Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors are local individuals who have a vested interest in seeing Bessemer Academy achieve excellence. Board members are nominated by foundation members (parents and financial supporters of current students) and voted on at our annual foundation meeting. Board members meet monthly to discuss the operation of the school and stay in close contact via phone and email throughout the month as needed to provide oversight. The Board revises and updates policies and procedures to meet the needs of our students, faculty, staff, and facilities, so parents are encouraged to get involved as well as read and review the handbook periodically. Because there is not a cover church for Bessemer Academy, we operate under the ownership of its foundation.

The Board of Directors have accepted nominations for Board members, and the Board has approved the following nominees for consideration by the members. Each nominee submitted a questionnaire, linked here:

Mark Rhea Kerry Clark Ken Salter Brad Barnett Debbie Harrison



SECTION 1. Directors. A board of a minimum of seven and maximum of thirteen directors shall constitute the governing board to manage the affairs of Bessemer Academy. the number of directors may be increased or decreased at the will of the directors providing that there shall never be less than seven or more than thirteen. The Board of Directors shall consist of only members; however the Board may have a Director(s) that is an accountant and/or a Director(s) that is an attorney who are not members.

SECTION 2. Nomination of Board of Directors. Any member may nominate another member to serve on the Board. The Board must approve the nomination by a majority vote prior to an election by the members.

SECTION 3. Election Process. The members will vote on whether to elect the approved nominee to the Board at the annual meeting held in accordance with Article III, Section 1. Upon a majority vote of the members, the nominee will become a Director.

SECTION 4. Term. A director shall be elected for a term of three years. The terms of the directors shall be staggered so as to enable one-third of the Board of Directors to be elected each year.


Board of Directors 2020-21

Brooke Nixon, President

Brooke Nixon is a partner at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, a labor and employment firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. Brooke works out of Constangy’s Birmingham office focusing on employment litigation and employment law advice and counsel. Brooke attended Bessemer Academy from the sixth grade until her senior year, when she graduated as salutatorian of her 2002 class. She attended Auburn University and then graduated from the University of Alabama in 2005 with degrees in political science and philosophy. In 2008, Brooke graduated from Cumberland School of Law second in her class.

Brooke has been on the Board of Directors of Bessemer Academy since 2014. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Tuscaloosa YMCA for a number of years, and in 2016 she was named the first female President of the Tuscaloosa YMCA Board of Directors. During her tenure as Board President, the YMCA constructed and opened a multi-million dollar new building. Brooke was also a founding member of the Young Professionals of Tuscaloosa where she served as Director of the Board for five years.

Brooke is married to Michael Nixon, also a member of the Bessemer Academy 2002 graduating class. Brooke and Michael live in McCalla with their two daughters, Tyler and Harper, who also attend Bessemer Academy.

Brad Tinsley, Vice President

Brad Tinsley is an area manager for Red River Specialties Inc. Brad manages all operations in Alabama and the panhandle of Florida. Since 1993, Brad has sold aerial application services to both corporate and private entities in the forestry, right of way, and aquatic markets.

Before joining the Red River organization, Brad attended the University of Montevallo and then joined the United States Marine Corps. Brad was selected to attend the U.S. Army Chemical School where he was the honor graduate. Shortly after graduation, he was sent to operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm where he trained over 5,000 Marines and British military personnel in the art of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense. 

Brad lives in Bessemer with his wife, Sunanta, and their son Zach.

Joe Brister, Secretary

Joe Brister is a Sales Executive at Dell Technologies, with responsibility for leading a sales team, increasing market share, and accelerating profitable growth within his region. Since 2000, he has enjoyed a successful career in delivering value to education, government, and corporate customers with Dell Technologies. Prior to joining Dell Technologies, Joe started his sales career in the fitness industry patterning with both individuals and organizations to promote healthier lifestyles. Notable is his five years of board membership with the McCalla Youth Athletic Association (MYAA), where he leveraged his experience in IT to promote MYAA and helped drive partnering initiatives with the community.

Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Science from the University of Mississippi. He lives in Bessemer, AL, with his wife, Kelly; their three children, Grace, Emma, and Jacob; a dog; two cats; and a goldfish. In his free time, Joe likes to coach youth softball and baseball.

Rusty Jones

Originally from Tuscaloosa, AL, Rusty currently works as Senior Manager of Operations Body Shop at Mercedes US International, where he is responsible for Production, Process Engineering, and Dimensional Engineering and indirectly responsible for Maintenance and Maintenance Engineering. 

A graduate of Central High School, Rusty attended Shelton State Community College, the University of North Alabama, and Livingston University on baseball scholarships. He holds an Associates Degree in Industrial Electronics. 

Rusty is married to Becky Kelly Jones, and they have two daughters, Baleigh and Ella. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, most any outdoor activity, and coaching girls fast pitch softball.

Scott Barrentine

Scott Barrentine is a Market Area Sales Manager for Southern Linc a Southern Company.  Scott has been with Southern Linc for 21 years.  Scott attended West Blocton High School, where he graduated as salutatorian of his 1986 class.  He then attended the University of Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a degree in Secondary Education.

Scott has been on the Board of Directors since 2019.  He has served on the following boards over the past 20 years:  The Green Pond Volunteer Fire Department Board (Vice President), The Green Pond Library Board (President), and the Tuscaloosa Home Builder’s Association Board, where he received the 2008 President’s Award for outstanding service and the 2010 Associate of the Year.  

Scott is the father of daughter Grace, who graduated from Bessemer Academy in 2020 as her class salutatorian and son, Garrett, who is currently a sophomore at Bessemer Academy.  Scott currently resides in Green Pond where he has lived for over 40 years.  

Wes Russell

Wes Russell is an owner of Russell & Company, LLC, a public accounting firm located in Bessemer, AL. The firm works with small businesses in areas of tax and accounting. Wes has been with Russell & Company, LLC since July 2006. Prior to joining Russell & Company, LLC, he worked for KPMG, LLP from 2000 to 2006 and was a tax manager.

Wes has a broad and varied community service background. In addition to the Bessemer Academy board, he has served as president and treasurer of the Bessemer Kiwanis Club. He also assist other local non-profits including churches and foundations in various advisory roles.

Wes graduated from McAdory High School in 1995 and received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting (1999) and a Masters of Taxation (2000) from the University of Alabama. He and his wife, Susanne, live in Hoover with their three children where their family is actively involved in the Hoover city Schools System and Riverchase United Methodist Church.

Robert Jones

Robert Jones is the owner of Reno Rite LLC, a company that specializes in home renovations and real estate investing. Robert Jones has worked in the construction field since 1993. He also served as a private school administrator from 2004 to 2006, and he has been a pastor for twelve years.

Robert graduated from seminary with a bachelor’s degree in Theology in 2002. Since earning his degree, he has served on numerous church boards and committees. 

Robert is married with four children. He and his wife Penny have been married for twenty-three years. His children have all attended or currently attend BA. Jillayne graduated in 2017, Branden in 2019, Alissa a senior, and Ashlynn is in fifth grade.