Kim Archung – Senior Partnership Consultant, SC First Steps
Dr. Kim Nesta Archung is a Senior Partnership Consultant for South Carolina First Steps. She received her Ph. D. in Educational Studies from Emory University in Atlanta Georgia. She has over thirty years experience working on education development projects and issues of educational equity for early childhood through secondary levels in various parts of the world including the past 10 years in South Carolina. She is specifically interested in quality multicultural early childhood education that provides equity, social justice and greater opportunities for diverse communities. Her many experiences and goals include building world class international multicultural schools across the globe.
Jaime Cunningham – Director of Special Education, Meeting Street Elementary
Jaime Cunningham is the Director of Special Education at Meeting Street Elementary. Prior to joining the team at Meeting Street, Jaime served as a Teacher Effectiveness Specialist for Charleston County School District. Jaime’s teaching career included teaching special education in a variety of Charleston County’s most alternative school programs, including: Liberty Hill Academy, Windwood Farms, and Daniel Jenkins Creative Learning Center. In 2014, Jaime was named Charleston County School District’s Teacher of the Year, which provided her with opportunities around the state to advocate for teachers and promote the message of education as a tool for social justice. Jaime received her B.S. in Special Education from College of Charleston, and her M.Ed. in Education Leadership through the ASPIRE cohort from The Citadel Graduate College. Jaime enjoys traveling, living in Charleston, hot yoga, and spending time with her nieces and nephews.
Dena Davis – CCSD Head Start/EHS Director, Charleston County School District
Over 35 years of experience as a teacher, education specialist, and administrator, Dena Davis has worked in early childhood for 25 of those years and that is where her heart is. She shares her love of learning and exploration, curiosity, and questioning with young children and their families. Currently, Dena is focused on social-emotional development and what is required to achieve authenticity as a human being. As a “former” New Yorker she carries a vision of diversity, energy, and interaction that is different, but embraces the pace, peace, and people of the Lowcountry.
Diane Ford – Teacher Leader, Midland Park Primary Head Start
Diane Ford works for Charleston County School District as a Head Start teacher at Midland Park Primary. Diane has worked in the educational field for over 30 years, which include 16 years with Head Start. While teaching she received many awards, one she received was CCSD Teacher of the Month in March 2013. She is Facilitator for Darkness to Light and a mentor for Beautiful Shades, a non-profit organization for teenage girls. Diane was born in Philadelphia, P.A. Where she attended and graduated from Temple University with an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education.Outside of teaching Diane is a mentor, tutor, secretary for numerous organizations, and has spoken at numerous events. Diane currently resides in Moncks Corner, SC with her husband, and their 2 sons and 1 granddaughter.
Kimberly Foxworth – Director of Early Learning, Charleston County School District
Kimberly Foxworth joined the Charleston County School District (CCSD) in 2013 as Director of Early Learning. Before joining CCSD, she worked for the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District (CMS) as a curriculum specialist. Ms. Foxworth was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and comes from a long line of educators. Ms. Foxworth received her BS in Early Childhood Education from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois and her Master’s and Graduate Certificates from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Currently Mrs. Foxworth oversees the CCSD’s Child Development Program which is made up of over 112 Pre-K classrooms and serves over 2,000 students.
Candace Jaruszewicz – Director, College of Charleston N.E. Miles ECDC
Dr. Candace Jaruszewicz is an Associate Professor at the College of Charleston and Director of the N. E. Miles Early Childhood Development Center. ECDC serves the School of Education, university, and community as an NAEYC accredited laboratory and demonstration program. Her background includes teaching Art, Elementary, and Early Childhood Education, with a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Kent State University. She has served on several national early childhood education boards, and will retire at the end of June 2017. She is particularly interested in how teachers can use emerging technologies to document children’s thinking and teacher professional growth.
Dick Latham – Academic Program Coordinator, Child and Youth Studies, Trident Technical College
Dick Latham is the Academic Program Coordinator and an instructor in the Child & Youth Studies Department at Trident Technical College. In addition, he has taught 4-year-olds, 3-year-olds, and in afterschool programs. His undergraduate degree is in Fine Arts (Theater) and his Masters is in Early Childhood Education, both from the College of Charleston.
Noelle McInerney – Policy Lead – Division of Early Care and Education, SCDSS
Noelle McInerney uses her passion, education and life experiences to support South Carolina families and young children. She has over 25 years of experience in the field including teaching, training and consulting in programs across multiple sectors of early childhood. Her academic work includes a BA and MEd in Early Childhood Education and she is currently pursuing her PhD in ECE at USC. She currently works at the state systems level of early childhood promoting systems capacity development for supports around equity and diversity. Noelle has has the opportunity to study current research and its application to instruction and state systems under the guidance of national Young DLL researchers, Dr. Linda Espinosa and Dr. Marlene Zapeda. Her particular focus is on helping SC teachers identify Young DLL’s and implement appropriate teaching for the birth – K age group.
Abbey Mills – Program Supervisor, Berkeley County School District/Berkeley County First Steps
Abbey Mills is the Program Supervisor for the Parents as Teachers program funded by Berkeley County First Steps. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina (BS Human Services) and will complete her Master’s in Early Childhood from Walden University in June. Prior to becoming supervisor, Mrs. Mills has served as a parent educator and conducted home visits, outreach, and individual and family consultations with the Berkeley County School District. Parent Educators support families by providing parents with knowledge, activities, screenings and resources to prepare their children for a stronger and healthier start in life and greater success in school. Mrs. Mills is passionate about Early Childhood and helping families achieve success. She and her husband have been married 23 years and have two children.
Michele Myers – Clinical Assistant Professor and MAT Coordinator, University of South Carolina
Dr. Michele Myers is a Clinical Assistant Professor and the MAT in Elementary Education Coordinator at the University of South Carolina (USC) where she has been a faculty member since 2014. Michele earned a BA in early childhood education from Clemson University; a Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from Charleston Southern University, an Education Specialist degree in Teaching from USC, and a doctorate in Language and Literacy from USC in 2013. Michele is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, Center for the Expansion of Language and Thinking member, the Professional Dyad for Culturally Relevant Teaching member, and the assistant chair for the Early Childhood Education Assembly. She has several academic publications. In addition, Dr. Myers works as a consultant, providing professional development for teachers on a variety of topics.
Nichole Myles – Executive Director, Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
Nichole Myles is Executive Director at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry. Assuming the role in 2015, Myles has focused the museum on providing high-quality, play-based museum programming and services for the Charleston area’s youngest citizens. Myles has worked in the areas of arts education, STEM, literacy and interdisciplinary curriculum development. She has developed a full cadre of programs for youth pre-K through grade 12 as well as professional development opportunities in the areas of STEM/STEAM classrooms. She believes passionately in the capacity of the informal education to assist in closing the opportunity gaps that exist in education today.
Dr. Gisela M. Rentas – Education Manager, Charleston County School District
Dr. Gisela M. Rentas is a graduate from Interamerican University of Puerto Rico in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and graduate from Capella University in Early Childhood Education and a graduate from University of Puerto Rico in Psychology. She graduated with distinction for her thesis entitled: Analysis of the dimensions of emotional intelligence in a sample of managers of public organizations in the metropolitan area of San Juan. She brings more than 15 years of experience develop and advising successful programs, educating and providing training and technical assistance in the field of human resources, organizational behavior, administration, and education to private, public and federal organizations. She has offered workshops and training to different populations such as teachers, judges, lawyers, managers, engineers, architects, doctors, etc. Dr. Rentas was the coordinator of the First Congress of Emotional Intelligence entitled: The Development and Application of Emotional Intelligence in Puerto Rico. In addition, Dr. Rentas has held several positions in Early Head Start, Head Start and Migrant Head Start programs and brings a wealth of experience in the areas of Education, School Readiness, Self-Assessment, Coaching, Management, Diversity and Family Services. Dr. Rentas is known for her passion for children, youth, pregnant women, and her true commitment to delivery of quality services. Dr. Rentas resides in Charleston, SC with her husband and son.
Heather Roller – Kindergarten Teacher, Mt Pleasant Academy
Heather Roller is going into her seventh year of teaching. After raising three children, 24,22, and 17, she went back to school to get her masters in early childhood education. Heather’s first three years were in Berkeley County where she taught Child Development at Title-one schools. The past three years she has been at Mt Pleasant Academy teaching kindergarten.
Erin Snow – Kindergarten Teacher, Meeting Street Academy
Erin graduated from the College of Charleston in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. In 2010, she returned to the College of Charleston to complete the Master of Arts in Teaching program. She received her M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education in 2012. After graduating, she began teaching kindergarten at Meeting Street Academy, where she has taught in the same position for 5 years. In addition to her classroom position, Erin is a program manager for the Green Heart Project, a community-based volunteer organization that utilizes school-based farms as outdoor classrooms.
Ryan Stone – Master Teacher, N. E. Miles Early Childhood Development Center
Ryan Stone is a Master Teacher of the 4/5 year old class. He received his B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education, and completed two years of coursework in a PhD program in Early Childhood, Special Education, and Literacy. He has taught for 5 years in public schools, served as an education volunteer in the US Peace Corps in South Africa, and taught in Japan. His professional interests include cultural literacy, action research, and poverty. He received a certificate in Documentary Studies from Duke University and enjoys incorporating technology in the classroom.
Whitney Tucker – Policy and Research Associate, Children’s Trust of South Carolina
Whitney Tucker is Policy and Research Associate at Children’s Trust of South Carolina, where she engages South Carolina legislators and external stakeholders in the promotion of policies that improve the welfare of vulnerable children. She leads the organization’s KIDS COUNT data program and also coordinates activities around the South Carolina Early Childhood Common Agenda, with the goal of building comprehensive early childhood systems for children 0-5. Before joining Children’s Trust, Whitney garnered experience within health policy advocacy organizations across the country. Her work has informed administrative policy within the Detroit Medical Center, and she has served as a Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholar in the United States House of Representatives. Whitney holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of South Carolina as well as a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Vanderbilt University.
Quenetta White – Principal, James Simons Elementary
Currently, Quenetta is the principal at James Simons Elementary School in the Charleston County School District. She is happily married and is the mother of two sons, Keith (20) and Isaiah (15). Prior to becoming a principal, Quenetta served as an Assistant Principal at Sanders-Clyde Elementary School. She has been an educator for twenty-five years and looks forward to continuing to serve the Charleston County community for several more years to come.
Reginald Williams – Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, South Carolina State
Reginald Harrison Williams, Ph.D., is an associate professor and early childhood coordinator at SC State University. He is the president of the South Carolina Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators and past President of the South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children. Governor Nikki Hayley appointed him to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Board for Child and Day Care Licensing. He currently serves as the Chairperson of the Orangeburg County First Steps Partnership Board, as Secretary of the National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators, and as a member of both the NAEYC Early Childhood Audit Team and NAEYC Early Childhood Higher Education Accreditation Commission. Dr. Williams earned his Artium Baccalaureus in English from Duke University, his Masters in Early Childhood Education from SC State University, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina with a concentration in infant/toddler curriculum and educational administration. He currently teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in early childhood assessment, early childhood curriculum, early childhood methods and materials, and childcare administration for early childhood and child development degree seeking students. A South Carolina Certified Early Childhood Teacher and former public school prekindergarten lead teacher, Dr. Williams is currently in the midst of researching the integration on infant/toddler curriculum components in an early childhood licensure program, the cultural perceptions taught to children through animated cartoons, the development of professionalism in early childhood pre-service teachers, and the cultural differences in socialization between university laboratory school preschool programs.
Abigail Woods – Principal, Memminger School of Global Studies
Dr. Abigail D. Woods, currently principal of Memminger School of Global Studies, has done significant work related to social emotional learning integrated with the IB program at Memminger. Dr. Woods is originally from Illinois, where she spent 7 years as a teacher and administrator, earning her masters in administration and curriculum & instruction. In May 2014, Dr. Woods completed her Doctorate of Philosophy in Administration from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Woods’ husband is also had educator, has 3 small children (2 of which attend Memminger) and is grateful for a strong team at school.
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