Richard Hansen, Chairman

Richard Hansen graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer and later earned an MBA in Finance from NYU.  After serving as a junior officer in the Navy, Mr. Hansen moved to New York City and began a 30-year career in Commerical Banking, financing  Forture 500 Corporations, and international energy and mining projects.  He retired in 2006 and moved to Bluffton.  

Mr. Hansen joined The Church of the Cross in 2018.  He was attracted by the energy of the church and its focus on and faithfulness to God's message.  He was also attracted by Cross Schools, which he views as a testament to the strength of the church's commitment to spreading the Christian message to the next generation.  

As a Trustee, he enthusiastically embraces the two goals of imparting a Christian world view and values to the children of Cross Schools while also providing an excellent academic education.  

He is married and has two sons and two grandchildren.  

A favorite Bible verse is Matthew 7:7-8:  "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  


David Pierson, Vice Chairman

Dave has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He is a career retailer spending the majority of that time in the retail optical industry.  He served as President and CEO of various optical companies including Sears Optical and Pearle Vision.  He retired in 2014 and continues to consult with companies and trade associations in the industry.


Dave and Sue have been members of the Church of the Cross since permanently relocating to the Bluffton area in 2014.  They frequently attended and grew to love the church when visiting the area for over 20 years.  Dave has previously been involved with Stephen Ministry and Sue taught Sunday School at the historic location.    


They have two married children and four grandchildren.  Their two oldest grandkids are now attending the University of South Carolina in Columbia.  They are fortunate to have both families enjoy the Low Country and spend vacations and holidays in their home.


A favorite Bible verse of Dave’s is 1 John 1:7 – “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

Alan Restivo, Chief Financial Officer

Alan graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing. He is also the holder of a Masters’ Degree in Business Management from Bryant University. 

Mr. Restivo and his wife, Beverly, moved to Bluffton, SC in 2014, and joined The Church of the Cross in 2015 where they are involved in various ministries. Prior to moving to Bluffton, they lived in Rhode Island where Mr. Restivo, a CPA, was the Controller at Johnson and Wales University.  He has over twenty-five years of experience in the Education field, mostly in financial management. 

The Restivos enjoy spending time with their two children and four grandchildren.  They also enjoy golfing and the beach.

A favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13:  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Scott Thomas, Secretary

Scott graduated from Georgia Southern University with a B.S. in Construction Management and a minor in Business. He co-owns a construction firm in Bluffton, SC with his two brothers. Scott grew up in Savannah, GA, and moved to Bluffton with his wife Megan in 2009. They have two children, Chance, and Gracie Bea, that attend Cross Schools. They are active members of Community Bible Church in Beaufort.


A favorite Bible verse is John 16:33: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Kevin Aylmer, Trustee

Kevin Aylmer graduated from Villanova University with a B.S. in Marketing. Kevin and his wife, Megan, moved to Bluffton in 2010, having lived in Lansing, MI., Pittsburgh, PA, and the suburbs of Chicago. The Aylmers have three children and one grandson. Mr. Aylmer has been in the newspaper publishing and digital media business for more than thirty years. He is currently the Owner/Publisher of The Bluffton Sun & Hilton Head Sun newspapers.

One of the Bible verses that Kevin relies on is Matthew 6:25-27 : “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"


Betsy Batten, Trustee

Betsy Batten is a physical therapist and president of Thrive Physical Therapy and Wellness, LLC. Prior to moving to Bluffton in 2008, she completed undergraduate studies in Health and Exercise Science at Furman University and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Elon University.

Dr. Batten is delighted to serve on the Board of Trustees for Cross Schools. As a member of The Church of the Cross since 2012, the mission and outreach of the church and school are near and dear to her heart. Betsy is married to Lowcountry native, Wise Batten, Jr. Their sons have attended Cross Schools since preschool and are delighted to go to school every day.

She is inspired by the words of Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Wayne Bowerman, Trustee

Wayne Bowerman grew up on a dairy farm in western New York.  After High School, he graduated from Erie County Technical Institute with an AAS in Mechanical Technology.  He then served in the US Navy on an aircraft carrier, then spent 29 years at Xerox Corporation working in Research and Development.  After retiring in 1998, he continued working in a career of flying for a small charter company based in Rochester, New York.  

He and his wife, Phyllis (Phyl) have two sons and six grandchildren.  One son is an MD with twin boys, and the other is a private equities investor with four children.  Both sons graduated from a private, Christ-centered school, thus Mr. Bowerman's interest in promoting and assisting with a Christ and academic-centered education.  

His verse of choice is John 3:16," For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."  It is probably the most well-known verse and signifies the level of love God has for all of us, a level that none of us can even begin to comprehend.  


George Millard (Mill) Simmons, MD, Trustee

Mill grew up in a Christian military family mostly in the Northeast. He graduated from the University of Vermont with  

BA and MD degrees. He specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology and sub-specialized in Maternal/Fetal Medicine at Cornell Medical Center, NYC.  He was on the Faculty of Cornel University before joining the US Army stationed at Fort Hood, TX. Subsequently, he went into an OB/GYN/High-Risk Pregnancy academic career teaching and practicing at Dartmouth College, the University of Vermont, and West Virginia University. His research interests were in the development of rural perinatal medicine and postgraduate medical education. He retired in 2003 as Emeritus Professor of OB/GYN, West Virginia University.


In Medical School Mill married his college sweetheart Rosalie. They have three children and four grandchildren. Their 59 years of marriage have been a faith journey. After moving to the Bluffton area in 2013 they joined The Church of the Cross. They have been actively participating in lay ministries since, including Senior Warden to the Pastor.


A favorite Bible verse can be found engraved in their wedding rings, Hebrews 11:10 (KJV): "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

Jenna Vaughn, Trustee

Jenna Vaughn is a South Carolina native; however, new to the Lowcountry. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and is a passionate Gamecock fan.  Dr. Vaughn has served in the field of education for 15 years. The majority of Dr. Vaughn’s research has been conducted in the area of 21st-century assessment and student achievement. She has led and coached several schools through the accreditation process. Dr. Vaughn has served the state of South Carolina as a Milken Award panelist and South Carolina Teaching Fellow panelist. She has written various federal grants and has been awarded thousands of dollars to support literacy in schools. Dr. Vaughn’s husband is the owner of Bluffton Pharmacy. They have three children that attend Cross Schools. Dr. Vaughn is grateful that all three children can
attend school together while receiving a Christian Education.

A favorite Bible verse is Psalm 121, " I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth."

Kimberly Wilhite, Trustee

Mrs. Wilhite is the owner of Kimberly Designs, LLC, an interior design consulting firm. Her career began as a clothing designer and she also worked as a marketing liaison for a design firm. 

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mrs. Wilhite and her husband Tim have two sons and two granddaughters. They have been in the Lowcountry for eighteen years and members of Church of The Cross for seven years. She has worked with the youth at Church of the Cross and is passionate that they develop a personal relationship with Christ and grow in His Word. 

A favorite Bible verse is Colossians 2:2-3:  “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”