Edwards takes the helm at WMCS
New school year, new headmaster for Black Knights
West Memphis Christian School started the new year with a new headmaster who used his summer vacation to ramp up for the coming school year.
Shane Edwards ascended to the spot he called “the best kept secret in the Delta” after spending most of his life as a student, teacher or coach in Mississippi Association of Independent Schools.
Edwards hails from Learned, Mississippi and earned a history degree from Belhaven and a Master of Education from Delta State.
“I’ve been an MAIS guy my whole career,” said Edwards.
Not just a guy — Edwards has developed into a leader. Through his career, Edwards coached football, baseball and track on junior high and the high-school level. Teaching and coaching stops included Rebel Academy, Benton Academy, and Copiah Academy all in Mississippi. He helped coach a state championship basketball team last year and comes to WMC, the defending MAIS football championship. He was set to double headmaster duties with coaching, taking the reins of the boys basketball team. The Black Knights former head football coach Darin Anderson touted the school and piqued Edwards interest.
“I’ve known him since junior high — we grew up together,” said Edwards.
“He constantly praised the place. I felt like I knew this place and loved this place before I ever walked in because of the way he described the kids, the teachers and this family atmosphere.
“He called it ‘the best kept secret in the Delta.’ I feel like that is what it was. I love that statement, but I do not want us to be a secret anymore. I want to get it out and let people know our direction here.”
Edwards left no doubt the people around WMC were special and then turned his focus to the academic program. He emphasized a three prong approach based on Christian world view, high academic standards, educating the whole child.
He wanted to lead the Christian school to produce civic-minded students to impact the community with Christian values as the guide.
“We value Christian morals and we are academically independent,” said Edwards. “That means we hold rigor and high standards in academics, but we have freedom to get there in different ways to meet the student where they are and grow them from there.
We are able to teach from a Christian perspective. We use more writing in our classrooms. We help students prep for their ACT.”
The school boasts a great student teacher ratio with a about 160 students in K-12. “Our teachers have a lot more one on one time here and can help bring them to the standard that is West Memphis Christian,” said Edwards. “We have small classrooms and can move these kids forward to have them more rounded and educate the whole child.”
Edwards wasn’t playing lip service about developing well rounded students to impact the community in the future. A new capstone project has been cemented into place.
“We are starting a community service project with our students this year,” said Edwards. “They participate as part of their graduation.
That way students give back to the community right here from West Memphis
Edwards held to a personal biblical standard.
“I love Matthew 25:40, ‘Whatever you do to the least of these, you also do unto me.’ That brings back to what you do for the community, what you do for this area. That’s what we are called to do, to go out and serve each other.”
Edwards was impressed with how WMC leadership had redeveloped the old Kmart at 1100 N. Missouri St.
“It is a beautiful facility,” said Edwards. “Our indoor athletic facility, you don’t see that at MAIS schools.
This is the first one I’ve seen. That is huge for us to have something like that.
Having that is fantastic.
We have room to continue building and growing. Its a very exciting time to be at West Memphis Christian.”
Edwards is married to Samantha and the couple has a two-year-old boy. Edwards has led his young family to visit churches in the area and started looking for a home nearby.
By John Rech