Our Lead Teacher, curriculum developer and co-founder, Adrienne Day, has been passionate about education since she was a child playing teacher to her dolls. While working at an engineering firm at the Cape Canaveral Space Station, Adrienne began volunteering as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and that same joy from childhood came back with a vengeance. She left the engineering world to study teaching at the University of Florida while apprenticing at a Title One Elementary school. After teaching in public education, she noticed how often it seemed the children were not the number one priority and began researching alternative methods of education. She decided to throw caution to the wind and opened up a private school for young children in Jacksonville, FL. She obtained her Montessori teaching certification and developed a unique curriculum integrating Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf philosophies with her own discoveries made through research and student observation. Almost 10 years later she is ready to do it here in Charleston, SC. In partnership with Stefanie, Adrienne is bringing this unique curriculum style to the lowcountry while also developing programs to strengthen the local community.
Our Administrator, business developer and co-founder, Stefanie Swackhamer, is an advocate for community based education rooted in sustainability and environmental awareness. With over 15 years experience in community based work, she has always had a passion for education and serving. As a teacher she started a Literacy Through Latin program at a Title I high school in North Charleston, SC. This program targeted students struggling with literacy and grew from 5 students to a thriving. program that still exists today. Most recently, Stefanie co-founded and acted as General Manager of Tiger Corner Farms, a manufacturer of hydroponic shipping container farms. As the company grew, she became Vice President of Mission, Marketing, and Business Development for AmplifiedAg, parent company to Tiger Corner Farms (manufacturing), Vertical Roots (farming), and Boxcar Central (technology). Through this work she has helped to grow the team across multiple site locations while establishing powerful community partnerships and growing four brands. Stefanie holds a degree in Classics from College of Charleston and well as a Masters in Teaching with a specialization in Cross Cultural Learning.
Our Assistant Teacher, Lori Caulder, is a South Carolina native and loves living, and now teaching, on Daniel Island. She has been passionate about the field of early childhood education since high school. Her experience being a Special Olympics mentor sparked the fire for her love of teaching others. This will be her ninth year of teaching and. she couldn’t imagine herself anywhere but in the classroom. Lori's career in education started after she graduated from Coastal Carolina University in 2008 where she received a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. She has taught at numerous schools within Charleston and Berkeley County including: Meeting Street Academy, Sander’s Clyde Elementary, North Charleston Elementary School, and Mt. Holly Elementary working with ages three through eight. She also has experience as a reading interventionist working with students ages five through eight. Her philosophy is that if you foster the play and exploration of young children, endless learning opportunities become available.
Our after-school assistant, Molly Fitts, is a Charleston native with a passion for helping others. While earning her Bachelor's degree in psychology from The College of Charleston, she took a job nannying that kickstarted her love of working with kids. Since graduating she has gained experience in a variety of settings, from working as an assistant in the Child Life Program at MUSC to volunteering with Wings for Kids, an after-school program for at-risk youths in the Charleston area. Molly loves problem-solving and coming up with creative solutions and activities. She is excited to join The Elevate Learning Project team and looks forward to assisting with the growth of their after school program. In her free time Molly loves exploring trails with her dog, spending time with her family and painting.