Meet Catalyst Debra Sonkin

Debra Sonkin

Debra Sonkin Founder, Search Advisory Group In 2011, during its founding year in the region, Teach For America South Carolina (TFASC) started partnering with school districts but had not yet recruited a board of directors. The long-time strategy of Teach For America (TFA)’s national leadership team was to encourage its regions to recruit industry leaders … Read more

Meet Catalyst Hayward Jean


Hayward Jean Director of Student Services, Orangeburg County School District “Teaching is one of the most important professions,” said Hayward Jean. “It’s so much more than a job. A teacher is literally building another human being.” There’s a lot of building on Jean’s watch. The Orangeburg County School District, where he is director of student … Read more

Meet Catalyst Susie Shannon

Susie Shannon

Susie Shannon President and CEO, South Carolina Council on Competitiveness Susie Shannon grew up on a dirt road in rural South Carolina. For her economically-challenged family, day-to-day necessities had to take priority over education. Still, she could see a road ahead. “For me, it’s just as they say: The way out of poverty ran right … Read more

Meet Catalyst Josh Bell

Josh Bell

Josh Bell Teach For America Charlotte-Piedmont Triad 2008 Executive Director, Beemok Family Foundation In 2011, Josh Bell, an alumnus of Teach For America and former student body president at Clemson University, became the first executive director of Teach For America South Carolina (TFASC). Hard work lay ahead in every direction. Bell didn’t blink. “Working hard … Read more

Meet Catalyst Darrin Goss Sr.  

Darrin Goss-Sr.

Darrin Goss Sr. President and CEO, Coastal Community Foundation Ordained minister Darrin Goss Sr. has pastored three churches. As president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Coastal Community Foundation (CCF), he can also be considered an evangelist for high-quality education. CCF manages endowment funds used to address community needs in nine counties along South … Read more

Meet Catalyst William Brown  

William Brown

William Brown Founder and Board Chair, Legacy Early College “As a system, we don’t tend to educate children in poverty. By the time they get to high school, we ask, ‘Why can’t these kids read?’ We have failed our kids earlier in their lives,” said William Brown, a widely known and respected CPA and investment … Read more

Meet Educational Partner Anna Mims  

Anna Mims

Anna Mims Teach For America Greater Delta 2004 Principal, Mt. Zion Elementary School Anna Mims grew up with educators throughout her family. Still, she weighed a prodigal path – law school – as she neared graduation from Duke University. “I realized I just wasn’t ready for that,” she recalled. “I wanted work that allowed me … Read more

Meet TFASC Alumna Tess Strauch  


Tess Strauch Teach For America South Carolina 2014 Physics and Engineering Teacher, Bethpage High School Tess Curry Strauch found it very nice to ride through Manning, South Carolina. High over the town, a billboard displayed her beaming face – conspicuous recognition as “Teacher of the Year” for Clarendon School District Two. “I feel that Manning … Read more

Meet TFASC Teacher Bria Burke-Koskela  

Bria Burke-Koskela

Bria Burke-Koskela Teach For America South Carolina 2016 English Teacher, Lowcountry Acceleration Academy Bria Burke-Koskela’s placement by Teach For America South Carolina (TFASC) came with a twist. A number of Teach For America teachers grew up in big cities and were assigned to teach in rural communities. Instead, Burke-Koskela landed in a school just 45 … Read more

Meet Supporter Jack McBride

Jack McBride

Jack McBride Founder and CEO, Contec Jack McBride thinks big. Under his vision, Contec, the company he started in 1988 with partner Jim Smith, has grown to be a global leader in manufacturing cleaning products that are critical to the operations of pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, and other industries. Today, Contec has 700 employees. They … Read more