OUR HISTORY: THE FOUNDER’S STORY
Bob and Bettina Crenshaw were born just one day apart and together since the third grade, they were high school sweethearts living in Miami, Florida. Married while Bob was still in his senior year at the University of Florida, they moved back to Miami after he graduated to begin their careers and start their family. Their first daughter born in 1980 marked the beginning of the Crenshaw’s journey in child development and care.
Bettina left her job in the corporate world to raise their first daughter, Nichole, but needing additional income it was quickly decided that Bettina would start her first family childcare business. Bob’s job soon took the family to Chatsworth, California and a second daughter, Erica, was born. Bettina’s home child development and care home (now with 18 children in the home) was just not enough. The Crenshaw’s started their first mail-order preschool curriculum business where daily lesson plans and activity kits along with all the supplies were sold nationwide to other family child care providers, church based preschools, and small independent child care centers.
With yet another job opportunity, now in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the family packed up again and relocated. With this move, Bettina carried on her family childcare business, and next came a boy, Ryan, to finish out the Crenshaw family. Believe it or not, another job opportunity resulted in relocation to Fairfax, Virginia where the mail-order business was put to rest, and the family childcare business continued.
The Crenshaw’s were tired of moving. A major life and business decision was made to make one more move to the Atlanta area where the family had close ties and had just fallen in love with the life style and family oriented yet rural settings of Canton. While in Virginia, the Crenshaw’s constructed their first childcare center, then named The Kid Connection, in the Hickory Flat community with the desire to bring only the highest level of quality to the very rural setting. Many people thought a new church or bank was being built, as no childcare facility in the area looked anything like the specifically designed facility going up in their community. With the opening, the Crenshaw’s made their last move to Georgia.
Several years later, a second center was opened in the city of Holly Springs, followed by the third in Macedonia. The Crenshaw’s enjoyed twenty years of success with their three child development centers and are very proud to say that their little group of schools became the very first Preschool School System accredited by SACS (the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) in the entire country.
Watch Bob and Bettina’s Testimonial Video
As the focus of the Macedonia center was changing to a more academic setting with desires to begin offering Kindergarten and elementary curriculum, this school was rebranded with the name Brenwood Academy. Other highlights include the fact that the schools were one of the first 10 selected in the state to begin the Georgia Lottery Funded Pre-Kindergarten Program in its first year of trials. The schools were accredited by NAEYC, and the Crenshaw’s were both very active in the Georgia Child Care Association, Cherokee County CASA, Quality Assist, and with the Georgia Department of Education Early Childhood Division.
The Crenshaw family was struck by their biggest challenge in early 2011 when Bettina was diagnosed with cancer, and several other debilitating auto-immune diseases. This caused the family to take a very serious look at their personal life in relation to their business activities and the resulting very difficult decision was made – the two original centers were to be closed so the family could focus on Bettina’s health and the concentration of the further development of Brenwood Academy. Thankfully, Bettina’s cancer is now in remission, but she still has daily issues with other medical conditions that keep her from her first love – dealing on a daily basis with the children at Brenwood. Both Bob and Bettina are very active in the management and operations of the school with the help of a first class management team and a fantastic team of dedicated teachers and staff. Bob and Bettina are proud of the thousands of children that they have helped raise, educate, and care for over the last thirty three years and we look to continue with the children enrolled today and in the future at Brenwood Academy.