Students expand knowledge through annual BH SPARC Week


Students in sixth through 12th grade at The Brook Hill School recently returned home after experiencing the world in new ways by traveling to locations across the country and throughout the world during the school’s annual Spring Potential and Reality Course Week, also known as SPARC week.

“SPARC Week is a distinctive, innovative program designed to challenge our students, expand their knowledge, encourage a lifelong love of learning, and to provide our students with non-traditional learning experiences through travel and small group workshops,” said Travis Albea, Brook Hill School Director of Admissions and Marketing.

This educational week creates the opportunity for Brook Hill’s students to take life-enriching courses that transport them out of the classroom to experience learning in a new way. Brook Hill’s faculty and staff have designed courses to meet varied interests of students in an effort to have them explore something new and potentially out of their comfort zone.

“SPARC is a distinctive, innovative program designed to challenge our students, expand their knowledge, encourage a lifelong love of learning, and to provide our students with nontacraditional learning experiences through travel and small group workshops,” SPARC Coordinator Jessica Mize said.

This year, faculty designed courses that teach students to serve others. Some SPARC groups are serving the local Tyler community through projects with the Mentoring Alliance and East Texas Food Bank. Others are serving the least of these at an orphanage in Guatemala.

With SPARC Week including opportunities to explore the world, some students are learning about the history of the Christian faith in Israel, while others are experiencing the unfolding story of the Church and western culture in Italy.

Brook Hill students are also learning about the history of our nation in Washington, D.C., and another group is gaining wisdom about courage on the battlefield with our founder, Stephen Dement, at the Virginia Military Institute. Another group is studying in New York City with our art teacher, and a group of our young men are discovering what it means to be a man made in the image of God on Catalina Island with our headmaster and chaplain.

Some students have chosen internships in the medical field, or have taken the week to visit universities across the country. On campus, students are learning about careers in sports, receiving lessons in hunting safety and discovering life hacks like how to change a tire or the oil in your car.

“These opportunities serve many important roles in our curriculum, allowing students the real world experience to learn about different areas of our state, country, and the diverse world in which we live,” Mize said. “Students learn a tremendous amount about themselves, their interests and their talents through SPARC courses.”

Even through the local course offerings, students are able to learn and give back to their community, which will hopefully become a lifelong passion.

Creating new friendships, lifelong relationships and lasting memories are all critical to the learning and growing process of our youth that are enhanced and reinforced beyond the classroom.

According to Albea, the purpose of the week of togetherness for students is to explore opportunities in a variety of education-related fields, as well as to allow students to experience God in a different setting.

“SPARC is deliberate in its purpose to intensify and expand learning opportunities and has become an extremely treasured and popular element of a Brook Hill education. Through SPARC, we fulfill our mission through the exploration in the arts, academics, athletics, real-life adventures, and the outdoors. SPARC continues to offer students opportunities to affirm their gifts, challenge their potential, and honor God through Christ-like character.”

For more information about the annual Brook Hill SPARC Week, contact Albea at or call (903) 894-5000.