Bailee Adkins graduated from Georgia Southern University with dual degrees in International Studies and Spanish. She has extensive Spanish immersion experience through multiple mission trips to the Dominican Republic and spending a summer studying abroad in Spain.
Ms. Adkins grew up vacationing on Hilton Head and relocated upon graduating in 2018. Prior to pursuing a degree in education, she worked in various roles in Events and Sales at the Westin Hilton Head Island & Spa. She has always had a love for children and is excited to join the Cross community to share her passion for the Spanish language and culture. She is also involved in community student ministries and is a Bluffton/Hilton Head Young Life Leader. Contact Ms. Adkins at b.adkins@CrossSchools.org.
Leslie Albert's children began attending Cross Schools in 2006. In 2009, as a volunteer, she spearheaded the building of the Cross Schools Library then served as librarian for two years. She joined Cross Schools as a part of the Faith Formation program in 2016 as an assistant. Today, she is a teacher of children from Preschool through High School and the coordinator of ministry and outreach events.
Mrs. Albert holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance Degree from the University of Florida. She held positions in event planning for the Savannah Economic Development Authority, recruiting and corporate development for the Career Management Center at Vanderbilt University MBA School, and Membership Services Director at Belfair Plantation. These roles, combined with her desire to inspire others to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord, have prepared her for this new position
Mrs. Albert and her husband, Gerrit, have three children. Contact Mrs. Albert at l.albert@CrossSchools.org.
Fleet comes to us with a background in education and business-related experiences. He received his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Elon University and MS.Ed.in Special Education from Old Dominion University. He is certified in English Language Arts, History/Social Studies, and Special Education. He has taught in Virginia and in North Carolina. While in Virginia Beach, he served with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) advocating for abused or neglected children. His teaching experience covers many areas from elementary to high school, from working with regular education students to students with emotional disabilities. His career also includes teaching History/Social Studies to high school Arabic students in Qatar. His travels include working, visiting, and/or living in Vietnam, Japan, Qatar, and Turkey.
Fleet spent four years in Marine Corps aviation. He enjoys motorcycling and currently rides a Harley trike. He said his wife, Nan, didn't like leaning on two-wheel bikes. The longest motorcycle trip, on two wheels, was from Virginia to Yellowstone National Park and back via South Dakota. "It was a great trip and a great way to see the country and meet people along the way."
He is a member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association; has been a high school football official in Virginia and North Carolina and will begin with South Carolina in the 2021 season.
"Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny."- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mr. Bagley can be reached at email@example.com
Toni Bliemeister received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Adolescent Education from Houghton College. She later went to Georgia Southern University and graduated with her Master of Arts in English Literature. Her research interests are in Arthurian Literature and 19th and 20thChildren’s Literature. Ms. Bliemeister has recently presented her research on Brian Jacques’s Redwall at the Children’s Literature Conference in Atlanta. For the last few years, Ms. Bliemeister has been teaching at the collegiate level with both the University of South Carolina-Beaufort and Georgia Southern University. After jumping from school to school as a First Year Writing professor, Ms. Bliemeister decided to make the switch to high school where she can continue to serve Christ and led students to an appreciation of literature. She believes that writing is a social activity. She is excited to share her knowledge of literature with the students and help them see Christ’s workings through all types of texts.
Contact Ms. Bliemeister at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lindsay Bowerman graduated magna cum laude from Houghton College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with an Environmental Emphasis accompanied by Spanish and Missions minors. She continued her education at the University of Connecticut and graduated with a Master of Science Degree in Biodiversity and Conservation. Her area of research included population density and distribution of mammals in the tropical lowland rainforests of Costa Rica. She also had an internship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration working on a conservation plan for Stenotomus chyrsops, a heavily harvested fish species found in the Atlantic Ocean and worked on Caretta caretta sea turtle conservation on Hilton Head Island.
Ms. Bowerman has been teaching Middle School science and math at Cross Schools for 10.5 years. Her goal is to instill a love of science, math, and life-long learning into all the students that pass through her science lab. She thinks there is no better way to learn about God than to study Him through his miraculous creation, which she strives to share with her students daily. Contact Ms. Bowerman at l.bowerman@CrossSchools.org.
Lindsay Boyd has been in the Lowcountry since 2017. She's been teaching for over five years. She attended the US Naval Academy and earned her bachelor's degrees from the College of Charleston and her master's degrees from The Citadel. Outside of teaching, Ms. Boyd enjoys painting, baking, and Crossfit.
Contact Ms. Boyd at email@example.com.
Heather Brougham-Cook has enjoyed more than fifteen years in the classroom. A career journalist turned professional educator, she takes pleasure in sharing her passion for reading and writing with young students in the classroom. Heather has an established reputation for encouraging the most reluctant readers and writers to flourish and grow. A confirmed history nerd who nabbed the annual history prize each year of high school, she brings history alive by prompting her students to question how the past impacts the present and encourages young historians to predict how the past will shape the future. She is a certified Montessori teacher (MEPI) and also holds a MEd (Early Childhood Education). She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Mrs. Brougham-Cook has a proven track record in developing curriculum in upper elementary and middle grade learning programs and finds that her technical writing skills transfer easily and usefully into the classroom.
A Rotary Teacher of the Year (2013/14), she also interned at Nancie Atwell's Center for Teaching and Learning (2011) and is a National Writing Project teacher consultant. She has participated in several NEH Landmarks of American History Workshops (2012- 2019) and in the UN Peace Camp for Teachers, South Korea (2018). She works hard to develop empathy muscles in the hearts of those she teaches through service-learning programs, and has received grants from the UNICEF Trick or Treat - Kids Helping Kids Movement and the Anne Frank Partnership program as a Seldin K Smith Foundation grant recipient. She has received a number of Palmetto Electric Bright Ideas grant awards and the DAR’s Helen Pouch Memorial Classroom Fund to improve her teaching environments. She served as an advisory board member on the following boards: Scholastic Storyworks, eTextPrep - Middle School Challenge and Georgia Aquarium's Educational Advisory Board. Contact Mrs. Brougham-Cook at h.brougham-cook@CrossSchools.org.
Tracey Cannon earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education from Winthrop University and is also certified in Middle School Language Arts with a Gifted and Talented Endorsement. She also holds a Masters in Education in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University.
She began her teaching career in 2000 and taught for fourteen of those years in Beaufort County. She and her husband moved here from Columbia, South Carolina. She has three amazing children: Madeline, Calem, and Emerson. Throughout her teaching career, she has coached middle school basketball. She is the New Mentor Teacher Coordinator and serves as the National Junior Honor Society Advisor.
Mrs. Cannon's philosophy in education is that many children have different strengths and intelligences. As an educator, her goal is to help students discover their talents so they can apply them to their everyday learning experiences. She wants students to learn that with the right attitude and champion effort, they can accomplish their goals and be successful in life. Contact Mrs. Cannon at t.cannon@CrossSchools.org.
Mrs. Church is a dedicated teacher with 15 years of experience teaching Spanish programs for Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced Levels. She is originally from Venezuela and graduated from the University Central of Venezuela with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication. Mrs. Church moved to South Florida 17 years ago where she motivated and encouraged her students to achieve their highest academic, emotional and social potential. In 2019 Mrs. Church and her family moved to Bluffton and she began teaching as part of the Immersion Spanish Program on Hilton Head Island. She is very excited to join Cross School and be part of the students' success at the Middle School and High School levels.
When Mrs. Church is not teaching. She enjoys painting and spending quality time with her husband, 10-year-old son, and dog, Clover.
“God will open doors for you that no one can shut” Isaiah 20:20
Contact Mrs. Church at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Cullinen earned a BA in Art and Art Education from Rutgers University and an M.Ed in Educational Technology from Lesley University. He is certified in K-12 Art in both New Jersey and South Carolina. He is originally from New Jersey where he taught photography for 13 years before relocating with his family to Bluffton in 2000. In July of 2020 after 20 years at Battery Creek High School in Beaufort, he retired from Beaufort County Schools.
He enjoys the natural beauty and slower pace of the Lowcountry and is excited about being a part of the Cross community.
Contact Mr. Cullinen at email@example.com.
Pam Donahue has been teaching art at Cross Schools since 2008. She has a BA in Visual Arts from Austin Peay State University, magna cum laude, and an MA in Fine Arts from Indiana University. As an undergraduate, she focused on painting and drawing and also minored in French.
As a graduate student, she majored in art history, focusing on early-19th century French painting.
While studying, she received a fellowship to work in the IU Art Museum’s Education department. She went on in art education as Assistant Curator of Education at the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee, then Manager of Family Programs at the Dallas Museum of Art. She began her teaching career in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy, a K-8 charter school for highly gifted students. Upon moving to Bluffton, she began teaching both art and technology for Cross Schools. She has also taught Yearbook, Video Editing, and Public Speaking.
Pam’s teaching philosophy is threefold:
Pam and her husband have three children, Michael, Ryan, and Katie. In addition to art, she enjoys history, baking, and college football.
Contact Pam Donahue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Mr. Fisher at email@example.com.
Mr. Fisher is originally from Cape Town, South Africa. He completed his undergraduate (BSc-Sports Science) at Stellenbosch University and an MEd at the University of the Western Cape. He later continued his education in the United States where he received his MSc (Sports Medicine) from Eastern Michigan University.
Teaching the sciences has been his passion and he's looking forward to new students in his classes every year.
Mr. Fisher is also the founder of a Foundation that plays a major role in underserved communities around the globe, especially in South Africa (Cape Town), Rwanda (Kigali), Congo (Gomo), and Uganda (Kabale). He takes groups of students and adults on a regular basis to visit South Africa to assist in the Foundation’s work. While there they typically take some time to get in some wildlife sightseeing.
Mr. Fisher also enjoys coaching field hockey, tennis, squash, and soccer. He also loves playing tennis and fishing. Mr. Fisher is an avid Manchester United fan.
He's looking forward to serving the Cross school community in all facets.
Contact Mr. Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren French earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with an emphasis in Education from Saint Joseph’s College in Patchogue, New York. She attended college on a full academic scholarship, was a member of the History Honor Society, and graduated with honors. She has worked in literacy tutoring for ten years, and after staying home with her children for over five years, she has felt led to bring her passion for education to the classroom.
Mrs. French believes strongly that all students have a natural love for learning that can be explored through varied and challenging activities in the classroom. She has a passion for helping students to learn how their lives and the world they live in has been shaped by the events of the past. It is her goal to be an encouraging and guiding hand for her students, as they grow academically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Mrs. French and her family relocated to Bluffton from Long Island, New York in the Spring of 2019. She and her husband Rob have been married for almost ten years, and have been blessed with two sons, Nathaniel and Theodore, who are part of the Cross School family as well. Contact Mrs. French at l.french@CrossSchools.org.
Holly Heck graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a Master of Arts Degree with a concentration in Education. While working toward her Master’s Degree, she worked as a full-time Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Classics Department. As an undergraduate, she double majored in Anthropology and History with a minor in Sociology. She’s taught math, science, and history at the elementary and middle school level and also currently works at the after-school program at the Boys and Girls Club in Bluffton. She also continues as a remote Business Integrator for a dental practice in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, where she continues to work in human resources, finance, and marketing.
Mrs. Heck grew up in Berkshire County, Massachusetts where she met her husband, Michael. They moved to Bluffton in 2021 with their 9-year-old son, Grayson. As a family, they love to visit the beach and spend time outdoors. Mrs. Heck rollerblades daily and loves walking and jogging with their family dog, Shiloh.
Contact Mrs. Heck at email@example.com
Lisa Hill graduated with Honors from the College of Charleston. She continued her studies with graduate degrees from Brenau University and the University of Georgia. Lisa has taught school for over fifteen years, both public and private. She has also taught teacher preparatory courses at the university level. While she started in Elementary, her passion is working with the older students in Middle and High School. Her focus in teaching is primarily math, but she also enjoys teaching various science courses. Lisa is certified in Gifted and Talented education.
Lisa and her husband, Buzzy, have one son, Yancey, attending 1st grade at Cross. They are members of the Church of the Cross and are excited to be members of the Cross Schools Community. Contact Mrs. Hill at l.hill@CrossSchools.org.
Leanne Hoiles graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She continued her education at the University of South Carolina and graduated with a Master of Science Degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Liberty University and is in the final dissertation stage for her Ph.D. in Curriculum. Her dissertation focuses on the change in teachers’ attitudes towards technology in the classroom before and after the pandemic.
Ms. Hoiles has been teaching in the Lowcountry for over years. She has strong ties to the Cross family. All 3 of her children were educated at Cross and she has been a member of the church for many years.
Her goal is to ignite a passion for learning in her students and to always do their best, for “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24.
Contact Mrs. Hoiles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coach Cleo has an extensive background as both an educator and coach, having worked for both private Christian schools and public schools as large as 6A. He has been at the helm of several teams that have earned and repeated city and regional titles. In addition, he spent over 20 years serving in the United States Navy. Coach Cleo makes the move to the Bluffton area from Grenada, Mississippi.
Coach Cleo and his wife, Linda, have four kids and eight grandchildren. Linda has also spent most of her career in education and holds a Doctorate in Theology.
He’s excited about the opportunity to build an elite football program not only in the Lowcountry but in the state of South Carolina. Contact email@example.com.
Jeff Ottney is a native Ohioan who has taught for most of his career in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Thus, he cheers for Ohio State, and Penn State--and is understandably conflicted. He once was the managing editor of Rollercoaster! magazine, allowing him the means to write about one of his favorite hobbies.
Jeff has served as a lay leader at his past church in Pennsylvania, where he also formed a praise band years ago. He and his wife Kim support an orphanage in Kenya and sponsor some children in Central and South America.
Contact Mr. Ottney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Mr. Ray at email@example.com.
Kristina Rebmann earned a BA in Education and Sociology & Anthropology with focus areas in Math and English from Stockton University and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Carolina. She is certified in K-5th grade and middle school math in both New Jersey and South Carolina. Additionally, she has the Gifted and Talented and Read to Succeed Endorsements. She is originally from New Jersey before relocating to South Carolina in 2011. Kristina has over ten years of management experience prior to transitioning back to education. She taught for six years in Beaufort County; five of those years were invested in Hilton Head Middle School and one year at H.E. McCracken Middle School. She taught 7th and 8th-grade standard and advanced math courses.
She and her husband moved here from New Jersey in 2011 and welcomed their daughter Penelope in 2015. Penelope has been a part of Cross Schools since Preschool and continues her journey here.
Mrs. Rebmann's philosophy of education is to lead with love and learning is a lifelong journey. As an educator, her goal is to provide students with confidence and growth in all aspects of their individual selves. She wants students to challenge themselves and one another while holding themselves to a high standard.
Contact Mrs. Rebmann at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marisa Rivera graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre this past May. She has always been drawn to the stage and has performed in community, regional, and collegiate theatre in New York State. Most recently she portrayed Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath. She also led SUNY Fredonia’s only competing a cappella group, Premium Blend, to place third in the ICCA competition. After college, Ms. Rivera moved to Bluffton, South Carolina to join her family. She is a member of The Church of the Cross and sings in both the Chapel and Crosspoint services every Sunday.
Ms. Rivera believes that music and drama are essential to creating well rounded, inspired students. Her desire is to share her love of God and worship with her new cross family. She is excited to see where the Lord leads her in this ministry! Contact Ms. Rivera at m.rivera@CrossSchools.org.
Ben Simcox received his Bachelor’s degree from Whitworth University and a Masters degree from California State University, Sacramento. Mr. Simcox and his wife moved to Bluffton in 2021 from California and have felt so blessed by the amazing education that Cross Schools has offered both of their children.
Having a strong background and passion for education, Mr. Simcox is excited to be a part of Cross’s Upper School Math Team. Mr. Simcox has been a CPA for over 10 years and joins Cross Schools after many years of holding financial and management roles in both private industry and government agencies. As someone that spent the majority of his career applying math concepts in the business world, Mr. Simcox is passionate about teaching and mentoring students to build their math skills and to serve Christ. Contact Mr. Simcox at email@example.com
Nancy Ungvarsky graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Biology and then went on to complete a doctorate in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Pittsburgh. She continued her research career as a postdoctoral associate at Georgia Tech working with Dr. Mark Hay. While working at Georgia Tech she conducted research on oyster reef ecosystems at The Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, where she fell in love with the salt marshes of the Lowcountry. During her time at Georgia Tech, Dr. Ungvarsky taught both graduate and undergraduate courses, including an Ecology course for their Pacific Study Abroad Program in Australia.
After dividing her time between Atlanta and Savannah for three years, Dr. Ungvarsky decided to move to Beaufort County full time in 2009 and dedicate herself to secondary science education. She taught Biology I and AP Biology at Beaufort High for the next eleven years. She earned her South Carolina Teaching certificate through the PACE program and went on to earn a Masters of Education in Secondary Science from the University of South Carolina in 2013. Dr. Ungvarsky was selected as the Beaufort County District Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018. The core of Dr. Ungvarsky’s teaching philosophy is that students need to go beyond just learning facts, to using facts to develop an integrated understanding of the world we live in. Memorized facts do not lead to understanding until students learn how to look for connections and use them to construct logical arguments for how things work. This is Dr. Ungvarsky’s first year teaching at Cross Schools and she can’t wait to share her passion for Biology and all of God’s creation with her students. Contact her at n.ungvarsky@CrossSchools.org.
Since the youngest of ages, Nathan has sensed a call to pastoral ministry. This journey led him to West Virginia Wesleyan College where he majored in Religious Studies, with an emphasis in Church Liturgy and Formation. Here he helped lead a campus ministry that transformed his understanding of God and what it means to lead others toward a relationship with Christ.
Upon graduation, he attended Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY, where he received a Master of Divinity. Nathan is currently completing a Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Direction from Asbury. He met his wife, Lauren while studying at Asbury Seminary. Lauren hails from Macon, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia and also earned a Master of Divinity from Asbury Seminary. She is currently finishing a degree in Mental Health Counseling from Marshall University and plans to be licensed as a Professional Counselor. Nathan and Lauren have a son, Ezra, who was born in 2020.
Nathan served as a United Methodist pastor in West Virginia for three years and as an adjunct professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College before following God’s call to the Anglican Church and The Church of the Cross. Nathan is a passionate preacher who seeks to use everyday examples to communicate the complexities of the Gospel. He is excited to pastor the students, families, and staff of Cross Schools. Nathan is glad to meet for pastoral counseling or spiritual direction.
Contact Pastor Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kira Winders holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education from Appalachian State University and a Masters of Elementary Education from Liberty University. She loves being active and healthy and is extremely passionate in providing her students with the knowledge to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Mrs. Winders and her husband have four children. Her daughter and sons are thrilled to be a part of Cross Schools, and her youngest will join the Stingray family next year. It is her goal to combine her range of experience with the other teachers at Cross Schools and to present Health and Physical Education as an important, fun, and life-changing class.
Mrs. Winders has been involved in sports since she was young. She has years of experience coaching both basketball and softball. As a Physical Education teacher, she is passionate, devoted, and excited about the Cross Schools Athletic Program.
Mrs. Winders taught in North Carolina and Virginia before moving to South Carolina in 2013. She has enjoyed working at Cross since 2014. Mrs. Winders is very excited to be a part of Cross Schools faculty. Contact Mrs. Winders at k.winders@CrossSchools.org.