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School Profiles

HILTON HEAD PREPARATORY SCHOOL

The 2021 rankings are in, and Hilton Head Prep is leading the way in education — just as it has since its founding in 1965. According to the Best Schools Rankings list from Niche, Prep is the No. 1 private K-12 school in Beaufort County, the No. 1 boarding school in the state, the No 1. college prep school in the state, the No. 2 private K-12 school in South Carolina, and in the top 14% of all K-12 private schools nationwide. It all starts with Prep’s faculty — who average 20 years of experience and two-thirds have advanced degrees — and the administration, with more than 30 years of experience, on average — delivering Prep’s rigorous college prep curriculum, a strong arts and athletics program along with community service and character education. But here’s what matters more than the numbers: Faculty and staff members are passionate about learning and love the kids they teach. 

 

education school2FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: History department chair Steven Moe has been named the statewide SCISA Teacher of the Year for Upper Schools, chosen from more than 130 schools and 7,500 teachers in South Carolina. Moe grew up on Hilton Head Island and has been teaching for 15 years. As an upper school history and social sciences teacher, he teaches several Advanced Placement courses where he has guided his students to a 96% passing rate on the national Advanced Placement exam. He has also had the pleasure of coaching both the boys and girls golf teams to several state championships. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in education.

MAY RIVER MONTESSORI

Located in the heart of “Old Towne,” Bluffton, we have proudly served the children and families of the Lowcountry since 1987. Our mission is to nurture each child’s natural development; to inspire curiosity, creativity, and imagination and to foster academic excellence. We cultivate an environment rich with warmth, kindness and respect.

education school3We are committed to the development of the whole child, enabling each to celebrate individual gifts and reach his greatest potential. In addition to a rich academic learning environment, there is a strong emphasis on the arts and environmental and community stewardship through our unique whole-campus Organic Gardening Program. 

EXPANDED PROGRAM: The farm-based Adolescent Program will expand to eighth grade this fall. In addition to a daily academic and traditional curriculum, adolescents will operate their own organic, farm-based business. They will learn trade skills, financial planning and budgeting, human resource, and general management skills. Future plans include the acquisition and transition to a second “farm” campus dedicated to this program. 

HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN ACADEMY

The HHCA community is excited to begin 2021 on its brand new, state-of-the-art Bluffton campus. Christian Academy’s K-12 campus, home to 460 students, was designed from the ground up to deliver an innovative learning environment geared towards deeper learning. HHCA’s authentic learning model focuses on outcomes that matter, a culture that empowers, teaching that engages, and technology that enables – all within a Christ-centered environment. 

ANNE POOLEHHCA has a 41-year history of successful college placements. 100% of HHCA students who apply to college are accepted and over 90% earn merit-based scholarships. Ranked among the top K-12 private schools in South Carolina, HHCA has an award-winning fine arts program and over 30 sports teams offering opportunities for students to excel. 

Hovering at 100% enrollment this year, interest in HHCA is at an all-time high. Families are encouraged to inquire now if interested in 2021-2022 admission. 

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Excellence is often born out of experience and longevity. For HHCA’s academic resource center mentor and most senior faculty memberAnne Poole, this has certainly been true. Poole has served HHCA students with excellence for 33 years, equipping them with the tools they need for success in the classroom and in life. She, along with many of HHCA’s founding families, helped lay the foundation of HHCA’s Hilton Head campus and now has the privilege of helping HHCA transition to the new campus in Bluffton. 

“We had such a small start, with a small group of children, and now we’re bursting at the seams,” Poole said. “It’s exciting to see how far we have come and even more exciting to think about all that lies ahead for us.” 

LOWCOUNTRY DAY CHRISTIAN PRESCHOOL & CAMP

LINDSAY MARSHALLEstablished in 1997, Lowcountry Day schools are privately owned, state-licensed Christian preschools. Lowcountry Day provides a year-round pre-kindergarten curriculum, welcoming families from all denominations and encouraging learning through the creative arts by providing a ballet and music room on campus. The schools’ mission is to provide a safe, nurturing environment and the highest quality care to meet the needs of every child. 

WHAT’S NEW: In January, Lowcountry Day preschools, under new private ownership, will implement the world-renowned The Creative Curriculum for Preschool program. It is based on 38 objectives for development and learning that focus on all the areas that are most important for school success: social-emotional, cognitive, math, literacy, physical, language, social studies, science and technology, and the arts. 

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Lowcountry Day Schools directors Lindsay Marshall, Agustina Cardozo, Alana McBride, and Kate Tapley are the heart and soul of the schools and offer a combined experience of over 20 years in early childhood education and experience. Our team trains and develops a nurturing staff and we are focused on providing a safe and nurturing environment for our children and families through trained personnel, family events, and excellent programs. 

SAVANNAH CHRISTIAN PREPARATORY SCHOOL

Savannah Christian Preparatory School is an independent, non-denominational PK-12 college prep Christian school. The only Savannah school triple-accredited through CESA (the Council on Educational Standards and Accountability), SAIS, and Cognia, SCPS offers 27 pre-AP and AP courses. Fifty-two lower school, middle school, junior varsity, and varsity teams are available within 17 different sports, as well as 32 fine arts program offerings from pre-k through 12th grade. Located just 34 minutes from Bluffton, consider Savannah Christian Preparatory School for your child’s education. 

COOPER GEORGE

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Cooper George, Savannah Christian Preparatory School class of 2021, is a student-athlete and Bluffton resident. Cooper began attending Savannah Christian in 2019 and says, “Savannah Christian is a school that makes you feel at home. People are engaged in after-school activities and most importantly, there is a high-level of respect for everybody on campus. It is a fun school and I would recommend it to anyone I know.” 

For his abilities in basketball, Cooper earned honorable mention for the Savannah area basketball team and was named first team all-region for basketball. In his spare time, he teaches baseball lessons to children in Bluffton. He has been offered an athletic scholarship for baseball at the University of Mount Olive, where he plans to attend in the fall. 

ST. FRANCIS CATHOLIC SCHOOL

education school4For the past 24 years, St. Francis Catholic School, a fully SACS-accredited parochial Catholic school for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, has provided an excellent academic environment for all its students. St. Francis Catholic School’s mission is to nurture students’ spiritual and intellectual growth in a Catholic community committed to academic excellence, with a focus on faith formation, quality academics and community. The school offers a variety of opportunities and enrichment activities for students and helps students mature in their faith through participation in the sacramental life of the Church. St. Francis strives to develop each child’s intellect and motivate the child to action and service. Our hope is that every graduate is a person of faith, integrity and scholarship. 

HERITAGE ACADEMY

Rooted in academic excellence and dedicated to students’ pursuit of extracurricular interests, Heritage Academy is a college-preparatory school where champions are made. The goal is to personalize education for each student ensuring success as student-artists, student-athletes, and students seeking to build their academic achievements. Whether their interest is academics only, a sport, the arts, or their own specialized extra-curricular activity, the educational standard to which students are held will prepare them for top-tier colleges and universities. Lowcountry students who have the desire to attend Heritage Academy and the aptitude required will find themselves learning alongside students from other countries. Students enter our halls driven to succeed. They graduate as life champions. That is the Heritage Academy difference. 

AMANDA WILLIAMSWHAT’S NEW: After 16 years of serving youth in our community, Head of School Gloria Shoemaker is retiring from Heritage Academy. Amanda Williams- O’Nan is pleased to follow in the footsteps of this well-respected educator and leader. Williams- O’Nan’s vision for the school is to support students in small classes, to provide a state-of-the-art college preparatory education, and to keep Heritage Academy affordable. Flexible hours and a comprehensive program allow students to end their school day early to enjoy and pursue what may be important in their lives. As the face of education is changing, Heritage Academy is committed to meeting these challenges by providing a flexible alternative for students who want a safe, supportive, accredited, half-day academic experience in place of spending most of their day in a rigid educational setting. 

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA BEAUFORT CENTER FOR EVENT MANAGEMENT AND HOSPITALITY TRAINING

USCB CenterUSCB’s Center for Event Management and Hospitality Training offers valuable professional development opportunities, event management resources and assistance with service quality evaluation and management. Its Island Ambassador program is popular with local businesses and includes in-person or virtual seminars about the culture, knowledge and ecology of Hilton Head Island. After the three-part Island Ambassador session, attendees can confidently discuss with island visitors and guests topics ranging from wildlife commonly seen on the beach to Hilton Head Island’s early history. More than 2,300 Island Ambassadors have been certified to date. A similar Bluffton Ambassador Program educates attendees in its virtual classroom about Bluffton’s rich history, unique amenities and diverse ecology. As part of the Center’s event management services, USCB students assist with local community events to learn real-world skills and provide extra hands. The quality management program assists local hospitality businesses in their efforts to understand and improve the guest experience. Last year, the Center opened its Research Center. The Research Center conducts festival and event research in compliance with the Center for Disease Control’s COVID-19 guidelines. For more information contact Keri Olivetti at olivetti@uscb.edu. 

CROSS SCHOOLS

Established in 1998, Cross Schools provides a Christian-based education for children ages 12 months through 9th grade. The 2020-20201 academic year welcomed the first high school class. Cross Schools strives to create an atmosphere where students develop a passion for learning through small classes, rigorous academics, various enrichment courses, and faith-based learning.

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At Cross Schools, students attend weekly chapel, participate in community service projects, and can join multiple clubs. The athletic program features nine sports and 18 different competitive teams. The guiding principles of the Cross Schools community are academic excellence, Christian values, and community service. 

WHAT’S NEW: Cross Schools is excited to have Pete Laugen join the team as its new Head of School. Laugen brings more than 25 years of experience, working in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in administrative roles. His experience has proven very beneficial as the new high school continues to grow. 

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN DAY SCHOOL

First Presbyterian Day School was established in 1984 and serves working parents in our community. We are open year-round from 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with our school year beginning each August. Tuition includes two healthy snacks and a nutritional, well-balanced lunch each day. The Day School is licensed by the South Carolina Department of Social Services and holds an A+ ABC Quality rating through South Carolina’s statewide quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) for early care and education providers. Applications are now being accepted for the 2021-2022 school year. 

AMY DUNGANFACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Amy Dungan has been the Director of First Presbyterian Day School since 2015. She earned a B.S. in marketing from Miami University, a Master of Teaching from USC, and a Master of Education Administration from Cambridge College. The Day School is staffed by committed faculty who fully support children and the development of their creative, social and intellectual potential. 

JOHN PAUL II CATHOLIC SCHOOL

John Paul II Catholic School offers students of all faiths an exceptional education in a safe and secure Christ-centered environment. Students are well prepared to succeed in college through our rigorous Honors, Advanced Placement, and Pre-AP courses. Beyond the classroom, an extensive athletic program, wide-ranging clubs and activities, and a growing performing arts program offer students the opportunity to learn valuable teamwork and life skills. Community service-learning is embedded in our curriculum allowing students to understand how their Christian faith calls them to be joyful servants to those less fortunate. Our graduates are truly scholars with a soul. 

Sam RichardsonFIRST ALUM ON STAFF: Sam Richardson ‘18 is coming back to JPII as director of music to teach band, advise the jazz band, and direct liturgical music and the spring play. Sam earned a B.S. in Media Communications from Full Sail University last fall. 

“It is an immense pleasure to call the teachers and staff who shaped my upbringing, my colleagues,” he said. “I am so grateful for this opportunity.” 

ST. GREGORY THE GREAT CATHOLIC SCHOOL 

St. Gregory the Great Catholic School opened in 2006 and serves students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade with an enrollment of 185 students. St. Gregory strives to create a well-rounded environment that meets the needs of all students. The school’s motto of “Where Faith and the Sciences Excel” is enhanced with premiere science and technology labs where all students can explore their faith and the sciences. 

education school6In Oct. 2019, St. Gregory the Great Catholic School became the first non-public school in South Carolina and first Catholic school in the Diocese of Charleston to receive STEM Certification through Cognia (formerly known as Advanc-ED). This was a great accomplishment for the students, families, staff, and community of the parish. SGGCS worked to meet this goal through collaborative efforts, a strong transdisciplinary approach to education, and introducing new programs to allow students the opportunity to grow in their faith and their learning. Not only does SGGCS provide a Catholic education that is faith-based and built on the tenets of the Catholic Church, it provides students with opportunities to explore the world around them with complex and authentic learning experiences.

SCAD

SCAD, the university for creative careers, offers more than 100 academic degree programs in more than 40 majors at its Georgia locations in Savannah and Atlanta, in Lacoste, France, and online via SCAD eLearning. SCAD enrolls more than 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 115 countries. The innovative SCAD curriculum is enhanced by advanced, professional-level technology, equipment, and learning resources, as well as opportunities for internships, professional certifications and collaborative projects with corporate partners. Career preparation is woven into every fiber of the university, resulting in a superior alumni employment rate. www.scad.edu.

LOUISA DUNNSCAD ALUMNA PROFILE: South Carolinian Louisa Dunn (B.F.A., fibers, 2020) is weaving her dream. Her textiles are showcased in the SCAD documentary Fashion in Frame, highlighting the future of creativity and the fashion experience. Dunn helped create stunning garments by hand-painting motifs for patterns, printing them digitally, and adding free-motion embroidery embellishments. She currently works at Lulie Wallace Art in Charleston. 

TECHNICAL COLLEGE OF THE LOWCOUNTRY 

The Technical College of the Lowcountry elevates each student and every community it serves through transformative technology and exceptional teaching. TCL is the region’s primary provider of post-secondary education and workforce training. The public, two-year, multi-campus community college serves approximately 5,000 students annually. The college offers a variety of curricular programs including university transfer options, career and continuing education, online learning, and dual enrollment for area high school students. 

DEJARVIS EDDYSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Dejarvis Eaddy turned to TCL to get his life on track and recently graduated with an associate degree in industrial electronics. 

“The cost was affordable, the classes were smaller, and the professors actually knew my name,” Eaddy said. “Technical College changed my life.”