Dr. Sandra Lindsay retired as Distinguished Clinical Professor Emeritus from the Educational Leadership and Policies Department of the College of Education at the University of South Carolina. Previously, she served as Deputy State Superintendent at the South Carolina Department of Education. She has assumed numerous statewide leadership roles including the presidency of both the South Carolina Association of School Superintendents and the South Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Dr Lindsay has received numerous awards and honors for her work with public schools and has served at the national level as President of the Deputies Leadership Commission of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Dr. Lindsay is a partner in Lindsay Consulting, LLC. The firm helps clients in the private, public, and non-profit sectors with building organizational trust; assessing, recruiting and retaining high quality staff; strategic planning; and building effective internal and external communication systems. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member in Executive Education at The Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina where she is a key instructor for highly successful program offerings such as High Performance Coaching, Leadership through People Skills and Supervisory Development for New Managers.
Since its inception Dr. Lindsay has been involved with the development and delivery of leadership modules for the Center for Executive Education Leadership (CEEL). CEEL’s purpose is to insure the ongoing professional growth of leaders of the highest quality for South Carolina’s schools and districts, a purpose that mirrors Dr. Lindsay’s life-long commitment and professional body of work.
Liz Michael began her work with the Center of Executive Education Leadership (CEEL) in October of 2015 and was named Director and Executive Coach in January of 2017. She earned a BA in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 1986 and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She also holds an MSW with a concentration in social services management from USC.
Prior to her current role, Liz managed SCANA U, the corporate university/employee and leadership development department for SCANA Corporation, where she was employed for 10 years. Other roles include five years as Director of S.C. Business Week, the residential youth leadership development program of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce. She served a dual role for the Chamber during that time, also supporting the education and workforce development lobbyists as Education Policy Analyst. She completed four year of research on drug abuse issues following her undergraduate degree and is published in psychopharmacology journals for this work. Immediately following graduate school, Liz served as Associate Director of the Mental Health Association of S.C. and then spent eight years as Director of Training for National Mentor, Inc., providing continuing education for staff serving children and adolescents in 23 states. She is nationally certified in human resources, earning her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) designation in 2007. She is also certified in administration of various behavioral assessments and executive coaching.
In her spare time, Liz enjoys music, college football, and traveling to her beloved Edisto Island. She is a member of Gateway Baptist Church and is the proud Aunt of Drew, 19, and Patrick, 15.
Christina Melton adopted an Emerson quote as her personal mantra when she became an education leader. “Do not go where there is a path. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Dr. Melton’s trail has been classroom teacher, school administrator, district administrator, and now, Superintendent in School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties. The schools she served earned various accolades and formed innovative community partnerships to support student achievement. South Carolina’s ETV recorded a documentary on Dr. Melton’s leadership as a case study and tool kit to assist other schools with transformation. As a district administrator, she and her team have created innovative instructional and professional development models which have attracted state and national attention. Dr. Melton believes in leaving a trail of academic excellence and community engagement.
Dr. Melton was named the 2012 South Carolina Elementary Principal of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA), and a 2012 National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). She was recognized for her outstanding contributions in education by the South Carolina Association of School Psychologists (SCASP) in 2012. In 2016, she was named the District Level Administrator of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA). Dr. Melton proudly serves on many community and business committees, a few of those being: Ex-officio on the District Five Foundation Board, South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA), United Way of the Midlands Education Council, Rotary of Lake Murray-Irmo, and South Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (SC ASCD).
She earned both her undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of South Carolina. Her doctorate, specializing in the field of Educational Leadership, with a minor in Curriculum Instruction, was earned at Nova Southeastern University.
Dr. James Ann Lynch Sheley currently serves as Assistant Superintendent in Richland School District Two where she formerly served as the Chief Planning and Initiatives Officer. She has over 38 years of experience where she has had the opportunity to serve as Director of Elementary Schools in Lexington District One, and Principal of Lugoff Elementary, North Springs Elementary and founding principal at Lake Carolina Elementary Schools.
Dr. Sheley holds a bachelor’s degree from Newberry College, master’s degree and master’s plus 30 from Winthrop University, and an Ed. D. from Nova –Southeastern University. She is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Academy, the Center for Creative Leadership, and the Midlands Educator Leadership Experience,
Dr. Sheley has received numerous awards and honors including the National Milken Educator Award, South Carolina National Principal of the Year, and Alpha Delta Kappa Excellence in Education Award. She is an active member of SCASA where she has served as President of the Elementary Principals Association and has been a member of the Palmetto’s Finest Selection Committee since the early 90’s. Currently she serves on the SC-ASCD Board, the Board of Managers of Newberry College, past Chairperson of the Speers Creek School Campaign Committee, and is a member of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church.
· Graduate of University of South Carolina with degrees in Management and Accounting and attended Camden Public Schools prior to college.
· Native of Kershaw County
· CFO/COO – Kershaw County School district since April 2001
· Spent 23 years in the private sector in Accounting and Finance with companies ranging from small privately held companies to large International public companies in the textile manufacturing, lumber products, nuclear, and technology industries
· Member of the South Carolina Association of School Business Officials. Served on the board for seven years, served as chairman of the legislative committee for three years and was President in fiscal year 2011-2012.
· Board member and vice-president of the South Carolina Association of Government Organizations (SCAGO).
· Currently involved with a committee studying school finance reform for the State of South Carolina Public Schools.
Married for 42 years to high school sweetheart (we met in first grade) with three children, one grandchild and one more on the way!
Claire Thompson has 30 years experience as a school administrator. Mrs. Thompson recently retired as principal from Lake Murray Elementary School in Lexington/Richland School District 5 where she had served for 21 years. Prior to opening Lake Murray Elementary, Mrs. Thompson served as principal of Chapin Elementary School for three years. Mrs. Thompson’s other administrative experience includes assistant principalships at Nursery Road Elementary in School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties and Red Bank Elementary in Lexington School District One. Mrs. Thompson is currently working part-time with the Human Resources Office in School District Five. Mrs. Thompson was recognized in 2015 as the South Carolina Elementary Principal of the Year and as a National Distinguished Principal from the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Mrs. Thompson was awarded the Order of the Silver Crescent, the state’s highest honor for community service, in May 2018. During her years as principal at Lake Murray Elementary, Mrs. Thompson was awarded the District Superintendent’s Award for School Culture as well as the Superintendent’s Award for Leadership. Mrs. Thompson has presented at various conferences including the SCASA i3, Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, and State Reading Conference. Mrs. Thompson’s undergraduate and graduate degrees are from the University of South Carolina. She is married to Stuart Thompson and they have three married children and six grandchildren.
Cheryl A. Caution-Parker, Ed.D., currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Richland School District Two. She began her first term in 2014 upon her retirement as Deputy superintendent from the district after 34 years of service. Caution-Parker began her education career in the district as a teacher at E. L Wright Middle School where she earned the award of Richland School District Two Teacher of the Year. Her years as a school administrator includes serving as an administrator at Dent Middle School, principal of Forest Lake Elementary School and principal of Dent Middle School. While serving as principal of Dent Middle School, Caution-Parker helped the school earn National Blue Ribbon, Palmetto’s Finest and Exemplary Writing awards. She then served as Chief Administrative Office and Deputy Superintendent for the district. Servant leadership has marked the career of Dr. Caution-Parker. She has served as a role model, mentor, and sponsor to aspiring school district leaders. Her career in education resulted in Caution-Parker winning the William B. Harley lifetime Achievement award.
Caution-Parker received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of South Carolina.She also earned a doctorate in education from NOVA Southeastern University, FL.
Upon graduation from Duke University, Dr. Ross moved to South Carolina, where he taught Social Studies for three years at Eau Claire High School. In 2005, he obtained his M.Ed. in Secondary Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina, and joined Chapin High School as an assistant principal in July of 2005. After 5 years as an assistant principal, he was named principal In July of 2010. In July of 2012, he completed his doctorate degree in Curriculum Studies from the University of South Carolina. Chapin High School has received many awards and recognitions under Dr. Ross such as Palmetto’s Finest, National Rankings in Academics, 14 State Championships in Athletics, and 4 State Championships in Marching Band. Dr. Ross was named the 2017 SC Secondary Principal of the Year and 2018 NASSP National Principal of the Year. He and his wife Jocelyn live in Columbia and have two children, Alyssa (8) and A.J. (4).
Sandy Smith has over twenty years of experience in developing and evaluating government policies, with an extensive, in-depth knowledge of the South Carolina legislative arena and public education. She has the ability to analyze the implications and interactions of education policies, laws, and regulations and their impact on districts and schools. She has worked closely with Senate and House leadership, the Department of Education, and education groups to develop legislative initiatives and promote public education issues.
Sandy is currently the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of School Business Officials (SCASBO) and serves as a legislative consultant with the South Carolina School Administrators Association (SCASA) where she monitors, interprets, and communicates state public education policies and procedures for SCASBO and SCASA. She serves as liaison for association members and General Assembly members and staff. She provides information to association members on legislative issues impacting decisions being made by school business officials.
Prior to becoming Executive Director for SCASBO, Sandy served as Deputy Superintendent, Division of Policy and Legislation Development, where she coordinated, and monitored state public education policies and procedures for the Department of Education and State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Jim Rex. Her primary duties were to provide background information and data to legislators, legislative staff, and the education community concerning the agency and education policies and initiatives. She also represented the State Superintendent of Education before state legislative committees, governmental meetings, and national organizations.
Beginning in 1995 Sandy served as the Research Director for the South Carolina House of Representatives Education and Public Works Committee for eleven years where she served as legislative aide to the eighteen members of the Committee, providing background research on education policies, programs, and legislation. Working with education, health and social service agencies, state school boards, administrators, teachers’ organizations, and national groups, she assisted in drafting legislation and developing information as needed, including the annual general appropriations act regarding public education.
Early in Sandy’s career she served as a principal and assistant principal at Satchel Ford Elementary School in Columbia. She was also an Elementary School Teacher for 14 years teaching first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth grades in rural and suburban schools in South Carolina and Georgia.
Dr. Scott Turner has been the Superintendent of Spartanburg District Five Schools since 2004. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Wofford College, a Master’s and Ed.S. Degree from Converse College, and his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from South Carolina State University.
His career began in the classroom in 1987, as a Chemistry and AP Biology teacher at his alma mater, Boiling Springs High School. He went on to become an assistant Principal at Dutch Fork Middle School and Chapin High School, before returning to Spartanburg County as the Principal of Chesnee High School. In 2003, he joined Spartanburg District Five as the Principal of Byrnes High School, before assuming his role as Superintendent one year later. This year will mark his 32nd year in education.
In his 15th year as Superintendent, Dr. Turner has led District Five Schools through major times of change and growth. During his tenure, enrollment has surged by more than 2,000 students, with just over 8,500 students currently enrolled. He’s guided the District through multiple facility projects.
Under Dr. Turner’s leadership, District Five has instituted a district wide school choice program, designated three new magnet schools, greatly expanded programs for the arts and athletics, given students on every grade level access to foreign language instruction, and implemented a major one-to-one technology initiative, putting laptops in the hands of every student. Enrollment in AP classes and dual college courses, along with the graduation rate, continue to rise, thanks to Dr. Turner’s guidance. The district has also made school security a priority, placing school resource officers on every campus, along with safety upgrades at every school.
Dr. Turner is the past-president of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators, past-president of SCASA Superintendents’ division, and co-chaired SCASA’s capital building campaign. He currently serves on the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee, the SC School Boards Insurance Trust Board, Spartanburg Community College Board of Commissioners, the BMW Advisory Board, the Upstate Regional Education Center Board, and on the board for Middle Tyger Community Center.
Scott Price is executive director for the South Carolina School Boards Association. The School Boards Association is a non-profit organization serving as a source of information and as a statewide voice for boards governing the 81 public school districts. Scott has been conducting superintendent searches for SCSBA for three years. Prior to joining the association in October 1996, Scott was an associate with the Columbia law firm of Tompkins and McMaster.
Scott received a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1994, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from USC’s College of Journalism in 1986. He is a former newspaper reporter who worked at daily and weekly newspapers in South Carolina and North Carolina.
Dr. Marty S. Conner, Sr. currently serves as principal of South Pointe High School, Rock Hill, SC. During his 21year career, Dr. Conner has served as an assistant superintendent, executive director of schools, middle school principal, director of alternative schools, teacher, and football coach.
Dr. Conner received his Bachelor of Science degree from Norfolk State University in Sports Medicine, Master of Arts degree in Education Administration and Human Development from George Washington University, Washington, DC and his Education Specialist and Doctorate of Education degrees in Education Leadership and Administration from South Carolina State University.
Dr. Conner comes from a generation of passionate educators and has proven to be a leader in the field of education. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his commitment to education. With is dedication to provide a quality education for all children, he will continue to impact the lives of children through educational excellence.
Dr. Conner says he is extremely excited about being a CEEL faculty member and look forward to working with school leaders to provide the highest quality education to all student each day for a better tomorrow!
Mike is the budget director for the South Carolina Senate Finance Committee, a position where he has served since 2001. The Finance Committee is tasked with developing the state’s annual budget as well as tax policy.
Prior to moving to the State Senate, Mike was Director of the Division of Regional Development for the State Budget and Control Board. In addition, his list of experience includes the State Budget Office and the Board of Economic Advisors.
Mike received his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in economics and political science from Clemson University and his master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, Mike participated in the Fund for American Studies program at Georgetown University.
Mike has previously served as a member of the Board of Visitors for the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and the Clemson University Board of Visitors.
Mrs. Beth Elliott graduated from Columbia College in 1977 majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Sociology. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and her Administration Certification from the University of South Carolina in 1990. Her career began in Richland School District Two at Joseph Keels Elementary in 1977, where she taught 5th and 3rd grades for 12 years. In 1990, she helped to open Pontiac Elementary as the Assistant Principal. In 1999, she was named the Principal of Pontiac Elementary and served the Pontiac Community until 2013. Before her retirement in 2018, she served as the Principal of Windsor Elementary.
Mrs. Elliott played an active role in helping new teachers by collaborating with Colleges and Universities by hosting and facilitating student teachers, as well as practicum students. Pontiac Elementary was one of the first Professional Development Schools as they partnered with the University of South Carolina. She recently received the Wil Lou Gray Outstanding Educator Award from the Columbia College Alumnae Association, on the basis of character and of service to Columbia College, recognizing her 40 years of service to education.
Mrs. Elliott has a strong commitment to the success of teaching and learning environments. She believes that a positive environment built on relationships will enhance student achievement. She and her teammates were very honored to receive the first Teamwork Award in Richland District 2. She believes in focusing on the strengths of an organization and individuals. She believes that a collaborative environment among teachers, parents and community is the key to creating a successful teaching and learning community for all students.
Rodney Graves is currently serving as principal of Broome High School in Spartanburg, South Carolina and is beginning his 32nd year as an educator.Graves graduated from Winthrop University in 1987, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics with certification in secondary math. He has also earned a masters in sports management from The United States Sports Academy and secondary principal certification from Clemson University.In addition to leading Broome High School for the past three years, Graves worked as principal at Crest High School in Shelby, NC. Prior experiences include Spartanburg District Seven as the director of secondary education and principal of Spartanburg High School. He also served as principal, assistant principal and athletic director at Pendleton High School, taught math at Rock Hill High and York Comprehensive High Schools, and coached football, boys and girls basketball, and baseball.Some of Mr. Graves’ awards include; the 2018 SC AAA Principal of The Year, finalist for the Cleveland County Principal of the Year, was nominated for the South Carolina Principal of the Year, and South Carolina Assistant Principal of the Year. He has been chosen as the Educator of the Year by the Electric City and Anderson Rotary Clubs. In 1993 and 1995 he was named Outstanding Teacher of Math, Science, and Computer Science by Tandy Technology Scholars. Graves has also received the South Carolina Literacy Leader Award in 2009.
Mr. Graves wants to give back to the profession by sharing information with other administrators. He has presented at numerous conferences including Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Conference, International Literacy Conference, SC Administrators Conference and the SC Literacy Conference. Mr. Graves has also served as a mentor to aspiring principals.
Mr. Graves’ article about his summer reading program at Spartanburg High School was published in the Palmetto Administrator and in NASSP’s magazine.
Active in the educational community, Mr. Graves has served as a Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence evaluator, SACS Evaluation teams, on the Cleveland Community College Board of Visitors, the SCASA Executive Committee, the South Carolina High School League’s Executive Committee, President of SCASA Secondary Division and president of Leadership Pendleton.
Always an active member in the community Mr. Graves has served on the Upstate Workforce Investment Board, worked with the Upstate Youth Council and Youth Alliance, served as President of Leadership Pendleton, and on the Boards of the Pendleton YMCA and Foothills YMCA.
Rodney and his wife Dawn have 3 children (Clark, Luke & Lanie).