Welcome, New Faculty!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

We are excited to welcome 15 new teachers to Heathwood this year—five in Early Childhood, three in the Lower School, four in the Middle School, and three in the Upper School. They are an experienced and energetic group, and we are thrilled that they’re here!

Early Childhood

New lead 2-year-old teacher Lauren Delk holds a B.A. in Sociology from USC and aMAT in Early Childhood from the College of Charleston.  Lauren has experience teaching kindergarten and second grade.  She also worked in the Early Childhood Center at Ashley Hall as an Associate Teacher in their three-year-old class during graduate school.  We are excited to have her share her knowledge of the Reggio philosophy with us in the twos!

Associate EC2 teacher Jill Letchworth has a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Elementary Education from Winthrop University.  She spent 22 years at the Canon School in Concord, NC.  We are fortunate to have her expertise on the Early Childhood team.

Lead EC2 teacher Erin Woodis holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from USCand a M.Ed. in Language and Literacy from USC.   Recently, she has been teaching first grade and is super excited about her “dream job” teaching two-year-olds!   Erin loves the Early Childhood Center and is ready to bring her energy and Early Childhood expertise to the new EC2 program. 

Lead EC3 teacher Becky Noyes holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Clemson.  She has taught preschool, kindergarten, 2nd and 5th grades.  She has spent most of her career teaching at Wilson Hall, but went back to public school two years ago.  Becky has spent time at Heathwood over the years bringing her children to sporting events when they played for Wilson Hall.  She is thrilled to join the faculty at Heathwood.

Associate teacher Jennifer Branham will be working with Becky in the EC3s.  She holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from USC and a Masters in Elementary Education from USC.  Prior to being a stay-at-home mom, Jennifer taught at Forest Lake Elementary and Crayton Middle School.

Lower School

Lead 1st grade teacher Hope Halfacre-Bryant holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from USC, and an M.Ed in Divergent Learning from Columbia College, and is a Doctoral Candidate in Administration for Teaching and Learning at Walden University.  She’s also completed additional graduate work focusing on Technology in the Classroom.  Hope has most recently taught 2nd grade and has been at Heathwood for Grandparent’s Day in the past for her niece and nephew.  She is excited to join the Lower School faculty.

Lead 3rd grade teacher Kelsey Sawyer holds a B.A. in Elementary Education fromUSC.  She has most recently taught 4th grade in Dallas, Texas.  She has moved back to Columbia to be closer to her family.  Kelsey knows of Heathwood’s great reputation from growing up in Columbia and is ready to share her love of learning with the students she will teach at Heathwood.

Lead 4th grade teacher Leah Fitts holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Presbyterian College and an M.Ed. in Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy.  Leah also has completed additional graduate work with an emphasis in Gifted and Talented Education.  Leah has experience teaching 3rdgrade and Gifted and Talented classes and being a Lead Interventionist.  She is also a current Heathwood parent of three. 

Middle School

Brian Rego is Heathwood’s new Middle School art teacher. Brian and his wife, Liz, have four children and are both practicing artists. He holds a BFA from the University of South Carolina and an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Brian’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.  In 2015, Brian co-founded the Melrose School of Art. Additionally, he teaches drawing and painting at the University of South Carolina.

7th grade math teacher Toni King comes to Heathwood after 16 years at E.L.Wright Middle School, where she served as the head of the math department for the IB program. She holds a B.S. and a Masters in Teaching from the University of South Carolina. Toni learned of Heathwood though her friend and former work colleague, Middle School guidance counselor Stacy Gross.

5th grade math teacher Phyllis Roberts has been teaching 4th and 5th grade math for over 30 years. but she has failed at retirement, which is lucky for us! She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina at Coastal Carolina and has significant training in iPads, Smartboards, and math leadership. Phyllis and her husband, Richard, have 5 children and 3 grandchildren.

5th grade English teacher Lynn Cooper is not new to Heathwood—she is both an alum and a longtime teacher. She began her teaching career in Heathwood’s Middle School but has taught English in the Upper School for the past seven years. She returned to the Middle School to step into Suzanne Nagy’s former position as 5th grade English teacher when Suzanne became Middle School Head. Lynne holds a B.A. from the College of Charleston and an M.A.T. from the University of South Carolina.

Upper School

Dr. Sara Burrows (History) joins us from the University of South Carolina, where she has worked in the history department since 2003.  Most recently, she taught classes in the Opportunity Scholars program, where she developed a passion for building relationships with students, mentoring young people, and varying teaching approaches to challenge—and reach—every student. She also has worked on documentary films and history apps, including an app on the burning of Columbia.  Sara earned her B.A. from Western Carolina, her M.A. from Virginia Tech, and her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.  She has two sons, Jack and Ryan, both of whom attend Heathwood Hall.

James Hane (English) also comes to us with Heathwood connections.  A Columbia native, James knows Heathwood well and was a protégé of legendary English teacher Jimmy Gasque.  James earned his B.A. in Religion from Sewanee and his M.A. in English from the University of South Carolina.  Most recently, James taught at Spring Hill High School in Chapin, but he has seventeen years of experience as a teacher and Upper School principal, including twelve years at independent schools in Colombia, South America.  His sister-in-law, Leyden Hane, teaches in the Early Childhood program at Heathwood.

Mary Beth Fry, Heathwood’s new college counselor, 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 regionalSACAC 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.