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.

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.

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. 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 & 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
  • Amateur 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 & 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!

Tracy Williams

Geometry Teacher

I am excited to be a SC Prep teacher. I have spent my career teaching Mathematics, and Social Studies. When I am not teaching and grading, I spend time with my family and long walks in nature. We have some pet family members, two dogs, Charlie and Mistletoe. I look forward to getting to know you all better and help you learn the content.

Heather Wood

Student Success Specialist

Hello! I am excited to be a part of the SC Prep Academy to help engage with students and families to prepare a roadmap to success! My family and I live on a farm in Upstate SC. In my freetime I enjoy watching my kids play sports, traveling to the beach and mountains and touring real estate!

Sarah Stephens

Special Education

I’m thrilled to be joining the SC Prep team! I have been teaching special education for 8 years and have been serving special needs individuals of all ages since I was young girl. I live with my husband and our two beautiful children in Upstate SC where we were born and raised. We love spending time together as a family doing just about anything!

Justin Stephens

Graduation Coach

I am looking forward to joining SC Prep as Graduation Coach. I have been working with middle and high school students in different capacities over the last few years. I currently serve as Youth Pastor at our church in Upstate SC. I love being with my family, watching GA football and drinking coffee.

Jennie Stockwell

Student Engagement Specialist

I am very excited to be joining the team at SC Prep. I look forward to working with these students. I have taught in specialized classroom settings for seven years, helping students find the tools and resources to be successful. I live in Lexington with my husband and my three daughters. I love to sing, play music, and watch Gamecock football.!