John Adams joined the Heathwood Hall faculty in the 2010, after fifteen years in public education. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, John currently teaches World History II, AP World History, and the American South. He is also Chair of the Upper School History Department. In 2005, the Gilder-Lehrman Institute named John South Carolina History Teacher of the Year, as well as finalist for National History Teacher of the Year. John received South Carolina’s first teaching fellowship from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in 2006. Since coming to Heathwood Hall, John was named one of the first recipients of the James H. Gasque (“Q”) Fellowship in 2014. John has been chaperone or co-chaperone on Winterim trips to Williamsburg/Washington, D.C; Rome, Italy; and Munich, Germany. Since 2003, John has been certified, by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, in Adolescent/Young Adult History and Social Studies. His research interests include the American South, Victorian and Edwardian Britain, and Wesleyan Theology. He holds both a B.A. and an M.A. from Furman University.
During Seminary, Joshua Albins joined the Richland County Sheriff's Department Chaplaincy program with the intent of pursuing Naval Chaplaincy upon graduation. However, the allure of direct community involvement coupled with the Sheriff's vision of law enforcement convinced Joshua to attend the Criminal Justice Academy. As a Deputy Sheriff he has served, or is currently serving, in the capacity of: RCSD Crisis Management Team Negotiator, Intelligence Analyst Critical Infrastructure Protection (State Guard), and Incident Management Team. He currently serves as the Deputy Sheriff assigned to Heathwood Hall.
Divya holds a B.A. from Columbia College and first became a substitute teacher at in 2001 and an associate teacher in 2002. She joined the Heathwood family in 2004 as the parent of Avnika ‘10 and joined Heathwood faculty in 2009.
Kristin is a graduate of Newberry College and has a BA degree in Leisure Services/Recreation. She has taught courses in physical education at the college level and has coached women’s lacrosse at both the college and high school levels, including this spring season here at Heathwood. Kristin also served as the Assistant Athletic Director at Columbia College for three years.
Teresa Bader attended Illinois State University, where she earned a degree in Elementary Education along with an additional state endorsement as a reading teacher. Teresa has experience co-teaching second grade and works hard to make learning fun and beneficial to all students.
Donnie Bain has been an educator for more than twenty years as a middle school math teacher, Head of School, and Middle School Head. He has taught math at The Lovett School in Atlanta and Rugby Middle School in Hendersonville, NC. He has been Head of School at Morganton Day School in Morganton, NC, and Head of the Middle School for eight years at Heathwood Hall. Donnie has a B.A. from Davidson College and Master of Education from Ga. State University.
Kim joined Heathwood in the fall of 2009 as a third grade lead teacher. After 12 years in that position, she transitioned to become the EC/LS librarian. Her career as an educator has included experiences from Pre K - Middle School in both public and independent schools. She holds a B.A. from Converse College and an M.Ed. from Georgia State University, and she and her husband, Donnie, also have 30 + years of running a summer residential camp in Western North Carolina.
Tom joined the Heathwood coaching staff in 2021 as the Head Girls lacrosse coach. Previously, he was the head coach at Forest Park High School in Woodbridge VA. In his fourteen years at Forest Park his teams qualified every year for the regional playoffs. He was selected 6A Coach of the Year in 2015. He is a frequent presenter at the US Lacrosse Conference and was a selector for the Virginia national team and in 2021 for South Carolina. Tom has a BA in History from Ohio Wesleyan, master’s from Ohio University in Athletic Administration, Masters in International Policy from the National War College and a masters from Webster University in Management.
Reeve is a Heathwood "lifer" who graduated in 1997 and went on to earn a B.A. from the University of South Carolina. After 20+ years in the legal field, she decided it was time for a change and made a career move and joined the Heathwood staff. She has two daughters who currently attend Heathwood, Elizabeth '30 and Sarah '32.
Bryce joined Heathwood Hall’s Upper School faculty in 2017, after moving from Boston, Massachusetts. He is originally from Atlanta, GA, and earned a B.A. from Davidson College with a major in Classics with Departmental Honors and a minor in Religion. After spending two years teaching Latin at a small independent school in St. Simon’s Island, GA and one year covering a sabbatical at Georgetown Preparatory School just outside of Washington, D.C., he moved to Boston, MA in 2014 and earned an M.A. in Classics from Tufts University and an M.Ed. from Harvard University in Technology, Innovation, and Education.
Catherine Barnhill has served Heathwood Hall in a variety of roles for many years. She has served as our Lower School Learning Specialist, 2nd Grade Lead Teacher, and is currently a 1st Grade Lead Teacher. Catherine has a Bachelors in Education from University of South Carolina and a Masters in Special Education, with an emphasis on Learning Differences. As a first grade teacher, Catherine values all learning styles and the magic of learning through the eyes of our young students.
In 2022, Catherine was named South Carolina Independent Schools Association Lower School Teacher of the Year.
Rob teaches math and coaches football and softball coach at Heathwood. Prior to Heathwood, Rob taught for sixteen years in Long Beach, CA. Rob graduated with a BA in Liberal Studies with a minor in History and an MA in Educational Administration from Long Beach State in California.
LeAnna grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where she played on the Wolfpack’s Varsity Tennis team. Before joining the Heathwood faculty, she worked at Kilbourne Park Baptist Preschool for several years as a lead and assistant teacher. She has also served as a tennis coach for elementary, middle, and high school students. Most recently, she coached JV tennis at Dreher High School. LeAnna is a sports fanatic and is a mom to three crazed fans as well: Elaine, a Georgia Bulldog (’19); Anna Jamieson, a UNC Tar Heel (’23); and James, a USC Gamecock (’24).
Julie Benoit joined Heathwood Hall as the Parent Engagement Coordinator in June 2021. Prior to stepping into that role, she worked as the part time Alumni Relations Coordinator beginning in March 2017. She holds a BA in psychology from Hollins University, an M.Ed in Counselor Education from the University of Virginia, and is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Nationally Certified Counselor.
Julie has been an active member of the Heathwood Hall community since moving to Columbia when her daughter entered the threes program. She has volunteered in many capacities at Heathwood, from helping with events in the college counseling office to serving as HPA Lower School Chair and HPA Executive Board Chair. Prior to joining Heathwood, Julie spent many years in the nonprofit world, specifically working in the foster care system. She has two children who attend Heathwood, Annie '24 and Cole '27.
Caroline Bishop attended the University of South Carolina, where she received a B.A. degree in Elementary Education. She has worked in the public school system in second grade and fourth grade over the past two years. Caroline has also worked with the Downtown Church Youth Service Care program on Sunday mornings since 2018. She enjoys running and will be working as an assistant Girl's Cross Country coach this fall.
Rip Blackstone earned his law degree from the University of South Carolina in 1983 and practiced law for nine years prior to joining the Heathwood faculty in 1992. He is chairman of the math department for the Upper School, coach of the math team and assistant Varsity and JV football coach. Rip was named SCISA Upper School Teacher of the Year in 2016.
Rikki joined as an Admission Associate in 2016. She is a native of Chattanooga, TN and a graduate of the historic Girls Preparatory School. She then went on to receive her BS degree in Education, Health, and Human Sciences from the University of TN.
Prior to joining Heathwood, she spent several years in the financial services industry, from financial advising assistance to insurance underwriting. Rikki is very involved in church activities as well as charitable efforts and volunteering. She loves tennis and running in her spare time.
She is the mother of two Highlanders, Sloane ('29) and Dallas ('32).
Mrs. Boston received her Bachelor's degree from Washington and Lee University and her Juris Doctorate from Quinnipiac University. She has also spent time as a lead teacher and administrator of her church's Sunday School and Vacation Bible School program. Mrs. Boston and her husband, The Right Reverend Dane Boston of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, also have four children at Heathwood - Myles '36, Ruthie '37, Thomas '32, and Eleanor '28.
Melissa joined the Heathwood community in 2010 and loves fostering the creative learning of our youngest Highlanders. Melissa studied Studio Art at the College of Charleston, focusing on photography, printmaking, and metalwork sculpting. Later, she earned her degree in Early Childhood Education from Liberty University. Believing art is an integral part of teaching the whole child, Melissa feels creativity and the arts fuel and support a successful academic career.
Outside of school, Melissa enjoys photography, graphic design, and gouache painting. She loves spending time with her family and her energetic dog, Rocky.
Jamie comes to Heathwood after 17 years of experience as an early childhood and elementary public school teacher. He is a life-long learner with a B.S. in Anthropology; a B.S. in Elementary Education; and both a M.Ed. and a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education. As the Greenhouse Manager and EC/LS Science Resource Teacher, Jamie uses the greenhouse and edible forest to enhance his science curriculum. Jamie has a passion for all sports, in particular basketball. He has experience coaching AAU boys basketball, and currently serves as our Middle School boys' basketball coach.
Rebecca completed her undergraduate degree in Music Education with an emphasis in vocal and choral music from Winthrop University. While at Winthrop, Rebecca participated in various vocal ensembles including the Winthrop Chorale, the Madrigal Feast Singers, and the Opera Workshop ensemble. Following graduation, Rebecca became a member of the Columba Chorale Society and enjoyed many years singing under the direction of Dr. Larry Wyatt and SC Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Nicholas Smith. Rebecca began her teaching career with middle school chorus in 1993 and then transitioned into the general music elementary classroom. Outside the classroom, Rebecca has directed the Northeast Presbyterian Church Kids' Choir for 15 years, as well as served in the music ministry for the past 20 years as a vocalist and choir member. She previously served has the women's minister music coordinator for 10 years and the Sunday Kids' worship leader for 3 years. In addition, Rebecca has served at NEPC as the VBS music coordinator for the preschool and the elementary school-age children for 15 years. Rebecca came to Heathwood in 2019 along with her son Josh '28. Rebecca is the mother of 3 boys and loves teaching the amazingly bright children at Heathwood!
Dr. Sara Burrows spent 13 years teaching History at the University of South Carolina before joining the Heathwood faculty in 2016. She has been honored with teaching awards from the USC Center for Teaching Excellence, Student Disabilities Services, and the USC Chapter of the Mortar Board National Honor Society. Additionally, she worked as a freshmen advisor for the USC College of Arts and Sciences. Sara and her husband Matt have two boys, Jack (’24) and Ryan (’28), who joined Heathwood in 2014.
Sara holds a B.A. from Western Carolina University, an M.A. from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.
Brian Buscher is a Lower School Physical Education teacher and heads Heathwood’s baseball program. Coach Buscher is a graduate of the University of South Carolina , where he earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology. Before his teaching career started, he was a professional baseball player for nine years and Division 1 college baseball assistant coach for six years.
Spanish Instructor Lori Byrd began her language career at Clemson University, where she studied global topics related to commerce in the Spanish-speaking world. As a member of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, Lori was involved in service learning projects, tutoring, and outside educational conferences. She earned teaching experience from classes in the Foreign Language in Elementary Schools program. After college, Lori worked for eight years in international customer service before joining the Heathwood Hall Upper School in 1998. Two years later, she attended a summer session at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain. During her eighteen years at Heathwood Hall, Lori has been a Spirit Club sponsor, a Freshman Team Leader, a Homecoming and Pep Rally Events director and a New Teacher mentor. Throughout that time, she has been heavily involved in cross-divisional projects and International Week activities. Currently, Lori is the sponsor for the Spanish Club and the Spirit Angels.
John Caballero has worked as a teacher and administrator in independent schools for over 25 years. He began his career pursuing his passion for education as a mathematics teacher. Over the years he has served in a variety of leadership roles from Dean of Students, to Director of Marketing and Communications, to his current role as Director of Information Services. John has been an educational technology leader who has guided Heathwood Hall through years of dynamic growth in technology. John is also the proud parent of a Heathwood Hall alumna, Molly Caballero '20.
John holds a B.S. from Notre Dame University, an M.A. from the University of Portland, an M.Ed. from the University of South Carolina, and an M.S. from North Carolina State University.
Bailey Campbell is currently an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina, majoring in elementary education. She’s also had experience working in the medical field as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Bailey has always had a passion for working with children, and is excited for the opportunity to apply herself and what she is currently learning.
A Virginia native, Janie played tennis throughout high school, earning local and regional accolades, before playing collegiately at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. She moved to Columbia to earn a master's degree in Public History from the University of South Carolina and now works as a preservation consultant, aiding real estate developers in securing historic tax credits for rehabilitation projects statewide. She has coached one season of Junior Varsity Girls' Tennis at Heathwood but looks forward to many more!
Jennifer Carson has more than 25 years of teaching experience, a majority of it in independent schools in South Carolina. Most of her teaching career has been as a 4th and 5th-grade teacher of math and science. At her previous school in Pawleys Island, where she was named Lower School Teacher of the Year in 2015, she taught 4th and 5th-graders math and science. She was also instrumental in creating and implementing STEM education for the school and became the Lower School STEM teacher, teaching grades first through fifth. Jennifer is dedicated to instilling a love for math and science in her students, in addition to making learning fun and relevant. She earned her degree in Elementary Education from USC. During her early years of teaching, she also continued her education by earning her Master’s degree in education.
Kristin joined Heathwood Hall in the summer of 2019. Prior to joining Heathwood, Kristin worked at the Children's Hospital in Columbia for seven years. Kristin earned her pediatric nursing certification in 2015. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a B.S. She then went on to nursing school at the University of South Carolina. Kristin and her husband, Sam, have two children: Maggie '37 and future Highlander Roscoe.
Jane Clarke attended Auburn University, where she received a B.A. degree in Elementary Education. She has done graduate work in the area of Earth and Environmental Resource Management. She recently completed a training program on the Orton-Gillingham method of teaching phonics. Jane is mother of two Highlanders, Ann Douglas (‘27) and Wylly (‘28). Her teaching career began in Mobile, AL, and while she has enjoyed all levels of teaching, her dream job has always been teaching in second grade.
Susannah Cook joined the Heathwood community in 2015 as Parent Liaison. In 2017, she moved into the classroom, where she's been ever since. She is the mother of two Highlanders, Jack '21 and Addie-Grace '22. She holds a B.A. from Westminster College and an M.Div. from Columbia Seminary.
Lynn Cooper is a Heathwood alumna (’96) and graduated from the College of Charleston in 2000, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English before earning her Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of South Carolina in 2004. While at the University of South Carolina, she completed teaching internships at both Mid-Carolina High School and Summit Parkway Middle School. Lynn first joined the Heathwood faculty in 2004, teaching 7th grade Humanities. She taught in the Middle School for several years and served as a tutor in the Academic Achievement Center before taking a few years off to spend time with her two young daughters, Vivien and Mary Burwell. Lynn returned to Heathwood in 2009 and has taught Composition and Literature, American Literature, World Literature, and English Enrichment at various levels in the Upper School. With her husband Robert (HHES class of ’93), Lynn also serves as a host parent to Coco Yuan, a Heathwood sophomore from Shanghai, China.
Allison Cox is a Columbia native who received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a Masters in Teaching from the University of South Carolina. She taught Language Arts and Reading for 15 years in Richland Districts One and Two. Allison has a daughter who will graduate in the class of 2023.
Mandi Dargan has felt at home at Heathwood since she first joined the Summer Programs and Afternoon Express staff in 1997. She has taught kindergarten and EC4s preschool and considers herself fortunate to be part of a program so deeply committed to the importance of excellent early childhood education. Heathwood is a place where teachers and students alike are encouraged to learn and grow through meaningful experiences, and Mandi especially enjoys partnering with other divisions to create authentic learning opportunities with between our younger and older students.
Mandi holds a B.A. from the University of South Carolina.
Kenetta Dash joined the College Counseling team in March 2021. Before Heathwood, she served as a college counselor at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, where she provided attentive guidance to students and their families throughout all stages of the college search and admission process.
Bringing 18 years of college admission and career preparatory experience from a variety of collegiate settings, Kenetta earned a B.S. in mass communications from West Virginia State University and a M.A. in communication studies from West Virginia University. She holds the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) credential and is an Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW). Her professional memberships include the Southern Association for College Admissions Counseling (SACAC) and the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS). Currently, she serves on the 2021-22 Counselor Advisory Board for Washington University in St. Louis.
Prior to working in education, Kenetta enjoyed a career in broadcasting, working for FOX and CBS affiliates, and hosting a weekly DJ slot at WMUL-FM. A proud West Virginia native, she has also called South Carolina home for the last 17 years. In her free time, she enjoys making memories with her family and friends, browsing estate sales, and traveling. She is very close to visiting 100 college campuses across the United States.
Born and raised in Goose Creek, SC, Brianna Davie has been passionate about basketball since she was six years old. She played on the women's team at the College of Charleston, from which she graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She currently works in real estate with a focus on real estate investing.
Jennifer holds a B.A. in Psychology from Converse College and an M.Ed. In Educational Counseling from the University of South Carolina. She began her career in Richland One, where she worked as a school counselor for five years. After staying home to raise her two children, she began teaching 3-year-olds at Shandon Methodist. Jennifer came to Heathwood as a 3-year-old Associate in 2017 and is currently teaching the EC2s. Her husband and daughter are both Heathwood Alumni ('92/'20)
Gigi Dawson joined the Heathwood Hall faculty in 2006. Prior to coming to Heathwood, Gigi taught social studies (primarily history and psychology) in Lexington School District Two, at Airport High School, for ten years. She left the classroom for several years to work with schools within the “Corridor of Shame,” developing partnerships between schools and the business community, and identifying and training teachers along the “Corridor” for the State Department of Education and a program called SC Healthy Schools. Her most cherished time outside of the classroom involved working with a non-profit to write and implement a Duke Endowment Grant that funded Smiles for a Lifetime, a school based dental program, and creating and planning a statewide Diversity Summer Training Conference for over 300 students. After her time away from her students and the classroom, she realized that she missed the day-to-day interaction with students and began to look for the right fit again. She found it at Heathwood.
Gigi holds a B.A. from Converse College and an M.Ed. from the University of South Carolina.
Mary Kay joined Heathwood in 2017 as the Assistant Head of Early Childhood and Lower School. Since then, she has become a dedicated Highlander and shows her school spirit at Lower School Town Hall and cheering for The Hall at many sporting events. Prior to arriving at Heathwood, Mary Kay served as a site visitor, workshop leader, and consultant for the Primary Years Programme for International Baccalaureate for fifteen years. She and her family also spent a stint in Michigan where Mary Kay worked with Teach for America and the University of Michigan. For the first fourteen years of her career, Mary Kay worked at Spartanburg Day School as a third and fourth-grade teacher and IB Coordinator. Mary Kay graduated from Furman University with a BA in Elementary Education, and has an MEd from Converse College in Gifted and Talented Education and an EdS in Curriculum Development.
Michelle Dillman joined the Heathwood faculty in 2018. She holds a B.S. from the University of Hawaii and an M.S. from the University of South Carolina and has taught for over 16 years in a variety of private schools settings. Students in her 7th grade science classes learn to apply the scientific method to real life situations and to make science a part of everyday life. Her hope is to help students become good consumers of scientific information and become life long learners. Michelle loves the outdoors and she aims to make every student a “greener” citizen.
Margaret Dorn went to University of South Carolina, where she earned a degree in History. She recently completed a Masters degree in Elementary Education at the University of Northern Colorado. While completing her graduate degree, she did her student teaching here at Heathwood in the first grade. She has three years' work experience in early childcare, with a focus on social emotional development.
Heathwood Hall is a very special place to Katherine ('94) and her husband, Stephen ('91), as they are both graduates of Heathwood Hall. Katherine attended Heathwood Hall from Kindergarten through 12 grade. Their three children are Highlanders as well: Walker '22, Ellie '23, and Ann Nelson '28. Her interest in Early Childhood Education started early and stems from her experience with her Senior Exhibition of Mastery here at Heathwood. Katherine earned her B.A. from Columbia College and has more than 15 years of teaching experience. She has taught 2-year-olds, preschool, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade in public and private schools. This is her ninth year back teaching at Heathwood and her third year as an EC 4 lead teacher. She truly enjoys spending each day with her students and nurturing their curiosity, enthusiasm, and love for learning. Katherine believes that Heathwood is by far the most rewarding teaching environment and community! She finds joy in watching her students grow and develop academically, socially, and emotionally here on campus for their entire school career from age 2 through age 18.
Dawn Dukes attended Columbia College, where she received a B.A. in Graphic Design and a minor in Spanish. She also earned an M.S. in Management from Southern Wesleyan University, which enabled her to advance for over 20 years in the private sector. Dawn's teaching experience includes middle school Spanish at St. Andrew Catholic School in Myrtle Beach and serving as the long-term Lower School Spanish substitute at Heathwood Hall in the spring of 2022. She is enthusiastic about volunteer work in the community and serves as a Palmetto Place Children and Youth Services board member. Dawn and her husband, Jon, are the parents of Coleman, '24
Joanna is originally from Poland. In 1998, she earned a diploma from the School of Economic Studies in Suwałki, Poland, and that is where her interest in accounting began. In 2000, she and her husband, Jeff, settled down in Columbia, South Carolina. In the last 20 years she worked for the YMCA of Columbia as a Payroll Administrator and for Columbia College as a Payroll and Accounts Payable Manager. In 2018, she began her job with Heathwood as an Accountant. Her current position oversees Heathwood’s payroll, accounts payable, and monthly bank reconciliations. In her spare time, Joanna enjoys photography, watching movies with her family, and doing puzzles.
Alison has worked in administration at Heathwood Hall since 2017. She joined the Admission Office in the summer of 2019. Alison works closely with Upper School families during the Admission process, as well as serving as our International Student Family Liaison. Prior to her work at Heathwood, Alison worked as a project manager for an environmental firm and as an analyst in a laboratory.
Alison grew up in Columbia and earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. She is married to Will Edwards, and is the proud mother of two current Highlanders: Liam (class of '27) and Arthur (class of '29). In her spare time, Alison enjoys hiking, attending local sporting events, and traveling with her family.
Rich Edwards joined Heathwood Hall in August, 2008. For the last 25 years, twelve of those at Heathwood, Rich has held a variety of roles, from teaching five history classes in the Middle School to being an athletic director for nine of those years to directing the summer programs at two different schools. Rich has coached basketball, for boys and girls, and football over that time at every possible level. Currently, Rich is the Dean of Students/Assistant Head in the Middle School. He is a graduate of Sewanee and also holds an M.Ed. from Lesley University and a Ph.D. from Capella University. Rich is marred to his wonderful wife, Paige, and they have three children: Thomas (at Clemson), Brooke '21, and Emma '25. GO HALL!
A native of Rochester, NY, Karen joined the Heathwood faculty in the fall of 2020 teaching mathematics in the Upper School. Karen initially earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a minor in Statistics before pursuing her master’s degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. Prior to moving to Columbia she spent twenty years teaching at Charlotte Catholic High School. While at Charlotte Catholic HS she was recognized as teacher of the year, receiving the Verbesey Award for Excellence in Education in 2010 and again in 2019. In addition to teaching, Karen has taken part in grading the AP Statistics exam for the past ten years through the College Board, serving as both a reader and table leader. In her spare time you will find Karen spending time with family and friends or traveling the country with her husband in their Airstream.
Samantha has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, a Master’s degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, and is currently working toward her second Master’s degree - this one in Education Administration. Samantha has taught kindergarten for 10 years and most recently was a curriculum coach, technology integration specialist, and provided administrative support for the virtual program at the Kershaw County Virtual Academy. We are excited for the experience and enthusiasm Samantha will bring to this new role.
JD joined Heathwood’s Technology Department in the summer of 2007, and now serves as a "Technology First Responder," solving technical difficulties of all kinds all across campus. His interest in how things work began at an early age and developed through his years at Wofford College, where he earned his B.S. degree, into his career path through Technology and Corporate Training. His interest in “how things were," or History, was fostered throughout his life by his family, as well as projects specializing in historical restoration. His interest in people is demonstrated through his participation and support over 30-some years of Mission projects through Church, Salkehatchie Summer Service, and Epiphany Prison Ministries. His wife, Chastity, received her PhD in 2019 and is a principal in Bamberg. His elder children are Corey - entering law, Adam - in law enforcement, and Faith - developer/coding, while his youngest, Luke, is in the Heathwood Class of ‘29.
Julie began her career in education teaching in the Richland 2 school system. She taught the 4s at Eastminster Day School for two years and then came to Heathwood in 2006. She holds a B.A. from Columbia College and an M.Ed. from the University of South Carolina. Her younger son, William, is in the Heathwood Class of 2022.
Julie Firetag joined the Heathwood faculty in 2016 to teach courses in government for the Upper School and currently serves as the History Department Chair. She is a native of New Jersey but relocated to Greenville, SC for high school, where she first developed a passion for government and politics. Julie served as co-captain of the Mauldin High School debate team, winning district and state-wide awards in congressional debate. She went on to earn her undergraduate degree in Political Science and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration, both from the University of South Carolina.
As an undergraduate, Julie served as a student senator representing the College of Arts and Sciences and as president of Hillel. Julie was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Capstone Project Award for her graduate work, and is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honors Society for Public Affairs and Administration.
A former congressional intern, Julie taught at the university level before arriving at Heathwood - teaching both in the classroom and via distance learning at Midlands Technical College and Florence-Darlington Technical College. Julie and her husband Adam have one daughter, Rebecca (‘27), who is a Heathwood Lifer.
Mary Beth Fry has over twenty years of experience in independent school college counseling, including twelve years at Savannah Country Day School and eleven years at Shady Side Academy, in Pittsburgh. She is particularly noted for her writing, and has been frequently asked to lead workshops on writing the Counselor Recommendation at regional SACAC conferences. Mary Beth earned her undergraduate degree from Manhattanville College and her M.A. from the prestigious Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College.
Nick is a graduate of UNC-Charlotte, where he was a four year scholarship tennis player and earned a degree in Spanish. He has worked as a tennis pro for twenty years, teaching at numerous clubs/resorts such as Wild Dunes, Kiawah Island, Rockbridge, and Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington. He still enjoys playing Pro Ams and exhibitions. Nick has coached the boys and girls varsity tennis teams at Heathwood since 2017, as well as directed the afterschool tennis program for kids.
Jessie joined the Heathwood community in 2018 when she moved to Columbia to lead Heathwood's Extended Learning program. Jessie spent most of her career in Washington, D.C. as a lower school teacher, department chair, and instructional coach. Her passion for curriculum and instruction and child development are invaluable to families as they navigate all the best Heathwood has to offer.
Jessie grew up in Kansas where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at Kansas State University. She holds a Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education as well as a Masters of Arts degree and a Doctorate of Education, both from the University of Southern California. (Fight On!)
Jessie and her husband, Graham, are the proud parents of future Highlander Caroline (‘39).
Adam Ginsburg serves as Heathwood's Audio/Visual Coordinator. Adam comes to us from Richland District 2 where he has handled a wide variety of audio/visual, streaming, and video responsibilities across the district and in the R2I2 Innovation Center. He is also the parent of a current Heathwood student, Tulip, and a future Highlander, Yorick.
Adam's primary responsibilities will be to handle our audio/visual needs and with the related events for the school. Along with that, Adam will take primary lead on classroom instructional equipment across campus - displays, sound, Apple TVs, document cameras, etc.
Jason Giovannone joined the Heathwood Hall faculty in the fall of 2013. Prior to joining Heathwood, Jason collected and tested water samples for an independent lab. He was an educator and avian keeper at Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens. He received his B.S. in Middle School Education from the University of South Carolina.
“I love that we are encouraged to explore and use our campus to enhance our teaching and develop a natural wonder in all of our students. Our beautiful 133-acre campus includes various habitats and learning environments that extend my teaching from a traditional four walled classroom.”
Eva Greenberg has spent more than a decade working in athletics administration in independent schools. A native of Washington, DC, she is a graduate of Dickinson College, where she competed in both track and cross country. She also holds a Masters in Sports Management and Strategic Marketing from Georgetown University. She has coached track and cross country at both the varsity and middle school levels.
Stacy Gross returned to the Heathwood faculty in the spring of 2015 following a period of several years in which she ran her family’s flooring business. Upon graduating as a “lifer” from Heathwood in 1995, Stacy completed her B.A. in Psychology with a Concentration in Sociology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in 1999. She received an Ed.S and M.Ed in School Counseling from USC in 2002 while working as an ECLC Associate and Afternoon Express teacher. Following completion of her graduate degree, Stacy served as a School Counselor at E.L. Wright Middle School in Columbia 4 years, then remained a stay-at-home-mom to her children until 2011.
A member of Heathwood's class of '95, Elizabeth was excited to join our faculty in 2018 as the Upper School Counselor, PEAK Associate, and Psychology teacher. Elizabeth attributes her love for learning and teaching to the hard work and dedication of her beloved Heathwood teachers from 4k through the 12th grade. As an upper school student, she was selected to participate in a peer counseling program that first piqued her interest in a counseling profession. The strong sense of community, the relationships between students and faculty, and the creative experiential learning that happens on and off this campus are some of the things Elizabeth loves most about Heathwood. After earning a B.A. in Secondary Education from Clemson University, she then completed her Education Specialist (Ed.S) degree Counseling at the University of South Carolina. Her life has come full circle now as she is also the proud parent of two teenage Highlanders.
Alycia Guevara began her teaching career in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2018 and taught public school there for three years. She then worked with unaccompanied refugee minors coming across the Southern Border of the United States to be reunited with their families in the U.S. She is a dual citizen of the U.S. and El Salvador, and holds a bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of South Carolina.
Hannah is a native of Alexandria, VA. She attended the University of South Carolina, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Prior to joining the Heathwood community in the fall of 2020, Hannah worked as a critical care nurse at Prisma Health Richland. As a nurse, she served as a Clinical Nurse Mentor and a nursing preceptor, which developed within her a passion for teaching.
Elise Hagstette joined the Heathwood Hall faculty as an Upper School English teacher in 2005. In 2014, in addition to teaching senior English, she joined Rip Blackstone as the Upper School Dean of Students. She also serves as the National Honor Society faculty sponsor. Before coming to Heathwood, Elise worked in higher education, working in the Citadel’s Writing Center and teaching at Trident Technical College and the Art Institute of Atlanta. She holds a B.A. from the University of Georgia and an M.A. from College of Charleston/The Citadel.
James Hane taught English at W.J. Keenan High School and Ridge View High School before relocating to Bogotá, Colombia, where he taught English at the Colegio Los Nogales with the help of his dog Bo, who slept in a corner of the classroom or solicited food and companionship from students. After seven years in Bogotá, Mr. Hane moved to Pereira, Colombia, where he served as middle and high school principal of the Liceo Inglés until 2014, when he returned to South Carolina to teach at Irmo High School and later Spring Hill High School in Chapin.
James holds a B.A. from Sewanee and an M.A. from the University of South Carolina.
Jessica holds both a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Lander University and has more than 15 years of teaching experience in the visual arts; ten+ in middle school, and four in high school. Jessica taught with the Lexington One District After School Arts Program for eight years and in July 2012 joined the Tri-District Arts Consortium faculty in Columbia, as well as the Aiken County Gateway Summer Programs.
Chris Hinchey was appointed Head of School at Heathwood Hall in April, 2015. Chris arrived at Heathwood as the Upper School Head in the summer of 2013. Chris has been in education, as a biology teacher, basketball and baseball coach, and administrator, for 25 years. He grew up in Norwich, CT and graduated from Trinity College (CT), where he majored in Biology and captained the basketball team his senior year. He started his career at Avon Old Farms (CT) and then worked for 19 years at Salisbury School, where he served as Dean of Students, Dean of Faculty, and Head Basketball Coach. He also earned his MALS from Wesleyan University (CT) and his MS Ed in School Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania (PA).
Chris has three children, (Ryan '22, Jack, '25, and Will '27), and lives in Columbia with his wife, Heather. He enjoys the beach, working out, and reading and loves returning to the Rhode Island shoreline each summer.
Eighth Grade English teacher Emily Hodges joined the faculty at Heathwood Hall in 2011. Before teaching at Heathwood, she taught 7th grade English in Richland One for 11 years. She holds both a B.A. and an M.A.T. from the University of South Carolina.
Jenny Cathcart Holder is a local product, having lived in Columbia all of her life. She is a graduate of Heathwood Hall, Class of 2000, where she was involved in several programs, participated in various sports, and earned the Headmaster's Award. As a Heathwood student, Jenny was always fond of the school counselor, enjoyed being a peer counselor, and made it her goal to one day hold a similar post. After earning a double major in Psychology and Spanish from Auburn University, she came back to Heathwood and began working as a teacher in the Afternoon Express program. She has served in several other roles at the school, including Spanish/Study Skills teacher in the Middle School and Associate teacher and Spanish teacher in the Lower School. While working in those various roles, she completed her Education Specialist degree in Counselor Education, School Counseling from the University of South Carolina in 2010. As the Early Childhood and Lower School Counselor, Jenny is doing what she has desired since her Heathwood student days: helping to foster and support the community that she loves. Her current professional affiliations include the American Counseling Association, American School Counseling Association, and the National Board for Certified Counselors.
Ben Holladay joined the Heathwood faculty in the fall of 2018 as a chemistry teacher. Prior to joining Heathwood, Ben taught chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, and biology for 12 years in both public and charter schools. After graduating high school in Pelham, Alabama, Ben earned both a bachelor's in Chemistry (2005) and a master's in Science Education (2006) from the University of South Carolina.
Ms Hoover holds a B.A. from the University of Georgia and has been at Heathwood for since 2019. As a mother of a Highlander, she understands how special this place is! Ms Hoover loves getting to know each student in the class on a personal level to help each one achieve success. She also loves interacting with students’ families.
Mira Howard joined the Marketing Department in 2021 but has long been a familiar face on campus. Prior to her role as Visual and Social Media Coordinator, Mira served in the Lower School, first as a Third Grade Associated then as the Connected Learning Coordinator for the Lower School, and she has long been a member of the Heathwood Parent Association. A graduate of Ashley Hall School, Mira received her Bachelors in Fine Art from Furman University. She spent the first part of her career as a journalist, working as news producer for NBC and CBS affiliates in the southeast. She and her husband, John, have one daughter (Nadia) in the class of 2026.
Sarah Nichols Hughes joined Heathwood in May of 2020 in the newly created role of Director of Institutional Philanthropy. A seasoned development professional, she has more than 20 years of experience supporting the advancement of educational institutions, most recently as Interim Executive Director of Development for the University of South Carolina and Senior Director of Development at the UofSC School of Law. Prior to joining UofSC, Sarah served in the Development and Admissions offices at Washington and Lee University School of Law for thirteen years.
A graduate of Charlotte Country Day School, Sarah feels a particular affinity for independent schools and is deeply supportive of their mission. She holds a B.A. from Presbyterian College and a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina. She and her husband, Sy, are parents of two sons, Marshall ’27 and Porter, a student at Sandhills School. Sarah enjoys spending time in the mountains, drinking coffee and playing tennis.
Stefanie received her BA in Communication from North Carolina State University and her MA in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked as an instructor at the community college level, a bookseller at an independent children’s bookstore, and a children’s outreach coordinator at PBS-NC. She started at Heathwood as a substitute teacher and is now an associate teacher in the first grade. Stefanie can often be found organizing the classroom library, prepping supplies for an art project, or taking photos of the children! Stefanie is the parent of three Highlanders: Charlotte ‘21, Sophie ‘24 and Julian ‘26.
Lynn has been a teacher and coach since 1984. She has coached Varsity Softball, MS Girls Basketball, Varsity Volleyball. She currently coaches with both girls and boys golf programs. Coach Humphrey competes in the LPGA Amateur Assoc. and volunteers with the organization's tournament operations staff. With a Bachelors and Masters in the Physical Education field, Coach Humphrey focuses on helping students find joy and success in movement and being physically fit.
Nicole Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina and will finish her Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Winthrop University in August, 2022. Nicole has over 15 years of teaching experience in the Richland 2 and Fairfield County School Districts and has taught K-4, K-5, First Grade, and Second Grade as a lead teacher over the course of her career. She was named the Geiger Elementary School (Ridgeway, SC) Teacher of the Year in 2020. Nicole is married to Croom ('03) and is the mother of Addi ('26) and Elizabeth ('34).
Jared Johnson supports Heathwood's Upper School MacBook program, provides IT support to faculty and staff, and works with faculty to integrate technology meaningfully into their instruction. Jared has worked in instructional technology for over a decade. He comes to us from Lexington District 1 where he has served as a Digital Learning Coach for the past 9 years. Jared is a Google for Education Certified Educator, Certified Trainer, Certified Coach, and Certified Innovator. He has also earned his Apple Teacher certification and Adobe Creative Educator Level 1 certification. He is also a frequent presenter at technology conferences.
The Episcopal traditions, faith based education, small class sizes, and beautiful campus drew Liza Johnson to Heathwood Hall in 2010. Her children, Natalie (class of 2025) and Evan (class of 2028), love the nurturing teachers, outdoor education program, and close-knit community.
Liza holds a B.S. and an M.A.T. from the University of South Carolina.
James is a graduate of Johnson and Wales Culinary Program and The University of South Carolina's Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management program. James has 27 Years culinary experience, including 15 years of leadership experience across a broad range of business segments to include Higher Education, School Nutrition, Healthcare, Fine Dining, Private Clubs, and High-Volume Catering. With over seven years in leadership positions at schools, James has served as a member of nutrition leadership in school districts up to 33 schools and 28,000 students
Nadège Keller has been working at Heathwood Hall since 1999. She has held various positions, including ECLC and Lower School French teacher and Yearbook advisor, and she is currently the World Language Department Chair. Originally from France, Nadège studied English and Psychology at the Université de Haute-Alsace, in Mulhouse, France where she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She also taught English in France.
Mrs. Keller has earned multiple accolades for excellence in teaching, including the Award for Excellence in Teaching by a master’s student from the University South Carolina in 1999 and the SCISA Upper School Teacher of the Year award in 2011. She is also a reader for the AP French exam, the secretary for the Alliance française of Columbia, and an active member of their theater group.
Alyssa has a degree in Public Health from the University of South Carolina. She is the Heathwood Hall Girls Head Softball Coach and has also worked as a counselor in our Highlander Day Camp program. She is very excited to be a part of the Early Childhood team.
After 23 years in public education, Michelle and her family moved to Columbia to become a part of the Heathwood community. Before arriving at Heathwood she served as a special education teacher, classroom teacher, dean of students, instructional coach, and an International Baccalaureate (IB) coordinator. She also serves as a consultant and workshop leader for IB throughout the USA and Canada. Michelle holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa. She and her husband, Lee, have two children. Parker, 24, lives in New Hampshire, and Madeline is a member of the Heathwood Class of 2023.
A native of the U.K., Smiti Lall-Butcher earned a Bachelor of Education at Kingston University in London and worked as an elementary and middle school teacher in England for 10 years before moving to South Carolina with her family. Since arriving in the U.S., she has taught physical science, biology, chemistry, and AP Environmental Science.
A graduate of Clemson University, Teddy Leaman has also worked in France as a teaching assistant and is pursuing an M.A. in French linguistics and pedagogy at Middlebury College. Teddy's academic interests include phonetics, language acquisition, and linguistic anthropology.
Drew completed his undergraduate and Master's degree in Music Education at Auburn University. During his time at Auburn, he performed in various ensembles and venues, such as the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. He is also an avid golfer and competes in several local amateur golf tournaments. He taught in Alabama, Virginia, and Georgia, before coming to Heathwood Hall to be the band director for the Middle School and Upper School. He also serves as the Head Coach for the Boys Golf Team and Assistant Coach for the Girls Golf Team.
Maria became Heathwood's Head of Middle School in 2020, joining us from The Lovett School in Atlanta, where she spent eight years as Middle School Dean of Students. She has also served as a middle school math, civics, language arts, and Spanish teacher, and as a track and cross country coach. A graduate of The Walker School in Marietta, Georgia, she holds a B.A. in Spanish from Furman University and an Ed.S. and an M. Ed. from Kennesaw State University. Her sons Sanders '31 and Louis '33 are also members of the Heathwood community.
Suzy Madden has over 25 years of experience as a special educator, consultant, and director of programs in both public and private school settings in the Midlands. She holds a B.A. in Special Education and an M. Ed. in Divergent Learning from Columbia College and has held board positions at Trinity Episcopal learning Center and the Friends of the Richland County Library. She is married to Heathwood alumnus Jamey Madden '86.
Emily Masters has an English degree from Berea College in Kentucky, and she has a host of experiences with editing and curriculum work. She previously taught at the Pine Mountain Settlement School as part of her work with Americorps.
Chris McDuffie joined the Heathwood Hall community in the fall of 2013 along with his two daughters Suyan (Class of 2019) and Gabi (Class of 2025). He has more than 20 years of experience teaching 8th graders and has taught in Richmond, Virginia and Charleston, South Carolina as well as his hometown of Sumter, South Carolina.
Chris holds a B.S. and an M.Ed. from The Citadel and an M.A.T. from Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2021, he was named South Carolina Independent Schools Association Middle School Teacher of the Year.
Tim McKnight began teaching at Heathwood in 1999 after teaching at Lexington High School for 5 years. Born in Johannesburg South Africa, Tim has lived on three continents and in four states. Upon completing his undergraduate degree at Purdue University in 1981, Tim worked briefly for an architectural and engineering firm in Charleston SC before changing career paths to management. After working for 10 years in three different management positions that always seemed to end up with a focus on employee training and development, Tim decided on another career change and began a Master of Arts in Teaching degree program at the University of South Carolina. Graduating with a Master of Arts in Teaching with certification in the Natural Sciences in 1993, he began his teaching career in 1994.
Besides his classroom responsibilities Tim sponsors the Heathwood CoffeeHouse club, where members organize 4-6 events each year at which any upper school student may share musical or poetry talents in an open mic atmosphere. Tim is also an avid volleyball fan who runs the scoreboard at home matches and takes his camera to away matches to help document the team’s performance.
Beth joined Heathwood Hall in August 2019. As the Development Services Coordinator, she supports the Development Team by maintaining alumni and donor records, tracking all gifts and pledges, assisting with the Annual Fund, managing event registrations and mailing lists, and supporting the many school and alumni events throughout the year. She graduated from Presbyterian College with a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. Prior to Heathwood, Beth worked in banking for 19 years, primarily in the areas of credit risk and credit administration. She enjoys spending quality time on the beach or at the lake with her husband Ronnie, their son Gavin '32, and their springer spaniel, Zara.
Kenyata McNeil joined the faculty at Heathwood Hall in 2020. Her teaching career began in 2014 when she served as a Substitute Teacher in the public schools of Jasper County. She left the classroom for two years after she was offered a position as a NEPA Planner with the U.S. Forest Service in Missouri. Kenyata returned to the classroom in 2016, teaching Biology and Marine Biology Teacher at Fort Dorchester High School. As a teacher, Kenyata has taught Biology, Marine Biology, AP Research, and Chemistry. Outside of her teaching career, Kenyata has served as Technical Writer-Editor and Environmental Coordinator.
Before coming to Heathwood, Lauren Meekins spent 16 years in Columbia public schools, working in social studies curriculum, gifted and talented courses, and magnet school programming. Originally from Pawleys Island, SC, she holds a B.A. in History from Furman University and an M.Ed. in Divergent Learning from Columbia College. Her two children, Bryce and Avery, are also Highlanders.
Nikki Merritt holds a B.A. from Sewanee. She worked in Heathwood's Development Office 1998-2001, then moved to Greenville where both of her children were born. After four years in Greenville and four years in Houston, her family moved back to Columbia in 2009 and joined the Heathwood community. Nikki worked as EC3 Associate Teacher for one year and then began volunteering with Heathwood's Auction and Parent Association and serving as substitute teacher until April 2018 when she joined EC/LS as Administrative Assistant.
Jonathan was raised in Columbia, graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Carnegie Mellon in 2004, and spent over a decade working as a professional actor based in New York. As an actor, he has been seen Off-Broadway, in regional theaters across the country, and in several national and international commercials. As a singer, Jonathan has performed with Liza Minnelli, Leslie Odom Jr., and others. As a teacher, Jonathan has taught middle school drama in Richland One and high school drama with the Trustus Apprentice Company, and has been at Heathwood since 2017.
Sonnie Moore graduated from the University of South Carolina with an Elementary Education degree. She has recently taught at a Columbia private school where she helped implement a STEM science program and Lucy Calkins writing workshop. Sonnie’s children, Harris (‘31) and Vaile (‘35), are also Highlanders. In Sonnie’s spare time she enjoys outdoor adventures and spending time with her family.
Connellus has served as the Network Administrator at Heathwood since 2013. He has over 20 years of experience in varied information technology roles in the private sector, county government, and the US Army. He has always been interested in how things work, from winning Lego building competitions as a child to rebuilding his first computer as a teenager to taking classes on the latest technology as an adult. He is passionate about making technology accessible and about information security. He is a proud member of the US Army Reserves, where he serves as a technology instructor, non-commissioned officer, and equal opportunity leader. He has been married for over 15 years and is a proud girl dad to two daughters.
Nicole joined the Heathwood staff in 2018. Prior to coming to Heathwood, she was the Director of Kilbourne Park Baptist Preschool and Eastminster Day School. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University and the parent of two students in the Heathwood Class of 2024.
Sally Mourateva graduated from Heathwood in 2008 and went on to major in Spanish at the University of South Carolina. She studied Spanish in Buenos Aires, Argentina and completed her Master in Arts and Teaching in Spanish. Since completion of her MAT, she has taught Spanish in language immersion programs at the middle school and the elementary level in Lexington One and Richland One school districts and at the university level. Her daughter Elena is also a Highlander.
Andrea Mundo joined the Heathwood family fall of 2019. She has a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education from Francis Marion University. With 18 years of experience teaching at the middle and upper school level in public school, Andrea has served at various times as the math department chair, technology integration specialist, school testing coordinator, curriculum and instructional cohort facilitator, administrative assistant, and team leader. She is Gifted and Talented endorsed and before Heathwood spent 16 years teaching in Lexington School District II at Pine Ridge Middle with a 100% pass rate on the SC End of Course Exam for Algebra I. Andrea Mundo was a Texas Instruments User Group leader and has presented multiple times at international, national, and regional math conferences including T3 International, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and South Carolina Gifted and Talented. Andrea has also served as a panel member of the middle and high school state textbook adoption committee. She is a member of Riverland Hills Baptist Church and volunteers in their children’s programs. Andrea’s daughter, Bella, is a second grader at Heathwood.
Suzanne Nagy has spent most of her life on Heathwood’s campus, beginning in preschool and graduating with the Class of 1990. Suzanne attended Furman University, earning a B.A. in English. Upon graduation in 1994, she returned to Heathwood to teach English in the Middle and Upper schools. In addition to teaching, Suzanne has worked in the Heathwood Admission Office and coached basketball and tennis for the Highlanders. Suzanne earned an M.Ed from the University of South Carolina. In 1999, Suzanne was invited by Governor Jim Hodges to serve as the Director of Caring for Tomorrow’s Children and as the coordinator for the Spartanburg County Foster Care Review Board. She has also taught English at Charlotte Latin School, worked as Director of Admission and Marketing at Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock, Arkansas, and earned an M.Ed in school counseling from the University of Arkansas. Upon returning to Columbia in 2008, Suzanne worked as the Assistant Head of Heathwood’s Middle School for five years, returned to the English classroom for three years, served as Middle School Head and Director of Enrollment, and is now Assistant Head of School for Enrollment and Advancement.
Jenny Nelson joined the faculty of Heathwood Hall full-time in 2018 as a Mathematics Teacher in the Upper School. Jenny obtained both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Polymer Chemistry from Georgia Tech. After working for several years in both product development and process engineering for major chemical companies, she changed careers to education.
Jenny taught math and science for ten years at the Cutler Jewish Day School, serving additionally as a private tutor. Drawing from her own engineering experience, she incorporates projects into the curriculum with a hands-on, interactive approach to demonstrate practical application of mathematics. Jenny values the contributions of all students as part of a collaborative and supportive classroom environment, using a variety of approaches and interventions to reach every student.
Lisa Norman joined the Heathwood Hall faculty in 2006. She has over 20 years of experience in the education field and has taught a wide variety of biological science courses in three independent schools. She taught and served as department chair at Ashley Hall in Charleston, SC and Mount Saint Mary Academy in Watchung, NJ, before moving to Columbia. Since coming to Heathwood, Lisa has taught Biology, Honors Biology, AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, Anatomy and Physiology, and Environmental Science. She has also been actively involved in guiding Honors Science students through conducting independent scientific research projects and presenting their research at state and national conferences. Lisa holds a B.S in Biology from Augusta State University and a M.S. in Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology and Pathobiology from the Medical University of South Carolina. She participated as the lead teacher on the educational outreach component of two National Science Foundation grants. These include the Young Genomics Scientist Program, where her AP Biology students learned biotechnology techniques in an environmental microbial ecology lab at USC and the Marine Ecology of San Salvador Program where Winterim students spent time with scientists learning about field sampling techniques and island biological processes in the Bahamas. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time on outdoor adventures with her family, cooking, gardening, and reading.
Katie first joined the Heathwood family in the mid 2000s as an Afternoon Express teacher. After earning her degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina, she enjoyed a year with the four-year-olds at Heathwood before she accepted a position as a second grade teacher in the Lexington-Richland 5 school district, where she taught for three years. She stepped away from the classroom to be home with her two beautiful daughters for their earliest years, but she returned to teaching at Heathwood in 2019 to join our first grade team. Katie loves the Heathwood campus, and her heart feels at home when she is with the Heathwood community. While away from Heathwood, she also earned her Masters in Language and Literacy from the University of South Carolina and a certification in Teaching Reading (K-12th grade), a major benefit to the young readers and writers in her classroom. Her passion is building a love for reading in young children. Katie is married to Ryan Novak, our academic technology specialist, and is the mother to two happy Highlanders, class of ‘32 and ‘35.
Ryan began teaching middle and high school social studies in Washington state before moving to South Carolina and transitioning into academic technology. He now works with teachers, helping them use technology to expand and enhance students’ learning opportunities, focusing primarily on our 1:1 iPad and laptop programs and our use of Haiku. It is his hope that students will grow as learners, citizens, and as young men and women through the experiences they have while at Heathwood, and that the technology they use here can play just a small part in that development.
Ryan holds a B.A. from the University of Georgia and an M.Ed. From Pacific Lutheran University.
Jill began working at Heathwood as a substitute teacher prior to becoming an Associate Teacher in 2018. Jill and her family moved to Columbia from Greensboro, N.C. in 2012. She worked at Greensboro Day School in Counseling and Learning Support, as well as in the Athletic Department supporting the winningest high school basketball coach in North Carolina history. Prior to Greensboro Day, Jill managed physician practices in North Carolina and Atlanta, worked in finance at the headquarters of Labcorp, and managed physician and employer reporting for UnitedHealthcare. She graduated from Elon University with a degree in Psychology.
Jill’s daughter Lilly is a member of the Heathwood Hall Class of 2027. Her son Carter graduated from Heathwood and is an Aviation Rescue Swimmer in Navy Special Warfare in Virginia Beach. Her oldest daughter Caroline is an elementary school teacher in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and 2-year-old son. Jill is married to Steve Parham, a Senior Vice President at Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina.
Scotty Peek joined the Heathwood Hall faculty in the Spring of 2012. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor of Art at South Carolina State University, held positions from Preparator to Assistant Director at several Museums and Galleries, and taught art courses part-time at the University of South Carolina and Midlands Technical College. He received his Master’s in Fine Arts from USC in 2000 and his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Austin Peay State University in 1995. Scotty was included in the 2004 Triennial at the South Carolina State Museum and was one of four artists selected for 701 Center for Contemporary Art’s inaugural 2008 exhibit. Scotty's recent work can be viewed on his website: www.scottypeek.com.
After previously teaching at Irmo High School, Molly took time off to stay home with her two boys, Pete (Class of 2022) and Cal (Class of 2025). The Petersons joined the Heathwood community in 2009 when their oldest son, Pete, started kindergarten. Eventually, Molly became an active volunteer in the Heathwood community, chairing both middle and upper school HPA committees, as well as the 2019 Annual Auction. Molly joined the Heathwood faculty in 2020 as the seventh grade English teacher. Heathwood’s sense of community and small class-sizes make it an ideal place to teach. Molly has really enjoyed being back in the classroom and particularly loves being in middle school.
Molly holds a B.A. from Wofford College and an M.A.T. from the University of South Carolina.
Curtis joined the faculty at Heathwood in 2001. While at Heathwood, he has taught Middle School Math and Lower and Middle School PE. He also served as the Assistant Athletic Director for 10 years and earned the SCISA Charles Smith Volunteer of the Year, in 2009. Outside of the classroom, Curtis has coached numerous teams on campus, including Boys and Girls Middle School Basketball, Junior Varsity Girls Basketball, and Girls Varsity Soccer. In 2013, the Girls Soccer team won their first and only State Championship. Curtis earned All-American Honors in soccer while at Hampden-Sydney. He was inducted into the HSC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005. Curtis and his wife, Cheryl have two children, Callie (’27) and Charlie (’29)
Before coming to Heathwood in the fall of 2000, Dr. Sally Harman Plowden taught as a graduate student at the University of South Carolina, where she received the Elliot award for excellence in teaching; Furman University; Wofford College; Columbia College; and the Intensive English program at the University of Miami. Her children’s book, Turtle Tracks, earned the Harry Hampton Woods and Waters Conservation Memorial Journalism Award in 2002. Dr. Plowden also designed and taught a Sunday School class at Eastminster Presbyterian Church on Christianity in Harry Potter.
Dr. Plowden earned a B.A. from Columbia College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. In 2017, she was named South Carolina Independent Schools Association Upper School Teacher of the Year.
Passionate about the personal and intellectual development of teenagers, Dr. Plowden and the English department believe that reading literature, studying language, and learning to write make us better, more thoughtful, more intelligent, and more caring human beings. Their work is guided by the conviction that within every student there is a story to be written, a journey to be taken, a good life to be discovered, and a rhythm of language yet to be expressed.
Kristi has been teaching Early Childhood for 13 years and has loved every minute of it. She holds a B.A. and an M.A.T. from the University of South Carolina and came to Heathwood Hall in 2018 with her 3 children, Dylan '29, Delaney '31, and Deacon '35. Her husband, Daniel Plyler, is a local attorney and they both graduated from the University of South Carolina.
Erin Pope joined Heathwood Hall as Director of Annual Giving in January 2013. Prior to Heathwood, Erin worked as the Manager of Annual Giving for Lexington Medical Center Foundation. She graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Marketing. Erin is passionate about educating the Heathwood community about the importance of good stewardship and the impact it has on our school. She and her husband, Will, have three daughters: Bonnie ’27, Everett ’28 and Sims ’33, all Heathwood Highlanders.
Middle School Latin Teacher Pamela Pope joined the Heathwood Hall faculty in the Fall of 1994 and she has taught in both the Middle and Upper Schools. She is also an alumna of Heathwood Hall and the parent of two alumni (classes of 2021 and 2022). Students in her classes are exposed to a variety of teaching methods and assessments in order for the students with their various learning styles to connect with and understand the demanding curriculum. They are exposed to the ancient history and culture of the Romans while learning the vocabulary and grammatical components of the Latin language.
Pamela holds a B.A. from Mt. Holyoke College and an M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Susan attended Rhodes College, where she a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education as well as Religious Studies. She has five previous years of experience teaching fifth grade in independent schools and also recently completed coursework in Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory teaching. Susan’s son, Henry '31, and daughter, Gray '28, are also Highlanders.
Virginia is a Furman graduate with a BA degree in English. Virginia’s ties to Heathwood run deep as she and her brother were both “lifers” here, her mother, Sandra Hall, is a teacher at Heathwood, and her father served on Heathwood’s Board of Trustees. Virginia is also the mother of two current Heathwood students, Mary Wallace '32 and Sara Marshall '35. Virginia has worked in the political and non-profit arenas, as well as here at Heathwood as an Afternoon Express teacher, summer camp director, and long-term substitute teacher.
For over 27 years, Allison’s passion has been early childhood education. She started her career at Hood Street Elementary on Fort Jackson and then Forest Lake Elementary in the administrative office. She began teaching at St. Martin’s in the Fields Drop-In Nursery and then continued at Kilbourne Park Day School, where she was a teacher and then the Assistant Director. From there she was the Assistant Director of Eastminster Day School before coming to Heathwood first as the Director of Summer Programs and Assistant Director of Extended Learning and, since 2020, as Director of Summer Learning. Her love of children even extends to running a summer camp for over 10 years called F.I.T.S. Camp (Fun In The Summer). Many of her former campers are now Heathwood students.
Allison is a member of St. Martin's in the Fields and Coralbell Garden Club. She and her husband Neil have been married for 21 years and have four children. In her spare time she loves gardening, hiking, riding bikes, going to the beach and mountains and is looking forward to her first grandchild due this August.
Meghan Redel has nine years of teaching experience in both public and private school settings. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, she is joining Heathwood Hall from Ashley Hall where she was a member of the Upper School Math and Science faculty since 2016. During her time at Ashley Hall, she led a volunteer travel program to Blackfeet Reservation in Montana and co-chaperoned a French Immersion program in Quebec. Focusing much of her teaching on experiential learning, at Ashley Hall she created a tiny-house building class in conjunction with The American College of the Building Arts and participated in Ashley Hall’s Offshore Leadership Program, sailing the Atlantic with students for a week in 2021. Meghan earned her B.S. in Math and English Education from The College of Charleston in 2010. In 2021, she completed her M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, with and emphasis on STEAM Education, from Clemson University.
Andrew joined the Heathwood Hall Athletic Department in the summer of 2011 as the Head Boys Varsity Soccer Coach. Since that time, he has also served as Head Girls Varsity Soccer Coach, Head MS Boys Basketball Coach, Head JV Football Coach, and Assistant Varsity Football Coach. In 2013, he was hired as the Sports Information Director, and in 2015 he became an Assistant Athletics Director. Prior to the 2021-21 school year, he was named the Associate Director of Athletics. In addition to his roles in the Athletic Department, he serves on Heathwood's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and as an Ex-Officio member of the Highlander Club Board.
Kathy Richardson has been teaching school in South Carolina for over a decade. Kathy grew up in Sumter, South Carolina and received her undergraduate degree in elementary education from Clemson University. She has also taken several graduate classes in special education at USC and has been trained in and taught Orton-Gillingham. Kathy has a true passion for for education and teaching. Helping each child progress in all areas of their development is a challenge that she has been honored to accept at Heathwood Hall. Kathy strives to assist and help create a community of learners that nurtures each student's growth in a positive, fun and challenging environment.
Kionia Robinson MBA, SHRM-SCP is Heathwood’s Director of Human Resources with Heathwood Hall. Kionia has a passion for balancing the experience of the people in the workplace with the needs of any organization and works to be a part of the solution for improvement. She is a Senior Certified Professional with over 10 years’ experience in the field of human resources. Kionia has found reward in the non-profit sector and is passionate about helping others. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a focus on Human Resource Management from the University of Phoenix and has earned a micro-certification in Inclusive Workplace Culture through the Society of Human Resources to support building positive workplace cultures for all. Kionia believes leadership is more than the title you have, it is a demonstration of your character and what you do to support the success of others.
Helen Roman joined the Heathwood faculty in the fall of 2007. She taught Humanities for three years and has taught sixth grade English ever since. After earning her B.S. from Clemson University, she began her teaching career in the public schools of Charleston, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Columbia. She "retired" from professional life to guide her own children through their formative years. Her son is a 2004 graduate of Heathwood, and her daughter attended Heathwood for six years. Helen returned to the workforce with EdVenture Children's Museum, helping to foster the idea that "play equals learning" and is the key to life-long success.
Sarah taught middle school physical education at Heathwood from 1979-1989. During that time, she coached boys and girls varsity tennis, varsity volleyball and junior varsity basketball. She returned to Heathwood in 1999 to become the athletic department administrative assistant when Jeff Whalen became athletic director. She graduated from Coker University in Hartsville with a degree in Health and Physical Education.
Talisa Sadler joined the Heathwood faculty in August of 2018. She received her Elementary Education degree from the University of South Carolina in 2013 and her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration in 2018. She began her teaching career as a 3rd grade teacher, and switched to 5th grade after two years. After five years of teaching in the public school system, Talisa made the switch to Heathwood and fell in love. She loves the community feel of Heathwood. Talisa’s favorite thing about teaching is the long-lasting relationships she creates with her students, and Heathwood is the perfect place for her to do this. Talisa’s goal as a math teacher is for her students to have so much fun learning math that they forget about how hard it can be at times. Talisa and her husband Richard are the parents of two, Harper (‘35) and Zane (‘38).
Mr. Sanders grew up in Bennettsville, SC, and graduated from Marlboro Academy in 2007. He attended College of Charleston, majoring in middle level education, concentrating in math and science education, and graduated May 2011. He taught has taught 8th grade math and science in the Clover School District; Algebra I and II, Computer Science, Geometry, Psychology, and Statistics at his alma mater, Marlboro Academy; Algebra I, Geometry, Statistics H and AP, and Yearbook at Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School in Darlington, SC. He is excited to join the staff at Heathwood Hall Episcopal school to share his love for Algebra and middle schoolers.
Claudia came to Heathwood from Kilbourne Park Preschool where she has been a lead teacher in their two-year-old program for10 years. She is very excited to bring all of her knowledge of that special age group to Heathwood Hall.
Stephanie joined Heathwood as Head of the Early Childhood and Lower School divisions after eight years as the founding Head of St, Matthew’s School in Bedford, N.Y. She also worked for 12 years at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, CT in a variety of positions (Kindergarten teacher, Early Childhood Theology teacher, Coordinator of Early Childhood, & Director of Extended programming). Stephanie’s career started at the Quaker Ridge School in Scarsdale, NY, where she served for three years as a Second Grade teacher. Stephanie earned her B.A. from SUNY (State University of New York) Purchase in Psychology and holds an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching from Fordham University and an MPS in Educational Leadership from Manhattanville College.
Anna Schafer joined the Heathwood Hall faculty in the Fall of 2013. After graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2003 from the University of Georgia with a major in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, Anna continued living in Athens, Georgia, where she taught first grade for two years at Bethlehem Elementary School. In 2005, Anna moved to Columbia and taught kindergarten at Congaree-Wood Early Childhood Center in Lexington Two School District for eight years. She received her MED in Literacy Education from Cambridge College in 2006. Anna has more than 15 years of teaching experience, most of which have been at the kindergarten level. She is the mother of two Heathwood Highlanders, Harlan '28 and Ramsey '31.
Upper School Head George Scouten returned to Heathwood Hall in 2013 after three years at Linden Hall (PA), the country’s oldest all-girls boarding school. In his previous tenure at Heathwood (1998-2010), George held various positions, including Dean of Students, Director of International Studies, and English department chair. Originally from Baltimore, MD, George studied English and History at Salisbury, earned his master’s degree from Bowling Green, and completed his Ph.D. in English and Rhetoric from the University of South Carolina. Since then, George has earned multiple accolades for excellence in teaching, including an Elliott Award from the University South Carolina and the SCISA Upper School Teacher of the Year award. He earned a Fulbright Award in 2003, a Turkish Cultural Foundation Award in 2008, and a National Endowment for the Humanities teacher grant to study the poetry of Dante in Siena, Italy in 2009. Most recently, George completed the National Association of Independent Schools Aspiring Heads Fellowship. He also plays competitive lacrosse and coaches the Heathwood Hall varsity boys lacrosse team.
Mr. Sebring joined the Upper School faculty at Heathwood in 2020 after finishing up his Masters in Teaching in Portland, Oregon. Prior to becoming a teacher he worked as an analyst and telecommunications engineer. He holds a B.A. from the University of Rochester and an M.A.T. from the University of Portland.
Brittney Shields graduated from Midlands Technical College and Columbia College, where she earned her degree in Early Care and Education and Behavioral Science. She has experience in teaching infants to Pre-K and has served as an Early Interventionist in surrounding areas.
JuLayne Shiflett graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Physical Education in 1990. During college, she worked as a camp counselor for the Richland County Recreation Commission and after a couple of years took over as the director of Camp Sunshine, a program for special needs children and young adults. She remained the director of this camp until 2006. Her teaching career began in Anderson District Five in 1991, and she soon returned to the Columbia area to teach in Richland School District One. While there, she was a Physical Education/Health teacher and a middle school volleyball and basketball coach. After teaching and coaching in the public school system, she went back to the University of South Carolina to continue her education in the field of Athletic Training. In 1997, she became a Nationally Certified Athletic Trainer and began her career at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School. She is currently the Head Athletic Trainer and a Middle School Physical Education teacher. She is married to George Shiflett, and their daughter is a member of the Heathwood Class of 2025.
Rev. Jeri-Katherine Sipes joined the Heathwood Track & Field coaching staff in Spring 2020, and she began full-time employment at Heathwood as an assistant chaplain, religion teacher and coach in Fall 2021. Before coming to Heathwood Jeri-Katherine served in United Methodist Churches across the Midlands for eleven years, and she coached cross country and track for ten years at Dreher High School, growing the program from a dozen runners to over sixty runners, taking the program from an unranked team to consistently competing as one of the top 5 teams in the state and coaching many state champions and future collegiate runners from the 400m to the 5k. Jeri-Katherine’s interests include the Hebrew Bible, Ecotheology, Theology & the Body, Wesleyan Theology, and Social Justice/Advocacy. She has a passion for learning and sharing her love of God, learning and running with all ages. She is currently enrolled in a Youth Ministry program at Princeton Theological Seminary, hoping to learn and grow into her new role as a youth religious educator. “Heathwood gives me the opportunity to do everything I have been made to do: learn, teach, pastor, coach, run and enjoy God’s beautiful first incarnation–creation. The community and campus at Heathwood are life-giving.” She and her husband, Hiram, have three boys, Hiram Clyde (‘33), Grady (‘35), and Obie (‘37).
Elisha Sircy joined the Upper School Faculty in 2014 after teaching English courses at the University of South Carolina where he earned his Masters in English Literature and his Ph.D. in Renaissance English literature. He majored in English and philosophy at Centre College, and he continues to teach creative writing and literary studies for the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program in the summer. He was a Bruccoli Fellowship recipient at USC and also spent time researching at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. Elisha is saved from an ascetic life of esoteric reading by his wife, daughter, church family, as well as the students and staff of Heathwood Hall.
Denise Smith joined the Heathwood community in 2017 as a teacher in the Lower School. She grew up in Illinois and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western Illinois University in 2003 with a B.S. in Special Education. She started teaching in the Chicago Public Schools at Jordan Community School where she was a special education classroom teacher. In addition to teaching, she oversaw and implemented the Continuous Improvement Plan set forth for the school. Denise also spent time teaching in the Waterloo (IA) Community Schools and St. George’s Episcopal School in New Orleans. While in New Orleans, Denise was named one of the coordinators for the Ready, Set, Read! summer reading program at St. George’s. There she led a team of teachers each summer from 2013-2017 in a three-week-long specialized intervention program for struggling readers. Denise’s passion as an educator is to help her students wonder about the world around them and to find the joys of childhood in learning. Denise is the proud mother of two Highlanders, Noah ‘25 and Lydia ‘28.
Lauren joined the Heathwood community in 2010 as a parent to Ramsey(‘25). When her son, Henry(‘28) came to Heathwood, Lauren began a new role as an associate teacher in an EC3s class. Lauren has prior experience in elementary education in the South Carolina public school system. In addition to the 3s class, Lauren has taught 1st grade and 4th grade at Heathwood. She holds a B.S. from the University of South Carolina and an M.Ed. from Converse College.
After earning a B.A. from the University of South Carolina Honors College and a Masters in Teaching, specializing in early childhood education, also from the UofSC, Rebecca began teaching for several years in the 4s in Richland One. She then became a stay-at-home mom to Christina ‘22 and Ethan ‘23, both “lifers” at Heathwood. After many years of being an eager volunteer and a homeroom mom, Rebecca came back to teaching as a substitute. She taught all over the EC and Lower School. Rebecca then joined the Early Childhood team as an associate in the 2s. Knowing what Heathwood has meant to Christina and Ethan and our family, Rebecca is excited to teach new generations of Highlanders.
Strength and conditioning has always been a passion for Jay Spearman. That passion became reality after he was faced with three sequential career-ending surgeries during his collegiate football career at the University of South Carolina. While completing his education, Jay gained hands-on experience in the field by learning from professionals at various levels of coaching. These experiences were the driving factors that allowed him to start his coaching career. After earning a B.A. and M.S. and a Masters in Public Health from the University of South Carolina, Jay joined the Athletics Department at Heathwood in 2015.
Lesa Steedly is a veteran teacher with more than 35 years a of experience teaching ELA, World History, and Math to middle school students. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and Middle School certification from The University of South Carolina and an M.A. in Counselor Education from South Carolina State University.
Liz Summers, Assistant Head and Director of Finance and Operations, joined the staff at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in 2001. During her employment she has been responsible for overseeing the expansion and renovation of the School’s campus, including building the Athletic Center, Middle School, Chapel and Dining Commons. In addition to managing the school’s annual budget, Liz oversees the school’s Human Resources, Business Office and transportation functions as well as the school’s physical plant. Prior to her employment with Heathwood Hall, Liz spent 16 years as a commercial lender, credit officer, and manager at Bank of America.
Liz is an alumna of an Episcopal school, graduated from Mary Baldwin College and earned her MBA from the University of South Carolina. She and her husband West are the parents of two Heathwood Hall graduates. She enjoys working in a school because each day brings different and exciting challenges.
Jack Sutton joined Heathwood in the spring of 2022 as the Head Librarian. He received a B.A. in English from Clemson University and his M.L.S. from Indiana University. He previously served as the Digital Librarian at the Charleston Library Society. Jack is an alum of Heathwood as part of the class of 2014.
Eliza joined Heathwood's faculty in 2020. After graduating from Heathwood in 2011, Eliza attended the University of Georgia, where she studied fisheries and wildlife biology. She then completed a dual master's program in Charleston while working for the Department of Natural Resources, working in environmental education. Immediately prior to Heathwood, Eliza worked in watershed management. In addition to teaching 8th grade science, Eliza serves as the chair of the Heathwood Alumni Council and coaches cheerleading.
Eric Toedtman began playing lacrosse in the fourth grade when he lived in Baltimore, Maryland and continued playing through college at Greensboro College, where he was a midfielder and two-time captain.
Eric's path in coaching began with volunteering at the 1997 NCAA Championships Youth Education Through Sports (YES) Lacrosse Clinic. He volunteered as an Assistant Coach with the Triad Youth Lacrosse program in Greensboro, NC and was also an Assistant Coach for lacrosse at Grimsely High School. In 2000 he pursued a Master’s Degree in the Arts of Education at Western Carolina University. As a graduate assistant in the Sports Medicine Department, Eric worked with an outreach program that placed him as a Sports Medicine Supervisor at Smoky Mountain High School. There he began coaching his other passion in sports: Basketball. He was an Assistant Coach for the Women’s basketball program and spent one year with the Men’s basketball program. During his time as an Assistant Coach with the Women’s program, they won multiple Conference Championships, Sectional Championships, and a Regional and State Championship. In 2013, he was named the Head Coach of the Women’s basketball program. During his time as the Head coach, the team won back-to-back Conference Championships, a Sectional Championship, and was a Regional Runner-up. He was recognized twice as Western North Carolina Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. During his time in Western North Carolina, Eric played club lacrosse for the Asheville Lacrosse Club.
Returning to Baltimore, Maryland in 2016, he resumed his involvement with lacrosse as an Assistant 8th and 9th grade Lacrosse Coach with the Breakers Lacrosse Club. He also was an Assistant Junior Varsity Lacrosse Coach at Friends School of Baltimore. He was appointed Athletic Director at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in 2017 where he continued to stay involved in the Men’s Lacrosse program as a mentor to athletes. He also helped establish and oversee the first Women’s Lacrosse program at the school.
Kelly Turbeville joined the PEAK Program as Associate Director in the spring of 2017 after an early graduation with a degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education from Brevard College, where she was also a four-year letter winner in soccer. The innovative and immersive program at Brevard provided Kelly with numerous teaching and technical outdoor skills. In addition to her regular curriculum, Kelly participated in and planned two 21-day wilderness expeditions in North and South Carolina. This knowledge has transferred to her position with the PEAK Program seamlessly as she helps plan many of the program's weekend and week-long excursions. She is certified as a Wilderness First Responder, trained in basic first aid, and is a Leave No Trace Trainer. When she is not passing on her love of adventure to students at Heathwood, Kelly can be found skydiving, mountain biking, kayaking, or camping. She is a graduate of Heathwood Hall (class of '13), where she served as a valuable PEAK student-leader and played many sports including soccer, which she helped lead to a state championship in 2013.
Dillon is a senior at the University of South Carolina pursuing a degree in Business. He comes to us from the Calhoun Academy in St. Matthew’s, SC where he was the recipient of the senior class citizenship award and an Eagle Scout. In addition to teaching in Afternoon Express, Dillon has worked as a substitute teacher at Heathwood as well as served as a lead counselor in Heathwood's summer camps. He is serving as our Summer Director.
Stefani joined the faculty at Heathwood in 2017. She currently teaches both Lower School and Early Childhood Physical Education. In addition to her work in the classroom, Stefani is the Head Women’s Varsity Volleyball Coach, and has previously served as Head Coach to the Middle School Volleyball program. Outside of Heathwood she has played and coached volleyball at both the colligate and club levels. Before moving to South Carolina, Stefani spent two years serving as the first assistant at Iona College for the Women’s volleyball and a year serving as the Second Assistant at Rider University. She has coached numerous camps and clubs for over 12 years. Stefani comes to us from Long Island, New York, where she graduated from Molloy College with B.A. in Communications with a minor in Psychology.
Laura is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she earned her (MSW) Master’s degree in Social Work. She also has a BA in Psychology from Agnes Scott College. She has put those degrees to good use in both the medical and education fields. Most recently, she worked at Kilbourne Park Baptist Preschool as an assistant teacher.
Willis has served on the faculty and staff at Heathwood for 16 years. His duties include teaching courses in the Upper School (Global Issues, Multicultural Studies, and Public Speaking), managing the school's community service efforts, and coordinating multicultural initiatives. Willis, who received All-Conference and All-American honors on the University of Missouri’s cross country and track teams, is also the head girls’ cross country coach and track coach.
Willis has three years experience in academic counseling and personal counseling at the university level and twelve years experience in family counseling. He also has over 25 years experience managing community service projects for high school and college students. Mr. Ware, who received a Chamber of Commerce Civic Award for community service as an undergraduate student, served as the president of the United Way of the Midlands Blueprint for Leadership class of 2005. He also served on the American Red Cross Diversity Leadership Council, the Youth Corps Board of Directors, the Hope Worldwide S.C. Board of Directors, and served as chair of the Palmetto Association of Independent Schools Diversity Leadership Committee. He has completed training in the National Association of Independent Schools Summer Diversity Institute and was recognized by Palmetto Association of Independent Schools for his leadership in the development of the first PAIS Inclusivity Conference. He currently serves as a Diplomat for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and has recently completed training in Brown University’s Choices Program’s Engaging Students in Inquiry and Discussion on International Issues.
Willis’ daughter, Lydia, is a Heathwood alum ('09) and a graduate of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill ('13).
Ashley Webber holds both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from the University of South Carolina. She is married to her college sweetheart and is this mother of two boys and a huge Gamecock fan.
Jeff Whalen is in his 24th year as the Head Men's Basketball Coach at Heathwood Hall after serving as the Athletic Director for 23 years. In his first 23 seasons at Heathwood Hall, Whalen has accumulated a record of 339-241 including a SCISA State Championship in 2011 and a State Runner Up in 2010 and 2012. Whalen has been married to his wife Karen for 36 years. His five sons, JD 05, Tyler 07, Brett 08, MacKenzie 10, and Morgan 10, are all proud Heathwood alums.
Brooke Whiteman became a member of the Heathwood Hall faculty in the Fall of 2001. A graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 1999, Brooke taught fifth-grade English and Social Studies for two years in Virginia before moving to Columbia and joining Heathwood Hall as a fifth-grade teacher in the Middle School. She taught Humanities, Math, and Science before joining the Lower School faculty in 2003, where she has continued to serve as a Third Grade Lead Teacher. Brooke and her husband, Scott, have two children, Alex (class of 2023), and Anna.
Lara has spent over a decade in the non-profit sector in both development and communication roles. Most recently, Lara was the Chief Development Officer for Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands. Lara has learned the equal importance of donor acquisition, comprehensive stewardship and thoughtful cultivation. Her experiences and skills have allowed her to connect with stakeholders and nurture connections for successful development work.
Lara is from the Upstate and graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. In her spare time loves to read and travel, but most of all she enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott and their children. She has two daughters Mayzie ('29) and Kit ('35) and a son Gus ('31), who are enrolled at Heathwood Hall.
Stan Wood has been a faculty member at Heathwood since graduating from the University of South Carolina in 1983 and has served as Director of the PEAK program since 1997. He previously served as Athletic Director and was head coach of several varsity sports including boys basketball and track. Stan graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1983 with a degree in Physical Education, and is a 1986 and 1998 graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Stan was recognized by the Richland County Conservation District as Conservation Teacher-of-the-Year in 2001 and was awarded the Jim Gasque Award for Teaching Excellence in 2010. He is an experienced kayaker, mountain and road biker, backpacker, mountaineer, and adventure racer. Stan is also a master SCUBA diver and a certified rescue diver.
Adrianne Woods is a native of Charleston, SC. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a minor in Biology at Charleston Southern University, during which time she spent five months living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She completed a Master of Arts in Spanish with a focus on Golden Age Peninsular Theatre from the University of South Carolina. Adrianne is currently ABD on her PhD in Spanish, writing a dissertation focused on Baroque theatre and the Catholic Church. She has taught at the college, middle school, and now high school levels. Stricken with wanderlust, Adrianne has traveled to over half the states and extensively throughout Western Europe. In her spare time, she continues to travel, plays on a local women's rugby team, and actively participates in her church.
Brionna Dickerson Zimmerman '05 joined Heathwood Hall in August of 2018. As Alumni Relations Coordinator, Brionna works closely with the Development and Advancement teams to increase alumni engagement with the school through events like Homecoming, Mingle & Jingle, the Alumni Giving Challenge, and the Alumni Spring Reunion. Prior to her role in Alumni Relations, Brionna spent three years as the Special Events Coordinator, overseeing large-scale events like the Annual Auction, Grandparents and Special Friends Day, and Homecoming.
Brionna is also the Head Coach for the Varsity Girls Basketball team at Heathwood and a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEI). Brionna ended her basketball career at Heathwood as the all-time leading scorer and third all-time scorer in the state with just under 3400 career points. She later became a Division I student-athlete at the University of South Carolina under Coach Dawn Staley. She graduated with a Masters in International Business with an emphasis in Marketing and Spanish. Brionna enjoys watching Gamecock basketball and spending weekends staying active playing kickball with her family. She and her husband, Tymere, have 3 children – Jordyn, Kobe ('33) and Skylar ('37).