A Charleston native, Franci Bell graduated from Cornell University in 1998 with a BS in Human Development and Family Studies. She moved to Knoxville, TN to attend graduate school at the University of Tennessee in Child Development. Two years later she began law school, and graduated with a JD from the University of South Carolina in 2004. She joined The Cooper School Community in 2008. Franci has taught grades 1-5 at The Cooper School, and has spent many years in administration.
Lauren “Lou” Cherry graduated from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.S. degree in Elementary Education. She grew up in Raleigh, NC and moved to Mt. Pleasant, SC four years ago with her sister. Lou enjoys attending local festivals, running the Ravenel Bridge, and reading on Sullivan’s Island. Lou taught kindergarten at The Cooper School for several years before moving to California. Now she is delighted to return to Charleston and TCS!
Erin Biddle enters her second year at The Cooper School as the Kindergarten teacher. Erin brings thirteen years of classroom experience in Connecticut, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Erin received her BA in Education at Mercyhurst University. She is a certified early childhood and elementary educator. Erin believes her mission is to instill the love of learning. She is thrilled to be a member of The Cooper School team! Erin enjoys spending time with her husband, Chris and daughter, Abigail exploring Charleston and going to the beach.
Noah Balazs is in his fourth year as a first grade teacher. Noah comes to us from The International School of Dakar in Senegal, West Africa. Originally from Massachusetts, Noah graduated from Colby College with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and from Salem State University with an M.Ed in Elementary Education. Before teaching at The Cooper School,Noah taught at The International School of Dakar in Senegal and Shore Country Day School in Beverly, Massachusettes. Noah enjoys riding his bicycle to work, working in the garden, reading, and spending time in nature.
Kelly returns for her second year at The Cooper School in Second Grade. Kelly was raised in the greater Chicago area. On her first visit to Charleston, she fell in love with the city and decided to attend The College of Charleston. Kelly received her Bachelor or Science in Elementary Education from The College of Charleston. She also has a Masters in Education from The Citadel. Kelly is a Nationally Board Certified Educator. During her free time, Kelly enjoys playing board games and taking long walks with her husband and three young children.
Marsha enters her third year at The Cooper School. Raised in Charleston, Marsha received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from The College of Charleston. Marsha has taught for ten years in both the public and private schools. She delights in fostering a warm classroom environment where children can thrive and express themselves comfortably. Inspired by joyful learning and positive student outcomes, she is thrilled to be joining The Cooper School. Marsha’s daughter, Olive, is a second grade student at The Cooper School. Marsha enjoys hula hooping, crafting, relaxing at the beach, and finding treasures at flea markets.
Anne Wil Wingfield continues her seventh year at The Cooper School as she moves into her new role as the Director of Admissions and Communications. She comes to us from The Catherine Cook School in Chicago, Illinois. Originally a native of Virginia, Anne Wil received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from The University of the South in Sewanee, TN and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Piedmont College in Athens, GA. Having previously taught Kindergarten, First, Second Grade and Fourth Grades, she is excited to begin a new chapter at The Cooper School in administration. Anne Wil enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two daughters.
Allison Roman returns for her fifth year at The Cooper School as our Fifth Grade teacher. She is a South Carolina native, born and raised in the upstate. Allison earned her B.A. in Elementary Education at Clemson University and her M.S. in Community Health at the University of New Mexico. She looks forward to having another successful science fair this year and fostering everyone’s love for math as the school’s Math Leader. In her free time she enjoys running with her husband and trying new restaurants.
Subhadra has been working at The Cooper School since 2009. She is originally from Florida and received her Bachelors degree in Early Education and Special Education followed by her Masters in Early Childhood Education from the University of Florida. Subhadra has taught Kindergarten, First, Second, and Third Grades, and is excited to begin teaching Fourth this year.
Hazel Ketchum is The Cooper School’s Music Director. She is the co-owner of Hungry Monk Music, and holds degrees in Classical Guitar Performance from the University of Southern California. Hazel has taught music in SC public and private schools, at the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, and has been Artist-in-Residence at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Center in Ohio, among many other teaching posts. Hazel is a certified Music For Young Children teacher. Hazel is an active performer as a soloist and with her group The Hungry Monks.
Tom Noren, Cooper School’s Music Instructor, was born in Rio de Janeiro where he began his guitar studies at age 12. He moved to Boston in 1988 and attended the New England Conservatory of Music, earning a Masters degree in classical guitar performance in 1994. Tom studied with David Leisner while he was at NEC. Since graduating he has performed and recorded extensively with the New World Guitar Trio and with HourGlass. His recordings can be bought at cdbaby.com.Tom has taught at the Longy School of Music, Tufts University and at Gordon College. Tom is currently the director of the Tom Noren Guitar Program and partner in PLAYtek STEAM educational program. He also performs as a soloist and with Porto Seguro, a Brazilian music ensemble, in a variety of venues and settings.
Sophie Strickland was born and raised in France, where she received a BA in English studies in Lyon. She immigrated to the United States as an Au Pair in 1991. After living in New York for 13 years, she moved to Charleston with her family and began teaching French to young children at the Big Blue School and at Belle Hall Elementary School in Mount Pleasant. She believes that learning a second language increases creativity and cognitive development.
Tania Schettini was born and raised in Colombia, South America, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Social Communication and Journalism. Her media career began in radio as a journalist. Later, Tania successfully performed as a television actress. Soon, Radio-Television Espanola invited Tania to travel to Spain in in order to broaden her media knowledge and experience. After living in Spain and traveling throughout Europe, Tania was determined to strengthen her ability to communicate in the English language and enhance her career, so she moved to the United States. Tania attended Wake Forest University, earning a Spanish K-12 teaching License. Tania has extensive experience as a Spanish Teacher in both North and South Carolina. After raising her three children as bilingual in English and Spanish, she decided to share her passion for the Spanish language and culture by establishing Lowcountry Language Academy in Mt. Pleasant. Tania now enthusiastically looks forward to exploring and sharing the fascinating world of Spanish culture and language with the Cooper School Community.
Originally came from Beijing, China, Bing has been in The United States for almost 10 years. In China, she was a college professor teaching Design and Fine Arts. She received her MS in Urban Design from the top art college in China. Bing moved to Boston in 2004, where she worked teaching Chinese and Fine Arts to adults and children. Bing loves combining arts and the Chinese language so her students can learn Chinese in a fun and creative way.
Kerry Bevers is the Art teacher at the Cooper School. She is delighted to have the opportunity to share her passion for art and her years of professional painting experience with all of the students at the Cooper School. She studied at Savannah College of Art & Design, Brock University in Ontario, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from the College of Charleston.
Originally from New Jersey, Stacy made her way to beautiful Charleston, SC. Stacy received her 200 hour yoga teacher training certification from Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica, and a 500 hour yoga teacher training at Asheville Yoga Center in North Carolina. She resides with her sweet husband and silly pup in Riverland Terrace on James Island. She enjoys cooking, reading, writing, the beach, the mountains, music, movies, travel and time with family and friends.
Atam is originally from Evansville, IN but lived in Memphis, TN prior to moving to Charleston. He previously worked as an assistant in a Junior Kindergarten class at Immaculate Conception Catholic School. Outside of the classroom Atam has a passion for teaching as a summer camp administrator, theater teacher and private swim coach. Atam is so happy to be in Charleston working with Miss Erin.
Marsha believes that teaching truly is her passion. She has worked with a wide variety of children from the age of 3 up to 3rd grade. Her undergraduate and graduate degree are in Special Education from UGA. Marsha enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband, 2 married children, and a sweet, spoiled rotten golden doodle. She also enjoys music, dancing, traveling, walking, and reading. Marsha will be spending the majority of her time in Grades 1 and 2.
I grew up in a family of educators. Therefore even as a young child, I knew I would be an elementary school teacher. I dreamed of teaching in my own classroom one day. I wanted to foster a love of learning by creating a classroom where students would feel free to take risks and accept challenges. My dream became a reality and I began teaching in public schools. I taught with very talented and well-educated instructors….