Welcome, New Faculty!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Welcome, New Faculty!

Heathwood is excited to welcome 11 new teachers to campus this fall—one in the ECLC, three in the Lower School, two in the middle school, and five in the Upper School. From Brice Spires, who’s a Heathwood alum, to Cate Guimaraes, who most recently taught in Hawaii, they join us from near and far, bringing a wide range of backgrounds and talents to the Heathwood community.

Sarah Bolden is a new second grade teacher. A graduate of Ashley Hall, she holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Clemson and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. She has worked in Charleston since 2006 as a kindergarten teacher and a first grade teacher.

Ruffin Campbell rejoins the Heathwood community this year as a second grade associate with Kellie McElveen. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from USCand was previously at Heathwood as an associate teacher for three years. We are very glad to have her back!

Jason Chiu (Upper School Biology) joins us from St. Andrew’s School in Savannah, Georgia, where he’s spent the past two years teaching IB biology as well as coaching volleyball and basketball.  A native of Taiwan, Jason moved with his family to Belize when he was a child, and it was there that he attended elementary, middle, and high school.  After high school, Jason moved to the United States, ultimately earning his M.S. in Biology from Georgia State University.  In Atlanta, he did extensive research work and taught lab sections at the university level.  Jason will be teaching Honors Biology, Biotechnology, Science Research, and Chemistry.

Julie Firetag will be joining the Upper School faculty in the spring semester to teach a section of Government and Economics.  Julie, whose daughter is a rising first grader at Heathwood, is a native of New Jersey but relocated to Greenville for high school, where she developed a passion for government and 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.  A former congressional intern, Julie has taught primarily at the university level—teaching both in the classroom and via distance learning.  Currently, she is an adjunct professor at Midlands Tech. 

Cate Guimaraes (Upper School Math) joins us from St. Andrew’s Priory in Hawaii, the first all-girls school in the state.  She earned her undergraduate degree from Boston College (majoring in Communications with a minor in French) and her Masters of Science in Education Degree from The City University of New York, City College.  Cate began her teaching career at Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, MA, where she also served as Athletic Director and coached three seasons of sports. From Nativity, she applied for and was accepted into a teaching program in France, where she lived in a rural village and taught English to middle and high school students. When the assistantship was complete, Cate entered the New York City Teaching Fellows Program. For six years she worked at a small, innovative middle school in the Bronx, teaching both seventh and eighth grade math, and was ranked among the top 10% of teachers in New York City.  Cate relocated to Columbia this November with her husband, a Staff Sergeant in theUS Army.

Leigh Ingram is our long-term sub for Elizabeth Aravena in Middle School Spanish while Elizabeth is on maternity leave.  Leigh graduated from the University of Texas with a B.S. in Applied Learning and Development.  She is certified as an English as a Second Language Generalist.  She will be working closely with Elizabeth as she provides instruction for our Middle School Spanish program.  Leigh will be with us through October 2.

Lauren Johnson is a new EC3 associate. She holds a B.A. in Education from the University of South Carolina and most recently worked as a kindergarten assistant at Eastminster Day School.

Pamela Meriwether will be teaching yoga this year, a new course that Upper School students can take to satisfy their physical education requirement (or to supplement their athletic participation).  Well known in the community, Pamela is co-director of the Sakhi Yoga School and previously founded and taught at Amsa Yoga Studios.  In addition to her multiple certifications in yoga, Pamela has a B.F.A.in art and interior design from the University of Georgia.  Pamela also has two sons who attend Heathwood in the middle and upper schools.

Jay Spearman (Strength Training) joins the faculty with an impressive resume and strong connections with the University of South Carolina.  Jay recently completed his M.S. in Exercise Science at USC, where he worked as both an exercise specialist and a lab instructor.  Although shoulder injuries ultimately cut short his football career at the University of South Carolina, he knows well how to balance the rigorous demands of high-level academics and athletics.

Brice Spires, a Heathwood graduate, is our new sixth grade History teacher.  He holds a B.S. in History from the University of South Carolina.  Brice has been an instructor in our PEAK program for several years and has worked as a substitute teacher in our Middle and Upper School divisions.  Brice will also teach one 10th grade World History class.

Lanie Victory joins us as a second grade associate with Catherine Ross and as an Assistant Athletics Director. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Mississippi University for Women and most recently worked as a PE teacher in Louisiana. She has also taught high school, religion, 2nd grade, and kindergarten.