We at Christ School believe that basic knowledge of science is a crucial part of being an informed and engaged citizen. However, what sets the Christ School Science Department apart is its ability to take that basic science background and connect it to the lives of your sons. The processes of science and engineering take center stage at Christ School. Your sons will be steeped in the scientific method and the engineer design process. The ability to apply the knowledge gained through thoughtful study is the key to demonstrating mastery. Your sons will gain the ability to think critically to solve problems, create models to test their ideas, analyze and interpret data that they collect, and communicate their findings through formal and informal mediums.
In support of them on their journey is an instructional team that is committed to the art of science and not solely to its content. Your sons will find that their science and engineering experience will not only center in the state-of-the-art Mebane Science Center’s 8,500 square feet, but will spill out into Christ School’s 500-acre campus and the community. We believe that the teaching science is a kinesthetic experience where understanding and learning are linked to a partnership between place, teacher, and student. This focus on the process of science and engineering makes for a unique educational experience and one that we are confident in and proud to deliver.
News from the Science Department
Meet the Faculty
Entering his second year at Christ School, Duncan Barnes teaches Environmental Science and Economics as well as coaches JV Football.
Born and raised in eastern North Carolina, Mr. Barnes grew up camping and playing football before attending the University of North Carolina at Asheville. There, he earned a B.A. in International Studies, a B.S. in Environmental Management and Policy, and minors in Asian Studies and Economics.
Immediately following his college graduation, Mr. Barnes moved to Baoding, China, with his now-wife and fellow Christ School employee, Alyssa Belcher, to teach English at an international boarding school. After a brief time back in Asheville during which he worked with local environmental non-profit Riverlink, Mr. Barnes moved to California and taught middle and high school science at a private day school in San Jose.
Mr. Barnes is thrilled to be back in Asheville with Ms. Belcher and their dog, Tango. In his free time, Mr. Barnes enjoys rock-climbing, cooking, playing board games, and tinkering with the guitar and ukulele.
Brent Harris has quickly made his presence felt in the Christ School community. He was voted our 2018-19 Teacher of the Year following just his second year with the faculty.
During his doctoral work in Astrochemistry at the University of Virginia, where he received his Ph. D in 2014, Dr. Harris was a National Science Foundation Fellow. For four years after that, Dr. Harris employed his research as a principal investigator, commercializing and inventing new instrumentation for chemical sensing. As a result of his entrepreneurial and technical experience, Dr. Harris served as an expert reviewer for the National Science Foundation engineering directorate.
Dr. Harris teaches AP and Honors Chemistry at Christ School and is an assistant coach with the Greenie swim team. He and his wife, Robin Pulliam-Harris have three children – Charlie, Kathleen, and Simon. In his spare time, Dr. Harris enjoys choir-singing as well as hiking and running Asheville trails.
From his days as a head Prefect in high school, Jeremy Jacobs knows what it is like to lead.
Mr. Jacobs is a new instructor in the Science Department and dorm parent in South Carolina House. His coaching duties will include baseball and football.
Mr. Jacobs graduated from Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., where he received a B.A. in Biology and B.S. in Secondary Education. In addition, he was an NCAA Division III baseball player for the Fighting Scots, a peer mentor, lab teaching assistant, teaching apprentice, resident assistant, tutor, camp counselor, and youth ministry intern during his college years. Mr. Jacobs was a student teacher last year at Covenant Christian Academy and has a coaching background in baseball, football, and track and field.
Mr. Jacobs was the head Prefect and varsity baseball captain his senior year (2016) at Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., the same school all three of his brothers attended.
In his spare time, Mr. Jacobs enjoys fishing, hiking, painting, poetry, and studying theology. He has regularly volunteered at a Christian summer camp on Martha's Vineyard.
Nick Luhm teaches Physics and was promoted to Head Varsity Football Coach in July 2019. Under his leadership, the Greenies reached the 2019 NCISAA Division I state-championship game as a No. 4 seed.
Mr. Luhm earned his bachelors degree in Secondary Science Education from North Carolina State University, and taught Physics, Chemistry, Physical Science, and Earth Science at Broughton High School in Raleigh for 10 years.
He has previously been an assistant baseball and football coach for Christ School.
Jack Lynch grew up exploring the prairies and lakes of his hometown in northern Illinois.
Mr. Lynch graduated from Maine's Colby College in 2016 with a B.A. in Biology, concentrating in Ecology and Evolution. Upon graduating, Mr. Lynch presented his original research on habitat fragmentation at the 2016 Ecological Society of American conference.
After graduating, Mr. Lynch worked as a field botanist with the Bureau of Land Management in Taos, N.M., and later started his career in education as a teaching apprentice at the High Mountain Institute, in Leadville, Colo. From there, he worked as a teaching fellow at the Alzar School in Cascade, I.D., where he paddled with Christ School alumnus Richard Lytle '20. Afterwards, Mr. Lynch completed his Master of Teaching degree at the University of Virginia where he taught anatomy and biology at Monticello High School (Va.).
At Christ School since 2019, Mr. Lynch teaches Chemistry, Biology, and Environmental Science. He loves to climb, mountain bike, play board games, and read. Equally gratifying is sharing his passion for the outdoors with his students. He coaches in the Outdoor Program and can often be found walking the campus trails.
Hamid Najafi prides himself on being a results-driven, innovative professional with an excellent track record, and will look to bring these qualities to Christ School as a Math and Science instructor.
Mr. Najafi has taught locally as an adjunct professor at A-B Tech Community College and Blue Ridge Community College, where he won the 2019 Extra Mile Award. His professional experience in engineering and as a manager dates back to 1983. From 2002 to 2010, he worked as a real estate developer, overseeing the construction of one of the first all-inclusive executive office suites in the county.
Mr. Najafi studied at Clemson University (MSEE), Piedmont Management Institute, and Midwestern State University. He and his wife Cindy just celebrated their 40th anniversary. They have two adult children, Dani and Christian.
David Williams is celebrating his fifth decade in education and chairs the Christ School Science Department.
Mr. Williams has taught Biology and Biotechnology along with coaching fly-fishing in the Outdoor Program.
Mr. Williams earned a B.S. in Biology from George Washington University in 1975 and an M.A. in Secondary Education Administration from Furman University in 1981. His hobbies include fly-fishing, paddling, reading, and staying up on current events and the workings of government.
Mr. Williams and his wife, Margaret, have one son, Kevin, and what he considers "the most amazing grandson of them all," Aidan Noble.