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Updated: May 9

Did you know that each year in Beaufort County there are hundreds of first and second year teachers across the district? It’s tough starting out in any career, but teaching can be particularly challenging. That’s why the Foundation Board desired to lend a “helping hand” to these induction teachers – to show them support through helping them to “build their toolkits” for a long, promising career in education.

Recently, the Foundation Board awarded grants to (18) first and second year teachers across Beaufort County. These funds are intended to help ease needs (beyond regular school supplies) in the classroom for new teachers in the Beaufort County School District (BCSD).

First launched in late 2021, entitled “Helping Build A Teacher’s Toolkit” this initiative was spurred by interest and discussions with Foundation board members. Many of these Board Members are retired educators, that are very aware of the struggles new teachers often face. To help these teachers with their first few years in the classroom, the Foundation committed to annually awarding $500 grants to first and second year teachers in the BCSD for valuable teaching tools in their classrooms.

This year’s new teacher initiative was funded generously by the Wexford Charitable Foundation and the Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island (WAHHI). Additional funding for a 2025 grant for the project was provided by Foundation board member, Deborah Colella.

And then…the really fun part! Surprise visits to the schools were made to personally award the checks to teachers. They were met with much appreciation and even some tears by the teachers and their students.

“The Foundation is thrilled to again reach out and show support to new teachers across the district through these grants,” says Linda Navorska, Foundation Board member. “We appreciate all that they do to guide and educate our future generations and we want them to know that we are in their corner to cheer them along.”

The supplies requested ranged from hygiene kits supplies for health classes to maps for middle school geography. Many of the elementary teachers wanted to purchase more educational games, puzzles, and art materials for their students. The best part is that the materials can be used for many more school years - increasing the amount of students impacted by these grant funds.

“Starting out as a teacher can be tough,” explains Lisa Carroll, Foundation Board Chair. “Our hope is that through these grants the process of ‘building their toolkit’ is made easier for these teachers in order to continue to pursue this valiant career for decades to come.”

The educators receiving grants included:




Emmanuel Adedze

Lady's Island Middle School


Trey Austin

Bluffton Middle School

7th Grade/Geography

McKenzie Bitz

Lady's Island Middle School

7th Grade/Social Studies

Taytem Coleman

Lady's Island Elementary School


Arianna Craig

Bluffton Middle School


Amanda Harrell

Robert Smalls Leadership Academy

Special Education

Ithaca Kurtinitis

Pritchardville Elementary School


Marina Lailar

Whale Branch Middle School


Kayla Legato

Mossy Oaks Elementary School

1st Grade

Deystinee Lightner

Robert Smalls Leadership Academy


Olegario Melendez

Battery Creek High School


Jim Morton

Hilton Head Island Middle School

8th Grade/Science

Destiney Nicol

Robert Smalls Leadership Academy

5th Grade

Samantha Roberts

Bluffton Elementary School

1st Grade

Eric Sayers

Beaufort-Jasper Academy for Career


Culinary Arts

Angela Schmitt

Battery Creek High School


Carolina Shriver

Hilton Head Island Elementary School

3rd Grade

Tyler Skidmore

Bluffton High School

U.S. History

*Funded by WAHHI **Funded by Wexford Foundation


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