School is back in session again with children rushing through the halls, greeting their friends and teachers, and carrying backpacks brimming with new school supplies. There is always excitement at the beginning of the new year, but at Mt. Bethel Christian Academy, the buzz in the hallways is much louder than usual. Students have discovered a brand-new smiling face saying hello and popping into classrooms and his height and suit prevent him from being confused as a transfer student. Dr. Jim Cianca recently joined the Academy as the new Head of School after an exhaustive two-year search for the ideal person to lead the school in its next chapter. Dr. Cianca was selected because of his passion for Christ-centered education and his excitement about the opportunities Mt. Bethel Christian Academy offers both its students and the local community.

For over 20 years, Mt. Bethel Christian Academy has approached education as a true partnership between parents, teachers and importantly, the students. The comprehensive needs of the children are at the forefront of every decision made and all that is done to provide a challenging educational curriculum, always in tandem with a biblical worldview. The Academy strives to be a premier developer of highly successful, Christ-centered, servant leaders of tomorrow.

For Dr. Cianca, the prospect of beginning the school year at the helm of the Academy is something he shared is simply thrilling. The mission of providing academic excellence, spiritual growth, and a lifelong love and desire for learning speaks to everything he desires within a school community. “There is a rich combination that we experience here of high-quality academic programming, combined with a commitment to integrate faith into every aspect of learning. This prepares our students for college, life, and eternity”, stated Dr. Cianca. “We understand that our students come to us as whole people – intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual – and a school that prepares the whole child provides a complete education.”

Parents can attest to the quality of education and a supportive school environment–the growth in enrollment illustrates this. During the 2020 school year the Academy welcomed a record number of new families, with 81% returning in 2021. Today, Mt. Bethel Christian Academy has the highest numbers in its history, school- wide. Dr. Cianca begins his new position knowing there are tremendous expectations for excellence in academics, spiritual growth, and the guidance of children into tomorrow’s leaders. He cannot wait to start.

Education and teaching were a family affair for Dr. Cianca, whose father was a pastor and college dean, and mother an elementary school teacher, and later, college professor. “What always struck me was my parents were the same people at home as in public. That authenticity was powerful; it inspired me to also strive to be real and genuine.” The combination of Christianity intertwined with formal education is a natural fit for Dr. Cianca, who has spent 26 years at private schools, most of them Christian- based. He most recently led an international school in Quito, Ecuador.

Dr. Cianca and wife Terri are new to East Cobb and already love it. After years of traveling and living all over the world, the Ciancas finally feel like they are home. “East Cobb is a great place to invest our lives and Mt. Bethel is such an important part of this community, we feel blessed to be a part of it.” Mt. Bethel Christian Academy’s leadership wholeheartedly welcomes Dr. Cianca and is honored to have him on board.

Mt. Bethel Christian Academy (K-8th) is located at 4385 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta, Georgia, 30068. The Upper Campus (9th-12th) is located at 2509 Post Oak Tritt Road, Marietta. To contact the school, call 770-971-0245.