5139 Gibson Road
Meggett, SC 29449
Mrs. Hudak is the School Leader of LLCS. Mrs. Hudak holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education with a minor in Communications and Theatre as well as a Master’s in Educational Administration and Supervision from Charleston Southern University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. Mrs. Hudak has an endorsement in Gifted and Talented Education and has taught PK3-5th grade students through various programs. Mrs.Hudak was awarded PBIS Teacher of the Year in 2012 and Teacher of the Year in 2013. She taught in public and private school sectors and is a former Curriculum Coach, Director of Student Services and Student Activities, Dean of Students and Assistant Principal.
LEADER OF STUDENT SERVICES / ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
Julianne Lang is a leader at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School, currently serving as the Assistant Principal. Mrs. Lang’s formal experience in education dates back seven years, and her educational preparation goes even further. She currently holds a SC Educator’s Certificate in Middle Level English-Language Arts, Middle Level Social Studies, and an endorsement in Gifted and Talented Programs, as well as SC Administrative Certifications for Elementary Principal and Secondary Principal. Holding a BS in Education from the College of Charleston and Master’s of Science in Educational Administration from Purdue University, Ms. Lang is highly qualified to lead teachers and students in a K-12 setting.
In her time as an educator, Ms. Lang has committed to regularly improve student achievement, whether through her previous teaching experience at the middle school level (earning Rookie Teacher of the Year), or through developing teacher capacity and increasing instructional strategies in her buildings. Ms. Lang is committed to look at the whole child. This philosophy lends itself to appeal to all types of learners, and through project-based experiences, allows students to take ownership of their own learning and get on a strong path towards becoming College and Career Ready. She believes that effective and frequent communication and the school-to-home partnership are core pieces to student success.
LEADER OF CURRICULUM / MASTER TEACHER
Heather Priester is the Master Teacher and Leader of Curriculum at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 16 years experience in the education field. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Lander University and a Masters in Teaching from The Citadel. She is certified in Secondary and Middle Level English and Elementary, Middle, and High School Theater. She is Nationally Board Certified and Gifted and Talented Endorsed. She has been married to her husband Ricky for 15 years and they have four children: Cate (12), Charlie (8), Sadie (6), and Jake (4).
LEADER OF SPECIAL EDUCATION / SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY
Gus Ruff is the School Psychologist and Special Education Leader at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. He has 22 years of experience in the fields of education, assessment, and psychology. He is a 1994 graduate of The Citadel where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. He also has a Masters degree and Specialist in Education Degree in School Psychology. He is a Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSP). He served on the board for the South Carolina Association of School Psychologists (SCASP) from 1998-2001 as the Lowcountry Regional Representative. In 1999, Gus was presented with the Regional Award of Excellence by the South Carolina Association of School Psychologists in Columbia, SC. He is also a member of Psi Chi, the National Honors Society in Psychology. He has been married to his wife Theresa for 10 years and they have four children: Griffin (16), Kaede (14), Hotaru (11), and Maddie (4).
LEADER OF UPPER SCHOOL COUNSELING / MEDICAL HOMEBOUND DESIGNEE
Bio coming soon!
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LEADER OF LOWER SCHOOL COUNSELING / MEDICAL HOMEBOUND DESIGNEE
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Bio coming soon!
LEADER OF STUDENT INFORMATION / ADMISSIONS / MARKETING
Mrs. Jackson attended Trident Technical College, studied Business Administration in the Entrepreneurship Path, and later became double certified in Computer Aided Design. After college, Mrs. Jackson moved to Katterbach, Germany and returned to the United States two years later. Upon her return, Mrs. Jackson worked at Larkin Engineering as the Office and Productions Manager and later was employed by Metal Trades, Inc in the CAD department. While working at Larkin Engineering and Metal Trades, Mrs. Jackson provided fundraising services for a private school of choice, raising over $250,000.00 in three years. Subsequently, Mrs. Jackson served on the Lowcountry Leadership Charter School planning committee as Chair of Marketing and Outreach and is a proud Founder of LLCS. She transitioned from a member of the LLCS planning committee to the position of LLCS PowerSchool Administrator and also oversees all Marketing, Branding, and Admissions operations at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School.
eLEMENTARY CORE CONTENT tEACHERS
KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS and TEACHER ASSISTANTS
Emily Weaver is a Kindergarten Teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 7 years experience in the education field. She has a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Lander University. She will be getting married to her fiance Matt in May. They have 2 dogs, Bruce Wayne and Cheyenne.
Sharon Williams is the kindergarten teacher. Teaching is her second career. She has been in education since 2001 at different capacities. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, Master of Science in Education and a specialization in Literacy, Education Specialist Degree in Education Leadership and is pursuing a Doctor of Education in Education Leadership . She is certified in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. She has been married to her husband Ron for almost 10 years and they have three grown children.
Tracy Weeks is the Kindergarten Assistant for the KB class at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 10 years experience in the education field. She has an associates degree in LPN from Trident Tech-MUSC. She has been married to her husband Keith for 34 years and they have two children: Stephanie and Michael. They have one granddaughter, Taryn. They also have two crazy dogs: Mabel and Lucy.
Jennifer Noes is the K5 Assistant Teacher to Mrs. Williams at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 12 years experience working with children. She has a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the College of Charleston. She has been married to her husband James for 14 years and they have two sons: Connor (7) and Joshua (3).
FIRST and SECOND GRADE TEACHERS and TEACHER ASSISTANTS
Julia Cameron is a first grade teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has over 10 years of experience working with preschool, kindergarten, and first grade students. This will be her third year at LLCS and her eighth year teaching first grade (her favorite!) Ms. Cameron has twins, Alsie and Linwood, who also love LLCS and will be second graders this year. In their spare time they like to play with their dog Weiwei the Shar-Pei(pei), read to their cats Maggie and Frieda Calico, and have spend-the-night parties on the living room floor.
Casey Ridlon is a first grade teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 10 years of experience in grades PreK-5. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in Elementary Education from The University of Mary Washington. She also holds a Gifted and Talented endorsement from the University of Virginia. Casey has a 3-year- old pup named Kyla and is engaged to be married this coming November.
Retrina Hilton is the First Grade Teacher’s Assistant to Ms. Cameron and Ms. Ridlon at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 7 years experience working with children in a school setting. She is also a Licensed Certified Nurse’s Assistant. She has been married to her husband, Lester for 33 ½ years. They have four children, Carlton, Kaillah, Latoya and Lester III (SIP my dear Son!) They have 7 grandchildren; 3 boys and 4 girls. Her oldest granddaughter joined the Army National Guard in June after graduating from Summerville High School (Class of 2019). She is stationed in Ft. Leonardwood, MO.
Sherry Morgan is the Second Grade Teacher’s Assistant for Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from Illinois State University. She was the Director of Human Resources for the City of Chicago, Department of Law before moving to Charleston in July of 2014. She started Guest Teaching for LLCS in 2015 and became a Teacher’s Assistant in March of 2018. This October, Sherry will have been married to her husband, Wesley for 18 years. They have one son, Brandon (14) and a dog, Ozzie (old). Brandon is a Freshman at the School of the Arts.
THIRD, FOURTH, and FIFTH GRADE TEACHERS
Also fondly known as Mr. D, this is Mr. DiRienzo’s seventh year at LLCS. He has been in the Lowcountry for 8 years via Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He has taught second and third grade at LLCS. He is married to Ms. Melissa, who is way out of his league, and is blessed to have a 4 year old Tessa Lynn and a 1 year old Cody John.
Rebecca Campbell is a third grade teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has been teaching for over eight and a half years years experience in the education field. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the College of Charleston and a Masters in Teaching in Elementary Education from the Graduate School of the College of Charleston. She is certified in all core subjects in grades second through sixth. She is Charleston native and loves living in the Lowcountry.
Baylee Taylor is the Fourth Grade English Language Arts and Science teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. Mrs. Taylor graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in English. She is a certified teacher in the state of South Carolina for Elementary Education. She has been married to her husband Rupe Taylor for almost two years. Together they have a dog named Bentley, a guinea pig named Charlie, and will soon be licensed foster parents!
Noel Couch is a 4th grade teacher at LowCountry Leadership Charter School. She has 17 years experience in the education field. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Clemson University and is also certified in Middle School Math. She is married to her best friend since 5th grade, Peter. She has 3 children and 2 “bonus” children: Bryce (24), Emily (23), Brad (21), Trey (20), and Caroline (18).
Brinn Kirk is the 5th grade English Language Arts and Science teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. This is her second year at LLCS. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Special Education from Saint Thomas Aquinas College, in New York. She grew up right outside New York City with her parents and 3 siblings.
Spencer Ward is the Fifth Grade Math and Social Studies teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. This will be her fourth year at LLCS. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in Mathematics and Social Studies from The College of Charleston and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) from Concordia University. She is certified in Middle Level (Grades 5-9) Mathematics and Social Studies. She is originally from Massachusetts where she enjoys sailing and cross country skiing.
MIDDLE SCHOOL CORE CONTENT TEACHERS
Susanne King is a middle school Social Studies teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 20 years experience in the education field. She has a Bachelor of Science in History and Political Science from Baptist College at Charleston (CSU) and a Masters in Teaching Social Studies from Charleston Southern University. She is certified in Secondary Social Studies (7th -12th grade). She has been married to her husband Charles for 24 years and they have two sons: Andrew (22), Matthew (20).
Jasmine Winn is the 7th and 8th grade Math and Mentor teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 14 years experience in the education field. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida and a Masters in Educational Technology from Ashford University. She is certified in K-6, Middle grades Math, and ESOL. She is a HUGE Florida Gator fan and loves all sports- especially football.
Brian McDermott is entering his second year as a Middle School English instructor at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. He has 17 years experience in the education field. Mr. McDermott has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Charleston Southern University, where he played basketball. Additionally, Mr. McDermott earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Argosy University.
Michelle Polkey teaches Middle School Science at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 17 years experience in the education field. She has a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and a minor in Chemistry from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Arts in Biology from Central Connecticut State University. She is certified in Middle Level Science. She is currently attending Lamar University and working on her Principal Certification. She has been married to her husband Joseph for 12 years and they have 1 child: Joe (9). She has 3 dogs and enjoys outdoor activities including kayaking and hiking. Mrs. Polkey is also the Cubmaster of the LLCS PTO sponsored Pack 19 Cubscouts.
Lauren Chapman is the 6th grade math and 7th grade science teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 15 years experience in the education field. She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (1st-8th, 1999) from Francis Marion University. She is certified/endorsed by Project Learning Tree and Project Wild and attended American Wilderness Leadership School in 2012. Her daughter, Greyson, is 17. Her son, Walker, is 14.
Zach Denton is entering his 3rd year teaching at LLCS. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Coastal Carolina University. In addition to teaching, Mr. Denton coaches Varsity and Travel Baseball. He is also an Ordained Minister as well as an avid Atlanta Braves, Dallas Cowboys, and South Carolina Gamecocks fan.
HIGH SCHOOL CORE CONTENT TEACHERS
Eric D. Pyron, Sr. is a High School Math Teacher and Leader of Mathematics at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. He has 20 years experience in the education field. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Albany State University (HBCU) and a Masters in Teaching from The University of South Carolina. Mr. Pyron is certified in Secondary Mathematics.
Riley Crook is a High School Math Teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 3 years experience in the education field. She is the COMPASS Cheerleading Coach. She serves as the secretary of the LLCS PTO. She is a Navigator through and through and LOVES everything LLCS!! Go Gators!
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Kathryn Deemer is a High School English Teacher, the English Department Head, and Senior Coordinator at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 11 years experience in the education field. Ms. Deemer has a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and a Masters in Leadership Studies from Marshall University. She is certified in Secondary English and School Administration.
Shay Callesen is the High School English, Psychology, and Tae Kwon Do Teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. He has 5 years experience in the education field. He has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the College of Charleston. He is certified in Secondary and Middle Level English. He has a fourth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He has practiced Tae Kwon Do for 18 years and taught for 14 years. He has been married for one year, and he has eight siblings.
2019 Teacher of the Year
Mr. Williams attended Trident Technical College, studied Liberal Arts, and later double majored at the College of Charleston in History and Secondary Education. Having been with Lowcountry Leadership Charter School since its opening in 2013, Mr. Williams primarily teaches juniors, seniors and those students on an AP Social Studies academic track.
Drew Marler is a High School Social Studies Teacher at LLCS. He has 10 years of teaching experience, working 4 years in a Montessori school and 6 years in the public school setting. Mr. Marler received his B.A. in Philosophy at the University of Georgia. He is currently finishing his South Carolina Certification alternate route under the Teachers of Tomorrow program. Drew is married to Shannon Marler and they have a 1 ½ year old son named, Walker.
June Lowry is the High School Biology, Chemistry, Marine Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter. She has taught for 16 years. She has a B. A. in Biology from the College of Charleston and has completed the PACE program for Secondary Science. June has worked in her field of study for 10 years as a research associate at Westvaco Research and Arborgen. Also she worked at Clemson Coastal Research for 3 years. She has been married for 23 years to her husband, Billy, and has a son, Nathan Lowry, who graduated from LLCS in 2017.
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career & technical education (cte) teachers
KATIE BELL (9th-12th)
Katie Bell is the HS Agriculture Education, FFA Advisor, and Earth Science teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She is a PACE graduate with 4 years experience as a High School teacher and over 9 years as a Pre-K-12 teacher. Katie has a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Clemson University. She is certified in Middle and Secondary level Agriculture Education. Katie has been married to her husband George (a Clemson Horticulture grad) for 16 years and they have four children: Pandora (14), Aidan (13), Avery (11), and Austin (10).
BRIAN LEMONS (7th-12th)
Brian Lemons is the CTE Instructor for Information Technology at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. He has an Associate Degree in Computer Technology at Trident Technical College. He is certified to teach Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses for Information Technology. He has 4 years experience in the educational field. Before earning his degree, Brian Lemons served in the United States Marine Corps for 4 years. Mr. Lemons is married to his wife Desiree for 8 years and they have 2 children: Jacob (7) and Samuel (4).
DEREK GREENAWALT (9th-12th)
Chef Derek Greenawalt is the Food Service Director and CTE Culinary Arts Instructor in the area of Hospitality and Tourism. He earned his associates degree in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management, has 14+ years experience in his field, and is CTE certified. This will be Chef Greenawalt's third year at LLCS. His wife, Ashleigh, also teaches at LLCS. Chef's two children, Sawyer and Tucker, attend LLCS.
RELATED & FINE ARTS teachers
RELATED ARTS TEACHERS
BRADY JOHNSON (K5-12th)
Brady Johnson is the Athletic Director and, Physical Education teacher, and Coach at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. He has a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management with a concentration in Fitness from Erskine College. He has been married to his wife, Stephanie Johnson, for 5 years and has two children: Brooklyn (3) and Delanie (6 Months).
JULIE SAMMARTANO (K5-12th)
Julie Sammartano is going into her 4th year at LLCS as a Physical Education and Health teacher. She has 18 years experience in the education/coaching field. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology, Teacher Certification K-12, from New England College and a Masters in Sports Management from Adelphi University. She grew up in New Hampshire, where she was a three sport athlete from 5 years old until she graduated college. She has been married to her husband Mike for 10 years and they have two children: Michael (9), and Sage (7).
VERONICA RODRIGUEZ (K5-8th)
Veronica Rodriguez is the K-8th Spanish teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She is starting her third year as a Spanish Teacher. She is working towards completing her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Phoenix. She has been married to her husband Edgar for 20 years and they have two daughters Olivia(14) and Isabel (8) who also attend LLCS.
FINE ARTS TEACHERS
RICHARD "RJ" PAUL (K5-12th)
Richard Paul is the Art Educator at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. He has 7 years experience in the education field. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Sculpture from College of Charleston and a Masters in Teaching from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He is certified in art for the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
TOM NOREN (K5-12th)
Musician, educator and STEAM advocate, Tom Noren began his career as a performing guitarist after graduating from New England Conservatory. He is currently in his last year of the PACE program and has taught music at The Cooper School and at East Cooper Montessori Charter School. He lives in Mount Pleasant with his wife, Jennifer, who teaches computer/STEAM at Ashley River Creative Arts, and two children, Bryce, (9th grade) and Ella, (11th grade). Both attend the School of the Arts. You can listen to Tom perform with his Brazilian music group “Porto Seguro” around Charleston. “I am thrilled to be a part of the LLCS community and look forward to meeting all the students and parents soon!”
RHIANNON CALLESEN (K5-12th)
Rhiannon Callesen is a professional dance instructor. She has been teaching dance for 21 years and teaching at LLCS for four years. She traveled the US and Canada performing in multiple shows and touring with a dance troupe called 2Extreme. She was in the production of the Nutcracker for 16 years with the Morca Ballet company in Washington state. She was also a professional Flamenco dancer. She was a Swamp Fox cheerleader/dance team member for the Charleston Swamp Foxes arena football team. She has a daughter in the sixth grade at LLCS.
SPECIAL POPULATIONS TEACHERS
SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS and TEACHER ASSISTANTS
Pinckney Lee is a Special Education teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 13 years experience in the education field. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History from University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Mrs. Lee just recently earned her Master’s degree in Special Education from WGU.
This is Marlynn’s second year at LLCS. She graduated from the College of Charleston in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Special Education for intellectual and emotional disabilities. She was raised and still resides here in Meggett with her husband of 2 years, William. They have a Black Lab named Ballyhoo and Jack Russell named Rand. They enjoy their time watching movies, finding restaurants that serve both wings and sushi, and fishing/boating whenever possible. This school year they have two special things to look forward to. They will finally move into their new home AND enjoy the arrival of their first child around February 1st!
Celeste Tanner is a Special Education Teaching Assistant, Director of Navigation Station After School Program, GTeam facilitator, and high school EXCEL Club Leader. She is a certified paraprofessional with 16 years experience in the education field. Ms. Tanner began her career in education in the upstate of South Carolina, with experience teaching K5 through high school grade levels in the Special Education categories of ED and LD. She is the blessed mother of Ava Tanner, the 2018 Lowcountry Leadership Charter School Valedictorian.
This is Ashleigh Greenawalt's sixth year teaching at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. Mrs. Greenawalt spent the last five years as a teacher assistant in second grade and is now with the Special Education Department. Ashleigh resides locally with her husband, Derek, who also works at LLCS as the Food Service Director. Her two children, Sawyer and Tucker, have attended LLCS since K5 and will be going into fourth and fifth grade this year! They have 1 dog, 4 cats, 3 horses, a dragon, and a donkey named Stella.
ENGLISH LEARNERS and GIFTED & TALENTED TEACHER
ELIZABETH "LIZ" OSBORNE
Liz Osborne is the Gifted and Talented Teacher and the ESOL Teacher at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 11 years of experience in the education field. Mrs. Osborne has a Bachelor of Arts in English from The University of South Carolina and a Masters in Teaching from The College of Charleston. She has a certificate in Gifted and Talented Education and endorsements in ESOL Education and Fine Arts from The College of Charleston. She is married and has two children, Olivia who attends George Washington University and Henry, who recently graduated from LLCS, will be attending The Citadel.
LITERACY COACH and MEDIA SPECIALIST
Morgan Sott is the Read to Succeed Literacy Coach at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. Mrs. Sott has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Clemson University and a Masters in Education from Anderson University. She has taught grades 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th. She has been married to her husband Brandon for 2 years and they have a black lab named Raimey.
Denise Brailsford is the Media Specialist, Reading Interventionist, and MakerSpace Coordinator at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has 15 years experience in the education field. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education and has worked towards a Masters in Counseling and Development from Winthrop University. Mrs. Brailsford is certified in Elementary Education. She has been married to her husband, Ed, for 25 long years and they have one child, Moultrie Bailey Brailsford, who is a senior at the College of Charleston. Mrs. Brailsford also has another daughter, Brandon Elizabeth Bradford, from a previous marriage, who is a Veterinarian Dog Groomer.
FRONT OFFICE STAFF
Faye Priester graduated from Columbia College with a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She also worked on obtaining her Masters in Education at the College of Charleston. Mrs. F. Priester taught for several years in Berkeley and Charleston Counties and then started Palmer Company Property Management. With her brother, Mrs. F. Priester ran this company for many years. Faye has been married to Michael for 46 very eventful years. They are the proud parents of 3 children, Christopher, Matthew and Allyssa and 3 grandchildren, Connor, Emily and Maddie. Maddie is a fourth grade student at LLCS.
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SCHOOL NURSE and GATOR CAFE STAFF
Carla Holdsworth is starting her third year at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School working in the Gator Cafe. She resides in Meggett with her husband and two children. Carla’s children attend elementary school at LLCS.
Bio coming soon!
FACILTIES MANAGER and SUPPORT STAFF
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Bio coming soon!
Bio coming Soon!
Bio coming soon!