An award-winning independent school in Mount Pleasant, SC
University School of the Lowcountry
690 Coleman BoulevardMount Pleasant, SC 29464(843) 884-0902
Frequently Asked Questions
University School of the Lowcountry © 2007 - 2023
School Counselor, LOTCs
Winnie was born and raised in New Jersey and graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology from Central Connecticut State University. While attending CCSU, Winnie played Division I lacrosse, interned with the local preschool, and volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club. Upon graduation, Winnie moved to Tennessee to earn an M.S. in School Counseling and to assist in starting the Division II Women’s Lacrosse team for Lee University. Winnie was the high school counselor and Head Girls Lacrosse coach at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Georgia before moving to Charleston to be with her family. In Charleston, she was a school counselor at West Ashley High School.
In her spare time, you may find her walking the city, coaching lacrosse, or attending local concerts. Winnie has a huge passion for helping others and is excited to be a part of the USL community!
For more on Winnie Caetta, read For First Year Staffer, Winnie Caetta, Every Day is Different.
Math and LOTCs, Red Cross Instructor, Job Shadow Program, School Testing
Tiffany Thompson grew up in Mount Pleasant and is very excited to be returning home after a few years away in Waynesville, NC. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Pure Mathematics at Erskine College. Tiffany realized that she loved to teach and decided to pursue education right away. She spent one year substitute teaching, as she was transitioning into married life in NC, then she taught seventh-grade math for two years in Canton, NC.
Tiffany was honored as the 2022-2023 High School Teacher of the Year for South Carolina’s Independent Schools.
Tiffany is married to her husband, Kirby Thompson, who is also a Charleston native. They have two young boys. In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys playing piano, swimming, playing with her two cats, and playing trivia.
For more on Tiffany Thompson, read Tiffany Thompson is USL’s 4th Teacher of the Year.
Intermediate School Spanish
Sonia was born in Toledo, Spain. She attended college in Spain and earned an AA in Business Administration. She moved to the USA in 2000, and to Mount Pleasant in 2001. She lives with her husband and two boys. She has been teaching Spanish in several local schools since 2002, and she has worked for an Immersion Spanish program for 15 years.
Sonia loves sharing her country’s happy, extraordinary, relaxing, amazing culture and language with the children. She says, “Spaniards are very friendly, and they always find a good reason to celebrate and have fun. Kids are so curious and learn so fast, and that fascinates me. I love USL kids because they are eager to engage in my culture and language.”
Maria was born in El Salvador. She moved to Washington D.C and attended Radford University earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Maria returned to El Salvador to take a Lead Kindergarten teaching position at an English Immersion School. She married, returned to the US, and had three wonderful children. After starting a business with her husband and acting as office manager and a licensed insurance agent, Maria and her husband moved from Maryland to Mount Pleasant in 2021. She tutored and taught Spanish at The Learning Center and El Colegio Miercoles before joining USL. Maria loves sharing her language and culture. Her instruction includes visual, auditory, and tactile approaches to increase memory retention, understanding, and fluency. In her free time, Maria travels, visits area beaches, paddleboards, or spends time with family and friends.
Director of Development
Christine is a Certified Fund Raising Executive with 17 years of nonprofit, marketing, and strategic planning experience. She has served as Development Director at the Alliance for Education and Pacific Northwest Research Institute in Seattle, WA, and at the Savannah Music Festival in GA. Prior to that, she served in various roles at Coastal Community Foundation.
A native of Pennsylvania she earned her B.S. from Philadelphia University, then earned a Masters in Public Administration from the College of Charleston. She was a Student Ambassador in Brazil with the Rotary Club and spent a semester in Italy.
Christine aims to connect people to what they are passionate about, keeping community improvement always top of mind.
She and her husband Brent and their two kiddos live on the Peninsula with their 16-year-old rescue dog, Daisy.
Middle School Director, Math Department Chair
Born and raised in Indiana, Nicole graduated with a BS degree in Biology. Later in life, she followed her heart and went back to school to become a mathematics teacher. She graduated with honors from NC State with a BS in Mathematics and Education. Her teaching career spans 18 years of guiding children in public and independent schools. She joined University School in 2011. In addition to teaching, Nicole sponsors USL’s Chess Club and Math Club.
Due to USL’s hallmark individualized approach to mathematics education, as of 2023, she has led her students to eight State Championships (and two runners-up) in the last ten years at the SCISA State Math Meet. Nicole was honored as the 2017-2018 Middle School Teacher of the Year for South Carolina’s Independent Schools. Nicole was named the South Carolina Middle School Math Teacher of the Year (SCISA) for 2022-2023.
Nicole resides in Mt. Pleasant with her children, Evie and Riley. In her spare time, she can often be found at Starbucks tutoring, hanging with her children, golfing, or reading.
Recently retired from a 30-year career at the College of Charleston where he was Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Dean of Admissions, Don Burkard is a member of the college counseling team at University School. His inside higher education insight along with his skills as a counselor combine to make him an invaluable aid for our students. Don especially enjoys focusing on the juniors and seniors and their journey to college and beyond.
Don resides in Mt. Pleasant with his wife Mary, and he enjoys traveling to explore and to see his three children and his grandchildren.
Upper School Chemistry and Physics
Heather moved to Charleston to attend the College of Charleston where she graduated from the Honors College with a B.S. in Biology and Secondary Education Certification followed by a M.Ed. in Math and Science education. She taught High School Science in Charleston for six years before finding her way to the University School where she became a Middle School science teacher. After teaching at USL for 6 more years, she stepped away from teaching to stay home with her children for a few years. Heather is excited to rejoin the faculty teaching Chemistry to the Upper School students.
Heather lives in Mount Pleasant with her husband Drew and their five children. She enjoys spending time with family, being outdoors (especially on or near the water), reading, and cooking.
Middle School and Upper School Spanish, LOTCs
Monica was born in Acapulco, Mexico, and lived in many different cities within the country while learning local traditions. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Hospitality in Merida, Yucatán. After college, she moved to California where she started her own floral business, raised three beautiful children, and enjoyed all that California has to offer. She moved to the Lowcountry where she worked in the Spanish Immersion Program at the Learning Center in Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church. She fell in love with teaching Spanish and the traditions of the Latin culture. In 2012, Monica joined Charleston County School District where she taught Spanish (K through 5th). She served as a translator when school staff interacted with Spanish-only parents. Monica has also tutored students in Spanish since 2010.
Monica also has worked as a translator, interpreter, and legal assistant in an Immigration Law firm, helping the Spanish-speaking community to understand and follow US immigration laws.
She loves to cook and enjoy the beach with her family. Monica also has an enthusiastic positive attitude, living by this quote: “If you cannot find a kind person, BE ONE.”
Middle School English
Originally from Easley, SC, Ginger received her B.A. in English from Furman University and her M.A.T. from the University of South Carolina. She has taught English at the college, high school, and middle school levels since 2002. Ginger is a recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (2016-17). She has South Carolina Endorsements in the areas of Gifted and Talented and Read to Succeed. Ginger is certified as a Highly Qualified Teacher in the areas of English and Middle-Level Language Arts.
Some of her interests are wildlife and traveling. She has been on safaris in Tanzania and serves as a volunteer on the Sullivan’s Island Turtle Team. In addition, Ginger is a Dominion Energy School Programs volunteer at the SC Aquarium.
In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, running, and biking with her family and dog on Daniel Island, where she resides.
Middle School and Upper School Humanities, Environmental Science, and LOTCs
Bennett was raised in Greer, South Carolina, and has been in Charleston since 2009. He graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Urban Planning and a minor in Geography. Over the last ten years in Charleston, he has organized thousands of community initiatives and events to connect vital resources with those who need them, including food, after-school education/tutoring, school supplies, and community space for outdoor education. Most recently, he was the Community Director at Charleston-based non-profit Enough Pie, working to integrate the arts into the traditional learning curriculum at James Simons Elementary, Sundrops Montessori, Charleston School of Math & Sciences, and Sanders-Clyde Elementary.
Last year, Bennett co-authored and published his first book, Tales From The Manor, a history of Charleston based on a series of interviews with the wise elders at Joseph Floyd Manor, a low-income elderly and disabled federal housing unit in Charleston’s Upper Peninsula.
Upper School German
Jake is a native South Carolinian: he was born and raised in Spartanburg. He decided to make his move to Charleston more permanent after graduating from the College of Charleston in 2019. Jake earned his undergraduate degrees in English with a concentration in creative writing and German as well as a degree from the school’s Honors College. While at C of C, Jake worked for Miscellany, the school’s undergraduate literary magazine for four years and served as Managing Editor and Editor in Chief his last two years. Jake also has articles and work published online through the Frankfurter Neue Presse based out of Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany where he worked as an intern in the summer of 2018.
Outside of the classroom, Jake enjoys good coffee, loud music, weird movies, and weirder books.
Intermediate School Humanities
Originally from Greenwood, SC, Nan received her B.A. in Public Relations and her M.A.T. from the University of South Carolina, where she was a South Carolina Teaching Fellow. Nan started her teaching career in Columbia, SC, and also taught the elementary grades in New Jersey and Maryland. She became passionate about the needs of high-achieving learners when she taught in the Center Programs for the Highly Gifted in Montgomery County, Maryland – a program designed to enrich, accelerate, and extend the district’s gifted curriculum. Nan has a special interest in how the brain learns and enjoys planning lessons that teach with the brain in mind. Formerly, Nan spent summers teaching a graduate course for educators on teaching and learning through movement.
Nan lives in Charleston with her husband, Jonas, and kids, Lila and Sam. She enjoys hanging with her family, being outside, reading, and cooking. She is thrilled to be a part of the USL community!
Intermediate School Mandarin
Wei Ma was born and raised in China where she received her B.A. in Education. She immigrated to the United States in 1997 and received an A.S. from Santa Barbara City College (CA) in Office Management. Wei Ma has been teaching Mandarin Chinese to children in Charleston for several years. She is passionate about her teaching and believes learning the Chinese language and culture will give students more opportunities in the future.
Wei Ma is also the director of Charleston Chinese Language Center which offers one-on-one and small group lessons.
She likes to do Chinese calligraphy and Chinese folk dance in her spare time. She lives in West Ashley with her husband, Elijah Siegler, and two children, Lucy and Henry.
Physical Education, Red Cross Instructor
Jennifer, or as friends refer to her, Jen, is a Maryland native and made her way to the Lowcountry in 2010. She graduated from St. Joe’s University in Philadelphia with a BS degree in marketing. While obtaining this degree she played basketball all four years for St. Joe’s Women’s Basketball team.
Jen was in sales for AT&T Business Solutions for a brief stint before realizing that her true passion was still basketball. She made a career switch and became an assistant coach at Long Island University for the women’s basketball program. After coaching for six years at LIU, she transitioned to Monmouth University and was an integral part of the Women’s basketball program for two years.
After the arrival of her second son, she decided to stay at home in order to spend more time with her kids. Her family relocated to the Lowcountry in order to be closer to extended family and enjoy warmer weather, and Jen has given private basketball lessons, organized kids’ camps, and coached elementary and middle school girls’ basketball.
She resides in Mt. Pleasant, and in her spare time, she enjoys hanging out on the beach, stand up paddle boarding, hiking in the North Carolina mountains and exploring all Charleston has to offer!
Upper School Director, Upper School English, Upper School Journalism, College Counseling
Though born in Charleston, Sara was raised in Greenville, South Carolina. She returned to the Lowcountry to receive her BA in English and Creative Writing from the College of Charleston before completing a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. Following graduate school, Sara resumed managing Blue Bicycle Books, teaching a creative writing day camp for kids, Write of Summer, and began working with the University School. Additionally, she privately works with students in writing, test preparation, and college admissions.
Sara has been teaching middle and high school writing and English at USL since 2013. She was honored as the 2020-2021 High School Teacher of the Year for South Carolina’s Independent Schools.
Maya grew up on Folly Beach and graduated from our Middle School (there was no Upper School at that time) in 2011 as a Duke TIP State Scholar. She went to high school at Academic Magnet and college at Furman University in Greenville, SC. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, with a focus on environmental science and science education. After her graduation in 2019, she also completed a Master’s in Special Education (focused on Learning Disabilities) from Furman University. Maya completed her first year teaching 6th grade science at an arts integration school in Greenville County and then went on to teach sixth grade science for the Greenville County Virtual Program for the past year. Maya also has participated in a teaching fellowship with the Public Education Partners, focusing on advocacy and community outreach for the past year.
Maya moved back to Charleston this spring, and is so excited to be a part of the USL family, this time as a teacher instead of a student. In Maya’s free time, she enjoys wakeboarding, going to the beach, and exploring Charleston!
Intermediate School Director, Intermediate School English, Upper School Film Studies, LOTCs
Randy was born and raised in Havertown, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. He received his B.A. in Journalism from the University of Pittsburgh and his M.Ed. from Temple University. He moved to Mt. Pleasant after 25 years as an Honors English / Literature teacher at the prestigious Philadelphia High School for Girls. Randy also taught Poetry, Film Study, and SAT Prep at Girls High and he coached the tennis team and the National Academic League team. He was also a Class Sponsor for over a decade.
During his summers, Randy is Senior Director at Arrowhead Day Camp in West Chester, PA, where he works with campers age 4-17.
Randy has lived in Mt Pleasant for four years with his wife Erica and daughter Savannah, who is a Senior at the College of Charleston. He also has a son, Robbie, who graduated from West Virginia University and works in Philadelphia. In his free time, Randy plays golf and loves going to the beach. He is also an avid baseball fan(Phillies, of course) and a collector of Beatles memorabilia. Randy enjoys reading and loves the classics, especially the works of Shakespeare, Poe and Lewis Carroll.
Director of Community Life, LOTCs
Tasha was born and raised in Mount Pleasant, SC, and is a lover of all things topped with sprinkles and near the water. She is a recent graduate of Winthrop University and earned a degree in Elementary Education. Her time as a swim coach for Snee Farm Swim Team is what drew her to a career in education. Tasha has experience in grades kindergarten through 8th, from several student teaching internships and fellowship programs in South Carolina and California. She also enjoyed teaching art and cooking classes to University School students on Zoom during the 2020 quarantine.
Outside of the classroom, Tasha loves to bake cookies and cakes, watch the sunset, and spend time with family and friends.
Middle School and Upper School Latin
Frank grew up in Northern Virginia and attended the Westminster School, an independent coeducational day school with an emphasis on the Classics. He continued his study of the Classics and Latin throughout high school and holds a B.A. degree in Classics and a Minor in Art History from Wake Forest University. At Wake Forest, he also studied overseas at Casa Artom in Venice, Italy. Upon graduation he attended Florida State University, where he earned a Master’s degree in Classical Archaeology and his teaching certification. At FSU Frank was a graduate assistant for four summers at the excavations at Gaiole in Chianti, Italy, located between Florence and Siena. He has been teaching at the high school level, university level, or online for over 20 years. He currently is an Instructor and Department Chair for the North Carolina Virtual Public School.
Frank has been living in Charleston for almost five years after relocating from Raleigh, NC. He enjoys his family, traveling, and the water.
Intermediate School Math
Jody Lemmon is a multi-talented educator, entrepreneur, and artist with a diverse range of experience and interests. With a New Jersey K-8 certified teacher certification, Jody has been a dedicated teacher throughout her career, with experience in both general and special education. She has served as a lead teacher in preschool and middle school and has also worked as a computer instructor and contributed to various educational programs and enrichment activities.
In addition to her work in education, Jody was a successful hairstylist and salon owner for ten years, where she developed skills in entrepreneurship, marketing, and customer service. Jody grew up in New Jersey and attended Saint Peter’s University, where she earned a BA degree in Elementary Education and American Studies. She later moved with her family to Mount Pleasant in 2009 to escape shoveling snow and enjoy the sunny weather.
Outside of work, Jody enjoys exploring her creative side through mixed media art and cultivating her garden. She also loves building with Legos and has a 5-star Animal Crossing Island. Jody’s diverse interests and passion for adventure are reflected in her teaching, where she encourages her students to think critically and approach math with a sense of creativity and wonder.
With her skills, experience, and passion for education, Jody is an excellent fit at USL as the IS Math Teacher. Her dedication to her community and open-minded and curious approach to life make her a valuable asset. Jody is excited to bring her enthusiasm for math and creativity to the classroom and inspire students to reach their full potential.
Ginny Lane attended the University of Georgia, right down the road from her hometown of Macon, Georgia, where she graduated in 2019 with a major in advertising and a minor in sociology. She moved to Charleston in 2021 and eventually set out to be an artist. Working as a teacher at the Blair Center for the Arts soon became a favorite way to engage with the youth in the community. Joining USL as the art teacher supported this career direction. In the art room, Ginny Lane focuses on empowering the students to step out of their comfort zones as they explore new mediums and techniques.
Head of School
Jason Kreutner, raised in Mount Pleasant and a current resident, is the founder and Head of University School of the Lowcountry.
As a leader who is also a faculty member, Kreutner teaches all students in Leadership and Life Skills, organizes and leads the weekly experiential learning activities, and coaches the Quiz Bowl teams. Prior to establishing University School of the Lowcountry, he was Dean of Students and then Director of Studies at Charleston Collegiate School, served as Upper School Dean and History Department Chair at Porter-Gaud School, and was Dean of Students and Humanities Instructor at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, SC.
Read Jason’s complete biography for more on his background and accomplishments.