Board of Trustees

 
 
Beaufort Academy's Board of Trustees is charged with the governance of the school by defining its mission, determining its strategic direction, securing and protecting its financial resources, and overseeing the Headmaster who manages the administration and operations of the institution. The Board and the Headmaster collaborate on the long-range advancement and benefit of the school and its students. The Board does not oversee day-to-day operations of the school, leaving those matters to the Headmaster and his staff.
 
 
Chilton Grace Simmons, Esquire (BA '93) 

President 

A native of Beaufort and alumni of Beaufort Academy (’93), Chilton is a partner and founding member of Buyck, Sanders & Simmons, L.L.C., where she practices law specializing in medical malpractice defense.  She graduated from University of Georgia with a B.S. in history and minor in political science, and from University of South Carolina with a J.D.  She also studied abroad at University of Oxford, England.

Chilton has served on the Beaufort Academy Board of Trustees since 2009, where she is currently the Chair of the Board.  She has chaired the Development Committee in the past, and currently serves on the Capital Campaign Committee.  She and her husband, Heath, have three children who attend Beaufort Academy.  She is active in numerous other organizations including United Way of the Lowcountry (past Board Professional Co-Chair), Tidal Creek Fellowship Church, Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Friends of Caroline Hospice, Hope Haven of the Lowcountry (Children’s Advocacy and Rape Crisis Center), and Historic Beaufort Foundation.

As for Beaufort Academy, Chilton most appreciates the focus on the development of the whole child, and the curriculum which fosters a love for learning, analytical and reasoning skills, and advanced writing and scientific skills.

 
 

Garrett Wreden (BA '01)
Vice President 

After graduating in 2001 from Beaufort Academy, Garrett matriculated to the University of Georgia where he majored in risk management and insurance with a minor in history. Upon his graduation, Garrett returned to Beaufort to work at Kinghorn Insurance Agency of Beaufort where he is currently a partner and commercial lines manager. Garrett also holds a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.

Garrett has served on the Beaufort Academy Board of Trustees since 2010 in various capacities and currently serves as Vice Chairman and Co-Chair of the Beaufort Academy Capital Campaign.

Garrett is married to Caroline Wreden, DVM, a 2002 graduate of Beaufort Academy, and they have two children.  They are active members of the Parish Church of St. Helena’s. Garrett has served multiple community, church and professional organizations such as Rotary (past President), IIABSC education committee, Family Promise of Beaufort County Board, Diocesan Risk Management Committee, Beaufort County School District Insurance Review/Selection Committee, Beaufort County Open Land Trust (Vice Chair) and United Way of the Lowcountry Board.

Beaufort Academy has provided many opportunities for Garrett and his family. Garrett's goal as a Board Member is to ensure that Beaufort Academy continues to serve the community as the premier option for families focused on preparing young adults for life through excellent education, critical/original thought, positive relationships, ethics, manners, professional etiquette and God.

 

Courtney Tucker Worrell
Secretary

Courtney grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, but she has called Beaufort home since 1999.  Courtney works with 303 Associates, L.L.C., a company specializing in historic renovation and property redevelopment.  She graduated from Washington & Lee University, where she served as the University’s first female chairman of the renowned quadrennial Mock Convention, and she participated in the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.  Prior to moving to Beaufort, Courtney worked for Senator John Warner and Governor George Allen in various capacities.

Courtney has served on the Beaufort Academy of Board of Trustees since 2014, where she currently serves as Secretary and Chair of the Committee on Trustees.  Prior to her service on the Board, she served as the President of the Beaufort Academy Parents Association for two years, on the Development Committee, as a room parent and in various other volunteer capacities.  She and her husband, Jack, a Beaufort Academy alum, have one son, Jack Carter, who attends Beaufort Academy. 

In addition to her service with Beaufort Academy, Courtney is active in numerous other organizations, including serving in leadership positions with Carteret Street United Methodist Church, the Beaufort Arts Council and the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club.  She has also been an active volunteer for Friends of Caroline Hospice, the Boys & Girls Club and her son’s Scouting activities.

Courtney chooses to send her son to Beaufort Academy and devote her time to the Board because she fully believes in its mission to instill intellectual curiosity while building strength of character.  She loves the varied opportunities Beaufort Academy provides its students, both inside and outside the classroom, and the caliber of teachers and coaches with which this is accomplished.

 

Mary Lohr
Member at Large

Mary Lohr is a native of the Low Country and raised in Colleton County.  She attended the University of South Carolina, graduating, cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities, in 1995. Prior to attending law school she taught for a semester at Colleton Prep in Walterboro, SC.  Mary earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1999 and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar that same year. She served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable William Howard, South Carolina Court of Appeals, and as Staff Attorney, South Carolina Court of Appeals. 

Mary moved to Beaufort in 2001 to join the firm of Howell, Gibson and Hughes where she still practices as a partner. She has served on the Board of the Beaufort Arts Counsel and the Junior Service League of Beaufort, where she was board president. 

Mary is married to Jon Lohr, an employee of Beaufort Memorial Hospital, and they have one son, Clay, who is a fifth grader at BA.  Having tried several school options in the area, the Lohrs are thrilled to have found a permanent home with the BA Family.

 

Cecil Mitchell (BA '99)
Treasurer & Facilities Chair

Cecil grew up in Beaufort and graduated from Beaufort Academy in 1999.  Cecil is currently the President of Mitchell Brothers Inc.   Alongside his cousins and brother, he manages this third generation family business, Mitchell Brothers Inc., a General Contracting company specializing in military construction. Cecil attended Queens University of Charlotte and graduated with a B.S. in Accounting and Minor in business administration in 2003.  

Cecil has served on the Beaufort Academy Board of Trustees since 2014, where he is currently on the Finance and Facility Committees. He and his wife, Maggie, have three daughters Amelia and Hollis, both of whom attend Beaufort Academy, and Evy, a future Eagle.   They are members of the Parish Church of St. Helena, and are heavily involved in many community organizations. Cecil is a member of the Military Enhancement Committee, Lady’s Island Business Association, and serves on the Beaufort County Zoning Board of Appeals.  

As an alumni, Cecil appreciates firsthand the unique educational and life enriching opportunities Beaufort Academy has offered to students for over 50 years. Cecil struggled early on in school.  Having the resources and flexibility offered at Beaufort Academy gave him the tools and confidence to succeed not only academically, but in all aspects of life.  Beaufort Academy was instrumental in preparing him for college and beyond not only through a rigorous curriculum, but a culture that nurtured as well as challenged him.

 

Thomas A. Miller
Finance Chair

Following nearly four decades in Overland Park, Kansas, Tom and his wife, Paula, had been part-time residents of Beaufort since 2009, becoming permanent residents in 2015.  This followed his retirement after a 37-year career at UBS Financial Services, where he was a founding member and senior partner of an investment management team that held fiduciary responsibility for investments of corporate retirement plans, foundations and endowments, and private clients.  Until her retirement, Paula was the director of risk management for a large hospital system, also based in Kansas City.

Tom received his BA in History from Sewanee, The University of the South (C’73) and has been elected to its Board of Trustees.  He was awarded the Certificate of Higher Education In History With Distinction by the University of Oxford in March of this year.

An active substitute teacher at BA, Tom joins Beaufort Academy’s Board of Directors and will chair its Finance Committee.  Additionally, Tom will be teaching a course in Community Leadership for juniors and seniors, an opportunity he finds ‘humbling, a bit daunting, and enormously exciting’.  He says what immediately drew him to BA is the intimate nature of the school, its vision of helping young adults become vibrant, responsible citizens, and the low student/teacher relationship which reminds him of what he experienced at Sewanee and Oxford.

Formerly a parishioner at Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Kansas City, Tom has a long history of stewardship and community involvement. At Grace and Holy Trinity, hechaired or served on the finance, investment, and audit committees, was a lay reader and eucharistic minister, and also served on the Board of Directors of The Hollis Center, a Lutheran retreat center in suburban Kansas City.  Here in Beaufort, Tom is on the Board of The Friends of Caroline Hospice, and is a member of the Vestry and co-chairs the Outreach Committee at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, where he and Paula are parishioners.

 

Katie Huebel (BA '90)
Development Chair

Katie Huebel is an alumni of Beaufort Academy, graduating in 1990.  She chose to pursue her undergraduate degree at USC.  After graduating from the University of South Carolina with degrees in Marketing and Business, she decided to focus her job search in sales and marketing. She worked as a manager in staffing sales for over 4 years in Atlanta. Feeling the urge to tap into her marketing and creative side, Katie began the process of opening her own event planning company. In 1998 Katie built the framework of what is now WED.  She has been planning weddings and events throughout the Southeast and abroad for over 19 years.  Thanks to the hard work and creative style of the WED team, this company that was built over 19 years ago continues to thrive.

Katie and her husband, Scott have 3 children that all attend Beaufort Academy. They are huge cheerleaders for the education, moral compass and foundation that BA offers every student.


James (Jay) Goodlette Taylor, Jr.
Alumni Chair

Jay joined the Beaufort Academy Board of Trustees in 2009, where he chairs the Development Committee and sits on the Finance Committee.  He attended Christ Church Episcopal School and Christ School in Arden, NC, before attending Presbyterian College, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration.

Jay joined Kinghorn Insurance Agency of Beaufort in July 1995, where he is a partner and manager of the Agency since 2000.  He specializes in commercial lines and earned his Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC) designation in 2003.

Jay is married to Megan Harris Taylor, a Beaufort Academy alumna (1994), and they have two children, Katherine and Langdon, in middle and lower school at Beaufort Academy.

Jay and his family are members of The Parrish Church of St. Helena.  He has been an active Rotarian with The Rotary Club of Beaufort for the past 14 years and has been a board member for the past 10 years. He is also on the Boards of  Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of SC and Beaufort Chamber of Commerce. Jay has been an active volunteer for the United Way Annual Fund.


Ben Coppage
 

Ben moved to Beaufort with his wife, Allison (BA '02), in 2012 and quickly became enamored with the community and its people. He is the founding member of Coppage Law Firm, LLC and practices in the areas of probate, real estate, and business litigation. He is a graduate of Clemson University and Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law.

He has been active in several community, church, and professional organizations including Rotary Club of the Lowcountry, Parish Church of St. Helena, United Way of the Lowcountry, and Friends of Hunting Island. He and his wife have two children, Harris and Bette. Harris is enrolled in Beaufort Academy's preschool and looks forward to each day with his teachers and classmates with great excitement.

Ben believes that Beaufort Academy provides families with unique educational opportunities. More so than any other school in the area, it allows a child and his or her family to be a part of a special group that is an integral part of the Beaufort community. The value it places on providing its students with an exceptional education and ensuring their future success is unmatched.

 

Carl B. Davis

Carl Davis relocated to Beaufort in 2010 from New York City.  He is a graduate of Williams College where he majored in American History and Literature. He has served as a class agent and is currently President of the Class.  He was the Managing Director of Smith Barney/Citibank where he managed National Institutional Equity Sales. He also honorably served our country in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Air Wing.

He has served on the boards of A Better Chance and served as a Trustee for many schools including Chicago Latin School (chair of Annual Fund) and Nightingale Bamford (chair of Annual Fund).  He has also been a faithful member of the Episcopal Church, serving on the Episcopal Church Foundation, chairing the Investment Committee, and serving as a Senior Warden of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, where he chaired the Investment Committee, the Annual Fund and the Search Committee.  As President of the Bridgehampton Club, he implemented the strategic financial stability plan.

Joining the Beaufort Academy’s Board of Trustees in 2015, Carl brings a keen eye to finance, development and strategic execution.  He hopes to work with the Board to further develop student athletes, broaden college matriculation, and to grow the endowment.

 

Jeff Hiers
 

Born and raised in Hampton County, alumni of Patrick Henry Academy (’93), Jeff, wife Michelle and their three daughters moved to Beaufort in 2010 where they enrolled at Beaufort Academy.  Jeff is the owner of J. H. Hiers Construction, LLC, which was founded in 2004.  The company performs complete sitework including grading, paving, water, sewer and storm drain installation.  He graduated from The Citadel in 1997 with a B. S. Degree in Civil Engineering.

In addition to his volunteer work at Beaufort Academy, Jeff also serves on the Finance Committee and Chair of the Property Committee at First Presbyterian Church.  He is also an Elder of the Session.  At Beaufort Academy, he has served on the Facilities Committee for four years and joined the Board of Trustees in 2017.  Jeff and Michelle have three daughters that attend Beaufort Academy and are very active in sports.  They participate in volleyball, basketball and soccer.

With regard to Beaufort Academy, Jeff believes it provides a great learning environment that challenges each student according to their skill level in each grade.  Jeff appreciates the focus on developing the student academically, physically and socially, which in return creates a confident graduate that is ready to face the challenges of life after high school.

 

Steve Keeler
 
Pastor Steve, a graduate of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky, has been an active member of the Charleston Atlantic Presbytery since 1982. While serving the Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island, he was recalled to active duty as a Navy Chaplain in 1988. After a brief assignment at the Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, VA, Pastor Steve served the crew of the guided missile cruiser USS San Jacinto CG-56 during Desert Shield/Storm.
 
He was installed as pastor of Sea Island during the summer of 1991 while the congregation worshiped at the nearby Lady’s Island Elementary School. Since moving to the present campus, the congregation has continued to grow and flourish.
 
Pastor Steve and his wife Kay have four children and seven grandchildren who attend or have graduated from Beaufort Academy.
 
 

Phillip Lynn, CPA

Phillip, a Hartsville South Carolina native,  graduated from The University of South Carolina with a BS in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting.  He subsequently earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Francis Marion University. Phillip is a Certified Public Accountant and the owner of Trask & Lynn, CPA, PA. 

Phillip and his wife, Wendi, have two children, Tency and Sellers, both of whom attend Beaufort Academy. He is an active volunteer for the Beaufort Academy Blue & White Club. Phillip is a Deacon and Stewardship Committee member at the Baptist Church of Beaufort.  He has served seven years as the President of the Beaufort Gamecock Club and is a past Trustee for the Historic Beaufort Foundation

 

Warren Richards

Warren Richards is a native of Hampton, SC, and alumni of Patrick Henry Academy. He received his B.S. from University of South Carolina in criminal justice, as well as having graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy the same year. He is employed by SupplyWorks, a Home Depot company, where he is an account executive.  
 
Warren has volunteered for many Beaufort Academy organizations over the past 12 years.  For the past 10 years, he has worked with the Blue & White Club to grow the fundraising efforts for the athletic department.  He is also an avid supporter of all BA athletic teams and volunteers much of his time throughout the year both on and off the field.  For the past 4 years, Warren served as an assistant JV and Varsity football coach.

Warren and his wife Heidi, who is a teacher at BA, made the decision 15 years ago to send their children to Beaufort Academy for several reasons.  They both like the smaller classroom sizes, challenging curriculum, the individualized attention each student receives and the opportunity to excel athletically.

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