About Graybeal &  Associates

Transforming Christian school/ministry leadership since 2001.

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Dr. Phil Graybeal, after successfully implementing the Policy Governance® model of leadership at Southside Christian School in Simpsonville, SC, felt compelled to tell others about the model. He found the principles of the Policy Governance® model to be universally applicable and biblically consistent when used according to its design. In 2001, he began Graybeal & Associates to assist Christian schools, non-profit ministries, churches, and mission agencies around the world achieve transformative results for their organizations.

As we refined our approach, we have added highly trained and experienced members to the team and the list of services has expanded. Yet our focus remains the same—Transforming Christian School/Ministry Leadership.

Dr. Phil Graybeal


Phil Graybeal has dedicated his life to transforming Christian school/ministry leadership worldwide. He served as a Christian school teacher for three years and Head of School for 22 years while earning a doctorate in Educational Leadership. Since starting Graybeal & Associates, LLC in 2001, he has traveled widely both nationally and internationally as a full-time consultant to non-profit organizations.  

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Dr. Sam Barfell

Associate, Senior Consultant

Sam Barfell was born and raised in Elkhart, Indiana, and is himself a product of Christian schooling.

After high school graduation from Elkhart Christian Academy in 1978, Sam received his teaching degree from Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids, MI) in 1982. Later, he then earned his Master’s degree in Christian school administration from Grace Seminary (Winona Lake, IN) in 1989. He completed his Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, FL) in the spring of 2003.

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Dr. Stephen Reel

Managing Member, Senior Consultant

Stephen Reel has served for over 35 years in Christian school ministry as a Bible teacher, school administrator, adjunct professor and Executive Vice President, Acting CEO for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). He is currently serving as the Head of School for Mitchell Road Christian Academy in Greenville, SC. Prior to his Christian school career, he served two tours of duty in the United States Marine Corps as an infantry sergeant, tactics instructor, marksmanship instructor, and competition shooter.

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Dr. Marc Stout

Associate, Senior Consultant

Dr. Marc Stout has been involved with Christian schools for over 40 years. He grew up in Owensboro, KY and after high school enlisted in the US Air Force as an electronics technician. During his training at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, CO, Marc met his future wife Pam who shared Christ with him and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

After his tour of duty, Dr. Stout began working at Rocky Bayou Christian School in Niceville, FL. He served there for 10 years. In 1989, Marc was asked to be the Headmaster of Westminster Christian Academy in Opelousas, LA. 

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Stephen Novotny, J.D.

Special Advisor, Senior Consultant

Stephen Novotny has enjoyed a professional career as a school administrator, public policy advisor, lawyer, and organizational leader. He has served as Vice President for Public Policy & General Counsel for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), as Head of School for Cypress Christian School in Houston, TX., and as legal counsel for the largest of the Fortune 500 corporations as well as for private businesses and non-profit organizations.

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