Teacher and Students
Campus Leadership

The leadership team at UME Prep is a group of up of hard-working, experienced educators who are passionate about providing students and their families with the best educational tools and opportunities available. Each member of the leadership team brings vital talents and experience to the table, and they each share a passion for making the University Method of Education available to the public sector. We invite you to take a moment to view our organizational chart and get to know our campus leadership better by reading their bios below.

Campus Leadership Bios

Mike SpurlockMike Spurlock

E-mail: mike.spurlock@umeprep.org

Degrees and Certification: Mike received a BBA in Economics from Baylor University, an MBA from Texas Christian University, and an MHA from Trinity University.

Educational Experience: Mike Spurlock is an extremely successful businessman, administrator, and adjunct professor. He owns his own company and has spent 43 years in the health care field as a care giver, president of 3 hospitals, regional administrator for 2500 doctors, an executive of a senior living facility (CCRC), a developer of ALZ, and a lobbyist in Austin, TX for hospitals/healthcare. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Houston in HRD and at the University of Texas at Arlington in the Graduate School of Healthcare Administration, and is a guest lecturer at DBU regarding strategic planning and ethics. He has served on the Board of two private schools and is a certified mediator.

His Family: Mike has been married 38 years, is the father of three, and the grandfather of two. He is a former coach to a girls varsity fast pitch softball taking them to three state playoffs in 3A TAPPS. He is a Sunday School and Bible Teacher in his church to both children and adults, has a black belt in Karate, and loves golf.

Dr. Brance  Barker Barker
Dean of Parent Programming and Director of New School Development

E-mail: brance.barker@umeprep.org

Degrees and Certifications: Brance received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and a master of business administration degree from Dallas Baptist University in 2005, where he also received the Outstanding MBA Student Award. He completed his doctorate in educational leadership in 2012 from DBU. Brance is a certified principal with the state of Texas. He is also a proud graduate of Grace Prep in Arlington, which was the first private school based on the University Method of Education.

Educational Experience: Brance served eight years working for the president of Dallas Baptist University where he gained invaluable administrative experience at the university level, seeing first-hand how to grow and develop an educational institution. Feeling called to help transition the University Method of Education from the private realm into the public sector, Brance transitioned into public education to gain both teaching and leadership experience. The Lord blessed him by placing him at the wonderful Crockett 5th Grade Center in Grand Prairie, a Title 1 school, where he served as a 5th grade math/science teacher for four years. His time spent working with ESL, GT, Special Ed, and a more diverse student population will help UME Prep bring the University Method of Education to a wider range of families. Being a student within a private UME school, coupled with his administrative experience at the university-level and his public school teaching experience, Brance brings a unique perspective that will help UME Prep bridge the gap between public schools and private schools based on the University Method of Education.

His Family: Brance is married to his lovely wife, Michelle, whom he met while at Grace Prep. Michelle stays active as the MOPS (Mothers-of-Preschoolers) coordinator at Tate Springs Baptist Church. They are both proud parents to their daughter, Wren, and their sons, Canaan and Hutchison.

Elizabeth Shafer
Director of Curriculum and Instruction
for Elementary (grades K-4)
Elizabeth Schafer

E-mail: elizabeth.shafer@umeprep.org

Degrees and Certifications: Elizabeth graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a BA in elementary education, and a minor in English and psychology. She has done graduate work in curriculum and instruction, elementary math, elementary literacy, and gifted education. Elizabeth has a lifetime Texas teaching certificate in elementary grades 1st-8th grade. She is also certified in ESL.

Educational Experience: Elizabeth has many years of experience teaching all elementary grade levels. She taught in Duncanville ISD, as well as in Highland Park ISD; she also has taught in two private schools in the Dallas area and in a home school co-op. She wrote curriculum and served on administrative curriculum and instruction teams both in Duncanville ISD and in Highland Park ISD. Elizabeth spent three years as an Educational Consultant with a large charter school in Dallas. During that time, she developed curriculum, provided instructional support to teachers and staff, and presented staff development workshops. Elizabeth has been included three times in Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, and was twice nominated for the Disney American Teacher Award.

Her Family: Elizabeth has been married to Edwin Shafer for 24 years. Edwin is the director of security and IT at UME Prep. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys reading, movies, spending time with friends, and all sports, especially professional, and college football. She particularly loves the Georgia Bulldogs, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Texas Rangers!  

Janice Varnell
Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Secondary (grades 5-10)

E-mail: janice.varnell@umeprep.org