Admin

Administrative Staff

Jody Swanigan
Principal

Jody


 

Jody Swanigan is the founder and Principal of East Cooper Montessori Charter School. She is a passionate proponent of the effectiveness of authentic Montessori practices in our public programs and serves proudly on the South Carolina Montessori Alliance Board of Directors. The success of ECMCS has brought several humbling personal accolades such as Charleston Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award (2007) for professionals under the age of forty making a difference and the Public Charter School Alliance, Administrator of the Year in 2010. The success of ECMCS has served as a model for the effective implementation of Montessori methods and charter schools on both the state and national levels.

Jody holds a Bachelor’s Degree and South Carolina State Certification in Elementary Education, Montessori certification at both the primary and elementary levels, plus a Master's Degree and State Certification in Elementary School Administration. She taught Montessori elementary students for 10 years before accepting the position as Principal of East Cooper Montessori Charter School (ECMCS) in 2003. 

The arrival of Jody’s first child and her title change to working mom in June of 2010 has served to reinforce Jody’s commitment educational innovation and authentic Montessori practices for both the community and her beautiful daughter.



 

Lara D'Eugenio
Assistant Principal

Lara

Ms. Lara joined the ECMCS staff in 2002, teaching music two hours per week to 44 students. As the school grew, she took on additional responsibilities as the school's Gifted & Talented Coordinator, Testing Coordinator and Interim Principal while Ms. Jody was on maternity leave. She holds a bachelor's degree in Music Therapy from Charleston Southern University, a professional SC teacher's certificate, gifted and talented endorsement and is currently seeking a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Seton Hall University.

In her early adult years, Lara was a part-time music therapist working contractually with at-risk adolescents, adults in addiction recovery, women in domestic violence shelters and children with autism. This part-time work afforded Lara the freedom to be at home with her children while maintaining a foot in the world of work. During this time Lara was introduced to the Montessori method of education when she was asked to teach music at the newly created East Cooper Montessori Charter School. Lara was so intrigued by the method and the role of the teacher, that she enrolled her daughter in a Montessori preschool. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Lara lives in Mt. Pleasant with her husband, Lou, her two children, Anna and Ethan, and her two ragdoll cats, Sam and Otis. In her free time she enjoys reading, camping and hanging out at the beach with family.



 Nikki Moody

 Academic Administrator

 Nikki

 



Nikki is thrilled to return to East Cooper Montessori!  She joined East Cooper as a Lower Elementary Lead teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and Testing Coordinator in 2005.  During that time she received her Lower Elementary Montessori certification from the Center for Montessori Teacher Education, North Carolina as well as her Master's Degree in Education with a concentration in Literacy from The Citadel.  Originally from the DC metro area, she returned home in 2009 and served as Literacy Specialist for a large private Montessori school with seven campuses.  She then made a shift into school administration at The Montessori School of Northern Virginia, where she served as the Assistant Principal for three years.  During this experience, she led the construction project for an additional school campus as well as a large Natural Playground.  She returned to graduate school and completed her state licensure in Educational Leadership and Supervision from The George Washington University in DC. She then took a position as the Principal of Barrie Montessori.  This experience was unique in that the school served students ages 18 months through high school seniors, so she had the benefit of working with the full developmental scope of students.  During this experience she started the Greater Washington Montessori Conference as well as a Montessori Leadership Collaborative for school administrators.  With experience in public, private, and charter sectors, she has assumed many roles and is immensely looking forward to her return to East Cooper Montessori Charter School - her first home.  

 


 

Lori Gleaton

Admissions Director

Lori

Lori Gleaton grew up in Atlanta, GA and worked in the computer software field as a graphic designer and product-marketing manager until her children were born. She and her husband, Slade moved to Charleston in 2002 because it is the ideal place to raise their three children.  Once her children reached school age, Lori resumed her work outside of the home as an Administrative Assistant. As a supporter of progressive education, Lori ended up at Addlestone Hebrew Academy where she also worked as the Director of Admissions, the perfect segue to her role at ECMCS.  Her other interests include nutrition, painting furniture, and helping her husband with their martial arts studio.



Carrie Walker
Office Administrator

 Carrie Walker


 

Ms.  Carrie grew up in Charleston, WV and graduated from Marshall University with a double major in Business and Spanish.  She studied abroad in Spain to complete her Spanish degree and after graduation moved to Mt. Pleasant in 2006.  Ms. Carrie brings with her experience as a Client Relationship Manager since 2006 and we are so excited to welcome her as our new Office Administrator!  She lives with her husband, 2 children, one of which loves being in ECMCS Primary, and their golden retriever Clark. During her downtime, Ms. Carrie enjoys all things nutrition, local events, family time and sunny beach days.


 


 

Billy Koll
Director of Finance

Billy

Mr. Billy joined the ECMCS family in 2017 as the Director of Finance.  Prior to joining the school, Billy was the Senior Finance Officer for James Island Charter High School for the past eight years.  Billy graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Accounting and is a Certified School Business Official.

Billy lives in West Ashley and during his downtime, he loves to go fishing, skiing and enjoying the outdoors.


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