We Are SKTCS
Dr. Yanis Medina
Dean of Lower School
Hello SKTCS families! I am Yanis Medina and I am the Dean of Lower School. My family and I moved to Georgia from Texas in May of 2018.
I chose SKTCS because of our commitment and mission to foster successful learners through a diverse learning environment. At SKTCS we truly are a family and we are all committed to the success of our students and our families!
Mr. Darus Williams
Dean of Middle Grades Academy
Greeting SKTCS Family,
My name is Darus Williams and I am the Dean of Middle School at Susie King Taylor Community School. I have spent the last few years as a Middle School Principal at a K-12 charter school in Hardeeville, SC.
I attended Clemson University where I earned a Bachelor's of Science in Secondary Education (Social Studies). In 2017, I obtained my Master's of Education in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University and am currently enrolled at Drexel University, where I am pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Educational Policy.
I believe that all students can learn and are deserving of a safe, equitable, inclusive learning environment. I love encouraging the students to “Do Something Amazing” and will remind them constantly.
I chose SKTCS because of the school's commitment to Social Justice, Project-Based Learning, and mindfulness which align with my “Why” for becoming an educator.
Mrs. Quiana (Q) Aikens
Hello! My name is Q. Aikens. I started at SKTCS as the Administrative Specialist and am now the Business and Operations Manager.
I have worked in education for a very long time. I enjoy getting to know the children and parents and supporting the school's administrative and teaching teams so that they may focus on academic achievements.
I chose SKTCS because it's a community, not just a school.
Ms. Calandra Ervin
Business and Operations Manager
Hello! My name is Calandra Ervin. I love for children and I find joy in watching them grow and blossom into well rounded young adults. I am excited about the opportunity to work with your children this year.
I chose SKTCS because of the familial environment and our wonderful families.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela
Mrs. Madison Mecum
Hello! I am Madison Mecum and I teach kindergarten. I moved to Savannah from Columbus, Ga. Spending time with my family is one of my favorite things to do. I also love to travel, spend time outdoors, and hang out with my two adorable dogs.
I chose SKTCS because of the unique learning environment and the hands-on learning approach.
Mrs. Kacy Saunders
Hello! My name is Kacy Saunders and I teach kindergarten at SKTCS. I love to call Savannah my home, but I spend any chance I can get to travel the world. I have lived in Italy and taught English because I truly love teaching as much as I love traveling.
I chose SKTCS because it aligns with my motto of learning through doing. I appreciate our place-based learning model because going out and exploring the world is the best way to learn.
Ms. Geneva Gadsden
Greetings SKTCS families! My name is Geneva Gadsden. I am a native of North Carolina but grew up spending time in Savannah visiting my grandparents. I am a mom of two and from a family of educators, so teaching is a passion of mine! It is so rewarding to watch a child grow academically, socially, and emotionally to reach their maximum potential.
I chose SKTC because of the small community family environment. This kind of close-knit community can be so beneficial to student's self-confidence, academic and character growth.
Ms. LaQuandra Bundrage
Hello! My name is LaQuandra Bundrage, but I go by Ms. B! I will be teaching first grade! I am a graduate of Georgia Southern University- Armstrong Campus. I have always had a passion for teaching children and I am very excited to join the SKTCS family.
I chose SKTCS because of our instructional model. The model will allow for more hands-on and meaningful learning experiences for students.
Ms. Colette Schrock
Hi! My name is Colette Schrock and I teach second grade. Previously, I taught in Atlanta before relocating to Savannah. I am a graduate of Kennesaw State University and hold additional certificates in Reading and ESOL. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, being at the beach, and spending time with my family and dogs.
I chose SKTCS because of its unique approach to learning and the value of learning within our community.
Ms. Anna Loudin
Hi everyone!! My name is Anna Loudin and I teach 2nd grade. I am a graduate of West Virginia University. Throughout my life, I have lived in many different places and I am excited to make Savannah my new home! Outside of teaching, I love being outdoors and looking for new adventures.
I chose SKTCS because the values and beliefs of the school align with mine perfectly. I love the hands-on, progressive approach to learning SKTCS provides.
Ms. Erica Scalmato
Hi! I am Erica Scalmato, known most often as Ms. S, and I teach third grade. Some people may not know this, but I love to sing and have performed the National Anthem at several baseball games for the former Savannah Sand Gnats team.
I chose SKTCS, because I love the community that exists here and the dedication we have to educating and loving the whole child.
Ms. Chantelle Smith
Hello! My name is Ms. Smith and I am so excited to be joining the SKTCS family! I have previously taught as a teacher in Manchester, New Hampshire. This will be my first year living in Georgia and I am looking forward to teaching kindergarten and experiencing a year full of firsts right alongside my sweet kinders.
I chose SKTCS because the focus is on the kids - period.
Mrs. Sarah Pevey
I am a Georgia Southern University graduate and am very excited to be at Susie King Taylor Community School!
I chose SKTCS because of the unique learning environment and progressive values. My professional goal is to never stop learning and never stop loving. My favorite thing about teaching is seeing the joy students get when they master something difficult and see how capable and smart they truly are!
Ms. Megan Ruff
Hello! My name is Megan Ruff and I am one of the 4th grade teachers. I grew up in Southern California and decided to move to Minneapolis, Minnesota for my undergrad and Master's in Elementary Education. I quickly realized the negative degree winters were not for me and have found my way to Savannah, Georgia!
I chose SKTCS because of the emphasis on place based and project based learning. I admire the school community I will be joining and look forward to building meaningful relationships with students and staff.
Mr. Jarrod Hodskins
Hello, my name is Jarrod Hodskins. I teach 5th grade. I have always had a passion for working with children and I have been a classroom teacher for the last ten years. I graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in Literature and Philosophy, but came to education through my work as an advocate for the students at the Home of the Innocents residential program. I transitioned into teaching through a program at Kentucky State University. This past year I completed my Master's of Science in Elementary Education at the University of Indiana Southeast.
I chose SKTCS because I value relationships with students, understand that diverse populations need differentiated learning experiences and students deserve time to explore academic and personal interests outside of a pre-prescribed set of uniform standards.
Ms. Rachel Kent
Hi there! Ms. Kent, here! I’m so excited to introduce myself to you all. Growing up in Georgia, I have fallen in love with the southern way of life. I’m a native of the Atlanta suburbs, attended UGA for my undergraduate degree, and wound up in Statesboro to get my masters from GSU. Now, I live in Savannah and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon. The city caters to my loves of country music and the water, so I am content. Besides those obsessions of mine, I also enjoy practicing yoga and exploring my new community with friends. I also should mention I’m a grammar geek and have always had an affinity for writing. Thus, I decided to become an English teacher (and now also a social studies teacher).
I chose SKTCS because I appreciate the school’s focus on the individuality and unique identity of each student. I appreciate how SKTCS takes a nuanced and multifaceted approach to educating students, even welcoming the students’ environment and peers as “teachers” in the process. I am passionate about championing student growth (and not just test scores), and I am happy that SKTCS and I share in this philosophy regarding education.
Mr. Robin Reeves
Middle Grades Social Studies
My name is Robin Reeves. As a Savannah native, I love the historic nature of this city and am a self-proclaimed history buff. I am excited to be the first Middle Grades Social Studies teacher at SKTCS. In my spare time, I like to watch sports, cook, and make music.
I chose SKTCS because of the place-based learning model and social justice focus. SKTCS provides space for the community to be a part of the classroom while encouraging students to pour back into its culture in ways that promote equality.
Mr. Dee (Delandrian Aikens)
I am a Savannah native known to the students as Mr. Dee. I am a professional songwriter and producer with over 25 years of experience in entertainment business and music theory. I trained and studied Piano Performance at Armstrong Atlantic State University. My artistry is heavily inspired by the strong musical genres of jazz, classical, gospel, soul, country, r&b, rock, and hip hop. I am a member of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) and from 2007-2009 served as the A&R Executive for rising independent label, Sound Walk Music Group, overseeing marketing and public relations for explosive national recording artist Mali Music, who is now signed to a major mainstream label, Bystorm, RCA. I am also the CEO of Digistar World Wide Entertainment LLC, which is a full service multi-media company, and is home to National Recording Artist “RLW”.
I chose SKTCS because I love seeing young children explore and create music.
Ms. Chelsea Foster
I was born in Atlanta but am loving the rich history of Savannah. I obtained my degree in art education from Georgia State University where I also trained in graphic design, photography, ceramics, printmaking, and pretty much everything under the sun when it comes to the visual arts.
I chose SKTCS because I love the hands-on approach to learning. Art at SKTCS will incorporate a variety of different media and processes in creating, developing and appreciating art in all of its forms. My students can look forward to getting their hands dirty, problem solving in new and innovative ways, and developing a close connection to their aesthetic surroundings.
"Art is not what you see but what you make others see." - Edgar Degas
My name is Kassan Smith, known as Coach Smitt to my SKTCS family. I have been in Savannah since 2008, which is when I began my military service. I am now a veteran US Army Ranger.
I attended Armstrong State University and obtained a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education, Health, and Recreation. Although I spent my time pursuing recreational opportunities with young teens, I feel as if my passion for active engagement and meaningful relationships have led me to teaching PE full time.
I am also a military brat, affected and influenced by many cultures and regions of america. I enjoy running, lifting weights, playing all sports, going to the beach and spending time with friends and family.
I chose SKTCS because I was longing for a new community to be a part of, to give my all, and to serve. I am very proud and honored to be a chosen member of this family.
Ms. Nikole Baker
Greetings and salutations! I am Ms. Baker, the Lead Gifted Teacher, and I am excited to embark upon new adventures in learning with my students! After over two decades in education, my teaching philosophy remains the same- “By any means necessary.” I believe in creating authentic learning experiences, fostering creativity, responsibility, and purpose in students, and I cherish being a part of their journey. Outside of school, I enjoy reading, bargain hunting, and working to complete my mission of eating every type of food imaginable!
I chose SKTCS because I believe in our shared mission to empower students to change the world through empathy and knowledge.
Ms. Tanika Johnson
Greetings! I am Tanika Johnson, a native of Savannah, Georgia, and a mother of two. I am the Math Coach.
I chose SKTCS because it allows me to serve and meet the needs of students and their families.In my role I am able to assist in the efforts of improving academic achievement, multicultural experiences, and holistic growth for all students in a diverse setting.
Mrs. Loraine Bush
Greetings! My name is Mrs. Loraine Bush. I am native Floridian and a Georgia transplant. I teach because teaching is my true calling, especially when it comes to literacy. My role as an educator is not about me, but about my children and their success. It brings me joy to know that I am helping to nurture and equip our future leaders, trailblazers, and innovators with skills they will need to be productive members of society.
I chose SKTCS because I believe in educating the whole child. Its unique student-centered and community focused approach to education ensures that learning extends beyond the classroom.
Ms. Kendra Chapman
Greetings and Salutations, SKTCS Family! My name is Kendra Chapman and I am the Math Interventionist. Born and raised in the amazing city of Savannah, GA, I am a proud alumni of the Mighty Blue Jacket Nation of Savannah High School.
As a graduate of Georgia Southern University, I have dedicated 11 years of educational service to shaping the minds of our youth and eagerly look forward to what the future holds.
I am the proud mother of a 5 year old daughter and aunt of 9 nieces, so my weekends and holidays are fairly busy, but much enjoyed!
I chose SKTCS because it has a reputation for a positive community, action oriented culture. I strongly believe in the ideologies and practices based in teaching the whole child and creating a safe space where everyone belongs. I am super excited to be a part of the greatness circulating at SKTCS!
Mrs. Miranda Faircloth
My name is Mrs. Miranda Faircloth and I am the K-8 Reading Interventionist. I am a mother of 5; two boys and three girls- ages ranging from 6-19. I love the beach and I love to read!
I chose SKTCS because there is nowhere else I would rather be! Home is where the heart is, hence the reason you will find me at SKTCS!
Ms. Keysha Dukes
Hello! My Name is Keysha Dukes and I am a parprofessional. I was born and raised in Savannah,Georgia, I started working at SKTCS and fell in love with the school, so my daughter came to join us and we love it here! I am committed to my job and go above and beyond the job description to help the students.
I chose SKTCS because the school empowers students to be critical thinkers. I also love the fact we are a family no matter race, gender, or abillity!
"Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world" - Nelson Mandela
Ms. Chaquita Bush
Hi, I am Chaquita Bush. I am a paraprofessional. I first fell in love with SKTCS as a parent, and then as an employee. My daughter has been attending SKTCS since its opening. She has loved it since day one. At SKTCS she not only gets an education, she has gained a family as well.
I chose SKTCS because I get to watch children grow and learn the SKTCS way - with Peace, respect, and courage!
"I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul." - William Henley
Mrs. Katie Wilkins
Greetings and Salutations to all! My name is Katie Wilkins. I am a paraprofessional at Susie king Taylor Community School. I have a love and passion for decorating and using my hands to create visions.
I chose SKTCS because of the unique learning atmosphere. It is truly a caring community unlike any schools I've ever seen.
Ms. Venicia Brooks
Grades K-2 Special Education
Greetings! My name is Venicia Richardson-Brooks. I am a native of Savannah, GA. I am the Special Education teacher for Kindergarten through Third grade. I believe that it is important to provide well-rounded learning experiences that will strengthen skills of students beyond their school years.
I love music, songwriting, and creative arts. I am passionate about helping students reach their developmental milestones. I have worked as a Pre-K Teacher, Adaptive Curriculum Teacher, and a Child Advocate over the years.
I chose SKTCS because it allows students to learn through exploring the community!
“The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another.” - Marva Collins
Ms. Sherrylynn Burney
Grades 3-5 Special Education and ECST
Hello! My name is Ms. Sherrylynn Burney. I am the Special Education teacher for grades 3-5. I come from New York City where I pursued an acting career before the teaching bug took hold of me. I obtained my Masters degree in Special Education from Bank Street College of Education in New York.
I chose SKTCS because of the opportunity to return to the elementary school setting where I can bridge my love of theater along with my love for helping students.
"Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning." - Jo Moulton
Ms. Heather Fireall
Fifth Grade Special Education Paraprofessional
Hello! My name is Heather Fireall,and I am a Special Education Paraprofessional. I am a Savannah native. In my spare time I enjoy reading, traveling, and having fun with my two children!
I chose SKTCS because not only is it an unique school, it's one big family!
"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X
Ms. Kisha Kennedy
Middle Grades Special Education
My name is Kisha McRae Kennedy and I am the Special Education teacher for the Middle Grades .
Having recently moved to Savannah, I enjoy finding new eateries and learning about the restaurant's history. Sharing these gems with my students has been lots of fun, and a great tie in to what we are learning. Our students have lots of suggestions for great places to dine!
I chose SKTCS because of its amazing and compassionate teaching staff; visionary leadership; vigorous curriculum and supplemental learning; as well as the manifold opportunities to grow and develop as a professional each day! The families at this school love learning and love the community. I couldn't ask for anything more!
Ms. Lea Jones
Middle Grades Special Education Paraprofessional
My name is Lea Jones and I am a Special Education paraprofessional for the middle grades.
One of the things I love about SKTCS is that we are truly a family. Almost all of the staff whose children are in grades K-8 attend school right along with their parents. My daughter is a founding student and her experience encouraged me to apply for a job here. She absolutely loves it and now I see why!
I chose SKTCS because It’s a different environment. The focus is not only on education but also on building and nurturing the whole child.
“Believe in yourself, learn, and never stop wanting to build a better world.” - Mary McLeod Bethune