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Miss Emily Allen

School Counseling Team - Grades 4-6

Emily Allen is the middle school counselor at Meeting Street Elementary @ Burns this year. She has previously been a school counselor in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. Emily worked primarily with 7th graders, supporting, and implementing social, emotional, behavioral, and academic goals. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with her Masters in Counseling. She also is working towards her certification in Play Therapy and Child Parent Relationship Training. Before she was a counselor, Emily studied at the University of Tennessee- Knoxville while she competed on the Varsity swim team for three years. When she is not in school, Emily enjoys being outside with a good book. She also enjoys gardening and cheering on any sports she can, and trying new recipes in the kitchen. 

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Ms. Madison Alliston

Kindergarten Team - Teacher

Ms. Alliston is a Kindergarten homeroom teacher. She is a member of Teach for America and this is her second year teaching at Meeting Street Schools. Ms. Alliston is originally from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She attended the University of Mississippi, where she studied Public Policy Leadership and English. Outside of teaching, Ms. Alliston loves watching movies, swimming, and taking her puppy Maggie to the beach!

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Mrs. Anderson, MaKayla

5th Grade Team - ELA, Social Studies, Science

Mrs. Anderson is beginning her fourth year at Meeting Street - Burns. She grew up in Virginia, but moved to Tennessee for four years to attend East Tennessee State University where she studied Human Services and Early Childhood Education. During the time she spent completing this degree, Mrs. Anderson realized she had a passion for teaching students how to advocate for themselves and be a part of the reason that the achievement gap is closed. After college, Mrs. Anderson attended the College of Charleston to obtain her Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education. Outside of teaching, Mrs. Anderson enjoys spending time with family, going out on the boat, attending workout classes, and crafting! Mrs. Anderson can't wait to begin another amazing school year here at Burns! 

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Mr. Nick Bellanco

Explore Team - Physical Education & Health

Coach Bellanco is the Physical Education teacher for Meeting Street @Burns. He moved to Charleston from Scranton, Pennsylvania in August 2018. He is beginning his seventh year teaching and has experience teaching at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. When not teaching, Coach B is extremely passionate about health and fitness, especially bodybuilding. He is also an avid sports fan, whose favorite teams include the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Hurricanes, and Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Ms. Jerethia Blake

Kindergarten Team - Teacher

Jerethia Blake is beginning her second year with Meeting Street Schools. This is her first year as a Kindergarten teacher at MSS Burns; last year she was at MSS Brentwood, where she taught 7th and 8th Grade Social Studies. She was born and raised in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 2010 she received her Masters’ in Public Administration from Strayer University. She returned to her home in Summerville to be closer to her family. She enjoys spending time with her niece and nephew.

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Miss Carly Brewington

Exceptional Children Team - Teacher

Carly Brewington is beginning her second year as a Special Educator after graduating in May 2021 from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) with a B.S. in Special Education. While at ETSU, Carly was also a 4 year student athlete (triathlon) and during her senior year served as a student teacher at a University School on campus. She started her professional teaching career at North Charleston High School and since joining their staff, fell in love with the Charleston community. While Carly’s experiences at North Charleston High School have been fulfilling, she is very excited to be joining Meeting Street Elementary Burns next year, since the opportunity to follow her initial calling and work with younger children was too good to pass up. Carly was raised in south Florida and in her spare time she enjoys traveling there and other places, spending quality time with friends at the beach, cooking and running. 

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Mrs. Avery Buchanan

Exceptional Children Team - Teacher

Mrs. Buchanan is beginning her first year at Meeting Street @Burns as a Special Education Teacher. She was born and raised around the Greenville, South Carolina area and attended the College of Charleston where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education, with a focus on Learning and Emotional Disabilities. After graduation, she moved to Denver, Colorado with her husband while he completed his medical residency in Internal Medicine. They are excited to return to the Charleston area while he completes his fellowship in Cardiology at MUSC. Mrs. Buchanan has worked the last two years as the Special Education Coordinator for a private school. She is passionate about advocating for her students and helping them find their strengths. She is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Special Education at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!!). Outside of teaching, Mrs. Buchanan enjoys spending time with her husband Cole and dog Bella, reading and collecting books, going to concerts, and watching football.

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Mrs. Kaitlin Burnsworth

6th Grade Team - ELA, Social Studies

Mrs. Burnsworth moved to Charleston from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2014 to pursue her career in education. She has 7 years’ experience teaching and most of those years were spent in underserved communities. She has always wanted to be a teacher and has been drawn to serve the communities that need it the most. Being from the Philadelphia area, her interest in underserved communities came from her student teaching experience and her volunteer experience in the Philadelphia Area School District. She graduated with bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in educational technology. Outside of school Mrs. Burnsworth is a mom to two children, Londyn and Carter. She is a season ticket holder for the South Carolina Stingrays and is a huge hockey fan. She loves to cook and spend time with family.

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Ms. Bush, DeAndrea

DeAndrea Bush is a 4th grade teacher at Meeting Street - Burns. She was born and raised in Savannah, GA later moved to Charleston. She attended Bethune Cookman University for her Undergraduate and pursuing her Masters in Education at Claflin University. In her free time she loves to enjoy her family and vacation time. 

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Mr. Joshua Cardenas

6th Grade Team - Science

Joshua Cardenas is beginning his first-year teaching at Meeting Street - Burns. Originally hailing from south Florida, he attended the University of South Carolina where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science and history. He has spent the last six months working in the science department and is excited about his first official year as a Burns Turtle! Joshua enjoys traveling, cooking, exercising, and exploring historic Charleston with his wife and three dogs.

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Mrs. Meg Case

Academic Intervention Team - Interventionist

Marguerite (Meg) Case is joining the Meeting Street @ Burns staff as an interventionist. She graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelor of Science in Education and Southern Wesleyan University with a Master of Education in Leadership. She is originally from Connecticut but has lived between South Carolina and Georgia for many years. Ms. Case has spent most of that time in Charleston and has spent her entire 20 year teaching career working in under-served communities and Title I Schools. She has taught second grade through fifth grade and became a literacy interventionist 13 years ago. Literacy has become her passion and created opportunities for her to build an extensive background in reading intervention. She is trained in multiple forms of literacy intervention, participated in after-school tutoring, and held the position of lead interventionist in a previous location. She has also passed on her knowledge to other educators through leading professional developments. It also gives Ms. Case great joy to pass on her love of reading to her students. She did a book drive during the pandemic and was able to provide six Title I schools in Charleston County with a book for each student. Meg loves to travel, spend time with her family and dogs, go to the beach and read. 

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Ms. Lori Cameron

2nd Grade Team - Teacher

Ms. Cameron is beginning her second year as a third grade teacher at Meeting Street @ Burns. She was born and raised in North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Communicative Arts. After graduation Ms. Cameron began her teaching career in North Carolina where she taught for twenty years. She has been a Team Leader, Mentor Teacher, Cooperating Teacher, Math Teacher Leader, and was a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in Early Childhood. In her spare time Ms. Cameron enjoys traveling, cooking, pilates, playing tennis and spending time with family, friends and her two longhaired dachshunds; Gus and Tucker.

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Miss Kristen Chitty

Exceptional Children Team - Teacher

Ms. Chitty is beginning her first year as an Exceptional Children's teacher at Meeting Street @Burns. She was raised in Atlanta, Georgia but quickly fell in love with Charleston when she moved to attend College of Charleston. She followed her passion for education and studied special education while at CofC. She went on to teach for two years at Goose Creek High School and loved her time spent building relationships with students and families. While teaching, she realized the reality of the achievement gap. She decided to go back to school and is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Ms. Chitty is thrilled to be returning to her favorite city and most of all, to the classroom. She cannot wait to join the MSE@Burns team! In her free time, she enjoys traveling, attempting to cook, and spending time with her family, friends, and dog Bella.

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Miss Lindsey Ferreira

First Grade Team - Teacher

Ms. Ferreira is beginning her first year as a first-grade teaching fellow here at Meeting Street @Burns and she is excited to embark on this new adventure. She was raised in Darien, Connecticut and then graduated from the University of Lynchburg, in Lynchburg, Virginia. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education while playing varsity level lacrosse. She discovered her passion for teaching and working with children at the summer camp she used to attend. She is so thrilled to bring that passion into the classroom. Outside the classroom, Ms. Ferreira likes to go to the beach, try new coffee spots, and relax with friends.

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Mrs. Francis, Savannah

First Grade Teacher

Mrs. Francis is beginning her 6th year teaching and her first year at Meeting Street @Burns! She grew up outside of Birmingham, Alabama and attended Mississippi State University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. After graduating, Mrs. Francis got married and moved with her husband to Los Angeles. She spent 4 years working as a first-grade teacher while also earning her Master’s Degree in Reading from Grand Canyon University. After spending this last school year teaching first grade in Colorado, Mrs. Francis, her husband Tyler, and their aussiedoodle Roary are excited to be in Charleston, a place that has always felt like home. In her free time, she enjoys going on road trips, grabbing coffee, and watching The Office at home with her family. 

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Mrs. Gammons, Bronwen

Leadership Team - Academic Dean, Grades 2nd-4th

Bronwen Gammons is beginning her first year with Meeting Street as the Director of Curriculum of Instruction. Previously, she was an assistant principal at River Oaks Middle School; and before at Ashley Ridge High School—with a total of 11 years as an administrator in Dorchester School District 2. Bronwen started her educational career in Virginia Beach, teaching Spanish at Bayside Middle School; transitioning to the position of AVID Coordinator, with a total of 10 years teaching in the area. Originally from Charleston, Bronwen graduated from high school in Greenville, South Carolina; then moved back home to attend THE College of Charleston. She received her Master’s of Education from Cambridge College. Outside of school, Bronwen enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, exercising, and going to the beach. 

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Miss Giles, Nik'Toshia

Leadership Team - Dean, Grades Pre-k-1st Grade

Ms. Giles received her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina in Columbia. While attending USC, she was a South Carolina Teaching Fellow. Through this program she was able to attend several professional developments, including attending Ron Clark Academy in Georgia. She brings innovative hands-on activities into the classroom and focuses on confidence building in each student. She believes in setting a high standard of academic excellence and achievement. Outside of school, Ms. Giles enjoys traveling, listening to music, and hanging out with her friends and family.

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Miss Harrison, Holly

Exceptional Children Team - Teacher

Ms.Harrison is beginning her first year as a special education teacher at Meeting Street @Burns. She is moving to Charleston from Chicago, Illinois where she graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a minor in Chinese Language and Culture. Her passion for education began when she was a member of her high school’s unified club where she mentored and read books to special education classes in her community. She was also a Special Olympics flag football and bowling partner and coached special hockey, soccer, and track. Since then, Ms. Harrison has worked as an elementary teacher assistant in her hometown in Minnesota, tutored refugees in Chicago, homeschooled in Ireland, and worked in outdoor education for Voyageur Outward Bound School. Ms. Harrison loves to travel, spend time outside, run, and be with her family and friends!

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Miss Hartsough, Sarah

Behavior Intervention Team - Interventionist

Ms.Hartsough is a Behavior Interventionist here at Meeting Street @Burns. She moved to Charleston in 2021 from Cincinnati, where she was a special education behavior teacher for 4 years before working as a high school behavior interventionist. Ms. Hartsough loves working with students to help them unlock their potential and break down the barriers we sometimes face with learning. She is currently working on her Masters of Emotional Behavioral Disturbances while also picking up hobbies like fishing and surfing! 

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Mrs. Harvey, Samantha

Pre-K Team - Teacher

Ms. Harvey is a PreK teacher, with this being her 3rd year with Meeting Street at Burns. She has 8 years experience working with children of all ages, infant to 18 years of age. She found her passion in getting to know each one of the kids and celebrating each victory and success, no matter how big or small. Ms. Harvey enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.

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Ms. Kelsey Horry

Kelsey is native of Edisto Island and a proud graduate of the illustrious Tuskegee University. She is currently working on a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education at Grand Canyon University. One firmly believes that educational environments should be student-centered and present equity for scholars to have a choice and a voice. To encourage their self esteem and to promote higher order thinking. Altogether Kelsey loves teaching, spending time with her family and friends. Along with shopping, traveling, reading books and being a foodie!

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Mrs. Jenkins, Charniqua

Kindergarten Team - Teacher

Ms. Jenkins is a graduate of Trident Technical College. Born and raised in Charleston, SC she worked with Charleston County School District for 3 years in the Kaleidoscope program where she tutored students, helped children set career goals, and provided a safe, supervised, and structured program for youth. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Jenkins enjoys traveling, shopping, and spending time with her family.

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Mr. Jimenez, Raul

Exceptional Children Team - Teacher

Mr. Jimenez is a new Special Education teacher at Burns starting in January of 2023. He moved to Charleston during the summer of 2021 from NYC, but he has worked in both the public and private sector of special education since 2009. He attended college at Connecticut College and studied Psychology and Government pursuing an FBI career. However, that changed when he attended Americorps National Civilian Community Corps out west and found a calling supporting marginalized communities. He then moved to Boston as a counselor at a residential community for female adolescents who were struggling with mental health and traumatic experiences. Soon after, Raul moved back to NYC to pursue his Master’s Degree in Special Education and worked in the Bronx in a high needs specialized high school for individuals with disabilities. Ensuingly, he transitioned to the private sector and worked with college bound students with disabilities at a 1:1 capacity as well as in a classroom setting. Finally, upon moving to the Lowcountry, he launched a small business providing transition services for young adults with Autism as well as providing virtual college coaching for students with disabilities at Landmark College in Vermont.Outside of career commitments, his hobbies include fitness, being a foodie, working at a brewery on the weekends and being an avid fan of his home state teams: NY Mets, Rangers and Giants.

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Mrs. Keesecker, Dulce

3rd Grade Team - Teacher

Mrs. Keesecker is a 3rd grade teacher here at Meeting Street @Burns. She attended the College of Charleston where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Keesecker served in the United States Army for four years. Outside of the classroom, she loves spending time with her husband and son.

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Mr. Kuzmenko, Alex

Operations Team - IT Manager

Mr. Kuzmenko is our campus IT Manager. He is the proud dad of two little ones and happily married to his childhood sweetheart. He was born in Cherkasy, Ukraine and migrated to Massachusetts in 2001 with his parents and nine siblings. He has fond memories of overcoming the language barrier and adjusting to the new culture. He played men’s varsity volleyball and soccer in high school and won the volleyball state title in 2010. He graduated high school with both a Diploma and the Information Support Services & Networking Certificate. Mr. Kuzmenko worked for an IT consulting company until he decided to move to Charleston South Carolina in 2015. Shortly after he became a Field Engineer primarily working on repairing copiers and configuring networking settings to make sure the end user had no problems printing, scanning, coping and faxing. Acquiring this knowledge, he became an expert troubleshooter and installer and was given the task of coordinating installs between customers and vendors and the end users to make sure the transition to the new devices were seamless. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, BBQing, playing sports and spending quality time with his family and friends.

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Miss Lamb, Hannah

Explore Team - Art, Player Coach

Ms. Lamb teaching career started with Teach for America in a quest to make our education system more equitable across our country. Unlike most races run, this one has only given her more fire and energy as she runs it! She comes to Charleston with 3 years of teaching experience from the banks of the Mississippi river in Arkansas. She has spent time teaching 5th grade general education and kindergarten through fifth grade art. She served as a grade level chair and the head of after school programming in the past and is excited to bring her experiences to Meeting Street Schools' students. Ms. Lamb graduated from Campbell University in North Carolina with a double major in Public Relations and Spanish with a minor in Health Communications. She played Division I lacrosse for 4 years and loves to be active and share her love for the game with others! When not teaching and learning in the classroom, she loves to be outside, to be creating (literally anything-send her some ideas!), and to be with her dog, Levi.

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Miss Sarah Lansinger

Kindergarten Team - Teacher

Sarah Lansinger is beginning her first year as a kindergarten teacher at Meeting Street Elementary at Burns. She was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and attended Towson University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. She student taught in Baltimore County and Baltimore City Public Schools. Sarah became an at home teacher. She is excited to finally be in the classroom! In her spare time, Sarah loves to paint, see live music, explore new places, and spend time with her family.

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Mrs. Lesky-Aull, Jennamarie

Leadership Team - Academic Dean, Grades 5th-6th & Behavior Intervention Lead

Ms. Lesky-Aull is the Director of Student Experience at Meeting Street @ Burns. She is a Charleston native and played volleyball at Wando High School and then went on to play in college. She graduated from Columbia College with an Elementary Education degree and pursued her masters degree from Northeastern University. During her 10 years of teaching she gained experience from multiple states including South Carolina, Connecticut & North Carolina. While in Connecticut Ms. Lesky-Aull was apart of the 2014-2015 third grade team that had the highest math scores in the state and was recognized by her Superintendent. While working as a third grade teacher in Raleigh, NC, she also served as the leader of the Tier Behavior Team to support teachers and students throughout the building. She is so excited to be moving back to Charleston and closer to her family! She loves spending time on the boat with her family and loves to take her 4 year old son shark fishing. In her free time she loves to go fishing offshore, hunting, running, and anything competitive.

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Miss LaPorcha Lewis

Exceptional Children Team

Porcha Lewis is a NY native who loves working with and guiding children. Previously, Porcha worked as a residential counselor in Florida serving adolescent youth offenders. She has a background in human services and has her Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Science. When she is not educating our students, she is at the boat landing watching the waves, smelling the salt water, and listening to an audiobook.

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Mrs. Martin, Jennifer

Second Grade Team - Teacher

Jennifer Martin moved to Mount Pleasant from Massachusetts in July of 2014. After spending many years as a behavior therapist, Jennifer went back to school to finish her degree and fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. Jennifer is a graduate of the College of Charleston where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. In her free time she enjoys trail walks with her dog Willow, running, cooking for her family, or losing track of time reading a book. 

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Mr. McKeown, Daniel

Leadership Team - Director of Operations

Mr. McKeown was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina but moved to Athens, West Virginia to attend Concord University to pursue his undergraduate work in Elementary Education. He began his teaching career with Mercer County as a Title 1 Instructional and Reading Teacher. After two years, he moved back home to South Carolina to be closer to the coast in Beaufort. Mr. McKeown taught First grade and Kindergarten in Beaufort County for four years at Joseph Shanklin Elementary. During this time, he completed his Master of Education in Educational Administration, served on district and school committees, wrote district-wide curriculum, mentored new teachers, and evaluated teacher performance. In 2018, he started as Director of Development and Marketing for the Neighborhood Outreach Connection, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting poverty. Mr. McKeown loves to relax, search for shark’s teeth, read books that take him to a different world, and sing and dance to music.

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Mrs. Makayla Mitchell

Explore Team - Art Teacher

Makayla Mitchell is beginning her fourth year of teaching Art Education.She graduated Cum Lade from The Illustrious South Carolina State University in May of 2020 receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Studio Arts and becoming a first generation college graduate in her family. She began her career through Teach Charleston, an alternative teaching certification program. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, making art, and binge watching television shows with her husband, Michael.

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Mrs. Patel, Jigisha

Kindergarten Team - Teacher

Ms. Patel was born in Winona, Mississippi and raised in a small town called Covington, Tennessee. She also speaks three different languages including English, Hindi and Gujarati. She brings joy, laughter and a deep passion to help her students. She has spent her last few years educating students in Memphis, Tennessee. She taught at Memphis College Preparatory Elementary, preparing kindergartners for first grade. She uses her creative thinking skills to design interactive challenging assignments that are fun and engaging for all students in her class. She also uses her unique background to connect with a diverse range of students so that they all feel included and understood. Ms. Patel earned her Master's of Arts in Teaching at Relay Graduate School of Education in Memphis and her Bachelors of Science in Education at the University of Memphis. Outside of teaching she enjoys travelling, running, swimming and spending time with her family.  

 

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Mrs. Debbie Perdue

Operations Team - School Nurse

Debbie Perdue is the new School Nurse at Meeting Street Elementary Burns. She moved to Charleston in 2021 from Florence, SC. Although, new to school nursing, she has been a nurse for 29 years. Most of her early years in nursing were spent in ICU settings. The past 15 years, she has worked in employee heath, infection control, immunizations and pre/post surgical care of infants, children and adults. Nurse Debbie is so excited for the opportunity to care for the students and to be a part of The Meeting Street @Burns family. Her true joy is her 2 grandchildren but she also enjoys boating with her family, shopping, interior decorating and exploring Charleston. 

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Miss Eileen Piernik

2nd Grade Team - Teacher

Ms. Piernik is beginning her first year at Meeting Street Elementary at Burns working as a second grade teacher fellow. She was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Miami University with a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. She is passionate and excited to teach second grade this year and she hopes that each of her students develop confidence, empathy, and growth during the school year. She strives to help all of her students succeed and reach their goals as learners. In her free time, Ms. Piernik enjoys the beach, traveling, cooking, and hanging out with family and friends.

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Johnson, Chantay

1st Grade Teacher

Ms. Johnson was born and raised in South Carolina and attended the University of South Carolina, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. After graduation, she remained in Columbia, where she worked as a social worker with the Department of Social Services. Her passion to serve her community dates back growing up in a rural part of South Carolina and having the opportunity to have teachers and other individuals make a profound impact in her life in Kindergarten and throughout Junior-High school. This makes her feel inclined to pay it forward in all areas of her life. In her spare time, Ms. Ravenell enjoys going to church, traveling, cooking, shopping, spending time with family and friends,cheering on her beloved Gamecocks, and listening to her favorite artist, Jay-Z.

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Mrs. Melanie Quinn

Academic Intervention Team - Interventionist

Mrs. Quinn started working as a teacher in 2014 while simultaneously taking leadership roles. Since 2021, she has held the position of an interventionist. Her passion for students has never wavered but has grown to include a love to mentor teachers. Her dedication to wanting to learn is what motivated her to graduate with her Master's in 2023. She enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters!

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Miss Reece, Caroline

4th Grade Team - ELA, Social Studies, Science

Ms. Reece is beginning her first year of teaching at Meeting Street Elementary at Burns. She is starting her journey this year with forth grade students and she couldn't be more excited! She grew up in South Carolina and attended the College of Charleston. She received a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Political Science. While finishing up her degree at the College of Charleston she applied with Teach for America. She is beginning her two year commitment With Teach for America this year. While in college, Ms. Reece facilitated multiple First-Year Experience courses, where she helped freshman students become more acclimated to their time in college and provided them with the resources they needed to become a successful college student. Through her role as a Peer Facilitator and studying the educational system from a political science background, she found her passion for teaching and transforming the education system. In her free time Ms. Reece loves reading, walking around downtown Charleston, attending local concerts and spending time with her family and friends.

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Kristine Reifeis

1st Grade Teacher

Mrs. Reifeis is a first grade teacher at Meeting Street Elementary @Burns. She moved from Chicago, Illinois to Charleston three years ago and cannot imagine ever moving back to colder weather. She attended the University of Iowa and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a specialization in Reading and Language Arts and a Master’s Degree in Teaching, Leadership, and Cultural Competency. Before settling into first grade, she was a preschool and substitute teacher for grades K-8. In the classroom, Mrs. Reifeis is passionate about finding ways to help all of her students succeed and meeting them exactly where they are at. Outside of teaching, she loves to read, play with her dog, Kona, try out new recipes, and travel with her husband!

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Dayana Reyes

1st Grade Teacher

Ms. Reyes is a first grade teacher at Meeting Street @Burns. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia but was raised here in Charleston, SC! She attended The College of Charleston and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education. She is thrilled to begin her fourth year with Meeting Street! She is passionate about teaching the children of the Dorchester-Waylyn neighborhood. She strives to provide a fun and safe learning environment for them each and every day. Previously, Ms. Reyes lived in Madrid, Spain, where she taught sixth grade in a bilingual school for two years. Outside of teaching, she loves to read, travel, and hang out with her friends/family. 

 

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Lavern Rush

5th Grade Team - Math, Science

Mr. Rush is a native of Andrews, SC and 2019 graduate of the illustrious Claflin University located on the high hilltop of Orangeburg, SC. Go panthers! When Mr. Rush is not in the classroom, he enjoys singing and leading worship at his church, cooking, and spending time with his family and friends. His philosophy in life is to be happy while being useful, honorable, compassionate, and to make a difference in this life.

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Celycia Scott

Special Education Teacher

Ms. Scott is a Special Education teacher here at Meeting Street Elementary Burns. She just recently relocated to Charleston from Winston-Salem, NC to be closer to her paternal family while advancing her career in education. She earned her Bachelor's degree from Winston-Salem State University in Psychology and subsequently began working with students with special needs as a Teacher's Assistant. This inspired her to pursue an advanced degree in Education and obtain a Master's degree of Education from Strayer University. She is a passionate educator who has worked with learners from all backgrounds on every end of the spectrum. Ms. Scott's favorite past times include spending time with family, learning, traveling, watching Jeopardy, and engaging in physical activity- including officiating basketball, soccer, and volleyball.

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Briana Sharpe-Thomas

4th Grade Teacher

Ms. Sharpe-Thomas is a 4th Grade Math teacher here at Meeting Street Elementary Burns. She is from Atlanta, GA and move to South Caroline in August of 2011 to attend South Carolina State University. This is where she received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and was ready to begin here dream as an Elementary Teacher. The 2021- 2022 school year will begin her fourth year as a teacher, as well as her fourth year teaching Elementary Mathematics. Her goal is to see all students flourish academically and socially through problem solving and mathematical practices that can be applied to everyday life. Ms. Sharpe-Thomas enjoys listening to music, binge watching the latest shows and cooking weekly meals to build her chef skills in the kitchen.

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Margot Shinn

Exceptional Children's Teacher

Ms. Shinn is an Exceptional Children's teacher at Meeting Street @Burns. She moved to Charleston from New York with her husband, 2 boys and their cat and dog, in December 2021. She's very excited to say goodbye to snowstorms! This is her second year working for Meeting Street, and her eighth year working in an elementary school. Previously, Ms. Shinn worked in elementary Charter Schools's across New York City from Brooklyn to the Bronx. She obtained her B.S in Special Education Emotional and Behavior Disorders as well as a Minor in Early Childhood Education in 2011 from the University of Kentucky. In 2015 she completed her Master's degree in Diversity and Equity Issues in Education from the University of Illinois. She is very excited to start her first full school year as a team member at Burns! When she's not at school, she loves going on adventures with her 2 boys, catching a movie with her husband, walking her dog, or going for a run or reading a book! She loves trying all the new food Charleston offers!

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Ariana Snowden

1st Grade Teacher

Ms. Snowden moved to Charleston, South Carolina from Orlando, Florida where she was formerly a Walt Disney World cast member. Originally from Chesapeake, VA, she attended Brenau University in Gainesville, GA where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theater and was in numerous productions. At Disney Ms. Snowden was a part of the professional internship program and lead teams in Animal Kingdom, at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, and in All Star Music Resort. In her spare time she likes to craft, follow Pinterest recipes, go to any and all professional athletic events, plan last minute weekend trips, and online shop. Ms. Snowden has always been passionate about two things: Musical Theater and children.

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Chandler Soloway

Behavior Intervention Team - Interventionist

Chandler Soloway is a Behavior Interventionist for K -2 at Meeting Street - Burns. She was born and raised in North Carolina and attended East Carolina University for her Masters of Social Work, with a license in School Social Work. She is a major advocate for mental health and giving kids the tools needed to share their powerful voice with the world. When she isn’t at school, Chandler loves to read a good book with her dog, and explore the new place she calls home!

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Danzel Thompson

Data & Analytics Manager

Mr. Thompson is beginning his Meeting Street career this year as the Data and Analytics Manager. He is a local South Carolinian and even attended Burns and Brentwood for both Elementary and Middle School. After Graduating from Canebay High School he immediately entered the workforce jumping straight into the field of IT. He studied and passed several certification tests that qualified him as a Network and Computer engineer. He started with ITS as an intern when he was 17 and worked there until he turned 26 servicing the Low country’s IT needs for around 9 years. Through the world of IT Mr. Thompson worked at several schools one of which was MSEB. He worked there from the summer of 2020 to the start of the New Year as a contractor and now is an official employee! During his time at Meeting Street he helped facilitate IT centric projects and handled the day to day tasks that ensure the technology needs are met for all teachers staff and students. In his spare time Mr. Thompson likes to play video/board games, go to the gym, spend time with his beautiful daughter, and listen to thought provoking podcasts.

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Emily D. Thompson

Speech Language Pathologist 

Ms. Thompson was born and raised in Arkansas and attended the University of Arkansas where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Disorders. After graduation, she continued her education at the University of Central Arkansas where she received her Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology. After receiving her masters, Ms. Thompson became a speech therapist for an elementary school in Little Rock, Arkansas. In order to spread her wings and further grow, she decided to move away from Arkansas and chose the beautiful, historic city of Charleston, South Carolina. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, spending time with family/friends, taking long walks with her goldendoodle, or reading a good book.

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Chelsea Tolbert

PreK-2nd Grade Counselor

Chelsea Tolbert is the PreK - 2nd-grade counselor here at Meeting Street Elementary at Burns. This is her fourth year as a school counselor and her fourth year working at Burns. Born and raised in North Charleston, SC, Ms. Tolbert loves that she is able to support students and families within the same community she grew up in. Ms. Tolbert always knew she wanted a career where she could help others, especially in regard to mental health so after graduating high school, she attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. After graduating, Ms. Tolbert moved back to Charleston and began the Master of Education in Counselor Education program at The Citadel Graduate College in order to become an elementary school counselor. Upon graduation from The Citadel in December 2018, she began as a substitute teacher with Charleston and Berkeley County School Districts. During that time, she gained experience working with teachers and students from various backgrounds. In her free time, Ms. Tolbert loves reading, creative writing, doing arts and crafts, and spending time with her family and friends.

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Sherrie Vanderhorst

Operations Specialist

Ms. Vanderhorst is the Operations Specialist. She was born in Johns Island, South Carolina. After graduating from St. Johns High School she attended Beta Tech Technical College where she became a state certified Medical Assistant. In addition to furthering her education, she worked 20+ yrs in school bus transportation. Seeking a change of pace, she decided and agreed to join the excellent and stellar team at Meeting Street Elementary @Brentwood. She is one of the founding members of Meeting Street Elementary @Burns. In her spare time, Ms. Vanderhorst enjoys reading, outdoor activities, cooking, traveling, attending her church services and functions, along with spending fun quality time with her two sons and family.

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Deloris Washington

Prek Teacher

Ms. Washington was born and raised in South Carolina and attended Southeastern University where she received a Associate Degree in Medical Assistant. She is currently attending Phoenix University to receive an Early Childhood Bachelor degree. She previously worked as a teacher assistant in Prek3, Special Ed; and a lead Daycare teacher. Ms. Washington is a mother of two, a grandmother of one and a wife. In her spare time she enjoys writing, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

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Karen Werth

PreK Teacher

Ms. Werth is joining the Early Childhood Program at Meeting Street Elementary Burns. She attended the University of Kansas where she received a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and then a Master's degree in both Early Childhood and Special Education. She has taught in Kansas, Boston, Charlotte, NC and Rochester, NY. All those experiences have brought her to Burns and the opportunity to teach 3 and 4 year olds, her favorite little people. Her last classroom was a farm in upstate NY where she taught therapeutic horseback riding to students age 3 to 92 and worked as director of operations. Charleston gives Ms. Werth the opportunity to be closer to family including her two grandchildren. She continues to spend time with some very special horses serving children and adults with special needs, holding hands with her husband of 40 years and puttering in her garden.

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Emily Williams

1st Grade Teacher

Mrs. Williams is a 1st grade homeroom teacher. This is her 7th year teaching and her 5th year at Burns. Mrs. Williams is proud to be a founding member @Burns. She has taught both kindergarten and 1st grade. Mrs. Williams is originally from Irmo, South Carolina. She attended the College of Charleston where she studied and received her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education. In her free time, you can find her at the beach!

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Erica Wimpory

Second Grade Teacher & Grade Level Chair

Erica Wimpory is a 2nd grade teacher and grade level chair here at Meeting Street @Burns. She moved to Charleston from Bedford, Massachusetts five years ago and has been teaching with Meeting Street Schools ever since! Before teaching in Charleston, she was a Special Education Teacher for two years in Massachusetts. She received both her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Master’s Degree in Special Education from Endicott College. In her classroom, Mrs. Wimpory strives to help her students reach their goals while challenging them along the way. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing tennis, walking her two dogs, and going to the beautiful beaches in Charleston!

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Dru Wolfe

6th Grade Teaching Fellow

Mr. Wolfe is beginning his first year as the fellow for 5th and 6th grade math. He was born and raised in West Virginia and attended Marietta College where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. After graduation he worked in corporate America in Finance and Management. After several years he left corporate America and joined the City of Charleston Fire Department. He served 7 years as a Fire Fighter/EMT until getting injured at a fire. In his spare time Mr. Wolfe enjoys traveling, cooking, attending shows on Broadway, and any live sporting event.

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Julia Wood

Academic Interventionist

Mrs.Wood is from down the road and across some bridges on Johns Island, SC where she grew up! She received both her BA (Hollins University) and her Masters of Science (College of Charleston) in Environmental Science. In addition, she is a Certified Practitioner of Orton-Gillingham through the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. She started with Meeting Street @ Burns in January 2019 and this is her 11th year of teaching overall. In her free time, Mrs. Wood likes outdoor adventures - especially on the water, cooking, working out, and traveling.