Phone: 843-216-2883

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Jody Swanigan, Principal

Jody Swanigan is the founder and Principal of East Cooper Montessori Charter School. She is a passionate proponent of the effectiveness of authentic Montessori practices in our public programs and serves proudly on the South Carolina Montessori Alliance Board of Directors. The success of ECMCS has brought several humbling personal accolades such as Charleston Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award (2007) for professionals under the age of forty making a difference and the Public Charter School Alliance, Administrator of the Year in 2010. The success of ECMCS has served as a model for the effective implementation of Montessori methods and charter schools on both the state and national levels.

Jody holds a Bachelor’s Degree and South Carolina State Certification in Elementary Education, Montessori certification at both the primary and elementary levels, plus a Master's Degree and State Certification in Elementary School Administration. She taught Montessori elementary students for 10 years before accepting the position as Principal of East Cooper Montessori Charter School (ECMCS) in 2003. 

The arrival of Jody’s first child and her title change to working mom in June of 2010 has served to reinforce Jody’s commitment educational innovation and authentic Montessori practices for both the community and her beautiful daughter.


Phone: 843-216-2883

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Nikki Hollander, Assistant Principal

Nikki Hollander joined ECMCS in 2005. After starting her Montessori teaching journey, she returned to her home in the DC area for 6 years. During this time she served as an Assistant Principal and Head of School for two of the oldest, independent Montessori schools in the metropolitan area. She is most proud of a project to build a 100K Natural Playground, as well as founding the Greater Washington Montessori Conference. She is a licensed Principal, Montessori teacher, holds her Masters Degree in Literacy from The Citadel, and attended George Washington University for Educational Leadership and School Administration. She is a certified Instructional Coach from the University of Florida Lastinger Center as well as a certified OGAP (Ongoing Assessment Project) Math Trainer.

Her passions include supporting teachers, curriculum and instruction, and students with learning differences. She believes the success of every ECMCS student continues to pave the way for equal access to a Montessori Education for all.


Phone: 843-216-2883

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Lisa Klus, Instructional Coach

Ms. Lisa brings over 25 years of Montessori teaching in both private and public schools, as well as experience as a trainer in Montessori teacher education programs. Both of her boys attended Montessori school through 8th grade. Lisa has her Bachelor's of Science in Montessori Education from Xavier University and a Master's in Educational Administration from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. Lisa has taught at all Montessori levels, Primary through Middle School. Additionally, Lisa has her Montessori certification in the 3-6, 6-9, and 12-14 levels. She is passionate about the education of the adolescent and Montessori's philosophy of Erdkinder, through land-based student-run work. Lisa's other interests include walking, reading, traveling, golfing with her boys and husband, and visiting her parents.


Phone: 843-216-2883

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Ariel Heicher, Guidance Counselor

Ms. Ariel is thrilled to be joining the East Cooper Montessori Charter School family where her 2 children attended school, and where her passion for School Counseling was nourished. A native New Englander, Ariel moved to Charleston in 1991 and has been working over the past years with school-aged children in both educational and counseling settings including Windwood Farm, as an Equine Assisted Psychotherapist and with the MUSC STAR Program before heading to Australia in 2012 where she was the Clinical Director and Program Manager of PAN Inc., a rural hands-on farm based counseling program for at-risk youth. Upon returning to the US Ariel took a position as a School Counselor at Wando High School since 2014. She is excited to share those experiences as she comes full circle back to East Cooper Montessori Charter School.


Phone: 843-216-2883

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. Billy Koll, Finance Director & Title IX Manager

Billy Koll joined the ECMCS family in 2017 as the Finance Director.  Billy graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Accounting and is a Certified School Business Official.
 
Billy lives in West Ashley and during his downtime he loves to play with his son Charlie, go fishing, skiing and enjoying the outdoors.  
 

Phone: 843-216-2883

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Lori Gleaton, Director of Admissions

Lori Gleaton grew up in Atlanta, GA and worked in the computer software field as a graphic designer and product-marketing manager until her children were born. She and her husband, Slade moved to Charleston in 2002 because it is the ideal place to raise their three children.  Once her children reached school age, Lori resumed her work outside of the home as an Administrative Assistant. As a supporter of progressive education, Lori ended up at Addlestone Hebrew Academy where she also worked as the Director of Admissions, the perfect segue to her role at ECMCS. 

Her other interests include nutrition, fitness, and arts and crafts of all kinds.


Phone: 843-216-2883

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Carrie Walker, Office Administrator

Carrie Walker grew up in Charleston, WV and graduated from Marshall University with a double major in Business and Spanish.  She studied abroad in Spain to complete her Spanish degree and after graduation moved to Mt. Pleasant in 2006.  Ms. Carrie brings with her experience as a Client Relationship Manager since 2006.   

She lives with her husband, 2 children (who love attending ECMCS) and their golden retriever Clark. During her downtime, Ms. Carrie enjoys local events, camping, family time, and sunny beach days.