CCA welcomes new teachers, coaches, announces “Blue Ribbon” win

Published 3:11 pm Monday, August 14, 2023

Crenshaw Christian Academy (CCA) is welcoming four new faculty members to its classrooms and athletic facilities this school year. CCA Headmaster Becky Baggett said she is pleased to welcome these educators to the campus. 

“We have been extremely blessed this summer with the addition of some amazing teachers and coaches,” Baggett said. “The Cougar family is fortunate to have a staff whose dedication and loyalty to our children and school is unparalleled.”  

Sandy Owens comes on board CCA’s faculty this year as a third-grade teacher. She is a 1985 CCA graduate and married Geoffrey Owens, a CCA graduate of 1985. Owens has a master’s degree in early childhood education and brings thirty-one years of teaching experience to the school. She also has Alabama Math, Science, and Technology (AMSTI) training experience that administrators say will benefit students.  

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“Sandy also has done work for Renaissance, an education software company,” Baggett said. “This helps give her a unique perspective on helping our children develop the skills they need to succeed! We are thrilled to have her and her granddaughter, Mixon, on the Crenshaw Christian campus.” 

The school also welcomes Valorie Stroud as its fourth-grade teacher. Stroud is a graduate of Troy University with a Kindergarten through sixth grade elementary collaborative degree and a masters in elementary education.  

“Valorie brings seventeen years of teaching experience to CCA,” Baggett said. “Valorie not only excels in phonics-based instruction, but she also brings a catchy brand of enthusiasm to teaching that will surely inspire us all! She and her husband Steve, as well as their daughter Abbigale, are excited about becoming part of the Cougar Family!’

Scott Gafford joins CCA staff after recently retiring from Fleeta School in Opp. Parents and students may have already seen Gafford on campus as he joined the faculty at the beginning of summer and assisted with the summer workout programs.  

Coach Gafford has a history as a successful basketball coach in the Alabama High School Association (AHSAA) and will lead the boys’ basketball program.  In addition, he will also serve as an assistant football coach, and teach science, history, and PE (physical education. 

“Coach Gafford has already proven to be a great addition to our family, and we look forward to even bigger and brighter things,” Baggett said.

In June, the Cougars added head football coach and athletic director Brandon Burleson, who joined the staff after former coach and athletic director Wayne Grant retired. Burleson served as defensive coordinator for McKenzie School before coming to CCA. 

“Coach Burleson brings an enthusiastic outlook to Crenshaw Christian and expects to continue our tradition of success on the gridiron,” Baggett said. “Coach Burleson has embraced the challenge of leading the Cougars with an honest and disciplined approach that blends well with our morals and expectations at CCA.”

The school was recently honored by the Alabama Independent School Association with the award of “Blue Ribbon School.” The big blue ribbon can be viewed in the high school building and was awarded to CCA for meeting superior academic and athletic standards for the prior year.  

“We are extremely proud of the strong academic college preparatory education we provide our students,” Baggett said. “This academic standard, coupled with the long-lasting tradition of success in athletics, has long been a benchmark that Crenshaw Christian strives for yearly for our students and their families.  We are blessed to be recognized as one of the best this year with the Blue Ribbon of Excellence.”

The school’s slogan for this year is “Growing, Gaining, and Guiding” the future generations and Baggett said she looks forward to seeing the community on campus again this year.