Toya Hampton

Hampton is a former member of the CCSD Board of Trustees and has served as CCSD’s Director of Achieve Charleston since March 2023.

She came to Charleston from Seattle in 1995 by way of Americorps National Civilian Community Corps (Americorps NCCC). Americorps NCCC, a domestic service program for 18–24-year-olds similar to the Peace Corps, hired her as a team leader after college and before she attended law school. In addition to her time spent in Americorps, She has been part of the Liberty Fellowship, a South Carolina statewide leadership and service network, since 2006. However, it’s her service on the Charleston County School Board as a Trustee from 2006 to 2012 that has garnered her significant attention. During her six years on the board including serving as chair in 2009, she dedicated her efforts to improving the public school system and lent her support for the construction of numerous new school buildings.

She  is an accomplished lawyer, and has practiced in the state of South Carolina for 23 years. In addition to having served on several local and state boards such as the City of Charleston Board of Architectural Review, South Carolina Women Lawyers Board of Directors, Synovus Bank Board of Directors, and Wings for Kids Board of Directors, she has also spent some of her professional time at the South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) as the SCSBA Director of Policy and Legal Services. She holds a degree in Communications from the University of Washington and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law. She is a member of several associations, including the South Carolina Bar Association and the Charleston County Bar Association.

Lucas “Luke” Clamp, PH.D.

Dr. Clamp, a native of Williston, SC, understands the challenges of poverty firsthand, having grown up attending a Title 1 school. As such, during his time in district leadership, Dr. Clamp has taken a particular interest in serving and supporting rural Title I schools. Astute at school turnaround, Dr. Clamp coaches school leaders, employing data-driven strategies supported by strong instructional practices while building a positive school culture. Together, Dr. Clamp and leadership teams have seen positive movement in school ratings and increased student achievement. In 2011, Dr. Clamp was selected as the founding school principal of River Bluff High School, an innovative school with an Excellent rating shown to outperform the district and state in nearly every metric. River Bluff boasts the designation of Palmetto’s Finest, earned in 2019 under his leadership. During Dr. Clamp’s tenure at River Bluff, graduation rates increased by 15 points to over 95 % in ten years.

In 2018, Dr. Clamp was named the Secondary Principal of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators. He went on to earn national recognition as the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) National Principal of the Year in 2019. Currently serving as the High Schools and Postsecondary Pathways Executive Director in Lexington County School District One, Dr. Clamp brings experience in district leadership and educator preparation as an adjunct professor at both the University of South Carolina (USC) and Clemson University. He was recognized as the 2023 School of Education Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year at USC and enjoys teaching and molding the next generation of leaders in the master’s and doctoral degree programs through courses in Education Policy, Education Finance, and Instructional Leadership. Dr. Clamp began his teaching career as a science teacher at Irmo High School. A dedicated educator with over two decades of experience, he is a graduate of Clemson University and the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in Science/Education from Clemson University, a master’s degree, an Education

Specialist degree in Educational Leadership, and a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Carolina. He has served in various state-wide leadership roles, including SCHSL Class 5A President and Class 4A Vice President, SCASA Secondary Principal’s Affiliate President, and on the SCASA Executive Board of Directors.

Daniel Prentice

Prentice, a proud Charleston County School District graduate, joins the district from Dorchester County, where he has served as Deputy County Administrator and Chief Financial Officer since

2016.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the College of Charleston and a Master of Business Administration from Louisiana State University Shreveport. He is the recipient of several awards including the 2013 City of Charleston Volunteer Award, the GFOA Distinguished Budget Award (eight years), and the GFOA Excellence in Financial Reporting Award (five years). He is also Six Sigma Green Belt certified. Additionally, Prentice serves as a South Carolina Counties Other Post Employment Benefits Trust Trustee and as a member of the state’s Tourism Expenditure Review Committee. His professional memberships include the National and South Carolina Government Finance Officers Association, South Carolina City and County Managers Association, International City and County Managers Association, and the South Carolina Association of Counties.

Anita Huggins

Anita Huggins, is the current Superintendent, she has served CCSD for over 25 years.

During her time in the role, Anita is committed to three priorities:

  • Building upon the success of her predecessors, she will continue to improve student outcomes for all students while working intentionally to close the achievement and opportunity gaps.
  • Anita is focused on supporting classrooms and teachers. She believes strongly the classroom teacher is the most important factor in a student’s success.
  • She’s committed to streamlining school-based supports for teachers and students.

Huggins is a beloved educator whose relentless commitment and deep sense of service have been instrumental to Charleston County School District over the last two decades. As Deputy Superintendent, her passion for closing the achievement gap for students of color has been demonstrated through district-wide efforts in planning literacy and mathematics educational opportunities that serve all students, including her involvement in key ESSER funding initiatives in the D20 (downtown), D4 (North Charleston) and D23 (Hollywood/Ravenel) constituent areas. Ms. Huggins was charged with designing, executing, and measuring the success of programs that support Vision 2027, which aspires to have all students reading at grade level by fifth grade by the Spring of 2027. She was also a key architect of the work that led CCSD to its highest-ever SC Ready achievement scores.

Prior to being named Deputy Superintendent as the Interim Chief Transformation Officer, Ms. Huggins was responsible for working with the Superintendent, senior leaders, and other stakeholders to establish the district’s vision and develop strategies to meet the needs of all students. Huggins has ensured the use of effective systems coupled with accountability and support structures to serve schools, students, and communities.

Huggins’ professional accomplishments include serving as a Riley Institute Diversity Leaders Initiative fellow, English teacher, master teacher, principal, director, and executive director. She has served in various CCSD schools and communities during her tenure, including Simmons-Pinckney Middle School, Burke High School, Edmund A. Burns Elementary School, and Fort Johnson Middle School. As the Executive Director of Educator Effectiveness for over 12 years, Huggins impacted classrooms throughout CCSD by training hundreds of teachers and administrators; she focused on planning for instruction effectively, instructional delivery, and developing conducive environments for learners. In that role, Huggins was instrumental in creating district-wide systems for teacher development, support, and recognition while leading a team that designed and executed An Evening with Stars gala event to recognize teachers and principals. Proceeds from that event supported the Charleston Educator Symposium, a locally-recognized, multi-day professional development event for educators.

Throughout her career, Huggins has presented at numerous conferences, served as a guest lecturer, facilitated and served on various panels, and co-authored journal articles to help grow and support aspiring, novice, and veteran educators. Chair McKinney said of Huggins, “Ms. Huggins’ breadth of experience in Charleston and diverse skill set uniquely positions her for this role. A respected educator with a heart for kids, her enthusiasm and passion for ensuring all students achieve at very high levels will serve students and schools well.”

Huggins holds bachelor’s degrees in both English and Secondary Education and a master’s degree in Secondary Administration.

Dr. Colleen Knauer

Dr. Knauer has served as the Principal of Special Projects and Support for the Middle and High School Learning Communities since 2021.

Dr. Knauer came to CCSD in 2006 as an English teacher at North Charleston High School (NCHS). Prior to her serving as Acting Principal at NCHS from August 2016 until March 2017, she served as an assistant principal at North Charleston High School, where she directed the Ninth Grade Academy, created and implemented the State Challenge to Achieve Plan and budget, provided instructional support for teacher curriculum teams, implemented afterschool and summer programs, and assisted in hiring and mentoring new teachers and administrators.

In 2017, Dr. Knauer was selected to serve as principal at Northwoods Middle School, where she cultivated a positive culture and climate for students and staff while increasing overall school improvement. For the last several years as Principal of Special Projects and Support, Knauer has provided direct support to the Middle and High School Associate Superintendents, as well as provided instructional support to schools, supported the district’s summer school/credit recovery program, managed high school graduations, and assisted with the management of virtual teachers throughout the district.

Throughout her career as an educator, Knauer has received several certification endorsements including Read 2 Succeed, Advanced Placement, and Gifted and Talented. She was also nominated for 2016 South Carolina Assistant Principal of the Year.

Dr. Knauer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English from the University of Rhode Island, a Master of Arts in Mathematics Education from The Citadel, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Northeastern University. She obtained her principal licensure from the University of Scranton in PK-12 Administration. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Trident Technical College and the College of Charleston.

Vanessa Denney

A veteran of Charleston County School District, Denney has served CCSD for over 20 years. In that time, she has demonstrated a deep commitment to engaging with partners across the County and to working with students, families, and neighborhoods maintaining a focus on student outcomes. Until August 2022, Denney served as the founding principal at Early College High School (ECHS) which first opened in 2017. In her tenure as principal, she demonstrated expertise in strategic planning and in bringing to life a vision that led to student success. As the principal, she successfully engaged with families and school communities across the district. 

She began her teaching career as a 7th-grade Social Studies teacher, department chair, and grade-level chair at R.D. Schroder Middle School in Hollywood, SC. Next, she became an Instructional Coach and Administrator at Alice Birney Middle School in North Charleston. In an instructional leadership role at Burke High School, she then worked with educators and provided experiences that forged students’ paths to college and careers. As the Secondary Learning Community (SLC) Career and Technology Education (CTE) Coordinator, she engaged local business partners in the creation of opportunities for CCSD students at three high schools: Burke, St. John’s, and RB Stall–resulting in each school earning 100% Work-based Learning rates during Denney’s tenure from 2012-14. While an Assistant Principal at North Charleston High School (NCHS), she expanded CTE offerings to include the addition of four new CTE

completer pathways. Her work as the Graduation Rate Team Chairperson from 2014-16 resulted in a 12.46% increase in NCHS’s graduation rate. 

Denney holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from The College of Charleston, a Master of Education in Elementary Administration, and a certificate in Secondary Administration, both from The Citadel. She also holds a Certificate in Education Finance from Georgetown University. In 2022, she was recognized as an Alumna of the Year from the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance at the College of Charleston.

Jamie McCarthy

McCarthy has served as principal at Lambs Elementary School since 2019.

McCarthy began her career in Charleston County as a teacher at Hunley Park Elementary where she taught fourth and fifth grade, as well as third through fifth grade intervention. In 2013, McCarthy became the assistant principal at Pepperhill Elementary where she oversaw the Title I budget, positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS), faculty hiring, student discipline, multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), personalized learning, special education, strategic planning, and school safety. While in this role, she completed the SCASA Center for Executive Education Leadership AP Course Year 1, CCSD’s Principals for Tomorrow course, and was a member of the Literacy Leader Cohort.

In 2017, McCarthy joined Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary School as assistant principal. During her time at Ashley River, McCarthy focused on arts and technology integration and gifted and talented identification, as well as served as a member of the school improvement council (SIC), parent teacher association (PTA), and the Department of Alternative Programs’ Code of Conduct Committee. She also completed the SCASA Center for Executive Education Leadership AP Course Year 2.

Over the last five years, she has expertly led the students and staff at Lambs Elementary using data driven instructional strategies. She has also led the district in becoming the first Restorative Practices Demonstration School. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Georgian Court University in New Jersey and a Master of Education in Elementary Administration from The Citadel. She recently completed her Specialist in Educational Leadership degree from The Citadel and is a current Doctor of Education candidate at Clemson University (anticipated August 2024). She also holds early childhood, elementary,

principal, and superintendent certifications.

Dr. Sherry Eppelsheimer

Before becoming Associate Superintendent of High Schools, Dr. Sherry Eppelsheimer served as principal at Wando High School, one of the largest schools in the state, for the last seven years. A career educator, Eppelsheimer began her service to students in 1989 in Greenwood School District 50 at Greenwood High School in Greenwood, SC. She taught English for 14 years at Greenwood while also holding an adjunct teaching position at nearby Piedmont Area Consortium and Piedmont Technical College. In 2003, Eppelsheimer used her talents in the classroom to further her impact with students by becoming an instructional specialist at Brewer Middle School before being named Director of the ELA Vertical Team and served as the Summer Enrichment and Intervention Director from 2006-2008.

After nearly 20 years of service in Greenwood, Eppelsheimer left the Midlands for the Lowcountry, taking an assistant principal position as Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant, SC. It was only a short time before Eppelsheimer was promoted from assistant principal to associate principal at Wando where she continued to grow her leadership skills while assisting in all areas of high school management, administration, and daily activities. A demonstrated leader, in 2015, Eppelsheimer was named interim principal of Wando High after long-time Wando High School Principal Lucy Beckham took the role of Executive Principal of East Cooper Schools. As interim principal, Eppelsheimer planned and directed the overall activities of a high school serving 3,500 students with nearly 300 staff members. She oversaw recruitment, hiring and retention, professional development, faculty and staff evaluations, fiscal management, administration organization, student discipline, program initiatives, and team building. She was promoted to the position permanently one year later in 2016.

Eppelsheimer holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Lander University and a Master of Education in Secondary Guidance and Counseling from Clemson University. She completed her EDLP certification and earned a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Carolina. Recognized for her outstanding leadership and talents, Eppelsheimer is the recipient of several awards including the Greenwood County and District 2 Business and Professional Women’s Young Careerist of the Year Award (1995), Greenwood High School Teacher of the Year (1994-95), WYFF Channel 4 Golden Apple Teacher Award (1998), Greenwood School District 50 and Greenwood County Star Teacher Award (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004), Brewer Middle School Teacher of the Year Award (2006-07), and the South Carolina Librarian Association Intellectual Freedom Award (2019). She also serves on the East Cooper Medical Center Governing Board.

Jennifer Swearingen

Dr. Swearingen is a long-standing Charleston County School District employee. She started as a 5th and 6th grade math teacher at Ladson Elementary School, the assistant principal at Jennie Moore Elementary School, and the principal at Oakland Elementary School before becoming a Director of the Elementary Learning Community. In this role, she supervised and supported elementary schools across the district. She is now the Associate Superintendent for Elementary Learning Community.

Dr. Swearingen has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the College of Charleston, a Masters of Elementary Education Administration from The Citadel, a Specialist in Educational Leadership from The Citadel, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration (CD-12) from the University of South Carolina.

In her free time, she likes to do yard work and spend time with her dogs and family.

Jacqueline Haynes

Jacqueline K. Haynes is the Executive Director of Acceleration Schools with the Charleston County School District in Charleston, SC. Her goal is to level the playing field for students of color so that access to college and higher-level learning is attainable. Mrs. Haynes previously served as the Director of Achievement Schools with the Hillsborough County Public School System in Tampa, FL. Her unique perspective and personalized approach in mentoring other professionals has resulted in many leaders advancing to higher-level positions. In addition, turning a school around from a “D” status to an “A” status by pushing forward high academic standards and rigorous coursework for all students is one of her proudest accomplishments. She holds A National Teacher Center Certification in Coaching; Courageous Conversations Affiliate Certification in Equity (Glenn Singleton); and D.E.E.P. Certification (Equity).

Ms. Haynes has served on several national committees and has participated in a National Professional Learning Community with the Wallace Foundation, where she is featured in a publication and video titled, The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning. She believes that shifting Principals from building managers to one of leading instructional change will ensure that ALL students receive a quality education. Ms. Haynes has earned a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling; ED.S in Innovative Education; and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of South Florida. She is the former principal of Howard W. Blake High School, where she was named the first African-American Female High School Principal in Hillsborough County.

She is a proud graduate of Florida State University, BA in Education; University of South Florida, ED.S. in Innovative Education, and currently a USF Doctoral candidate. She resides in Charleston, SC with her husband, Anthony L. Haynes and is the mother of Arielle Haynes Burnette, married to Christopher Burnette of Atlanta, George, and Anthony L. Haynes, II, of Miami, Florida.