Leslie Albert, Faith Formation

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 Middle School, and the coordinator of ministry and outreach events.  

Mrs. Albert holds a Bachelors 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 who attend Cross Schools.  Contact Mrs. Albert at l.albert@crossschools.org.  


Pam Donahue, Art and Public Speaking

Pam Donahue holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Arts from Austin Peay State University and an Master of Arts in Fine Arts degree from Indiana University. As an undergraduate, she focused on painting and drawing and also minored in French. As a graduate student, she majored in the history of art. She began her professional career in art museum education at the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee and then the Dallas Museum of Art in Texas. After several years, she, her husband, and baby boy moved back east to Charlotte, North Carolina. Here she began her teaching career at the Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy, a K-8 Charter School for highly gifted students.

A few years later, she moved to Bluffton, this time with three children, and began teaching both Art and Technology for Cross Schools. She has taught at Cross Schools for more than a decade now. Mrs. Donahue's teaching philosophy is threefold: First, to expose children to different art techniques so as to tap in to different learning styles, creativity, and skills. Secondly, to educate children on the impact of the history of art by introducing them to famous artists and their bodies of work which creates a new understanding and appreciation of art. And thirdly, to advance the level of intellect so as to make future adults who have a knowledge of culture and artistic education no matter what career path they may follow. Contact Mrs. Donahue at p.donahue@crossschools.org.

Taylor Drake, Media Specialist

Taylor Drake was born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina.  She has over five years experience in Early Childhood Education, and is currently completing her degree in Early Childhood Elementary Education at the University of South Carolina Beaufort.  

Ms. Drake believes in providing students with a positive and enthusiastic learning environment.  She hopes to encourage compassion and to instill a strong love of learning.  She is excited to be a part of the Cross Schools family!  Contact Ms. Drake at t.drake@crossschools.org.

Elisabeth Markle, Faith Formation

Elisabeth Markle has been a part of the Cross Schools community since moving to Bluffton in 2006. She has served in several different positions, beginning as a Church Office Coordinator and Liaison between the Church and school. From there, she transitioned to a Lead Preschool Teacher in 2008 before moving into her current role in 2011 with the Faith Formation program, teaching Bible and leading chapels and special events for Preschool through 8th grade.

Ms. Markle has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Eastern University. After college, she worked for a substance abuse prevention agency, served in college ministry at Northern Arizona University, and managed a teacher supply store. These different work experiences, combined with many years of Christian education, have prepared her to teach the Bible and help minister to the spiritual needs of the different age groups at Cross Schools.

The Faith Formation program is first and foremost relational, meaning that it is through relationships with the Lord and with one another that we see, learn and experience the Christian life. These relationships are built and solidified by training students in God's word, modeling a strong foundation of faith and discipleship, providing opportunities for missional service and helping them to apply a Biblical worldview to all aspects of life.  The Bible says that the children were passionately welcomed by Jesus (Matthew 19:14), and Ms. Markle strongly believes that children of all ages can be full-fledged members of the family of God through faith in Christ.  Her greatest hope for Cross students is that they will grow up to boldly declare, "You are the King and the Lord.  You have always been my hope.  I have trusted in you ever since I was young."  Psalm 71:5  Contact Ms. Markle at e.markle@crossschools.org.  



Jeff McGuire, Physical Education

Jeff McGuire comes to Cross Schools from Lebanon, New Hampshire where he taught Physical Education and Health at all levels for thirty-five years. Coach McGuire also coached High School and Middle School sports for thirty-five years including High School varsity baseball, basketball, and softball.  He graduated from Springfield College with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education, and graduated from Plymouth State University with a Masters Degree in Health Education.

Coach McGuire believes that physical education and health in our schools are the building blocks to a healthy adulthood.  He is passionate about teaching fitness and being active, and the quality of life it offers through a students lifetime.

Coach McGuire and his wife have three daughters and one granddaughter.  He moved to Bluffton last year after vacationing here for several years and falling in love with the area. Coach McGuire loves golf, basketball, baseball, fitness, the beach, and especially spending time with his family. Contact Coach McGuire at j.mcguire@crossschools.org.   


Kellie McMullin, Spanish

Kellie McMullin grew up in a bilingual home, with her mother speaking to her in Spanish and her father speaking English. Being part of a bicultural family, she learned to love and appreciate people from many cultures. When she was a junior in high school, her family relocated to Santiago, Chile for her parents to serve at an international Christian school.  

Mrs. McMullin holds a bachelor’s degree in Art Education with a Spanish minor from Bob Jones University. She also holds a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Converse College. She has four years of experience teaching Spanish, art, first grade, and preschool. She believes that learning a new language can be fun and engaging. She is passionate about instilling an appreciation of Hispanic culture and equipping students to communicate in Spanish. Contact Mrs. McMullin at k.mcmullin@crossschools.org.  

Taylor Runyan, Music

Taylor Runyan is so very pleased to accept the position of Music Teacher at Cross Schools. While he always knew he had a love for the piano, he never knew it was an ideal career path. After receiving his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Furman University, he met his wife Andrea who also shared his love for music. They were a good match because she loved to sing, and he loved to play.

Mr. Runyan and his wife came to Christ shortly thereafter which led him back to his hometown of Beaufort. It was then he decided to focus more on his passion--the piano. In 2019, after much prayer, God threw open the doors for Mr. Runyan.  His wife was offered and accepted a position at The Church of the Cross. Only a few weeks later, the music position here at Cross Schools crossed his path. His parents always told him that when you are in God's will, he will call you and your spouse together, wherever you are. After interviewing and shadowing a couple of days in the classroom, he knew this was confirmation that the position as music teacher at Cross School's was God's will. He looks forward to working with the students, parents, and staff at Cross Schools. Contact Mr. Runyan at t.runyan@crossschools.org.  

Christine Richard, Environmental Learning

Christine Richard grew up in the Hilton Head/Bluffton area since the age of five.  She went through the Hilton Head schools, graduating from Hilton Head High School in 2000.  After living abroad in Argentina and Spain, she completed her undergraduate studies at Winthrop University.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, and a minor in Spanish. 

Mrs. Richard started her teaching career in Beaufort County in 2006 and had the opportunity to teach for two years at a Christian school in Florence, South Carolina.   Providing a safe and encouraging learning environment for her students is a priority for her.  She strives to make sure that each student feels appreciated and loved.  

Mrs. Richard and her husband have three children who attend Cross Schools.  She enjoys being outside as much as possible, and loves exploring God's creations with her family.  She is thrilled that through the Environmental Learning class she is able to share her outdoor enthusiasm and foster the inquisitive spirit of her students.   Contact Mrs. Richard at c.richard@crossschools.org.  

Kira Winders, Physical Education

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 three children.  Her daughter and son 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.