Advisory Council Members

The Alumni Advisory Council (AAC) comprised of current members of the Alumni
Association will serve as the leadership branch of the Association. AAC members are
selected via a nomination process for two year terms and may serve two consecutive
terms. Upon the completion of two terms, members must rotate off of the Council for
at least one year. Terms will begin in August of the respective year. A Chair and Vice-Chair
will be elected from amongst the members of the AAC and these members will serve
as liaisons between the school, AAC, and Alumni Association.
The Alumni Association and its leadership serve as an advisory body to promote the
goals of the school’s alumni.  Members of the AAC should be prepared to do following:
1.    Attend (or participate via teleconference) at least 3 of the 4 yearly scheduled meeting.
2.    Regularly attend alumni events scheduled in their area.
3.    Make a yearly financial contribution to the Foundation.
4.    Promote alumni, school, and Foundation events.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the AAC, please complete an application here.  

Laura Nevitt, AAC Chair, is a Music alumna from the Class of 2003.  She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s Degree of Music in Composition, a Voice Performance Certificate, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. Laura is a music intern at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC, where directs their Primary and Junior Choirs, supervises the Children’s Music Program, and is a section leader in their Chancel and Chamber Choir.  She keeps a private studio of guitar and voice students, and is the chorus teacher at CrossRoads Intermediate School in Irmo, SC. Laura is also an accomplished composer, and plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in choral conducting within the next few years, and pursue a conducting and composing career at the collegiate level. In the summer of 2016, she was selected to participate in the Princeton Festival’s Conducting Masterclass, where she studied and conducted Bach Cantatas under Jan Harrington.



Sarah Jordan (SJ) Holcombe Schwartz, Vice Chair, is a Music alumna from the Class of 2009.  She graduated from Furman in 2014 with a B.A. in Anthropology and Music. At Furman, she was very involved with the Exploration of Vocation & Ministry (EVM) program, the Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection, and the Furman Symphony Orchestra. In the Spring of 2015, SJ completed her Certificate in Faith-Based Nonprofit Leadership with the School of Divinity at Wake Forest University.  SJ is currently living in Charleston and working at the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry as their Campaign Coordinator.


Stephanie Cureton's passion for dance was sparked at the age of 3 in Fort Knox, KY. After moving back to Greenville, SC she started her training with Barbara English at English Theatre Arts. She graduated in 2007 from the South Carolina Governor's School for Arts and Humanities in the dance pre-professional program.  While there she studied ballet, pointe, and modern under the direction of Llyod Whitmore, Irina Ushakova, and Stanislav Issaev. She then went on to receive her BA in dance/psychology from Agnes Scott College. While there she studied Ballet, Martha Graham Modern Technique, Jazz, and Labanotation under Bridget Roosa.  Not only did she perform in Studio Dance Theatre, the school's dance company, she also choreographed several pieces for the company. She has choreographed and performed for local projects both in Atlanta and Greenville. Currently she teaches full time with Carolina Dance Collaborative, Dance United and English Theatre Arts while also being a freelance performer and choreographer. In the future she plans to pursue Graduate school with a masters in dance and physical therapy.   


Tyrese Byrd of Williamston, South Carolina, graduated from SCGSAH in 2016 where he studied voice with Mr. Thomas Dickinson for two years. He also served as the Class of 2016 President during his tenure. He currently attends Furman University and is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Grant Knox. Tyrese’s recent accomplishments include winning first place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) National Student Auditions in the High School Men category. He is excited to further serve his alma mater on the Alumni Advisory Council and as a Class Agent.   



Sarah Cooke is a 2013 SCGSAH graduate and a  current senior at Furman University majoring in music and minoring in humanities. She serves as a member of Senior Student Staff in Housing & Residence Life, a Pi Chi (recruitment counselor) for the Fur-man Panhellenic Council, and the president of the Furman College Democrats. Sarah also participates with the Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection and traveled to Northern Ireland for a spring break trip her sophomore year. She studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the spring semester of her junior year and had an internship at The Brunton Theatre. Sarah was recently published in the Furman alumni magazine with an article and photos of her Edinburgh experience. In her free time, she maintains a blog and an Instagram entitled “Strikes of Luck,” visits many coffee shops, and goes swing and contra dancing. Sarah plans to pursue a career in marketing and arts administration upon graduation.    

Cassie Falk graduated from the Creative Writing Department at SCGSAH in 2008. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the College of Charleston Honors College, graduating cum laude. After working in hospitality for a couple years, she began working for Thomas & Hutton Engineering Company as a temporary receptionist in January 2015 in Mt. Pleasant. In June 2015, she was brought on full-time and promoted to the marketing team in November 2015. She moved to Georgia in January 2016 in order to take said promotion and currently resides on the outskirts of Savannah. 



Abby Gantt is a 2001 graduate of SCGSAH where she studied music (flute). During her time at SCGSAH, she was a member of the choir and numerous small ensembles. After graduation, Abby attended the University of South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a cognate in Education in 2007. In 2008, Abby enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and attended boot camp at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Capt May, New Jersey. Her duty assignments include:

•    Training Center Capt May Ceremonial Detachment (2008-2009)
•    Patrol Forces Southwest Asia - Manama, Bahrain (2009-2010)
•    USCGC Joshua Appleby - St. Petersburg, Florida (2010-2012)
•    USCGC Paul Clark - Miami, Florida (2012-2015)
•    CG Station Islamorada, Florida (2015-Present)

Andrew Knauer studied music at SCGSAH and graduated in 2001 in the inaugural class of the Residential High School. He went on to study Percussion Performance and Business Ad-ministration at Furman University where he met his wife, Kathryn. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree, he pursued a career in manufacturing. Initially with a specialization in lean manufacturing and operations, he eventually moved into human re-sources management. Andrew currently works as a human resources team leader at Bosch, LLC. He enjoys continuing to play music with several local orchestras and volunteering his time with Habitat for Humanity and Mentor Upstate. He currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina, with his wife and two young boys.   



Brian Matheny is now serving as a Paramedic in Charleston, SC. He is a 2004 graduate of SCGSAH in Voice. Brian has served on many committees for Emergency management and preparedness throughout South Carolina.  Brian has been a very active alumnus and served as Vice Chair for the Alumni Advisory Committee.    

John Funchess Ott, Jr. graduated from SCGSAH in 2009 with a pre-professional degree in creative writing and currently works at GREEN Charter School as a Social Studies teacher.  After graduating from Governor's School with an 800 out of 800 reading SAT score and a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, he attended the University of South Carolina Honors College and studied abroad in South Korea and Kenya.  Besides teaching, he is also a professional writer and illustrator and currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina.  He has illustrated classic works of literature, such as Ozymandias and The Second Coming, as well as created original works, such as the picture books Drippy Learns to Drive and Mookie's Amazing Alien Abduction!  



Cordell Baugh Samuels is a 2001 graduate of the inaugural class of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and from the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine, with a Master of Rehabilitation Counseling degree. Cordell  currently works for Youth Villages as a Transition Specialist. Youth Villages is a nonprofit which assists young adults ages 16-21 with maintaining stable housing, education, employment, and general health. 

Kayla Sewell graduated from SCGSAH in 2010 and attended Ithaca College for her undergraduate studies. In 2014, she graduated with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Philosophy. Although originally a student of mu-sic during high school,  SCGSAH also formed the foundation of her passion for the humanities. From 2014 to 2016, Kayla was employed at The History Center in Tompkins County and volunteered as a stage manager with the all-ages, all-inclusive music- and art-based nonprofit, Ithaca Underground. Kayla is now employed at The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry in Charleston, South Carolina. She is currently earning her Master’s degree in Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management from Johns Hopkins University via a long-distance learning program. She still creates and performs music with her now electrified cello! 



A native of the upstate, and graduate of the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities class of 2006, Michele returned to Greenville in the fall of 2012.  Michele obtained her B.M. in Violin Performance with honors and her M.M. in Violin Performance from Converse College in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Michele currently works as a Client Service Associate at UBS Wealth Management. In addition to her work at UBS, Michele maintains a private teaching studio at Musical Innovations and performs with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Brevard Philharmonic Orchestra, and Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra.  Outside of UBS, teaching and performing, you can spot Michele cycling through Greenville and beyond on her bike "Ruby".  In July, Michele is involved in the Alzheimer's Association annual fundraiser the Ride to Remember, a 252 mile bike ride from Simpsonville to Charleston