Meet Our Team
Amanda Darden serves as the Director for the Center for Excellence, Academic Advising, and Student Services within the Spadoni College of Education at Coastal Carolina University. She oversees the academic advising structures, clinical and field placements, and pre-professional/ professional teacher candidate admissions into the professional program/internship within the college. Amanda also has the privilege of serving as the Coastal Carolina University Teaching Fellows Director. Amanda obtained her undergraduate degree in Physical and Health Education certified PK-12 and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction both at Radford University in Radford, VA. Amanda is passionate about her role within the Spadoni College of Education and thrives on helping students progress through the teacher education program and graduate as strong teacher candidates.
Karen Cafaro is an Academic Adviser for pre-professional candidates for Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Mrs. Cafaro graduated from Maxton High School in Maxton, North Carolina, received her Bachelor of Arts in English Education from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and earned her Master of Education in Learning and Teaching with a Concentration in Instructional Technology from Coastal Carolina University. She is a veteran teacher with 25 years of teaching experience in North and South Carolina. As a teacher at Scotland High School in Laurinburg, North Carolina, Mrs. Cafaro was a finalist for the Scotland County Schools’ 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year.
Betsey Costner has an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Coastal Carolina University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University. She has 14 years of public school teaching experience in grades Pre-K to 4. Mrs. Costner has served as a mentor teacher for numerous field experience students, interns, and initially certified teachers in both North and South Carolina. She currently teaches courses in the foundations department and works closely with the South Carolina Teaching Fellows as their academic adviser. Mrs. Costner is responsible for coordinating the field placements and internships for all of the undergraduate and MAT Education students at Coastal Carolina University.
Jessica Handy first came to Coastal Carolina University as a student in 2007 and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor's Degree in History. She then entered the M.A.T. program at Coastal Carolina University and was certified in Secondary Social Studies. She taught High School in Dillon District Four at Lake View High School. After her time at Lake View she became an adjunct at Horry-Georgetown Technical College in the Education and History departments. Currently she is the Graduate Programs Manager for the Spadoni College of Education.
Shannon Norris is the Administrative Assistant within the Center for Excellence and Academic Advising. She has been with us since March of 2016. Shannon is a 2004 graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Prior to working at CCU, she spent 10 years at Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. Shannon is very happy to be back at CCU and loves cheering on the Chants with her family.
Penny Bell is an Academic Advisor for pre-professional candidates for Special Education, Physical Education and Middle-Level Education. Mrs. Bell graduated from Aynor High School. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from CCU (with a focus in Management) and her Master of Business Administration from CCU. Mrs. Bell has been employed with CCU for over 20 years, with 12 specifically in Professional Advising. She earned the Distinguished Adviser of the year at Coastal Carolina University award in 2014-2015.
Teresa Gibbons is the Student Success Coordinator for the Spadoni College of Education. She received her Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia and earned her Master of Education in Technology from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mrs. Gibbons taught middle school science for 20 years in Lexington School District One in Lexington, South Carolina. Prior to entering the classroom, she was the Waycross College Post-Secondary Readiness Enrichment Program (PREP) Project Coordinator serving “at risk” middle school students in rural South Georgia. Mrs. Gibbons was Carolina Springs Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2015 and a 2017 state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching.