Mission Statement

The Cottage Grove Christian School is an independent, private, Christian primary and secondary school committed to providing our students with a classical education. As a Christian school, we incorporate Christian moral and spiritual teachings throughout our curriculum. As a classical school, our goal is to employ the educational philosophy and methodology developed by the ancient Greeks and Romans, refined in the Middle Ages, and used continuously in the West up until the modern era, and that is in part responsible for the rise of the most substantial and vibrant civilization in human history. We also teach our students to be patriotic Americans and to respect the cultural patrimony that is the American South. Our goal lies in the intellectual and moral formation of our students, that we may help them one day emerge as wise, virtuous Christian ladies and gentlemen who know how to think and learn, and who understand and can bear the responsibilities of a free people.

CGCS was founded in 2004 and occupies a portion of the old public school building on Church Street. Please explore the links at the top of this page to learn more about our school. Contact us if you have any questions and we would be happy to answer them.

Cottage Grove Christian School Staff

Alexander Hanson

Alexander Hanson is head teacher of the upper school.  He received a Masters in Philosophy from the Athenaeum Pontificium Regina Apostolorum, in Rome Italy, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and writing his Masters Thesis comparing and contrasting Platonic and Aristotelian linguistic theory.

He also took courses in rhetoric, poetic recitation, and public speaking at the Centro di Studii Superiori of the Legionaries of Christ in Rome, while participating both in their Schola Cantus Gregoriani (Gregorian Chant) and the Coro Polyfonico (Polyphonic Choir), directed by Temistocle Capone, the former Choirmaster of St. Peter’s Basillica in the Vatican. 

After completing his Masters in Philosophy he remained at the Athenaeum to study Sacred Scripture and the History of early Christianity, studying two full semesters of the Athenaeum’s Bachelors in Theology program. Two years later he complemented his studies in Sacred Scripture at the Norwegian Theological faculty in Oslo (The Menighetsfakultet).

Before leaving Italy, Mr. Hanson spent two semesters at the Accademia Vivarium Novum, a community of Latin speakers headed by Luigi Miraglia who were then located at Castel di Guido, in the Roman suburbs. 

He has been happily married since 2014 to his lovely wife Dorothy. They have two children, Adeline Thèrése and Magnus Alexander.

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Matthew Hynd

Matthew Hynd is head teacher of the middle school.  He hails from Painesville, Ohio. He studied the Classics at Hobart College in Geneva, New York, and theology in Canada. His interests include the Christian patristic canon, ancient and early modern history, and writing. Matthew is an Episcopalian.

Christie Atkins

Christie Atkins is head teacher of the lower (elementary) school.  She is from Farmington, Missouri, and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1993 with a B.A. in English and a minor in Spanish.  She has also studied French and German.  She and her husband, Mark, have six children and live in Cottage Grove.  She is a member of the Eastwood church of Christ in Paris, Tennessee.  In her spare time, she sings with the David Johnson Chorus which is based in Dresden, Tennessee.

Christie Atkins

Elizabeth M. Adams

Elizabeth M. Adams is a native of Cottage Grove and a teacher in the lower school (K-4) at CGCS. She is the daughter of Robert and Machelle Operia. Mother of one, she is married to Hunter Adams. She received her bachelor’s degree in theatre, with a minor in English, from Bethel University. She attends church at Maplewood Baptist Church in Paris, Tennessee. She currently serves as alderman of the Cottage Grove City Council. In her free time, when not taking care of her family, she enjoys working with the children’s theatre program at The Dixie in Huntingdon, Tennessee.

Board of Directors

Mark Atkins, Chairman

Mark Atkins is a native of Cottage Grove in Henry County, Tennessee, where he owns and operates a small lumber mill and lives with his wife Christie, and their six children. He also an assistant teacher in Latin at CGCS.

Mark Atkins

Thomas Fleming

Dr. Thomas Fleming is the former president of The Rockford Institute and the editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He began work at the Institute in 1984. He is the author of The Politics of Human Nature, Montenegro: The Divided Land, and The Morality of Everyday Life, named Editors’ Choice in philosophy by Booklist in 2005. He is the coauthor of The Conservative Movement and the editor of Immigration and the American Identity. He holds a Ph.D. in classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Before joining the Rockford Institute, he taught classics at the University of Miami of Ohio, served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Education, and was headmaster at the Archibald Rutledge Academy. He has been published in, among others, The Spectator (London), Independent on Sunday (London), Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, National Review, Classical Journal, Telos, and Modern Age. He and his wife, Gail, have four children and one grandchild. Dr. Fleming attends St. Mary’s Oratory in the Catholic Diocese of Rockford, Illinois.

Dr. Thomas Fleming

Michael R. Bradley

Dr. Michael R. Bradley is a native of the Tennessee-Alabama state line region near Fayetteville, Tennessee. He attended Samford University for his B. A., took a Masters of Divinity at New Orleans Seminary, and a M. A. and the Ph. D. from Vanderbilt University, graduating there in 1970.

For thirty six years Dr. Bradley taught United States History at Motlow College, a Tennessee Board of Regents junior college near Tullahoma. He retired in May 2006.

He has been pastor of two Presbyterian churches in Middle Tennessee, LaVergne Presbyterian from 1968 to 1976 and Clifton Presbyterian from 1977 t0 2006. He served as Interim Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Manchester from January 2007 until June 2008.

Dr. Michael R. Bradley

Dr. Bradley is the author of several books on the War Between the States period including Tullahoma: The 1863 Campaign; With Blood and Fire: Behind Union Lines in Middle Tennessee; Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Escort & Staff in War and Peace; It Happened in the Civil War; and Home Fires in the Line of Fire, a part of an anthology about the war in Tennessee. Two recent articles have been published in North & South magazine: “Death Lists in Middle Tennessee” and “In the Crosshairs: Confederate Civilians Targeted for Death by the United States Army.” He also writes on other topics including the Revolutionary War, the Great Smoky Mountains, and historical stories. Dr. Bradley has written for various reference works, including The Civil Rights Encyclopedia and The Tennessee Encyclopedia.

In 2006 Dr. Bradley was elected Commander of the Tennessee Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He is a Life Member of that organization.

Dr. Bradley is married to Martha Rae Dobbins Bradley. They are the parents of two adult children, Nancy Todd Bradley Warren and Michael Lee Bradley. Dr. and Mrs. Bradley have two grandsons, William Andrew Warren and Michael Alexander Warren. He attends First Presbyterian Church, Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Clyde Wilson

Dr. Clyde N. Wilson is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina where he served from 1971 to 2006. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He recently completed editing of a 28-volume edition of The Papers of John C. Calhoun, is author or editor of a dozen other books and over 500 articles, essays, and reviews in a variety of books and journals, and has lectured all over the U.S. Books include Why the South Will Survive, Carolina Cavalier, The Essential Calhoun, and most recently From Union to Empire: Essays in the Jeffersonian Tradition and Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture. Dr. Wilson is recipient of the Bostick Prize for Contributions to South Carolina Letters and the first annual John Randolph Lifetime Achievement Award and is M.E. Bradford Distinguished Professor of the Abbeville Institute. He is a contributing editor of Chronicles magazine and founder of the Stephen D. Lee Institute, educational arm of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He has two daughters and one grandson and lives in busy retirement in the Dutch Fork of South Carolina.

Clyde Wilson

David Alan Jackson

David Alan Jackson is a native of Henry County and graduate of Henry County High School. He attended Freed-Hardeman College in Henderson, Tennessee, majoring in Bible, and completed his undergraduate work at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, with a degree in Speech and English. Jackson received his Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Science from the University of Tennessee in Martin. He has taught for over 27 years at Buchanan Elementary, Henry County High School, Big Sandy High School, and E. W. Grove School in Paris.

Brother Jackson began preaching in 1972 and has preached regularly since that time. He has preached at the New Bethel, Hico, and Mt. Zion churches of Christ in Henry County. He has served as youth minister at the University church of Christ in Murray, Kentucky, and East Wood church of Christ in Paris, Tennessee, and as prison minister at the Clifton prison in Clifton, Tennessee. He has been serving as the preacher for the Cottage Grove church of Christ since 2004.

David Alan Jackson

He and his wife of 42 years, Jacqueline, have four children, Alice, Travis, Megan, and Tara. They are the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren: Olivia Claire, Lucy Elizabeth, Georgia Cate, James David, Christopher, Annabelle Juliette, and Avery Green.