My name is Cason Thomasson and this is my first year teaching Kindergarten at Summit Classical school. I am currently enrolled at Piedmont Technical College and will bridge to Lander University to complete my degree in Elementary Education. I have always had a passion for teaching, and I am so blessed to be working in this field with such an amazing team. I am from Spartanburg, SC but I now live with my husband Ben and dog Layla in Abbeville, SC.
My name is Kellie Ashmore. I am a certified paraprofessional. This is my second full year at Summit Classical School. I am currently pending enrollment for early childhood education. I live in Laurens with my husband, Matt, who is a Senior Manager at ZF Transmissions, and my 10yr old daughter Kaylin, who is a 5th grader here at Summit. I love working with children and do it any chance I get! I am the Children and Teen Leader at my church. I want to show children that its ok to follow directions/rules and trust the people around you.
My name is Caitlyn McClellan and I teach first-grade at Summit Classical School in Clinton, South Carolina. I learned early on in my college career, that the “ah-ha” moments your students get, are indescribable. I graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education from Lander University. I have done clinical and student teaching hours in 6 different schools, including a head start. I also worked for two years between college as a small group interventionist at Ware Shoals Primary School. While there, I subbed in many different positions and classrooms. I come from a long line of teachers. My grandmother was a kindergarten teacher for 29 years and my mother is currently a teacher. When I am not at school or planning for it, I enjoy time with my family and our various animals. I also greatly enjoy time with my friends.
Hi, my name is Elizabeth Craven. I have been teaching for 14 years and have a master’s degree in early childhood education This is my second year teaching second grade at Summit Classical School. Second grade is my favorite grade to teach, and I just love those “ah-ha” moments when children finally get a concept that they have been working to master. I am thrilled to be a part of the Summit family and I love being a teacher. I am married to my husband Buddy and together we have two sons, Matthew and Charlie, a daughter, Olivia, and our dog Boomer.
My name is Adrienne Graham and this is my eighteenth year in education. I am a 2004 cum laude graduate of Lander University, where I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education. I am currently working on my Master’s Degree in Learning and Teaching with an emphasis in Instructional Coaching through Clemson University, where I will graduate in 2023. This is my fourth year at Summit Classical School as the third-grade teacher. I also serve as Lead Teacher and Mentor to my colleagues. I was awarded Teacher of the Year during the 2019-2020 school year. My passion is meeting students where they are currently socially, emotionally, and academically to help them become the best people that they can be. I do my best to model lifelong learning for my students through my behavior and my actions, and to show them that learning doesn’t stop when you finish school, but should be continued throughout our lifetime.
My name is Jennifer Page. I graduated from Anderson University with a degree in Elementary Education. This is my second year teaching 4th grade and my first year at Summit Classical School. Teaching is what I have always wanted to do, and I am fortunate to be a part of the Summit family. I love gardening and playing with my three-year-old daughter Naomi.
My name is Jodi Shepard. I graduated from Converse College with a Masters in the Art of Teaching, majoring in Elementary Education. I have a highly qualified certification with Gifted and Talented and Read to Succeed Endorsements. I am in my 16th year of teaching. I joined the Summit Classical School family teaching 4th grade in 2021. I currently teach 5th and 6th grade math and science. My math background/interest came from earning a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of South Carolina Upstate majoring in Accounting. I have four children of my own, Allen (30), Justin (27), Lakyia (15), and Jayce (9). The years of volunteering with youth in the Boy Scouts of America, traveling as a military spouse, and living abroad in Europe has provided me with experience in cultural diversity which I use in the classroom as an educator. I enjoy working with the children at Summit Classical School while sharing my love of education.
After graduating from Lander University with a B.S. in Elementary Education, I taught fifth grade ELA and Social Studies in Laurens County School District #56. Additionally, I was a technology facilitator for the district training teachers to use the technologies that were ever-changing and growing during that time. While at the district and beyond, I earned a Master of Education degree from Columbia College.
After working in Laurens County SD #56 for 17 years, I worked for Pearson Education and Apex Learning as an education consultant until retirement two years ago. This career change afforded me the opportunity to work with schools and districts across South Carolina and other states to provide training to teachers on instructional practices for student achievement. The curriculum covered all areas of study at all grade levels and was aligned to common core and state standards.
My current position at Summit Classical School is teaching Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) and Social Studies to students in grades five and six. Since retirement and returning to work at Summit, I have enjoyed traveling, spending time with family, reading, and rekindling friendships with teachers and educators with whom I have worked with in the past.
My name is Blythe Thibodeau; I am Summit Classical School’s Special Education Teacher/Coordinator. I have always wanted to teach Special Education because I understand where the kids are and that they can achieve anything with a little love and a lot of encouragement. I went to speech in elementary school, and I have a Learning Disability. My third-grade teacher realized I am dyslexic and helped make learning fun and less stressful. I have a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and I am also certified to teach Special Education, Elementary Education and Social Studies. I taught Kindergarten and middle school special education before coming to Summit Classical School. My favorite part of teaching is the excitement when the students understand something they have been struggling with.
Outside of school I love spending time with my family, especially my 3 nephews and 2 nieces. I love the mountains! I spent a lot of time visiting my uncle in Black Mountain, NC as a child and worked two summers at Ridgecrest Conference Center. I work with the babies and toddlers at my church. I also like to wear and collect lady’s hats, collect tea cups and saucers and love to read a good mystery or Historical Fiction.
My name is Beverly Smith and I’ve been in education for 38 years. This is my 2nd year as a reading interventionist at Summit Classical School. I was a literacy coach for 6 years and have taught public school for 30 plus years. I love teaching reading.
I am not married, and I have no children but I love teaching children. I have a dog, Spade. I have a brother, who is married with 2 boys, my nephews, Moses and Aaron. I enjoy gardening and flowers. Family and friends are important to me.
Marcia Baxter graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BA in Elementary Education. She began her teaching career at Joanna Elementary in Laurens #56. She taught two years in Newberry County and then four years in Tennessee. She returned to SC and taught for thirteen more years before she became an Asst. Principal in Aiken County School District. In 2000, she became the first literacy coach in Aiken County and participated in the SC Reading Initiative. Ms. Baxter also served as a Teacher Specialist with the State Department of Education for five years. After that she was a Literacy Coach for the next five years. She first retired in 2009 to become the manager of the Children’s Bookstore at the RL Bryan Company. After that she taught for seven more years at SC Virtual Charter School. In 2018 she went to work at the SC Department of Juvenile Justice as their reading specialist. Ms. Baxter left DJJ to go to Newberry College where she taught the Read to Succeed courses to undergraduates in the Teacher Education Department. Before coming to Summit Classical School last year, Ms. Baxter worked two years at the Montessori School of Camden helping them transition from a private school to a public charter school.
My name is Kate Cheeks and this is my fourth year at Summit Classical School teaching Related Arts. I have been teaching for fourteen years. I have many years of experience teaching many different subjects, but most of my background is Science. I have ten years of experience teaching middle level science.
This year at Summit we are very excited to introduce our STEAM class. I love science and the hands-on experience that our students will get. This is a wonderful opportunity for all of them.
Outside of teaching, I love coaching and spending time with my family. I have been coaching longer than I have been teaching. I absolutely love it. I have two amazing daughters. Kailey is a freshman at Coastal studying to be a marine biologist, and Khloe is a freshman in high school.
I love what I do. It brings me joy when a student learns something new. At Summit, we have a very close-knit community. I love this because it gives us a wonderful opportunity to get to know our kids on a personal level.
My name is Tina Garrett and I am a para-professional at Summit Classical School. I have been with Summit for 3 years. I have 12 years of experience as a paraprofessional and currently assist with Math intervention. I am passionate about helping children further their learning capabilities. I enjoy doing Pilates and spending time with my family.
I am a 77 year old nurse who chooses to work because she does not feel God is through with her yet. I have been married to the same man for 56 years. We have three children, three children in laws, and nine grandchildren. Three of those grandchildren are in college. Our family cherishes God first, family second, country third. We believe in hard work and encourage our family members to be the best they can be.
I graduated from Lander College School of nursing with an AD and began work in the hospital setting. I later was employed by SCDHEC and spent several years in their employ before taking a position with Laurens County School District 56.
I went to work as a school nurse in 19981 and fell in love with the educational process as well as the children. In 1986 I started the Health Occupations class at the high school. I subsequently obtained a Masters of Education with a program associated with Clemson University that gave me credit for my nursing degree and education as well as my years of experience. I loved my time teaching and appreciated the opportunity to do so. After my retirement in 2007 from the district, I continued to work in a substitute nursing position. I agreed to help out Summit Charter in Clinton when it opened, and it became a full-time position. I maintain a wonderful working relationship with the district’s nurses. I attend professional development with them and have enjoyed that relationship. I continue to think I am of value to the children in the schools in Laurens County.
My name is Kristie Gault and I am the Office Manager at Summit Classical School because I love working with the kids as well as doing secretarial work. I have worked in the school for four years. I have always worked in professions that require secretarial skills and communication with the public. I have also worked in the hospital setting and elderly care.. I have had a variety of experiences.
I am a mother of two girls. They are now 21 and 23. I am married. I live in Clinton. I love to watch movies and be with my family or friends. I have chickens, dogs, cats and horses. My daughter has a Kennel for boarding dogs also. I’m just trying to make it through life one day at a time and trust in the Lord.