Meet Our Faculty And Staff

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Mrs. Anna Goodwin Smith

Head of School, History

Anna Goodwin Smith is the founder and head of school for Hope Scholars Academy. Her educational focus at Hope Scholars is medieval history and philosophy. She currently teaches 8th grade world history overview and 12th grade spiritual formation.

Anna Smith has her bachelor’s degree from Wheaton college in Wheaton, IL. Her master’s degree is in progress from the Wheaton College Graduate School in global leadership. Her professional experience is in college development and fundraising. Previous roles include associate director of annual giving for Wheaton college, director of special events for Geneva college, PA, and director of development for Trinity School for Ministry, PA. She served as a senior campaign consultant with the Winkler consulting group in Mount Pleasant, working with schools including Charleston catholic school and Pinewood prep.

Anna’s background in education includes teaching high school English and history on the faculty of Conway Christian school, SC. She is a published author of children’s curriculum with group publishing under the faith weaver imprint and history curriculum for dew learning, one of the first online curricula published. International teaching experience includes visiting faculty at Africa renewal university in Uganda. There, Anna taught research and writing methods for graduate students. She also consulted with the administration of ARU in the child development degree accreditation process.

The Rev. Greg Smith

School Chaplain and Head Of Bible Department

The Rev. Greg Smith is an associate priest at St. Michael’s church and is the development manager for the American Anglican council. Greg previously served as the 9th rector of Trinity Church, Myrtle Beach. He was also the church of the Holy Cross’ college pastor to the citadel’s St. Alban’s chapel. While at the citadel, he also established a fellowship of Christian athletes chapter for the in-season teams that couldn’t make it to regular worship. Additionally, he established the i’on the campus of the church of the holy cross.

Greg smith graduated from Wheaton college in Chicago with a bachelor of music and holds a MDIV from trinity school for ministry. Greg has also worked as a paramedic/firefighter on Chicago’s near north side and learned the value of quick assessment of problems and teamwork solutions. But no matter how good that resume looks…it’s just a pile of rubbish. The thing you need to know about Greg is that he is a great sinner who serves a great savior.

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Mrs. Vicki Blackstone

8th, 10th, 11th Grade English, 11th Grade History, 12th Grade Rhetoric

Vicki Blackstone earned a BA in rhetoric and public address with a minor in English and literature from Bob Jones University. She continued her studies at the citadel with work toward a master’s in applied teaching in English.

Vicki has extensive experience in education, including teaching English for grades 6-12, instructing public speaking and theater arts, and founding two high school theater departments, the on-stage players and the palmetto players. She previously taught at Wilson Hall, Northside Christian School, Trident Technical College, and most recently, palmetto Christian academy where she established the upper school English department and served as the English department chair. Her passion for teaching comes from her desire to help students to learn to think critically, and to discover and develop their gifts for the glory of God and His kingdom.

Mrs. Melissa Bennett

8th – 12th Grade Bible; DiscoverU

Melissa Bennett graduated from Geneva college in 2002 with a BA in student ministries. She is currently enrolled at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is working toward an MA in theological studies.

Melissa has been doing youth ministry either as a volunteer or paid staff member for twenty years. Her great loves of youth ministry are disciplining students one-on-one and teaching students the bible. Melissa is excited to bring her passion for teaching the bible to Hope Scholars Academy.

Personally, Melissa is married to Jonathan Bennett, a pastor on Daniel Island, and together they have three children [Hannah (17), Caleb (14), and Lizzie (12)] and are also foster parents. When she is not working, you can find Melissa reading a novel (Jane Austen being a particular favorite), watching movies, going for long walks with her hubby, doing Pilates and barre, or coming up with little projects at her house.

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Mrs. Megan Beville

Spanish I & III, Intramural Sports

Megan Beville received her bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University with a major in foreign language and Literature, and a minor in English. She furthered her Spanish language education while studying abroad in Granada, Spain, and later taught English in a school in Atenas, Costa Rica. She has completed multiple hours of graduate work at the college of Charleston in the department of foreign language education.

Previously, Megan taught foreign language (Latin, French, And Spanish) to 5-8th graders at Palmetto Christian Academy. She also taught at Veritas Classical School – High School French, Spanish And Literature.

A Colorado native, Megan has lived in Charleston for 18 years. She and her husband Michael stay very busy in their household of three boys (and one coon hound). Together, they love playing and adventuring in the outdoors.

Mr. Stacy Behlmer

Engineering, Logic I and II

Stacy Behlmer has been working in the IT field for over 20 years as a network & server administrator, former head of it, and now instructor for an apple MDM company, teaching it professionals how to utilize the platform. Stacy has previously studied computer information systems and hardware at Chippewa Valley technical college.

Previously an adjunct professor at globe university teaching the Comptia A+ certification and middle school stem, he has also coached flag football and little league baseball. This is his first chance to bring his passion for technology to the high school level, and is deeply enjoying his logic courses as well.

A North Dakota native, Stacy and his wife Kari, recently moved to Charleston after living In Eau Claire, Wisconsin for 20+ years. They are enjoying the year-round warm weather and beaches with their three children (Courtney 21, Ian 19, & Adam 16).

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Dr. Tom Gurley


Thomas Gurley earned a BA in Chemistry from Houghton college and a PhD in chemistry from case western Reserve University.

Tom has over 40 years of experience as a research chemist, R&D director, and technical consultant at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, Abbott Laboratories, and Manning Wood LLC, respectively. He has taught chemistry courses and labs at several universities, including the University of Akron, Malone College, College of Charleston, the citadel, and currently as an adjunct professor at Charleston Southern University. He was a Fulbright scholar in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and Mukono, Uganda.

Tom has been married for over 50 years and has 3 married daughters and 13 grandchildren.

Miss Mary Kate Powell

Biology, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I

Mary Kate Powell, earned her bachelor’s degree in biology with a wildlife emphasis from Charleston Southern University. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in biology from CSU, and will graduate in May 2024.

Mary Kate has a passion for helping students understand the “why” behind difficult concepts, and her experiences in education are most notably her time-serving as the head teacher’s assistant for microbiology lab during her B.S., and later serving as the graduate assistant for Microbiology lab.

Outside of her degrees, she has been involved with education and youth ministries for as long as she was able to: having experience volunteering at several girls scout camps, a wildlife summer camp, as a previous volunteer-exhibit-guide on the South Carolina Aquariums’ education team, and as a previous youth-leader at James Island Christian church.

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Mrs. Rachel Hudson

9th Grade English, 9th Grade History

Rachel Hudson has a BA in English from Southern Wesleyan University and an MA in adolescent literature from Eastern Michigan University.

After spending eight glorious years teaching ELA in the middle school classroom, Rachel continued to work in the field of education in a variety of roles. Previous roles include serving as academic support and mentor for teachers at the middle school level, adult support for students with autism, and teaching assistant/ assistant librarian at the elementary level. In these roles, she has gained a wide variety of experiences, which includes curriculum development, e-learning, conflict resolution, and content creation for teachers.

Rachel and her husband Tim live in North Charleston, SC with their two children, Lucy and Henry, and one furry beast named Bear Bear.

Mrs. Elizabeth Williams

Elizabeth Northcut Williams is a fine artist who lives and works in her home studio in North Charleston, SC, with her husband, three children, rescue dog, and parakeet. She grew up in Louisville, KY, with a family who valued making beautiful things. With that encouragement, she received her BFA in painting from the university of Evansville and has been blessed with art “work” ever since.

Her lifelong inclination to create is motivated by a desire to connect. She is fascinated with the push and pull of relationships: with each other, with our environments and cultures, and with god. Focusing on paintings and drawings, Elizabeth enjoys combining figurative realism with abstraction. She honors the dignity of her subjects with both representational and expressive techniques.

Elizabeth’s work can be found in the homes and businesses of collectors all over the country. She has recently been selected as a featured artist to work on a series of drawings and paintings at the Gibbes museum for a six-week residency this fall.

In addition to her own art practice, Elizabeth has instructed art workshops in museums, galleries, and art centers for over 20 years. She loves encouraging people of all ages and stages to appreciate their own creativity, while teaching them techniques to improve their process.

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Kari Behlmer

Kari Behlmer is Administrative Assistant and Registrar

Jenny Hartzog

Director of Admissions

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Bill Biggee