Faculty & Staff

Administration

Dr. Nathalie Hunt

Dr. Nathalie Hunt

Director
nhunt@coastalmontessoricharter.org

This is Dr. Hunt’s fourth year as the director of Coastal Montessori Charter School. As the school’s leader she is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the school, as well as developing policies and procedures that honor a student-centered approach to education. She takes her inspiration from Dr. Maria Montessori, the pioneer and founder of the Montessori method. “Each day I am inspired by the students’ questions about the world. As a Montessori educator our first job is to observe the child and how s/he interacts with her/his work and peers.” Dr. Hunt believes in a prepared environment that responds to the needs of the child, since all children develop at a pace unique to them. “We call this approach individualized instruction.”

Dr. Hunt loves exposing her students to the arts and the environmental sanctuary that coastal South Carolina provides. “Students desire the opportunity to experience music, drama, and acting, so each month we invite a local musician into the cafeteria to share their musical story with us. We also give our students the opportunity to participate in plays and the preparation and organization that goes into creating a set and producing a show.”

Before leading the helm for Coastal Montessori Charter School. Dr. Hunt received her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at The University of Texas at Austin. Her love for Montessori grew stronger, while enrolled in graduate school. So much so that she decided to perform a case study at a 45-year-old Montessori school in Austin, TX, on how Lower Elementary Montessori teachers make daily decisions in their classrooms for her dissertation.

Dr. Hunt grew up in upstate New York near Lake Ontario. She attended Cornell University for her undergraduate degree in human development with a minor in nutrition. In addition, she holds a New York state teaching credential in elementary education and a lower elementary Montessori certificate. She was also a Division I field hockey player, while at Cornell University. She attributes her organizational skills and her ability to handle failure and success with grace and courtesy to the sportsmanship she acquired as an athlete. Dr. Hunt still enjoys visiting upstate New York each summer because that is where her mother, father, and brother live. “Upstate New York is the land of milk and honey. The town my parents live in has more dairy cows than people!” Dr. Hunt also loves to read, stay healthy, travel, and sing karaoke.

Chris Bergeron

Chris Bergeron

Assistant Director and Physical Education
cbergeron@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Mr. Chris was born and raised in New Hampshire and attended the University of Richmond to pursue a degree in finance. Upon graduation, he returned to his home state to earn a master’s degree in physical education at the University of New Hampshire and started his career in interscholastic athletics. He has 15 years of experience as a high school athletic administrator working at high schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts with 30+ varsity programs and over 60 individual teams. During this time, Mr. Chris earned a teaching certification in physical education. He also holds a teaching certificate for middle school and high school math.

This is Mr. Chris’ fourth year working at CMCS, and he’s excited to be transitioning into a new role working within the community.

Kristy Harbaugh

Kristy Harbaugh

Office Manager
kharbaugh@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Kristy is a true Pawleys Island local. She was born in Columbia, SC, but her father grew up in a house on the island and moved the family back to Pawleys when she was 11 years old. Kristy moved up to Myrtle Beach after graduating from Waccamaw High School. There, she worked as a real estate paralegal for eight years while completing an associates degree in paralegal studies at Horry-Georgetown Technical College and, subsequently, a bachelor of arts in political science at Coastal Carolina University.

After enjoying four years as a stay-at-home-mom, Kristy moved back to Pawleys Island with her husband Dave, who is a PGA Class A certified golf professional, handyman extraordinaire and a lover of anything with wheels, and their two children, J.D. and Allie. While building their house in Pawleys, Kristy became excited about a new choice in education for her children and began following Coastal Montessori Charter School’s progress. When she learned of an administrative opening she knew it would be the perfect position for her. With a strong background in administrative work and a love of children, not to mention working where her own children would attend school, it was a perfect fit!

When she’s not at the school, Kristy enjoys spending time outdoors, reading and baking.

 

 

Tia Bergeron

Tia Bergeron

Operations Manager
tbergeron@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Tia grew up in northern New Hampshire. She received a BA in history with a minor in psychology from the University of NH. She is an Army veteran having served overseas in Desert Storm in 1991 as a Military Police Officer. She spent 12 years in sports administration as the Associate Director of the NH Interscholastic Athletic Association overseeing high school athletics. Prior to moving to Pawleys Island with her husband Chris, she was the Director of Marketing for a cost segregation company and an entrepreneur of a web-based business.

Although it may not have been in her plans to work in a Montessori school with elementary-aged students, her unique skill set has been a tremendous asset for CMCS. When not working, she enjoys quiet time at the beach or playing golf at any of the beautiful local spots with her husband Chris.

Kelly Metz

Kelly Metz

School Nurse
kmetz@coastalmontessoricharter.org

An adrenaline-charged career brought Nurse Kelly to CMCS. After working as an emergency nurse at multiple level one trauma centers, as a paramedic, and a flight nurse in both WV and SC for nearly 16 years, it was time to welcome a change of pace. This change came in the faces of Jon and Vivian, her children, who are now primary students at CMCS sister school, Montessori School of Pawleys Island.

As 12-year South Carolinian natives, Kelly and her husband Matt, along with their children, enjoy relaxing and taking refuge in their Pawleys Island home. They enjoy caring for their dogs, Bailey and Oreo, and their chickens, as well as gardening, fly fishing, camping, hiking, and cooking. Hailing from the mountains of West Virginia, she is passionate for outdoor life and sports.

“In 2013, I was blessed to become a member of this beautiful Montessori community. Soon, I would understand how this would manifest in my daily life. As I grow in my knowledge of the Montessori methodology, I better understand my children’s educational process and the foundations for a peaceful life. Because of this growth, my views of the world and the way I live have changed.”

Middle School

Tom Strong

Tom Strong

Math and Social Studies
tstrong@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Mr. Tom Strong is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a bachelor of arts in history and a minor in philosophy. He has a master of education in middle childhood from the University of Toledo. He is certified to teach math, social studies and reading. Mr. Tom received his American Montessori Society Secondary I-II Credential in Montessori Education from the Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program in 2013. For the last six years, Mr. Tom has served as a middle school math and social studies teacher at West Side Montessori in Toledo, OH. Mr. Tom will serve Coastal Montessori Charter School as our middle level Math and Social Studies Lead Teacher. His enthusiasm for knowledge and creating meaningful experiences for his students is palpable. Understanding the unique tendencies of middle school students, he uses these characteristics to design lessons that will interest and engage students at this unique stage of development.

Chadwell Rentz

Chadwell Rentz

Science
crentz@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Mr. Chadwell Rentz is a graduate of Clemson University with a bachelor of science in environmental and natural resources and a concentration in conservation biology. He possesses a masters of arts in teaching middle school science from the College of Charleston and The Citadel. He considers himself a creative thinker with an entrepreneurial spirit. Mr. Chadwell has spent the last two years teaching for two different magnet schools in Charleston. Mr. Chadwell will oversee our middle level science program as well as assist us with the creation of science experiment kits for all grades at CMCS. His passion for conservation and creating conscious consumers is an excellent fit for a public Montessori program. When Mr. Chadwell is not teaching, you can find him with his family, at the beach, or at a live music event.

Elizabeth Intrieri

Elizabeth Intrieri

English Language Arts and School Counselor
eintrieri@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Ms. Elizabeth (Liz) Intrieri is a graduate of Millersville University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science in English at the secondary level. She has a master of science degree in school counseling from Western Maryland College and a master of science in supervision/administration from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. A National Board Certified teacher, Ms. Liz received the esteemed honor of Teacher of the Year for Waccamaw Middle School for the 2015 – 2016 school year. We are delighted to have Ms. Liz join our middle school team as both our English Language Arts instructor and our School Counselor. As a veteran teacher, her understanding of the 7th and 8th grade South Carolina standards is exceptional. She is well read and always seeking the best literature to assist students with both self-discovery and their understanding of the world through literature. Her teaching style and joy for learning are infectious.

Upper Elementary

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson

Lead Teacher
swilson@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Sarah Wilson is a familiar face in the Waccamaw Neck and Georgetown County.  She and her husband Jeff moved to Pawleys Island years ago to rent a house and decide where they wanted to settle down after getting married.  They ended up buying  the house and, since they haven’t moved anywhere else, have settled down in Pawleys Island.

Five years after getting a degree in horticulture from Clemson University, Sarah went back to school to get a teaching certificate in high school biology and general sciences from USC-Coastal Carolina.  She then got a job teaching environmental education for the Belle W. Baruch Foundation.  It was her dream job!  Outside, mudding in the salt marsh, walking through the forest, surrounded by the young and the young at heart was the best way to spend the day UNTIL…  she found something better – her own children.  Neil and Erin were born and a career change came about.  Sarah started working part time for the Pawleys Island Montessori School as the toddler teacher in 1993. She had planned on staying there, until CMCS came to town!

Sarah went back to school and received her lower and upper Montessori teaching credentials from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in Raleigh, NC, in 1996.  She has taught Montessori ever since, even spending a number of years running a couple of schools, but always teaching.  Teaching is her calling, her passion, and her joy.

In her spare time, Sarah still loves to get muddy!  Throwing clay in her pottery shed and gardening are two of her favorite past times, as well as biking, reading, and walking her new dog, Vera Wang.  Sarah’s Montessori children are now grown and independent – yea!  Neil is working on his master’s degree in environmental science and management and Erin is majoring in animal and veterinary science at Clemson University .  Jeff is a horticulturist at Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach and brings home flowers for Sarah to plant in the yard.

Gina Goodyear

Gina Goodyear

Teaching Assistant
ggoodyear@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Gina Goodyear comes to Coastal Montessori Charter School with over 18 years of experience working with children and their families. In 1997 Mrs. Goodyear graduated with her degree in early childhood from Youngstown State University,

In 1998, Mrs. Goodyear, was hired by The Trumbull County Headstart Program, and held the position of Lead Teacher, for four years until the birth of her first child.

Following Headstart, she was hired by Associates, Counseling and Child Guidance, and held the position of Therapeutic Support Staff. During this time, Mrs. Goodyear spent 7 years working with children and their families to include helping with identifying specific learning disabilities and diagnosis. Throughout this employment, Mrs. Goodyear, assisted and directed both parents and teachers within the local school districts and provided them with strategies to improve the child’s self-concept, social and behavioral skills.

In 2008, Mrs. Goodyear was employed by a nonprofit Christian School, Heart Reach Ministries/Super Kids, as a preschool teacher. While at Heart Reach Ministries, Mrs. Goodyear developed and implemented a “new” curriculum. This curriculum combined “Hand Writing Without Tears,” with the” Ohio Early Childhood Content Standards” and proved to be very successful with young children. In addition, she created a new set of lessons plans to incorporate the new curriculum materials and information.

In 2008 she returned to Youngstown State University to pursue a bachelor degree. In 2011 she graduated with her liberal arts and sciences degree.

In August of 2011 she and her family relocated to Murrells Inlet. Mrs. Goodyear and her husband, William Goodyear, have been married for 19 years. Together they have four boys. Billy 15, twins Anthony and Dominick 13 and Colton 7 years old.

During the past three years Mrs. Goodyear was employed with Georgetown Head start until accepting a position with CMCS.

Hillary Usher

Hillary Usher

Lead Teacher
husher@coastalmontessoricharter.org

If you could have dinner with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Claude Monet

He is my favorite artist and I am so inspired by his work! I would love to ask him about his works and life. And maybe follow dinner with a painting session together!

From a young age, Hillary always knew she wanted to help young people. She grew up in Canton, MI, with a very loving family. Family has always been so important to her and continues to be a source of strength and inspiration for her. Her family were the driving force behind her deciding to become a teacher and chase her dream of helping young people. Along her journey, Hillary had the pleasure of working with a variety of children from teaching preschool to working with at-risk teens in an after-school program.

After gaining her degree in elementary education from Eastern Michigan University, Hillary began teaching with young 5′s in a pre-kindergarten program until an opportunity came to teach at a Montessori school. She had only heard a little about Dr. Montessori and her theory on education, but was instantly intrigued and drawn to learn more. After gaining her Montessori training, Hillary taught upper elementary for two years before finding out about Coastal Montessori Charter School. It was a hard decision to move from her hometown and family, but Hillary was excited to start a new journey in South Carolina!

Outside of teaching, Hillary loves to try new things and endeavors in many different interests. She enjoys drawing, painting, writing short stories or poetry, crafting, exploring nature, and so much more. Currently, Hillary is learning how to play guitar and it proves to be a challenge, but so much fun!

Jo Addington

Jo Addington

Teaching Assistant
jaddington@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Ms. Jo is an Ohio State graduate and taught second grade in a rural school for 15 years. Her experience includes gifted and talented programs, remedial math, special needs, and teaching overseas.

Andria Hejl

Andria Hejl

Lead Teacher
ahejl@coastalmontessoricharter.org

If you could have dinner with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would really like to meet Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts.   I would love to see Juliette’s reaction to what has become of the meeting that she began with 17 girls in Savannah, GA, more than 100 years ago and the impact that her vision has had on the lives of so many girls over the last century.  I would also like to ask for her advice and suggestions on how to help propel Scouting forward for the next 100 years.

Andria LOVES school!  From the time she was 2 she filled up numerous notebooks with “homework” since her older brother had to do his each night; why not her, too?  Years later she became a preschool teacher and spent seven years surprising museum docents with classes of 4-year-olds that could recognize an original Monet hanging on the wall, as well as point out the differences between impressionism and pointillism.  After a detour through the medical transcription field that has allowed her to impress her children with all sorts of super cool words like esophagogastroduodenoscopy, she is extremely excited about finally having the opportunity to return for MORE SCHOOL!!!!

Andria is married to Logan, who loves to run and has competed in two ultra marathons with a third scheduled this fall.  She runs some too, but not quite like that.  They have two daughters, Lochlyn (13) and Grayha (10).  In her free time, Andria is a Girl Scout leader for her daughters’ troop.  She also loves camping with her family, reading, gardening, protecting sea turtles as a volunteer with S.C.U.T.E, helping her girls with their Halloween costume designs (a six-month process), and her newest adventure of trail biking as she tries to keep up with Logan on his training runs.  She is currently working towards a master’s degree in education.

Jarod Soucie

Teaching Assistant
jsoucie@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Mr. Jarod has a very diverse background. He is a Professional Fitness Trainer with a USA Volleyball Coaching Accreditation. He has also served in the U.S. Marine Corp. Mr. Jarod has 14 years experience as a coach to students of all ages.

He is a masterful communicator with the ability to motivate students to work hard.

Nan Gadek

Nan Gadek

Lead Teacher

Ms. Nan received her bachelor of arts in fine arts from Kean University. She went on to receive her elementary teaching credential from National University. Ms. Nan has five years of experience as a lead teacher at the elementary and middle school levels.

Nan began teaching in San Diego, in 2001 and upon moving to South Carolina began teaching in Andrews in 2003. She took a break from teaching for a few years to stay at home with her two daughters, Reed (9) and Chloe (7). Reed is a fourth year student in Ms. Hillary’s room and Chloe is a second year student in Ms. Antoinette’s room.

She began her journey with CMCS as a Teaching Assistant in an Upper Elementary classroom. Ms. Nan’s enthusiasm for learning and joy for students are a perfect fit for CMCS.

In her free time, Nan enjoys spending time with her two girls. Nan, Reed, and Chloe love going to the beach and swimming in the ocean with friends. Nan also enjoys paddle boarding in the creeks of Litchfield and Pawleys Island. She loves being out in the sun!  She and the girls have a lab-mix named Woody, a shih tzu named Travis, and a leopard gecko named Ziggy.

Natalie Boggs

Natalie Boggs

Teaching Assistant
nboggs@coastalmontessoricharter.org

If you could have dinner with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

President Barack Obama

Being President of the United States has got to be a challenging job. I would want to know how it feels to run a free world AND be a role model to his children. To be the first Afro-American president is an accomplishment in itself. He incorporated something into his presidency that no other president has, technology.

Ms. Natalie loves educating children, and especially loves seeing how their eyes light up when they learn something new. She has been in the education field since 1996, working in home daycare centers (where she learned all she knows in this field), and for seven years at the Navy Child Development Center at Anacostia Annex in Washington, DC. She is currently working on getting her elementary education degree.

Ms. Natalie grew up in Maryland where she lived most of her life before recently moving to South Caroina.  She was working for a nonprofit after-school program when she heard about Coastal Montessori Charter School and decided she had to be a part of this great school as it got off the ground.

Ms. Natalie enjoys being with her husband and two children, reading, music and cooking.

Lower Elementary

Antoinette Ursits

Antoinette Ursits

Lead Teacher
aursits@coastalmontessoricharter.org

School was never something Antoinette was very good at, often going to summer school for extra help in math during her upper elementary years. The one area Antoinette did enjoy and excel in was reading, writing, singing, and art class.  She still has her early research reports, the biography on Michelangelo and his artwork being one of her favorites.

As a teenager, she worked in her father’s machine shop with her big brother sweeping, cleaning machines, and doing some easy machining work.  She liked working with the machines and loved being around her father. She planned to stay at the shop and take over the family business one day,  but life had other plans for her.

In 1991, an old friend asked her to assist her in a small community Montessori preschool. Those few months changed her life forever. She has never left the Montessori classroom since.

Antoinette assisted in primary classrooms for six years before earning her Montessori teaching certificate and masters in early childhood education.  She taught her first primary classroom in Pittsburgh in 1996. In 1998, she began working at the Montessori School of Pawleys Island and had hoped to be there until her knees gave out!  Life had other plans for her, yet again!

Antoinette accepted a position at CMCS knowing that she would be a part of a wonderful educational movement for the community and the families that she has grown to know and love.

Her love of reading, working with her hands, love of history, sewing and cooking are things she hopes to instill  in each child and adult that she has the opportunity and privlege to work with.  Guiding children to be the best person they can be, using Montessori education, is her life’s work.

Jacqueline Onions

Teaching Assistant
jonions@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Jackie came to the Montessori School of Pawleys Island in 2004 as a parent of her daughter, Abigail, transferring over from the East Aurora Montessori School outside Buffalo, NY, where Jackie worked for a large health care insurer in member services and marketing.  Jackie’s first experience with Montessori School occurred when she enrolled her then two year old daughter Abigail into the East Aurora Montessori School. Jackie soon became a true believer in the benefits of a Montessori education.

After moving to South Carolina in 2004, Jackie immediately enrolled Abigail in the Pawleys Island Montessori School and began volunteering and assisting in reading groups with the children. When the doors opened at Coastal Montessori Charter School in 2012, Jackie accepted a position as a substitute teacher. In 2016, Jackie was offered a position as a full time assistant teacher with CMCS. Jackie’s true passion is nurturing the hearts of the children she loves and sees every day.

Jackie lives in Pawleys Island with her husband Tim of 19 years and their two daughters, Hannah and Abigail. Originally educated in restaurant and hotel management, Jackie’s second passion is cooking and baking and always jumps at the chance to teach children the pleasures of cooking. For two years before leaving Buffalo, Jackie organized and ran “St. Joseph’s Day,” the Italian community’s holiday celebration of feeding the poor and hungry.

Shaye Heiskell

Shaye Heiskell

Lead Teacher
sheiskell@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Shaye came to our Montessori family in 2007, not as a teacher but as a parent of son, Marshall, who attended our sister school, Montessori School of Pawleys Island (MSPI), at the time.  Soon she found herself at MSPI quite often, volunteering and then substitute teaching.  Her second-born child, Tug, entered MSPI soon after and her volunteerism and Montessori interests grew. As her her third boy, Phinn, entered the Montessori world, she realized that this was to be life… Montessori. She was reminded of her own childhood years when she would arrange chairs in her basement for neighborhood children, placing baby dolls in the empty ones, and giving lessons on whatever she could make up.  Rather than initially pursuing an education degree in college, Shaye earned a degree in the fine arts.  She trained and performed theater at the famous Second City in Chicago before eventually realizing her true passion, incorporating her past and focusing her future, and completing her Montessori training.  She now has her own Montessori classroom (or stage) to employ a lifetime’s worth of love for children, learning and exploration in this most-valued school.

Johanna Wilson

Johanna Wilson

Teaching Assistant
jwilson@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Amy Williams

Amy Williams

Lead Teacher
awilliams@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Ms. Amy’s teaching credentials include a bachelor of science in early childhood education, a master of education in instructional leadership, and an endorsement in gifted and talented education. She was particularly excited to expand her teacher training to include the Montessori Method.

She has 18 years of teaching experience and began her career in traditional early childhood classrooms where she evolved to address the needs of gifted and talented students. She connects with the child-centered philosophies of Montessori that align with developmentally appropriate practices of early childhood education and support the natural growth of each child.  In addition, the fundamental levels of differentiation in a Montessori classroom correlate highly with Ms. Amy’s experiences in gifted and talented education. Her teaching background, along with the duties and responsibilities she carried out as a teaching assistant prepared her for the progression into a lead teacher position in a Montessori classroom.

Sarah Stimpson

Sarah Stimpson

Teaching Assistant
sstimpson@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Ms. Sarah started working at CMCS as the art teacher back in 2012, and until that point had never heard of the Montessori method. When she saw first hand what the Montessori method was and how it worked, she was hooked. She has since moved to a teaching assistant position at CMCS.

Ms. Sarah received her undergraduate degree from The University of Central Oklahoma in 2006. She’s working towards a master’s degree in Montessori education from Lander University, which is a lot of extra work after school and at night, but she’s thrilled to be taking this next step toward having her own classroom to lead.

When not at school or working on her degree, Ms. Sarah is an avid artist who loves to quilt and make table runners, placemats and napkins. She is also a ceramic artist. and loves working with clay on a wheel and producing usable ceramic art.

Jennifer Smoak

Jennifer Smoak

Lead Teacher
jsmoak@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Ms. Jen received her bachelor of science in early childhood education from Charleston Southern University. She went on to obtain her master of education in curriculum and instruction with an integration in the arts from Lesley University.

Ms. Jen has 14 years of experience as a lead teacher at the elementary level and her spirit and energy are ideal for our Montessori program.

Jamie Williamson

Jamie Williamson

Teaching Assistant
jwilliamson@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Jamie is originally from Richfield, OH, which is a small community near Cleveland. She relocated to South Carolina a few years ago and currently lives in Pawleys Island.  As a little girl, Jamie would sit in her basement and play school with her grandma. She knew early on that she wanted to be a school teacher and wanted to be the one to help make a difference in a child’s life.  Jamie has worked very hard over the years earning an associate’s degree in public service early care and education from Horry Georgetown Technical College.  She graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a bachelor of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies.

Jamie has spent many years working with children in summer camps, day cares, and preschools and has a passion, love and heart for working with children. When Jamie heard about CMCS she knew she had to jump at this opportunity.

Jamie is married to Kevin and feels truly blessed to be part of the CMCS community.

Specialty Teachers

Keely Elliott

Keely Elliott

Spanish Teacher
kelliott@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Señora Keely

Born in Tallahassee, FL, Mrs. Keely Elliott spent 11 years in the beautiful country of Ecuador as the daughter of missionaries, and claims Ecuador as “home.” It was there that her love for people, culture, travel, and the Spanish language was born.

She received her bachelors in elementary education from Coastal Carolina University.  Immediately following graduation, Keely began teaching in the second grade.  She is currently the CMCS Spanish teacher.
Keely and her husband Carter have been married for 16 years and have three children who are currently enrolled at CMCS. In her spare time, Keely enjoys reading and watching her three children dance, tumble, play tennis and listening to their musical talents grow.

“If you talk to  a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”

Nelson Mandela

Kim Evans-Robey

Kim Evans-Robey

Visual Arts Teacher and Media Specialist
kerobey@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Ms. Kim has always loved art, and attending The Savannah College of Art & Design was a natural choice for her upon graduating from high school in Maryland.  She enjoyed the creative environment of college immensely, and went on to earn a bachelors of fine arts along with a masters of architecture.

After graduating from SCAD, she spent 10 years working as an architect in Baltimore.  She had the privilege of being involved with a wide range of commercial and public projects from Boston to Tampa and across the Atlantic to the United Kingdom.  She loved her job and could never imagine doing anything else. And then…

She became a mom in 2005 and her desire to be involved in her first daughter’s daily life lead her family to Murrells Inlet.  Since leaving the pressures of city life in 2007, she continued to work part-time in the architectural field. With the birth of her second daughter in 2010, she began to explore ways to align her schedule with her family’s in a way that the demands of a career in architecture could not.  This lead Ms. Kim to explore the career of teaching.

In 2012, she was accepted into the highly selective SC PACE (Path of Alternative Certification for Educators) program. In 2013, she earned a critical needs teaching certificate through this program.

Ms. Kim firmly believes in the Montessori philosophy and has witnessed the benefits it has to offer first-hand with her own children, who are both Montessori students.

Amber Bacon

Amber Bacon

Literacy Coach
awbacon@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Amber has always felt like a teacher. As a child in Atlanta she frequently forced her stuffed animals to sit quietly in rows as she drilled them with multiplication flash cards. Thankfully, she has learned a bit about teaching real children since then.

Amber spent the last decade working with students in libraries, preschools, and elementary schools. Since earning her master’s degree in early and elementary education in 2009, she’s been looking for a professional environment that met her high standards as a teacher and parent. Amber moved from Bloomington, IN, to South Carolina a few years ago when her husband Scott became Digital Services Librarian at CCU. When she heard about Coastal Montessori Charter School soon after her arrival, she knew she had finally found the school for her.

You can often find her hiking or bicycling at Brookgreen Gardens or one of the state parks with Scott and their two sons, Hawkins and Ren. When she’s not reading books on parenting or education, she reads books by and about Flannery O’Connor.

Chadwick Thompson

Chadwick Thompson

Music and Drama Teacher
music@coastalmontessoricharter.org

Chad is originally from Charlotte, NC, where he graduated with a bachelor in fine arts from UNCC. Chad is now the current bassist for The Legends in Concert Band in Myrtle Beach, the nation’s top rated tribute show. Before arriving at Legends in 2013, Chad was living in Charlotte where he was a driving force in the Charlotte music and art scenes, performing in a number of bands and art collectives.

Some of the groups include: The Triptych Collective; collective group of artists/musicians/dancers that combined performance art, music, and modern dance all together into single one-off performances. The collective was awarded numerous grants through the National Arts and Science Council. Nano Trio; jazz trio that played modern jazz music that was invited to play numerous performances at the International Jazz Festival in Limoges, France, in 2012. Incognito Mosquito; a band started by Chad in college and shared the stage with many national acts including Victor Wooten Band, Jeff Coffin M’utet, Umphrey’s McGee, Disco Biscuits, the Mantras and many more. Incognito Mosquito quickly grew to become one of Charlotte and North Carolina’s most popular bands with a giant mural that included members of the band and logo painted inside the original Neighborhood Theatre and even a local sandwich named after the band (Incognito Mosquito Burrito) from the Salvador Deli.

While playing with as many as five groups at one time and touring Chad was able to discover another passion he was not aware of: his passion for teaching. Being influenced by his now retired mother who was a highly sought after, life-long music instructor and a staple in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system, Chad maintained a regular teaching roster instructing 40 to 60 students a week for over ten years in the Charlotte area. Teaching before becoming a professional musician taught Chad how to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds and share his knowledge, passion, and joy for music.

Nicole Nucero

Nicole Nucero

Special Education Resource
nnucero@coastalmontessoricharter.org

If you could have dinner with a famous person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

If I could have dinner with any person, dead or alive it would be Carly Fleischmann. Carly is a girl who is nonverbal and has autism, yet despite all these obstacles she has written a book with the help of her dad. She is a very inspiring individual in the special education world. To this day Carly is unable to communicate verbally; however, she communicates with the world via computer. She has been able to take the world by its hands and show us what the world of autism looks like. She is one of the first individuals who is able to show and describe to us what it feels like to live with autism. Carly has shared with the world what it is like to live in her world. Autism is a very puzzling disability. However, Carly has been able to explain some of our questions. She truly inspired me to never give up.

Nicole Nucero’s role at CMCS is to provide students with IEP’s with individualized learning programs. She graduated from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania in 2013. After vacationing in Pawleys Island for many years she decided in June 2014 to finally move here. Ms. Nicole is thrilled to be a member of the CMCS community.