About Our School

Meet Our Teachers

Mari Garcia teacher of the year
Jo Blanding

Triple triumph! Marci Garcia has been awarded the 2024 Teacher of the Year for Carolus Online Academy. Danielle Bowen and Jo Blanding have been nominated for Portfolio Teacher of the Year. Congratulations to these exceptional COA educators!

Leverage the Support of Expert Staff and Licensed Teachers

Carolus Online Academy (COA) has a hand–picked expert staff and licensed teachers, ready to help your family succeed with online school. We meet your student where they’re at and help them accomplish their goals.

Jo Blanding | Elementary Teacher photo

Mrs. Blanding is excited to be working for Carolus Online Academy as an elementary teacher this school year! This will be her seventh year teaching 1st grade. She enjoys impacting the littles and laying the foundation of their education. Her philosophy is to differentiate her instruction to meet every child’s needs and make learning fun. Mrs. Blanding has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Lander University and a master’s from Clemson University in teaching and learning, emphasizing experiential learning for early childhood. She is certified to teach grades pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade. Mrs. Blanding looks forward to getting to know her students and their families this school year! In her free time, she likes to travel and spend time with her family and friends.

Danielle Bowen | Special Education Teacher

Miss Bowen joined the COA team after six years as a teacher in brick-and-mortar schools and two years as director of activities at PruittHealth. She graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and earned a Master of Arts in special education and literacy from St. John’s University.

A native of Long Island, New York, Miss Bowen lives in Myrtle Beach and has a loving and supportive family, including two wonderful bonus kids. She is a runner, triathlete, mental health advocate, and self-described nutrition and fitness nerd. Miss Bowen enjoys camping, hiking, baking, reading, yoga, and music in her spare time.

Yoliary Brutto photo

Mrs. Brutto is excited to be joining COA this year! She is from Miami, FL and moved to SC in 2019. Mrs. Brutto has taught for 7 years in Kindergarten and First grade. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Miami Dade College and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University. She truly feels lucky to have a career that she is passionate about. Outside of work, Mrs. Brutto loves to spend time with her family, exercise, and traveling!

Tamika Cleckley | Registrar photo

Mrs. Cleckley is from Columbia, South Carolina. She registers students and obtains any records for student success at COA. She began working in education in 2015, and this will be her eighth year as a school registrar. Mrs. Cleckley enjoys watching and playing sports, spending time with her family and friends, and traveling. Her favorite saying is: Only Believe.

Heather Evans | Middle School Math Teacher

Miss Evans is a professional educator with more than 10 years of teaching experience in both brick-and-mortar and virtual classrooms. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teaching. She also holds two master’s degrees: One in middle school mathematics from Western Governor’s University and one in teaching and learning from Post University.

Miss Evans is passionate about building scholars’ confidence in their ability to learn and master mathematics and for developing critical-thinking skills. When not teaching, you can probably find Miss Evans reading a book or binge-watching TV in her favorite recliner.

Ashley Floyd | Elementary Teacher photo

Ms. Floyd attended Francis Marion University and obtained her Bachelor of Science in early childhood education. This school year marks her fourth year teaching. Her vision is to challenge students to reach their full potential and build a foundation for lifelong learning. Ms. Floyd believes every child deserves an education that facilitates academic, developmental, and social growth in a variety of experiences. She plans to motivate, encourage, and support students while identifying areas of growth and development. She’s looking forward to a fun school year full of new experiences, passions, and discoveries in our virtual classroom! Ms. Floyd enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and dog outside of school.

Heather Fultz | Elective Teacher photo

Mrs. Fultz is a proud graduate of the University of Florida, where she earned her degree in music education. This is her 14th year in the teaching profession. Throughout her career, she’s been privileged to teach various subjects, including instrumental music, general music, and choral music. Switching from brick-and-mortar school to online will allow for more dynamic and engaging content integration. Mrs. Fultz is excited to share her passion for the arts with all her students to enable them to express themselves through different creative outlets. She’s also looking forward to tailoring her teaching approach to meet the individual needs of each student, fostering personalized learning and growth. Music is her passion; she plays many different instruments, but her principal instrument is the French horn. Mrs. Fultz also loves riding and showing horses and shares a passion for travel with her husband.

Marci Garcia | Early Childhood Teacher photo

Ms. Garcia is excited to be an early childhood teacher for Carolus (COA). She cannot wait to meet her “sweet school babies,” their families, and their Learning Coaches. Ms. Garcia’s undergraduate degree is in art and mass communications. Not long after graduating college, she found herself in a teaching assistant position, where she discovered her passion for educating young children. She now has a master’s degree and initial teaching certification in early childhood education. Ms. Garcia has more than 16 years of experience as an educator, and this will be her fourth year teaching virtually. Her first “school babies” have already graduated from college and started careers and families of their own. It means the world to her that she feels like she was a part of that.

Mary Katherine Jones | Middle School English Language Arts Teacher

Ms. Jones recently relocated from Orlando, Florida, where she taught middle school for the past eight years. She is certified to teach English language arts, history, reading, business education, and speech and debate.

Ms. Jones has two grown daughters who currently live in Alabama and Texas. She considers herself a hobby farmer and beginning beekeeper. She is also raising two black Labrador service puppies.

Niki Kayser | Community Engagement Specialist photo

This is Mrs. Kayser’s seventh year in education, and she cannot wait to connect with you and your family. Mrs. Kayser obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology from West Virginia University and her master’s degree in school counseling from Capella University. She is excited to transition into this new role as a community engagement specialist and use the counseling skills she gained from previous experiences. Mrs. Kayser’s goal is to help foster a sense of community and act as a liaison between COA and families. Her mission is to continue building positive relationships and ensuring everyone feels heard and supported. Outside of work, she enjoys making memories with her family!

Becca Lewis | 6–8 Special Educator photo

Ms. Lewis provides academic support to help students with disabilities reach their full potential in an online educational platform. Her philosophy is that every student is capable of success and deserves the opportunity to be successful in their own way. This school year marks Ms. Lewis’s eighth year in education and a return to teaching middle school after spending the past several years in high school in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from USC Upstate. She aims to provide students with strategies for independence and success in an ever-changing world. Ms. Lewis enjoys traveling with her husband and playing video games outside work.

Kelsey Linares | Fourth Grade Teacher

Ms. Linares has a bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University, and taught for four years in a brick-and-mortar school. This is her first time teaching virtually, and she is excited to explore a whole new way of helping students learn and grow. When not teaching, Ms. Linares enjoys spending time with her two-year-old daughter, her husband, and their dog, Lucky.

Demi McGloin | Career Exploration Teacher photo

Mrs. McGloin is a dedicated career exploration teacher. This is her 10th year as a teacher and her third year as a career exploration teacher! She is excited to teach at COA this school year because she will have the unique opportunity to inspire and empower students to reach their full potential. Mrs. McGloin believes that learning should be a journey of discovery, and she’s eager to guide her students. She looks forward to building solid relationships with her students this upcoming year and cannot wait for their adventures together. During her free time, she enjoys reading, watching TV, and spending time with her family.

Patricia Miles | Middle School ELA Teacher photo

Ms. Miles is COA’s middle school ELA teacher. She’s going into her fifth year of teaching and is excited to be teaching at COA! Ms. Miles earned her degree from the University of South Carolina. She is certified to teach English and social studies, and teaching ELA is her passion. She loves to read, and her goal is to help her students find their love of reading too. Ms. Miles is looking forward to meeting all the new middle school students, and she thinks it will be a fantastic year of virtual learning!

Rachel Perry

Ms. Perry comes to COA with seven years of teaching experience in Kentucky and South Carolina. She holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from Eastern Kentucky University.

Originally from Lexington, Kentucky, Ms. Perry and her husband moved to Charleston in 2017 to be closer to family. She looks forward to building relationships with the students and families at COA.

Olivia Plenty | MS math teacher

Ms. Olivia Planty is COA’s middle school math teacher, an inspiring educator originally from New England. Ms. Planty has always been passionate about science and nature, which led her to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bridgewater State University. Later, she pursued her Montessori Secondary Certification from Houston Montessori. She has been in education for eight years. During her teaching career, Ms. Planty has taught math and science. She loves to help students build connections and confidence through their learning. You can find her at the beach, gardening, cooking, or spending quality time with her husband and rescue dog when she’s not teaching. Ms. Planty’s mission is to inspire her students to love math and make connections with the world around them.

Laura Randolph

Ms. Randolph is a National Board Certified teacher who earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education at Eastern Kentucky University and her master’s degree in elementary education at Coastal Carolina University. Before joining COA, Ms. Randolph taught 4th and 5th grades, as well as PE to grades CD–12. She is excited to provide an engaging learning environment that encourages and supports all students and their individual needs. When not teaching, Ms. Randolph enjoys spending time with her husband and son, traveling, and cheering on her favorite team, the Kentucky Wildcats.

Susan Spencer

Mrs. Spencer joins COA with more than 18 years of early childhood teaching experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Winthrop University and a master’s in divergent learning from Columbia College.

Mrs. Spencer believes every student deserves the opportunity to reach their greatest potential and all students can be successful. When not serving students and their families, she loves spending time with her family, watching her sons play sports, playing with her two black Labs, and cheering for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks!

Amanda Wilson | School Counselor photo

Mrs. Wilson’s role at COA includes counseling and providing preventive services to promote students’ academic, career, and personal and social development. This school year marks her 17th year in the field of education. She earned her master’s degree in school counseling from East Carolina University and a master’s in leadership from the University of South Carolina. Mrs. Wilson’s education and experience have taught her the value of advocating for students and collaborating with teachers, parents, and administrators to support the success of all learners. She aims to empower students with the tools and resources they need to succeed while fostering an inclusive learning environment where every student feels respected and supported. Outside work, Mrs. Wilson enjoys spending time with her family and their rescue dog.