Cornerstone Prep is excited to announce the promotion of Marsha Robbins to Assistant Head of School.
As we have grown in enrollment and facilities, our staff needed to grow also. God provided the perfect person to fill this vital role. The assistant head of school will provide more coverage for day-to-day operations and strategic planning.
“Marsha is extremely gifted in administration, but more importantly, a very intuitive person who sees details as well as the "big picture". She relates extremely well to students, as well as parents,” said Jeanne Borders, head of school, “Her outgoing and compassionate manner draw our families to her, allowing her to minister to their hearts.”
“Marsha is an answer to the cry of my heart, that God would bring someone to Cornerstone who could share the passion and ministry of a University-Model® school, someone to walk alongside me as we continue to grow and build our school.”
Mrs. Robbins recently completed her Masters in Educational Administration from Columbia International University. She has a degree in Musical Education from Florida State and a broad background in administration. She worked for Governor/Senator Bob Graham in Florida for eight years, helped start and run Caldwell Academy in North Carolina for 13 years, and was on the administrative team at Statesville Christian in North Carolina for five years.
Tell me how you first got involved in the field of education?
My undergraduate degree was in Music Education with a goal of church ministry. I was blessed to be able to use that degree in church ministry in various part time roles with children, youth, and adults for twelve years while I also worked full time in the government sector.
In 1995, my husband’s job took us from Florida to Greensboro, North Carolina, where I was privileged to help start a classical Christian school. Here, my heart found its home in education through the intersection of my love for children and my passion for seeing children and young adults experience an authentic and vibrant relationship with the Lord.
Since that time, I have been 100% invested in Christian education and have had the opportunity to serve both in the classroom and in various administrative capacities for the past 21 years.
How did you first get involved with University-Model® schools?
My first exposure to UM was while on staff at Statesville Christian School in Statesville, NC. The Director of a nearby UM school often attended our board/head of school roundtable events, and it was always interesting to hear his unique perspective. In the summer of 2014, SCS hired a new head of school who came from a UM school in Texas. I learned more about the UM as he and I worked very closely during the transition period of his first few months at SCS. It is interesting to see how God was working even then in preparing me for a new place of ministry.
After my husband’s job led to a move from NC to GA, I served on several school accreditation visiting teams in the spring of 2015. It was during one of these team visits that I met the head of school from Heritage Academy, a UM school in Gainesville, GA. He recommended that I contact Mrs. Borders at Cornerstone to explore possible opportunities to engage with the school.
What was your first impression of Cornerstone Prep? What has surprised you most about working with a UM school as opposed to a more traditional school?
My first impression of Cornerstone was the unified voice and purpose of the school’s leadership. One cannot help but recognize educational passion and excellence upon first meeting Mrs. Borders, Mrs. Burton, and Mrs. Hamilton. I quickly came to understand that this passion, excellence, and vision is a common theme running throughout the Cornerstone Prep faculty and staff. I knew that this was a place I wanted to be, and I am thankful that God opened the door for that to take place.
After having previous experience in both a classical Christian school and a traditional Christian school setting, one highly positive aspect that I have observed this past year in the UM is the level of ownership a student must take for his or her learning. This personal accountability and motivation for learning is a trait that will serve CPA students well in college and the workplace. I have been pleasantly surprised that the UM schedule seems to have no negative impact on mission focused opportunities and extracurricular options and participation.
What do you wish other people knew about Cornerstone Prep and UM schools?
Throughout my years in Christian education, I have often heard parents lament that the demands of quality education seem all-consuming for their children and that time together as a family suffers. Cornerstone Prep seeks to reverse that trend by offering an exceptional education with a strong parental partnership.
Cornerstone supports and encourages the family unit as God’s design for raising children. The UM schedule allows parents to play a central role in the lives of their children educationally, spiritually, and socially. In addition, upon entering college, UM students have already learned the time management and personal motivational skills with which many traditional students struggle. The continuing growth of UM schools across the nation is testimony that this model is meeting a need for this generation of students and parents.
What do you find most challenging about working fulltime and completing your Masters?
I love this question, because I can reword the “do” to “did.” As an empty-nester, my challenges were perhaps not as great as those who pursue a higher degree while still managing children at home. Now that I am looking in the rearview mirror, I feel that the practical applicability of course materials has far outweighed challenges. Things that I have missed and now look forward to again include cooking dinner every night for my husband and reading books just for pleasure.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I grew up on a farm in North Florida and am the only one in my family to have completed a college degree. In addition to my strong biblical worldview, I tend to view situations through the planting, growing, and harvesting mindset of a farmer. All of us have opportunities for personal growth as well as acting in the role of farmer as we invest in the growth of others. In the parent “farmer” role, my husband of 33 years and I are privileged to be raising a crop of teachers for the next generation.
Our children are teachers in other countries; our son and his wife in Asuncion, Paraguay, and our daughter in Okinawa, Japan. Though often saddened by the distance, I echo 3 John 1:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” This is especially true as they impact the next generation for Christ in their missional teaching roles.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
I love to travel and experience new places, whether that is exploring something new in the surrounding area, taking a trip across the US or traveling to a different country. Alas, one cannot always be traveling.
Things I enjoy on a more regular basis include spending time with family, playing board games, reading a good book, and taking a walk or hike. I’m also a huge college football fan - the season is almost here!
I quickly came to understand that this passion, excellence, and vision is a common theme running throughout the Cornerstone Prep faculty and staff. I knew that this was a place I wanted to be, and I am thankful that God opened the door for that to take place.