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CAK hires, promotes staff


Christian Academy of Knoxville was busy this summer — busy adding staff.

Frank Merry will serve as the school’s new development director, Mary Beth Jones has been promoted from assistant Elementary School principal to principal and Jan Kitelynn has been named as her assistant principal and Jenny Dell is the new communications director.

Merry and his wife, Delinda, moved to Knoxville from Fairhope, Ala., where Frank served as headmaster at Bayshore Christian School for the past three years, with their three children, Pierce, 11; Sarah Esther, 9 and Knox, 4.


“I was looking to move into a development position where I could focus more specifically on building relationships with individuals and groups that have a passion for Christian education,” Merry said.  “I am very excited to join the C-A-K family as we partner together to glorify God in the education of these students.”

Moving to Knoxville is, for Frank, almost like coming home, as he lived in Chattanooga for 13 years before moving to Atlanta where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia State. He also has a Master of Cross-Cultural Evangelism degree from Columbia International University. 

Frank and Delinda also served as missionaries in Niger for a number of years before returning to the United States.

“We are very excited to welcome Frank Merry and his family to C-A-K,” said Scott Sandie, CAK’s superintendent.

“With the tremendous growth C-A-K has experienced, we need someone like Frank who can come in and manage all the different aspects of development and, as he calls it, ‘friend raising.’”

Jones was named Elementary School principal after the retirement of 24-year veteran principal Jane Williams.

“It is very visionary to place in the Assistant Principal position the person you want to mentor to take over at the appropriate time,” Jones said. “It will be a benefit to the families. C-A-K’s Board of Directors and Mr. Sandie are investing in the lives of the families by looking ahead and making these kinds of strategic decisions.”

Jones, who has been in Christian education for 33 years and in Christian school education for 12 years, currently is working on her degree in school administration. As the new principal of the Elementary School, she now faces the challenge of building upon Williams’ 24-year legacy.  It is a challenge she is looking forward to tackling head-on.

“Ms. Williams’ knowledge of curriculum and her intuitiveness with people are but two of her greatest attributes. I know that I will never be able to fill her shoes, but I have been given a pair of shoes with my name and size attached,” Jones said.  “My shoes are ones that only I can wear, shoes that guide me as I follow God’s call for my life.”

 Kitelynn comes to Knoxville from St. Petersburg, Fla.

“C-A-K is a wonderful ministry, and I am thankful to be part of it,” Kitelynn said. “I look forward to knowing the children, C-A-K families, and staff.”

Kitelynn earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southern Connecticut University and later a master’s degree in educational administration from Pensacola Christian College.  She has been an educator for 39 years, with 21 of those spent working in Christian education. 

In addition to her classroom experience, Kitelynn served as principal of her former school for nine years.

Kitelynn and her husband, Ron, have two children and three grandchildren.

“We are very happy to have Jan as a part of our Elementary School team. Her experience and personality make her a great fit for C-A-K. We are looking forward to working with her this year and beyond,” Jones said.

Dell, an Atlanta, Ga. native, earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations from the University of Georgia.

She will be responsible for all CAK events and communication including the Web site, newsletters and correspondence.

“I am very excited about this opportunity,” Dell said. “I am looking forward to returning to the Christian work environment doing something I love.”

Dell has extensive design and writing experience, having created numerous Web sites, newsletters and other publications. She also has been responsible for conducting communication makeovers for several churches. Throughout her career she has gained valuable media and public relations skills having had the opportunity to work with various churches and faith-based organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse, Habitat For Humanity, Campus Crusade for Christ, and Crown Financial Ministries to name a few.

“Jenny is an excellent addition to the C-A-K family,” Sandie said. “She has the knowledge and experience someone in this position needs.”

 

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