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CCU Class Notes for 2018

July 2018

Johnny Gardner has been elected chair of the Horry County Council. He also serves as the principal lawyer and namesake of his law group in Conway.

Chadwick Hardee is running for the Orange County School Board District 2 in Orlando. His background includes a career in the hospitality industry, where he has worked at Ritz-Carlton and Waldorf Astoria locations.

Amy Hall is the president of The Barber Shop Marketing, a full-service marketing and advertising agency based near Dallas, Texas.

Tonya Prentice was presented the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching from the National Science Foundation on June 25 at the White House. It’s the nation’s highest honor for teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She is a fifth-grade teacher at Woodstock Elementary School in Bryant Pond, Maine.

Kelley Weiss has been named the new principal at Alpine Crest Elementary School, which is part of Hamilton County Schools in Chattanooga, Tenn. She previously served as the assistant superintendent in Enfield, Maine, as well as a principal and assistant principal for more than seven years.

Stephen Bismarck received the University of South Carolina Upstate’s Excellence in Teaching and Advising Award for the 2017-18 academic year. He was also promoted to associate professor with tenure in the School of Education.

Aaron Ludgatis and Kara Buffington were married at Creek Club at I’On in Mount Pleasant, S.C., on April 7. He is a regional sales manager at Magic Tilt Inc. of Clearwater, Fla. The couple lives in Charleston.

Derek Murphy is the director of development and stewardship for the Phi Gamma Delta Educational Foundation in Lexington, Ky. He regularly participates in Out of the Darkness community walks in memory of his friend and CCU alumnus, Patrick Ziegler, who committed suicide.

Maeve Snyder is the new coastal training program coordinator at the North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Georgetown. She recently earned a master’s degree in biological sciences from the University of South Carolina.

Christina Davis is the new area coordinator with the housing and residence life team at Emory & Henry College in Virginia. She earned a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from Missouri State University.

Ruby Durham is a member of the NBC Charlotte News team. She previously worked in Myrtle Beach at WMBF and WBTW.

Brianna Tramutolo has been named an environmental scientist intern at EWMA, an employee-owned environmental consulting and remediation firm in New Jersey. 

Benjamin Rutherford is an admissions and community outreach coordinator at CCU.


June 2018

Nancy Opalko has announced her retirement as children’s librarian from the Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library in Oxford, Miss. She worked at the library for 25 years.

Tom Gwyer
, a 25-year veteran of the Myrtle Beach Fire Department, has been named the department’s new fire chief. He had served as deputy fire chief since April 2016.

Tyler Hasbrouck
was recently named vice president of e-services at Credit Union 1 in Alaska. He has worked at the credit union for more than 14 years.

Josh Spivey has been named athletic director at Aynor High School. He began teaching at the school since 2006.

Bryan Bender
is a fourth-generation farmer with Bender Potatoes in Chambersburg, Pa.

Michael Abraham, PGA Head Golf Professional at Hidden Valley Country Club in Salem, Va., has earned PGA Master Professional status-the highest educational designation that can be obtained by a PGA member.  

Sydney Hough and Aaron Fann announced their engagement. They plan to get married on July 21, 2018, in Granite Falls, N.C. She is a drama teacher at Rawlinson Road Middle School in Rock Hill, S.C.

John Johnson
is the assistant equipment manager for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers, who became the first-ever No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed in NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament history.

Brantay Cohens was recently named the teacher of the year at Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Bay Middle School, where he teaches 8th grade mathematics. He also was a top 10 semifinalist for Horry County Schools’ teacher of the year. 

Alison McQuarrie has graduated with honors from the Master of Health Administration program at the University of Scranton.

Lorenzo Taliaferro has signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. He previously played with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens.

Andrew Dorn recently competed in the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament, where he finished tied for 62nd place. 

Brittany Hoffnagle is an environmental scientist and GIS specialist with Woods Hole Group, an international environmental, scientific and engineering consulting organization in Falmouth, Mass. She graduated with a master’s in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies from CCU.

Brandan Albee has been promoted to second assistant manager at Spyglass Hill Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif.

Hailey Gilbert has joined Frampton Construction Co. as an administrative assistant based in its Charleston office.

Jake Freedman has been named a public relations associate at The Brandon Agency in Myrtle Beach. He previously served as an intern at the agency.

Nikko Smith has landed a role on “Queen Sugar,” which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network. She plays the character, Asha.


May 2018

Connie Roberts
has been named the new principal at Townsend Elementary School in Townsend, Tenn. She previously served as assistant principal at Carpenters Elementary School.

Jody Jenerette has been named head football coach at West Florence High School. He most recently served as head football coach at Aynor High School.

Matt Daly has been promoted to director of golf operations at Founders Group International, which owns 22 Grand Strand golf courses. Daly, the 2017 Carolinas PGA Merchandiser of the Year, was promoted in 2017 to regional operations manager for FGI's south end courses. He has been head golf professional at FGI courses TPC Myrtle Beach, the Grande Dunes Resort Course, Myrtlewood Golf Club and Pine Lakes Country Club.

Tyler McCart has been named a regional manager at Haskell, a furniture manufacturing company. His territory includes Alabama, Florida and Georgia. He most recently served as a vertical business development manager at Office Depot.

Michael Hitch and Meredith Johnson announced their engagement. They plan to marry June 16 in Hartsville. He is employed with Belton Middle School in Anderson School District Two. 

Travis Dannelly has been named chief operating officer of the United Way of Horry County. He previously worked in the banking industry.

Kotie Kimble has been hired as an assistant men’s basketball coach with the Charlotte 49ers.

Jessica Lowery, a teaching associate in CCU’s public health department, recently opened The Power of Elderberries. Learn more at

Greg Johnson has been named athletic director at West Florence High School. He previously served as assistant principal at Darlington High School.

Maranie Rae Staab recently exhibited her photography at Penn State New Kensington. Her work has been published in Esquire, Huffington Post, Mashable and on CNN.

Matthew McCoy is the founder and artistic director of Bay Area Musicals in San Francisco. He previously served as the casting director and associate artistic director at Berkeley Playhouse, where he still works as a guest director, choreographer and teaching artist.

Alex Ross has signed with the Winnipeg Bombers. He previously played quarterback with the British Columbia Lions.

April 2018

Carey Green recently finished his 19th year as the head women’s basketball coach at Liberty University, which won the 2017-18 Big South Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

Joe Powers
is a candidate for Cabell County (W.Va.) Clerk. He works for an IT company that exclusively designs software for county clerks.

Dale Long, who has more than 27 years of law enforcement experience, has been named Conway’s police chief. He has been with the Conway Police Department since 2010, most recently serving as detective sergeant.

Shanda Poston has been named the principal at Scranton Elementary STEAM Academy in Florence County. She previously served as assistant principal at Scranton Elementary since 2014.

M.J. Huggins  III has served as the Carolina Financial’s executive vice president since 2010 and secretary since 2012. Prior to joining the company and assisting in the founding of Crescent Bank, he served as area executive and senior vice president of Carolina First Bank, responsible for commercial and retail operations from Georgetown to Myrtle Beach. He attended the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.

Nina Oates and her family own The Hideout on 47, a restaurant in Parkersburg, W.Va., which has become a stopping place for touring nationally known comics.


March 2018

Chip Smith and his business partners have purchased Brunswick Plantation & Golf Resort in Calabash, N.C.

Cedric King is running for the Georgia House District 167 seat. He is the manager for community relations at Pinova.

Caroline Boineau and James Thomas have announced their engagement. A June wedding at Brookgreen Gardens is planned. She lives in Murrells Inlet and is a realtor with Tradd Residential.

Paige Cribb has been elected as the first female president of the PGA Carolinas Section. She is the director of student support for CCU’s PGA Golf Management Program.

Michael Midgette, a PGA-certified teaching and coaching golf professional, recently played golf at the Boca Raton (Fla.) Municipal Golf Course from sunrise to sunset to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Jessica Cinardo is the executive producer at WMBF News in Myrtle Beach. She began working at the station as a news content specialist immediately after graduating CCU.

Don Goda and Taryn Smith have announced their engagement. Their wedding is planned for Oct. 20.

Jeremy Razook is a digital marketing strategist at Fuel Travel Marketing. He previously served as an intern at Fuel and


February 2018

Josh Rush
 has joined CresCom Bank as a new mortgage loan originator in the Myrtle Beach area. He will originate permanent FHA/VA and conventional residential mortgage loans as well as participate in related business development activities.

Zebeth Fowler
has joined CresCom Bank as a project manager. Fowler previously worked as a project manager at the Bank of North Carolina.

Jason Wilkes
is the new head football coach at Cary (N.C.) High School. He has been at the school since 2015 and previously served as the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, associate head coach, and recruiting coordinator. He earned a master’s degree in sport and human performance from Delta State University in 2011.

Keith Hessler
has signed with the Colorado Rockies organization. Since 2015, the left-handed relief pitcher has split time between the Triple-A and MLB level with the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres. 

Eileen O’Donnell
has been named teacher of the year at Conway Elementary School. She teaches special education.

Robert Stetson and Meredith Gratton were married at Hidden Acres in Marion, S.C., on Jan. 20. They live in Conway. He is employed with the U.S. Postal Service while she works in costume design and vintage clothing curation.

Rachel Bisesi
is the coastal education coordinator at the North Carolina Coastal Federation. She joined the federation in 2013 after volunteering for several years. Bisesi earned a master’s degree in coastal marine and wetland studies from CCU.

Daniela Corona has announced her engagement to Justin Priddy. They live in Charleston, where she is a recruiter with Aerotek.


January 2018

Wayne George is the new executive director of the Municipal Association of South Carolina. His background includes serving two terms as a state legislator. He also was a member of CCU’s board of trustees from 2006-2012.

Spyros Charalambous is a member of the International Tennis Federation, where he was recently ranked No. 22 in the Over-40 category. He is the logistics manager at Ermes Department Stores in Greece.

Kevin Schnall, the associate head baseball coach at CCU, was recognized for the second time by Baseball America as a top 10 assistant coach with a bright future as a head coach. He is regarded as a top-flight recruiter and hitting coach.

John Armbruster Jr. was promoted to the rank of corporal with the Lower Township (N.J.) Police Department.

Cyprian Hedrick was re-signed by San Antonio FC for the 2018 United Soccer League season. He started 13 of the 14 games he played in for the club last season.

Jennifer N. Hudson was named the 2017-2018 teacher of the year for the Georgetown County School District, where she is a fourth grade teacher at Pleasant Hill Elementary School. For the past two years, she has served as the “Acting School Principal” for the school’s United Way summer SAIL (science and inquiry learning) reading enrichment program. 

Lauren McElroy and Alex Levy have announced their engagement. They live in Charleston, and plan to marry in August.

Cameron Lentz is the teacher of the year at Ten Oaks Middle School, where he teaches English 1 and honors social studies.

Sean McCarthy and Kelly Ryan Judge were married on Oct. 12 in Philadelphia. He is a principal fiscal analyst for the State of New Jersey.