About

With many tireless years invested in the public education system it has become more and more clear that our children need a solid and firm foundation, an anchor, to their faith that will guide them through not only their education but their lives as a whole. We at Anchor believe that a strong faith and relationship with the Lord is the first piece to educating the whole child. For from a happy, full heart knowledge is well received.

At Anchor, our goal is to offer a hybrid type of education where kids and parents have the best of private school and learning from home models! Our students and parents are free to have the flexibility that a home school model offers, and at the same time offering a customized curriculum that will ensure academic success at every level of education.

Anchor is committed to giving children a private school type experience with focus on small classes (no more than 15 per class), attention to detail, extracurricular activities, and socialization that goes beyond the traditional school experience.

We understand that parents need options. We offer programs for Pre-K, elementary, and middle school ages. Options include two day a week, four day a week, and extracurriculars.

Anchor was truly God sent for us. My husband and I disagreed on our education plan for our soon to be kindergartner. I prayed and prayed and just continued to put school decisions in his hands. Out of nowhere, Anchor was presented and peace that surpasses all understanding came to both of us. I wanted to homeschool but teaching is not by any means my specialty. This is truly what God meant to happen in our lives and for that we are so thankful.” ~ Ashley Lawrence, parent of Anchor Academy Kindergartener

Choosing Anchor Academy was the best decision for our family. We had been praying for several years for a school that would give our family the best of the education world. As a former teacher I saw the unnecessary demands increasing in traditional school, the joy and love for learning fading away. Anchor will be a place our girls can thrive by learning in smaller groups, more hands on and real life experiences and tailoring academics to fit their learning styles all while keeping them on track following state standards. The flexibility of the school week is also an added bonus for our family. We can not wait to see the amazing things to come at Anchor Academy and the love for school and academics shine bright through our girls.” ~ Kelley Thompson parent of Anchor Academy Kindergartener and Second Grader


Meet The Staff

Brandi Craig – Director of Anchor Academy & Primary Teacher

Brandi Craig has 13 years of experience in education. She has taught in a public Montessori school for the entirety of her career and is passionate about the Montessori philosophy. Her experience has been comprised of teaching grades PS3, PK4, and Kindergarten in a multi-age classroom where independence, leadership, and hands-on learning were a focus.

She believes in educating the whole child, beginning with the heart. Building relationships with students is one of the primary ways to achieve learning within the classroom environment. Brandi is passionate about creating an atmosphere of trust and kindness that facilitates academic learning and a strong faith beginning in the early years.

 The Montessori Philosophy was first introduced to her by a neighbor whom she babysat for many years. After visiting the child’s Montessori school and falling in love with the philosophy, God led her to Belmont University where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Education and her AMS Montessori Certification under Dr. Merrie King.

Brandi lives in Lebanon, TN and in her free time enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 children, drinking coffee, and exercising.

Dr. Tori Ruis – Director of Anchor Academy & Upper Elementary and Middle School English Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher

Dr. Tori Ruis has seventeen years of experience in education. During her time in public education, she was a middle school teacher, an assistant principal, and a principal. She has a Bachelors and Masters degree from Tennessee Technological University, and an Educational Specialist degree from University of the Cumberlands.  In October 2018, Dr. Ruis earned her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction.

During Dr. Ruis’ time in education, she has spent an enormous amount of time focused on building a positive and successful school culture. Dr. Ruis is passionate about creating a school environment that is compassionate, hardworking, and driven by a philosophy of educating the whole child. 

Dr. Ruis is a strong academic leader who believes educating children in an environment where the student’s social, emotional, and spiritual needs are met in addition to their academics. Creating a school that opens the door for students to continue being inspired to learn and grow as they begin their journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth. 

When Dr. Ruis is not teaching children she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter at their home in Lebanon, Tennessee. She loves to read and exercise and find new ways to give back to her local community. 

Mary Leventis – Upper Elementary and Middle School Math and Science Teacher

Mary Leventis holds a bachelor of science degree from Winthrop University in South Carolina, and has completed a number of graduate education courses for middle grades science at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She has worked with children of all ages ranging from four years old to college level. Mary began her career as a collegiate volleyball coach, which later transitioned into her pursuing a career in the classroom. The past two years she led a PK4classroom at Abiding Peace Academy, a private Christian school serving preschool through middle grade students in Simpsonville, SC. While at Abiding Peace Academy, in addition to teaching, she was able run a before and aftercare program and assist in the multi-age elementary and middle school classrooms.

Mary loves working with children and believes education is more than just memorizing information. In her classroom, Mary will strive to bring both science and math alive by providing a supportive and inquisitive environment where students love to come together to learn, explore, ask questions, and find their passions. She believes each child is unique, and wants to be a partner in building a strong academic, social, emotional, and faith filled foundation. Through the relationships she builds with her students and their families she hopes to drive a love of learning that will last a lifetime.

Mary just moved to Lebanon, TN this summer with her husband and son. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, hiking, working on house projects, and watching/playing
sports.

Let’s build something together.