pad and rubber surface.



We are excited to share the overall growth we have seen in our end of the year test scores—especially given the complexity and level of difficulty of the ERB and the quality of schools who use this standard nationally. The National Norms scores are based on standards/test scores from rural, urban, public and private school students from around the country. With some students being sadly two to three years behind as a result of the COVID pandemic, we are greatly encouraged by the academic excellence of our students!










Speaking of academic excellence, by God’s grace, we were able to complete the accreditation requirements in time for our Southern Association of Independent School’s (SAIS) Accreditation Chair visit in May 2023.


If we receive accreditation after our October 2023 committee visit, we will be one of a handful of under-resourced schools accredited by SAIS in the Southeast, which accredits Charlotte Latin, Charlotte Country Day, Charlotte Christian, Providence Day, and Trinity Episcopal, to name a few of the area’s top schools.



Finally, in a year where national giving trends were down significantly, we raised over of $2.8 million, plus future commitments of $1,250,000 by three donors, bringing our fundraising total to over $4.25 million in gifts and pledges for the 2022-23 school year—to God be the Glory!


These generous gifts are what allow us to provide such a high caliber education for your student at a price you can afford.


I hope you are as excited as I am about the many ways we have seen God’s blessings on Brookstone and encourage you to join us in prayer for a fantastic start to the 2023-24 school year!


John Murray

Head of School

Brookstone Schools