The South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities Govie Alumni Association seeks to connect members of the school's alumni community in a meaningful way. The Alumni Association members support the school, its students and programs, and the Governor's School for the Arts Foundation. Upon graduation, all students become members of the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities Alumni Association. Founding Alumni are also eligible for membership.
- Alumni Advisory Council
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 the 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.
- Alumni Advisory Council Members
- Laura Nevitt is a Music alumna from the Class of 2003. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. She has a Bachelor’s Degree of Music in Composition, a Voice Performance Certificate, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. She graduated from the SC Governor’s School for Arts with an Artist’s Certificate in Classical Guitar and Voice, and is currently the Chair of the Alumni Advisory Council for the school. She will be attending the Boston Conservatory at Berklee this fall, pursuing a M.M. in Choral Conducting. She will also begin teaching Musicianship at the Handel and Haydn Society this fall.
- Sarah Jordan (SJ) Holcombe Schwartz, 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.
- Originally from Pendleton South Carolina, Chris Sparace graduated from SCGSAH in 2009 and later from Northwestern University in 2013 with a degree in Music Performance. After graduation Chris founded the Altamont Brass, a working brass quintet based in the upstate comprised of faculty from Southern Wesleyan University and Clemson. Chris also shares a deep passion for cycling and manages the Trek Bicycle Store of Greenville one of the largest bike shops in the southeast. When hes not out riding you'll find Chris playing in groups throughout the upstate as well as keeping a small studio of private students.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- John Funchess Ott, Jr., current AAC Chair, 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.
- Dr. Megan Murph (Music, 2005) is a Musicologist and Ethnomusicologist currently teaching music history courses at the University of South Carolina, Upstate. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky (2018), M.M. from Louisiana State University (2013), and B.A. from Brevard College (2009). While in college and at SCGSAH, Megan studied piano, but has also branched out to perform vocal jazz, Shona Mbira (from Zimbabwe), Korean Drums, Balinese Gamelan, and Shaped Note Singing. She has published articled and presented her research pertaining to noise and experimental music internationally and nationally. Currently, Megan serves as the co-chair of the Society for American Music's Experimental Interest Group and the Society for American Music's Conference Site Selection Committee.
- Maura Keane is a 2010 Dance alumnus. After graduation, she attended Clemson University and graduated with a political science degree, but ended up in social media marketing. Maura now works as a government contractor as a Strategic Communications Specialist. In April, she and her fiance moved to Wichita Falls, Texas where he is a T-38 Instructor Pilot at Sheppard Air Force Base. Maura says, “SCGSAH helped me become the person I am today, and my life would be completely different had I not gone there. Governor’s school gives you a leg up during College and broadens your horizons. Being a member of the Alumni Council will allow me to give back to our school and allow me to remain connected to the amazing people there.”
Autumn Shearin, AAC Vice Chair currently works with the Travelers Rest Artist Alliance as executive director of the theatre guild Limelight Players. She lives in Greenville with her husband and two daughters. She volunteers with Chicora Voices and continues to work in the arts on a daily basis. After Graduating from SCGSAH, Autumn went to Mars Hill University where she obtained a B.A. in Theatre.
- Nichole Martini is a start-up management and fund development maven interested in social justice, education, and arts and culture. Her driving passion is to create sustainable change through philanthropy and social enterprise resulting in a creative and economically thriving world. With experience in fundraising, strategy, organizational development, research, sales, and marketing, Nichole is excited to join the AAC and help her alma mater continue to thrive! Her time at SCGSAH was the foundation to her career as a creator and generator of projects, departments, and organizations. Nichole graduated from SCGSAH in 2003 with a piano major. She also received a bachelor of arts degree in music from Furman University in 2007 and a master of science degree in fundraising and philanthropy from NYU in 2010.
- Fulton Burns (SDC) is a professional educator, performer, director, fight choreographer, and 1987 summer programs alumnus. He has directed with Moises Kaufman, collaborated/performed with the Living Theatre, danced with Charleston Ballet Theater, and assisted in productions of Cirque du Soleil. Fulton attended Winthrop University (BA) and Western Illinois University (MFA). Burns is also accredited as a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, Expressive Actor Technique, Dueling Arts International, National Michael Chekhov Association, and is a Registered Yoga Teacher with YogaFit & Yoga Alliance. Fulton teaches Movement for the Drama department, including Yoga and Stage Combat, and choreographs fights for Drama productions.
- Josh Myers is a 2018 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. He has served as social chair of the Black Law Students’ Association and alumni co-chair with the Program in Law & Public Service. He is also a member of the Virginia Law & Business Review and serves as Development Editor. Currently, he is a member of the Prosecution Clinic. In addition to spending this past summer in the Washington, D.C., office of Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough, LLP, he has served as a law clerk with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina. His pro bono activities include work for the S.C. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and the S.C. Senate Judiciary Committee. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He has been a Fellow with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, focusing his work on federal arts policy. Upon graduation, he will clerk for Judge Michelle Childs of the District of South Carolina. He enjoys cooking, running, and exploring museums.