The Old Village, Mount Pleasant
Students learn the purpose and systems present in this parking lot's run-off water trench
Actively fostering a culture of learning is what makes a great school. Preparing students with strong mathematical reasoning skills, a sound conceptual grasp of science, tools for written and oral expression, the ability to understand and interact with a diverse world and instilling them with a thirst for knowledge and joy in learning are important goals. Safe and functional buildings suited to the educational mission of the school are also vital. Still, the primary determinants of success for students are the expectations and the quality of teachers.
Many teachers in K-12 educational institutions are outstanding. Yet, to create ideal conditions for students, University School deliberately seeks the best teachers. This entails hiring teachers who would succeed in many fields because of their drive, insight, curiosity, and ability. They enjoy learning and seek knowledge and understanding of many disciplines, and they are able to make connections among seemingly disparate topics because of this approach to engaging the world. These "Renaissance Scholars" are passionate about many interests, and this enthusiasm spills over into all disciplines that they teach, lending each lesson to interdisciplinary analysis and linkages to a diverse array of topics. Furthermore, University School teachers are committed to demonstrating and maintaining a healthy and ethical environment. Our faculty have the highest expectations for each other and for each student in all areas of their development: intellectually, physically, emotionally, ethically, and socially. It is in this type of atmosphere that our students can begin to grow and to develop their own interests while feeling supported by the school (family) community.
A great deal is expected of a University School faculty member. In order to retain teachers of this caliber and secure additional quality teachers, University School compensates its faculty at levels comparable to or better than other public and private schools. We also devote considerable resources to the ongoing professional and personal development of our teachers. USL teachers are certified in American Red Cross CPR/AED and have completed Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children sexual abuse prevention program. University School is also one of Darkness to Light's pioneer organizations in its Partner in Prevention program.
Nicole Brockman – B.S. (MS/US Math Lead, IS Math Assistant)
Born and raised in Indiana, Nicole graduated with a BS degree in Biology. Later in life, she followed her heart and went back to school to become a mathematics teacher. She graduated with honors from NC State with a BS in Mathematics and Education. Nicole taught for several years in middle school mathematics in North Carolina and South Carolina then decided to stay home while her children were young. For the last 8 years, she privately tutored children from elementary level to college leveled mathematics in the evenings. Last year, she had the opportunity to work with USL students part time. Nicole is very excited to be joining such an amazing staff and this wonderful community that is USL. She resides in Mt. Pleasant with her husband Roger, nine year old son Dylan, and five year old daughter Riley. In her spare time she enjoys playing with her children, knitting, golfing, and reading.
Heather Connelly – B.S., M.Ed. (MS/US Science, LOTCs)
Heather moved to the Charleston area to attend the College of Charleston where she graduated from the Honors program with a B.S. in Biology and earned her Secondary Education certification. While there she worked in the Math lab and as a Supplemental Instruction leader for introductory Biology classes during which time she realized that she loved helping others learn and decided that she wanted to teach. As part of her program, she completed independent study and a bachelor’s essay about problem-based learning and realized the educational value of students learning about real-life issues related to a subject and developing solutions to problems. After graduating, Heather accepted a science teaching position at R.B. Stall High school instructing students in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Physical Science, and Marine Science. Teaching a variety of courses during her 6 years at the school helped Heather research real-life relationships within many disciplines to engage her students. During this time, she also volunteered at the SC Aquarium and returned to C of C to earn her Masters degree in math and science education -- both of which helped her expand her knowledge of various scientific disciplines. Heather enjoys helping students use scientific methods to solve problems and relate what they are learning in class to their lives and is excited to work with the students at University School as they expand their knowledge about science. Heather currently resides in Mount Pleasant with her husband, Drew and their daughter, Ava.
Donna Croft – B.A., M.Ed. (IS Reading and Writing)
A veteran teacher of thirty-six years, Mrs. Croft has taught in both public and private schools in Columbia, Charleston and Mount Pleasant. A native Columbian, she relocated to Mt. Pleasant in 1981, where she began teaching third, fourth, and fifth grades at East Cooper School. When the school closed, Mrs. Croft moved to Charleston Day School in downtown Charleston. During her fifteen years at the Day School, she developed a unique interdisciplinary program for sixth grade in conjunction with the National Trust for Historic Preservation at the historic museum house, Drayton Hall. In 2002, Mrs. Croft began teaching sixth grade social studies at Cario Middle School where she served as the social studies Department Chair. She was awarded the Thomas Lowell “South Carolina Middle School Teacher of the Year” by the SC Council for the Social Studies for 2012/2013. Her leadership activities include chairing various committees and focus teams, serving as the school representative for the Southern Regional Education Board, and mentoring and supervising student interns, novice teachers, and new faculty. She completed her thirty-sixth year in the classroom in June of this year and had planned to retire to enjoy her first grandchild due in September. Passionate about her vocation and not wanting to leave teaching permanently, Mrs. Croft is looking forward to joining the faculty at University School teaching reading and writing in third, fourth and fifth grades. Mrs. Croft holds a Masters degree in Education, and she is certified to teach gifted and talented students. She enjoys free-lance writing, sewing, genealogy, and reading.
Katie Croft – B.A., M.A., Ed.S (School Psychologist/Counselor)
Katie was born and raised near Atlanta, Georgia. She attended Clemson University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2006. She then attended The Citadel Graduate College and received a Master of Arts in Psychology and a Specialist degree in School Psychology in 2011. Katie has worked as a tutor, ABA therapist, and School Psychologist and has over 7 years of experience working with children and adolescents. Katie is excited to have the opportunity to help USL students! She most enjoys helping students improve their experience at school by either helping them develop better skills to enhance their performance in the classroom or by helping them work through social or emotional problems. Katie currently lives in Mount Pleasant and loves spending time at the beach and on the marsh. She also enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her husband and dog. Katie is having a baby in September and is also excited about spending time with her new little one!
Beth Donoghue – B.S., M.S. (IS Science, IS Math Lead, and Extended Day Director)
Beth is the Intermediate School Science teacher and serves as a facilitator of the Extended Day Program. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of South Carolina, majoring in Marine Science, and is currently pursuing her Masters of Environmental Studies at the College of Charleston, focusing on environmental education in 3rd-8th grade students. As a resident of Charleston, Beth has been involved in work with local youth as an employee of the South Carolina Aquarium and an Intern at Lowcountry Earth Force. As the Earth Force Beyond the Classroom Intern in 2008-2009, Beth implemented Lowcountry Earth Force's 16 week community action and problem solving curriculum in after school programs for 3rd-5th graders in Charleston County Elementary Schools. Beth enjoys guiding students through hands on experiences and projects encouraging long term improvements and sustainable practices in their communities. Beth currently resides on the Charleston Peninsula and likes volunteering as a Park Steward at Hampton Park.
Chelisa Elmore - B.A., B.A. (MS Latin Assistant)
A recent arrival to the Charleston area, Chelisa was born in Phoenix, Arizona, but spent many years in Virginia. She attended Virginia Tech where she earned a B.A. in classical studies and a B.A. in Spanish. Currently, she is working towards obtaining a M.A. from the University of Florida. She has experience teaching Latin to both middle and high school students and is looking forward to assisting at USL. Chelisa currently lives in West Ashley. When she isn’t studying or at USL, she can normally be found among the shelves of the bookstore, at the beach with a newfound book, or playing at the dog park with her puppy.
Judy Hubbard – B.A. (School Assistant)
Judy Hubbard is thrilled to join the staff and students at USL as the School Assistant. She brings with her many skills and experiences as an educator and administrative assistant. Judy was born and raised in Live Oak, Florida. She attended the University of Florida where she graduated with a BA in Secondary English Education. In 1993, she received her Elementary Education Certification from the College of Charleston. Her teaching career spans over 17 years beginning at First Baptist Church School in Mt. Pleasant (5K), then on to Laing Middle School (6th grade ELA), and finally to Thomas Cario Middle School (7th grade ELA, from 1999-2013). Prior to teaching, Judy worked as an Administrative Assistant for a medical supply company in Charleston. She and her husband Mark live in Wando,SC where they enjoy boating, travel, gardening, reading, and spending time with family and friends! They have two children: Justin (Inshore Fishing Charter Guide and Tug Apprentice, Charleston) and Cary (RN Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta) To keep active, Judy loves to run on the beach, walk the bridge, and practice yoga. She is excited to return to the school setting in her new role as School Assistant.
Paige Koches– B.A., National Board Certified (IS Lead Teacher, Humanities & Math, LOTCs)
Paige Koches was born in raised in East Hampton, New York. Her curiosity and love for learning new things make her a very passionate teacher. She has a wide variety of teaching experiences and training. Paige attended Brevard College for two years and graduated from Clemson University in 1996 with a BA in Early Childhood Education. She has been teaching elementary grades for 13 years, including Kindergarten, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. This included over seven years as an upper-elementary lead teacher in Dorchester District Two schools. In 2002 she earned the advanced teaching credential of National Board Certification for Professional Teaching as a Middle Childhood Generalist, and renewed her certification in 2011. She is certified to evaluate and mentor all teachers pre K-12th grade in SC and has collaborated with teachers and school district personnel to develop inquiry-based math and science curriculum and lessons for grades K-12. After taking some time off to raise her family, she went back to work as the director of her children’s preschool. While there she administered the daily operation of the school, started a website, and created a preschool curriculum based on NAEYC guidelines. In 2008, she re-started a half-day kindergarten at St. Andrew’s Day School in the Old Village. From 2008 to 2012 she has taught half-day Kindergarten and created several enrichment programs including Science, Fitness, and Young Authors. In 2011 she began working as a social artist at Fear No Easel in Mt Pleasant where she also co-created and instructed the children’s spring and summer camps. She is coordinator and coach for the USTA U10 Junior Team Tennis program in Mt Pleasant. Paige is married to Jim Koches. They have two children (Jamie and Kenzie), two big dogs, and a crazy cat.
Jason Kreutner - B.A./B.S., MA (Leadership and Life Skills, LOTCs)
Jason Kreutner, raised in Mount Pleasant and a current resident, is founder and Head of University School of the Lowcountry. He has extensive experience as an educator and leader in independent schools and is a recipient of a National Association of Independent Schools NAIS Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads -- (2006-2007 cohort). Prior to establishing USL, he was Dean of Students and then Director of Studies at Charleston Collegiate School, served as Upper School Dean and History Department Chair at Porter-Gaud School, and was Dean of Students and Humanities Instructor at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, SC. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the South Carolina Honors College (Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae) and received his master’s degree from Emory University in History. Kreutner was recognized by the South Carolina Independent School Association as the Headmaster "Rookie of the Year" for the 2007-2008 school year. In 2013, he received SCISA's Dr. Charles S. Aimar Educational Leadership Award, which is presented annually to the most outstanding leader among the association’s 100+ schools. He consults and has provided guidance to several existing and new independent and public schools. Mr. Kreutner is married to Ashleigh (Tasha) Eady, a member of the corporate management team for Gilligan's restaurants. They have one daughter, Kessler, and a son, John Ross. In addition to his work in education, he is Head Coach of Snee Farm Swim Team. In 2008, Mount Pleasant Mayor Harry Hallman awarded him the key to the city for his work with Snee Farm Swim Team since 1990.
Cristan Lawrie - B.S. (MS Math)
Cristan was born and raised in New York and graduated with a B.S. in Business Management and International Business from Manhattan College. After a few years working in human resources, Cristan decided to go back to school to become a middle school mathematics teacher. She attended the University of California, San Marcos, where she received a Certificate of Advanced Study in Middle Level Education. Before moving to Charleston a year ago, Cristan taught pre-algebra and algebra at a charter school outside Baltimore, Maryland. Cristan loves working with middle school students and is excited to join USL. She resides in Mount Pleasant with her husband, son and daughter.
Hong Lee - B.A., M.A. (MS/US Mandarin)
Ms. Hong Lee is from Beijing, China, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in Chinese. She has been living in the United States for about twenty years. For over ten years, she has been teaching Chinese language and culture in New York and South Carolina. She moved to Mount Pleasant with her family in 2013 from Greenville, South Carolina. Ms. Lee has many honors from NY and SC for her work and contributions both to public and private schools and international communities, including Outstanding Volunteer of the Year by the South Carolina PTA Council in 2011. She is very excited to join the University School family. She is looking forward to working with students and parents to make sure that every one of her students has a great experience in learning Mandarin and Chinese culture at USL.
Donna Logan - B.A. (MS/US Humanities)
Donna, a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a BA in English and Theater, has had a long and varied teaching career, beginning with Goose Creek High and then the new Stratford High, where she taught English on all levels. She then moved to Bishop England High School for ten years and worked primarily with 9th and 10th graders, teaching both college preparatory and general levels of English. When Bishop England moved to Daniel Island, Donna accepted a position at Mason Preparatory School to teach history to the 7th and 8th grades. In her classes she incorporates composition, in the form of document-based essays, the literature, art, and music of the corresponding time period, daily attention to current events and their connection to class lessons, and projects that engaged the creativity and curiosity of the students. She loves lively discussions and students willing to examine issues from all points of view. Ms. Logan has lived in Charleston for all of her adult life and is married to Sandy Logan, an architect with LS3P Associates. She has two children: Sam and Hallie.
Wei Ma - B.A. (IS Mandarin)
Wei Ma was born and raised in China where she received her B.A. in Education. She immigrated to the United States in 1997 and received an A.S. from Santa Barbara City College (CA) in Office Management. Wei Ma has been teaching Mandarin Chinese to children in Charleston for several years. She is passionate about her teaching and believes learning the Chinese language and culture will give students more opportunity in the future. Wei Ma is also the director of Charleston Chinese Language Center which offers one-on-one and small group lessons. She likes to do Chinese calligraphy and Chinese folk dance in her spare time. She lives in West Ashley with her husband, Elijah Siegler, and two children, Lucy and Henry.
Angeles Mackenzie - B.A. (MS/US Spanish)
Angeles was born in Punta del Este, Uruguay but lived and did most of her schooling in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She graduated from high school as "bachiller nacional." She earned her my degree in Social Communication in 1987: she had always wanted to be a journalist. Her career in Education was launched when she enrolled in 1985 in an Argentine government program to learn to teach illiterates how to write and read. Angeles was trained by the "Ministerio de Educacion" and taught for 4 years until she moved to the U.S in May of 1989. She started teaching at the College of Charleston in 1990 as a Spanish adjunct professor: she taught there part time until she became a full time instructor in 1992. She was part of the Hispanic Studies Department until the Fall of 2005. In October 2005, Angeles created Spanish Your Way. She tailors and customizes Spanish courses to the needs her students. Most of them need to speak Spanish at work, at home, at school or for traveling. It has been such a rewarding experience for her. People do not realize how much one can learn in the teaching process: she has learned a lot of specific vocabulary words to teach those customized courses ... English and Spanish!!! Angeles moved to Charleston from Buenos Aires in 1989, and my family and I live in James Island.
T.J. Medlock - B.S. (High School Placement, Job Shadowing, PE, LOTCs, and Lunch Director)
TJ has grown up in Charleston for almost his entire life surrounded by great friends, family, and an active community. He graduated from Clemson University for his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences in 2011. During his years there he was a member of the club swim team, participated in several community service events, was a recipient of the Palmetto Life scholarship, and attended two national leadership conferences. After graduating, he moved back to Charleston to attend the Citadel Graduate College for his Master's of Science in the Health, Exercise, and Sports Science program. TJ has an active and social personality that he wants to share with everyone he meets. He also has a passion for being physically active and engaged with a healthy lifestyle. Pursuing his M.S. has allowed him to gain a deeper understanding into the world of athletics, health, community involvement, and how the body responds to exercise. His overall goal is to combine his love of working with people of all ages and to share his knowledge of how physical activity can improve one's way of life. He hopes to begin the physical therapy program at MUSC soon to pursue a career as a physical therapist.
Sara Peck - B.A., M.A.. (MS/US Writing, Grammar, and Speech)
Though born in Charleston, Sara was raised in Greenville, South Carolina. She returned to the Lowcountry to receive her BA in English and Creative Writing from the College of Charleston. After graduating, she spent two months studying and writing in Prague. Upon returning, she worked at Blue Bicycle Books as well as for Write of Summer, a summer creative writing camp for kids ranging from third to twelfth grade. In 2010, Sara relocated to Chicago to complete a Master’s of Fine Arts in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. While in Chicago, Sara tutored undergraduate students in writing as well as conducted tutor training. She has been back in Charleston for a year, managing Blue Bicycle Books, providing private writing tutoring for middle grade students, teaching poetry workshops at Haut Gap Middle School through LILA’s Poets in Schools Program, and co-teaching Write of Summer. Her poetry can be found in various literary journals and she has a chapbook forthcoming in September. She has worked with several USL students over the last year, and is so excited to work with even more this upcoming year.
Ann Glenn Rowland - B.A., M.A.T. (Dean of Faculty, Global Languages Lead, MS Spanish)
Ann has lived in the Charleston area most of her life and is a veteran teacher who has taught all levels of Spanish in the Lowcountry. She received her B.A. from Winthrop University and her M.A.T. from the Citadel and has been trained to teach Spanish in the International Baccalaureate program. Ann started out her career at North Charleston High School and, after her first son was born seven years later, she transferred to Summerville Intermediate High School to be closer to her residence. While at Summerville, Ann became the chairperson of the Foreign Language Department, a position she maintained as she helped launch Fort Dorchester High in 1992. As a FDHS Patriot, Ann organized the Spanish Club and the SADD club – Students Against Destructive Decisions - and was an active member of local, state and national foreign language organizations. She also organized 14 trips for her students to Europe and Mexico and developed a homestay program for Lowcountry students in Mexico. Although Ann retired from FDHS in 2004, she is thrilled to be a part of USL and hopes her new students will experience the same enthusiasm and love for speaking Spanish as she has. Ann lives with her husband, Chris, in their log home in Ravenel, and they are very active in the shag community in the Lowcountry. They enjoy their country home, 3 grandchildren, cat, and Australian Shepherd.
Tania Schettini - B.A. (IS Spanish)
Tania was born and raised in Colombia, South America, where she completed her degree in social communication and journalism. Her career in media began on radio, where she worked as a journalist. Later she had the opportunity to work as an actress in television. She was invited by Radio-Television Espanola to travel to Spain in an effort to expand her knowledge in media. After living in Spain and traveling Europe, her desire to learn English and broaden her career opportunities brought her to the United States. During her world tour she met her husband, Pietro, and they were married in 1992. Pietro is a partner with New York Life Insurance Company in Charleston. From this union were born Natasha, 19, Dominick, 15, and Isabella, 10. Tania and Peter raised their children to be citizens of the world by learning early on to love their birth country and to embrace the culture in which they live, but at the same time being aware of the family bond they have with their heritage. This sense of responsibility gave birth to “Cleat for a Cause”, an organization founded by the Schettini Family. Its purpose is to collect gently used cleats to donate to less fortunate soccer lovers in Colombia and around the world. While raising her children, Tania attended Wake Forest University, where she obtained her Spanish K-12 teaching certification. Tania worked as a Spanish Teacher in the public school systems in Charlotte and Winston Salem, North Carolina. Since living in Charleston, she has taught Spanish Conversation and Culture at Porter Gaud School to 12th grade students and conducted her own Spanish camps for young children ("Daniel Island Spanish Immersion"). Tania’s goal in her new adventure at USL is to travel with students to Spanish-speaking countries, explore the Hispanic culture, create crafts, and prepare a delicious "Latin dish” -- all in the process of learning the Spanish language. Tania loves to travel, learn and embrace other cultures, while capturing the beauty of nature, the architecture, and the people through photography (although her main subjects remain her children). Tania, her family, and dog, Ringo, have resided on Daniel Island for the last 10 years, surrounded by "Southern Hospitality". The proximity to the ocean and palm trees reminds her of her hometown environment.
Roger Smith - B.A., M.A., J.D. (College Counseling)
Roger Smith is an attorney and educational consultant who recently retired after twenty-five years working in and for independent schools across the country as teacher, coach, college counselor, department head, academic adviser, and search consultant. Among the schools where Roger worked are Hill School (PA), Choate Rosemary Hall (CT), Webb School of California, Menlo School (CA), The Ross School (NY), and Savannah Country Day School. A native Charlestonian who spent his teenage years in Mount Pleasant, Roger graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard University (BA), Middlebury College (MA), and the University of Texas (JD). Roger divides his time between Sullivan's Island and Flat Rock, NC. When not at USL, Roger enjoys reading, hiking, bicycling, sailing, tennis, and traveling on land or sea.
Frank Williams - B.A., M.A. (MS Latin)
Frank grew up in Northern Virginia and attended the Westminster School, an independent coeducational day school with emphasis in the Classics. He continued his study of the Classics and Latin throughout high school and holds a B.A. degree in Classics and a Minor in Art History from Wake Forest University. At Wake Forest he also studied overseas at Casa Artom in Venice, Italy. Upon graduation he attended Florida State University, where he earned a Master’s degree in Classical Archaeology and his teaching certification. At FSU Frank was a graduate assistant for four summers at the excavations at Gaiole in Chianti, Italy, located between Florence and Siena. He has been teaching at the high school level, university level or online for over 20 years. He currently is an Instructor and Department Chair for the North Carolina Virtual Public School. Frank has been living in Charleston for almost 3 years after relocating from Raleigh, North Carolina. He enjoys his family, traveling, and the water.
Tom Zenauskas - B.S. (MS Math)
A native of Connecticut, Tom didn't begin teaching until he was 30. He taught high school and middle school math, served as an administrator, and was a basketball and softball coach before arriving in Charleston in 1987. He took a position as a fifth-grade instructor at Buist Academy, and he spent over two decades there teaching math and science in the middle school.
University School is a vibrant and growing learning community. We continually seek to build our contacts with those interested in teaching and/or volunteering at USL. Prospective faculty members and volunteers who support the mission of our school, enjoy teaching curious, thoughtful and high-achieving students, and are looking for collaborative, creative and intellectual colleagues with whom to work are invited to apply. If interested in faculty employment, please send a letter of interest, resume, and completed application form (available below) to the Head of School. If interested in volunteering, please just complete and send in the application form.
For 2015-2016 because we are growing, we are always eager to hear from highly-qualified candidates available for part-time positions. This includes all disciplines and grades (3-12).
University School of the Lowcountry is committed to its growth as an institution that welcomes and values a diversified school community. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, religion, economic background, or any other classification protected by law in the administration of its educational policies, financial assistance policies, or any other school policy or program.