Meet our staff

Meet the staff of The South Carolina Preparatory Academy.

Dr. Kelly Griffis

Executive Director

Dr. Griffis has over 20 years of experience in Education as a program coordinator, department head, and assistant principal! Her dissertation research on teacher collaboration and student achievement provides her with a unique perspective in the field of education. Dr. Griffis enjoys watching Florida State football games, camping with her family, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Ms. Hammill

Assistant Principal

Hi!  I am Ms. Hammill, Assistant Principal at SC Prep.  I have worked in education or 16 years.  I attended college and graduate school in North Carolina.  When I am not working with teachers and students you can find me outside or enjoying music or sports with my family.

Brandi Aiken

Director of Special Education

Hi everyone! My name is Brandi Aiken and I am so excited to join the SC Prep Academy family as your Director of Special Education! I graduated from Southern Wesleyan University where I earned my B.S in Special Education and my Masters degree in Administration and Supervision. I currently live in my hometown of Easley, SC with my three year old daughter. We love spending time with family, all outdoor activities, and cheering on our Clemson Tigers. I am so excited to work with each of you and know this will be the best year yet!

Ms. Chelsea Kizer

Test Coordinator/Powerschool Data

Hello! My name is Chelsea Kizer, and I am so excited to be a member of the SC Prep family. I am originally from North Carolina where I graduated from Appalachian State University with my degree in History, Secondary Education, and taught for the first two years of my career. I then moved with my husband to Lexington, South Carolina, where I have taught in Lexington School District 2, as well as, Saluda County Schools.

My husband and I live in Leesville, South Carolina. We had our daughter, Harper, in May of 2020, and I have been a stay at home mom with her the last two years! We have two furchildren, Macy and Esso, who we love to take with us on our camping adventures to SC State Parks! I am so thankful to be back with teachers and students, and to have found such a great group to work with each day!

Mrs. Nicole Stroud

Office Manager

Hi, everyone! I am Mrs. Stroud, Office Manager at SC Prep! I have worked in office administration for 7 years and 6 years as a Certified Medical Biller.

I have been married to my husband Brandon for 10 years and we have 2 boys, Kaden (8) and Jameson (6). We are licensed foster parents and currently have an 18 month old boy, (E) that we hope to adopt in the near future.

Mrs. Heather Hunnicutt

Middle School Counselor

Hello everyone! My name is Heather Hunnicutt and I am from Walhalla, South Carolina. I have been an elementary school counselor for nine years. I have been married for 21 years to my husband Tim and we have two beautiful children. My son Seth has just graduated high school and will start college in the fall and my daughter Bre will start 10th grade in the fall. We also have two beautiful and energetic Boykin Spaniels, Duke and Max. I am excited to start the school year as the new middle school counselor for SC Prep. I am looking forward to meeting all of our students and helping in anyway that I can!

Ms. Palazzi

High School Counselor

Hi! I am Ms. Palazzi, the new high school counselor at SC Prep. I am from Greensboro, NC and have a 9yr old son, Brixton. This is my 3rd year as a high school counselor but before that, I was an ELA/English teacher for grades 6-12.

When I am not working with my students, you can find me by the water. I love a beach and a boat! I also enjoy traveling. We are always on the go! One of our favorite places to visit is Exuma, Bahamas. There are so many great memories to be made in Exuma!

I am also a huge football fan. During football season, you can find me cheering on the Penn State Nittany Lions and the New York Giants, oh and of course, my son’s youth football team!
I am so excited to join SC Prep and look forward to meeting and working with all of you this school year.

Tina Morris


Hi Everyone!

I went to UNC - Chapel Hill and majored in Biology and Psychology. Then I went to ECU and earned a Master’s in Science Education. While  at ECU I worked for a research lab with fish! I finished my studies at App State where I studied Ecological Biology. While there I completed my thesis on animal behavior and mate choice by studying blue birds in the wild!

I have been teaching high school for 10 years. I have taught Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, Comparative Evolutionary Biology, Chemistry, Marine Science, and Physical Science.

I love the ocean and all its’ amazing creatures! I SCUBA dive every chance I get and have worked for two different aquariums. I also like to do arts and crafts on cold or rainy days; I make quilts from scratch and I scrapbook and paint. I have two dogs who I like to spend ALL my free time with!

Mr. Marty Papet

Social Studies Teacher (7th, 8th, 9th Grades)

Greetings! My name is Marty Papet. I’m very much looking forward to teaching Social Studies at SCPrep during the upcoming academic year. I am a second career educator, having first served for over 26 years as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Navy, before retiring from active duty in 2007.  I am a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy (B.S. in Political Science), the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (M.S. in Information Technology Management) and Liberty University where I earned both an M. Ed and Ed. S. I have taught a variety of middle and high school courses at schools in Virginia, Florida and South Carolina.

My wife (Sharyn) and I live in Simpsonville, South Carolina. We have four grown married children, eight grandchildren, and a 16 year-old daughter who we adopted from China as an infant. We enjoy a variety of “extra-curricular” activities, to include travel, visiting our children/grandchildren, gardening, reading, church activities and evening walks. Finally, we have two pugs (Pippa and Bella), whose company we very much enjoy.

Mrs. Soto-Kiemele

Spanish 1, 2 & 3

I am excited to be joining the faculty of the South Carolina Prep Academy as a full time Spanish teacher this fall! My husband, John and I moved from Colorado to South Carolina a year ago.  We currently live in the “lowcountry” of our state, close to Hilton Head Island, near the town of Bluffton, SC. My husband and I have three grown children – two of whom will be getting married in the next year!  I have a little dog named “Bravo,” I love to travel, hike and enjoy living close to the beach.

I am originally from Mexico and came to the U.S. when I was 11 years old. Although all of my immediate family lives in Arizona, I still have many relatives in Mexico.

I went to college in Arizona, and have a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and a Bachelor’s in education K-12 from the University of Arizona in Tucson. I have been a teacher for 25 years and the last 15 years, I have taught Spanish at the high school level. During that time, I taught both basic and advanced levels.

Mrs. Lisa Holley

ELA Teacher

Hello, everyone! My name is Mrs. Holley. I am a 7th and 8th Grade ELA teacher. This is my 10th year teaching and 3rd year in a virtual program. After attending USC, I taught in the Columbia area before moving up to teach in Greenville County. I love to read, cook, and spend time with my husband and daughter!

I am so excited to be a part of the SC Prep family. I can’t wait to meet you!

Mrs. Lisa Fanczi

Career and Technical Education Teacher (High School)

Hi Everyone! My name is Lisa Fanczi and I am thrilled to be working with you this year! I absolutely love teaching Career and Technical Education courses because they offer students a wonderful opportunity to learn about themselves, the world around them, and realize new interests and hidden talents. CATE courses also help students develop employability skills as well as life skills that will help them achieve success in every aspect of their lives.

I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, then earned my Master’s degree in Education from the University of Georgia. I began teaching in 1994 with Gwinnett County Public Schools (in Georgia). I have been working and teaching in the online school environment since 2015.

My husband Steve and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this year. We have three adult children, a daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and a precious grandson. Our fur-babies include our dog “Honey” and our kitty “LaFayette.” We love spending time with family and friends at the lake, hiking, biking, and kayaking.

Mrs. Claire Jones


Hello! I’m Claire Jones and very excited to be joining SC Prep! I graduated from USC with a bachelors in Elementary Education! I have my gifted and talented and middle level add ons! I also received a masters degree in Educational Leadership from Clemson University! I have taught 6th grade science and ProTeam for the past eight years!

I’m married to my wonderful husband Garrett and we have two beautiful daughters, Charlotte (3) and Neely (3 months)! I love reading, spending time at the lake with my family, cheering for the Gamecocks, and baking!

Jonathan Baity

Social Studies Teacher

Greetings everyone! I’ve been teaching history for 10 years in public and private schools (7 years in Florida and 3 in South Carolina) . I’m a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle where I earned a BA in History. My lovely wife Samantha and I are coming up on 15 years of marriage. We have 4 kids - Ambrose (11), Benjamin (9), Edith (4), and baby Luke (1). Our hands are full and things are always bustling at the Baityhome, but we’re having a good time!

I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, board games,_ good_ music, spending time with family and friends, a nice cuppa tea, good conversation, and all things JRR Tolkien! Looking forward to working with you all!

Mr. Joel Matthew Picher

High School English

Hello to All! I will be teaching 11th and 12th grade English this year and am excited to see each of my students grow throughout these coming semesters. This is my 15th year teaching and am ecstatic about being with SC Preparatory Academy and teaching through a classical approach.

I have taught in WNC as well as the upstate of South Carolina ranging from middle school through high school. I have been married for 26 years, and I have found marriage to be like education: Every day we have an opportunity to grow in a positive way.

My curiosities are far and wide, but my interests are mindfulness, astronomy, cycling, hiking, photography, flying, mycology, reading and researching and WRITING, especially.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." MLK, Jr.

Mrs. Christy Thompson

9th and 10th English

Hello! I am so excited to teach this year with SC Prep. I have been in the publishing and education world for over a decade. I live in beautiful Pawleys Island, SC close to the beach. Also, I will be graduating with my Masters in English this school year. I have always loved reading and writing, and I hope my enthusiasm for words will make learning ELA fun and exciting.

I was born in England where I plan to visit over spring break. I love all of the following: my husband, my three children, my Morkie named Biscotti, coffee, my four sisters, traveling, photography and reading almost anything!  (Some of my favorite authors are Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, and Harper Lee just to name a few…)

We are going to have a great year!

Mrs. Lauren Gee

Jack of All Trades, Master of None (Including 6th Grade ELA)

  • Recently married
  • From Atlanta, GA
  • 14 year old daughter
  • Plays with food
  • Loves Halloween
  • Big fan of coffee & reading
  • Amiture blogger
  • Socializes well with others
  • Humorously awkward
  • Will work for chocolate

Adam Mahdavi

6th & 7th Grade Math

Hello, I am Mr. Mahdavi. I am honored to be a part of the SC Prep team. My wife and I live in the midlands area in South Carolina with our daughter. I've earned an Accounting Payroll Specialist certificate from Midlands Technical College and a Bachelor's of Arts in Middle Level Education from the University of South Carolina. I am excited to be a chain of reason that links students to the wonders and discoveries of Mathematics. I am excited about all things classical education, especially advancing the classical approach to mathematics and logic through Euclidian geometry and deductive reasoning.

Lou Ann Ellenburg

8th Grade Math and Algebra 1

Hello!  I am so excited to be joining SC Prep and look forward to meeting everyone and working together to challenge and encourage our students in their educational pursuits!

I have a BS in Elementary Education from Bob Jones University and a Masters degree in Technology and Online Education from Liberty University.  I just finished my 16th year in Pickens County teaching 7th and 8th grade math as well as Algebra 1. This will be my 2nd year to teach virtually and I’m excited to get started.

I live in Easley with my husband.  We have two sons, a daughter-in-love, and one granddaughter. In my free time I enjoy woodworking, spending time with friends and family, and camping.

Life is an adventure and I look forward to starting this next adventure at SC Prep!

Chris WIlliams

Special Education Teacher

I am so happy to be a part of the SC PREP. I have 30 years experience in the public school setting. I received my undergraduate degree from USC-Coastal Carolina College. I received my first Masters from Furman University and my second Masters from Anderson University.

My beautiful wife, Amy and I have 3 Children: Kayla, Chase, and Garrett. We have one granddaughter: Reagan. We have 2 Miniature Dachshunds: Bleu & Dixie.

This is going to be a great year!

Testing Dates: Fall 2022

Fall MAP (grades 6-10)
Aug. 30, Sept. 1, 6, 8
Fall EOC
Dec. 8-9; makeups Dec. 15-16

Testing Dates: Spring 2023

Feb. 1-3
SC Alt
March 7-31
March 27-31
READY/PASS (grades 6-8)
May 15-17; makeups May 25-26
Spring EOC
May 18-19; makeups May 25-26
Spring MAP (grades 6-10)

The South Carolina Preparatory Academy

1650 E. Greenville St, Suite H, Anderson, SC 29621
866-983-5449 |

The South Carolina Preparatory Academy is founded by a group of individuals who have a vision of educating students across South Carolina so that they are prepared for future leadership roles in our state.

SC Prep is a Reason & Rebublic School

© 2022 The South Carolina Preparatory Academy. All Rights Reserved.