Meet our Board of Directors, the Berkeley Charter Education Association. Learn more about them on their website here.


Board Chair

Dr. Stewart Weinberg retired to Charleston in 2012, after serving eight years as the superintendent of the Dallastown Area School District. Prior to Dallastown, Dr. Weinberg served as the superintendent in Ladue, Missouri; Fairbanks, Alaska; and Lawrence, New York. Previous administrative positions included: assistant superintendent, high school principal, and high school and middle school assistant principal. Dr. Weinberg earned his Master’s degree, and Ph.D. from New York University in New York City. Dr. Weinberg’s two major passions are education and Climate Change. As an educator, he presently serves as the president of the Berkeley Charter Education Association which is the board for Mevers School of Excellence and Berkeley Preparatory Academy. He is the community representative for the City of Charleston’s Resilience and Sustainability Advisory Committee and serves on numerous environmental organizations.



Cheryl Hollis is the Chief Program Officer at Wings for Kids where she has spent the past 12+ years in education, management, and leading efforts for social and emotional development for both youth and adults. As a leader, Cheryl specializes in areas such as program/classroom management as well as many initiatives to support social and emotionally smart environments for all. Cheryl was recently honored as one of Charleston’s Forty Under 40 award recipient for her professional success and community involvement. She was also featured as a social and emotional expert within Discovery Education’s newest virtual field trip release for educators and their students. When not working or supporting others in any way she can, Cheryl enjoys spending time with her husband Quinton Hollis (Head Basketball Coach at Oceanside Collegiate Academy) and with her daughters Braylen and Brooke.



Brian Williams is a native of Detroit, MI who moved to Summerville, SC in 2018. He has a background in Information Technology with over 20 years of experience. Currently, he is serving as an IT Project Manager and Lead Associate at the firm Booz Allen Hamilton, servicing the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2016, he started and ran a 501c3 non-profit Score One Teach One until his move to the Lowcountry. Brian spends his free time coaching football and volunteering at the local food pantry. He is married to his wife of 14 years, Jessica Williams. Together, they have four children, two of which attend Berkeley Preparatory Academy. One son (Joshua) and three daughters (Zion, Zaria, and Sydney).



Alicia Patton is currently a 5th grade ELA teacher in Dorchester School District 2. She has an M.Ed in Literacy Education from The Citadel and B.A. in Elementary Education from Charleston Southern. She holds a Literacy Coach certification, Middle-Level ELA certification, and is currently working on a second master’s in School Leadership and Administration. She has been in education for 8 years teaching 3rd grade, 5th grade, and as a Reading coach in a charter school. Alicia has had the honor of serving her school as 2019 Teacher of the Year where her love of school advocacy blossomed. She is passionate about providing the best cultural, social, and academic education to students no matter what it takes. Alicia enjoys going to church, reading books, spending time with her family, and musicals!

Simplicia Smith


Simplicia Smith is a native of James Island, SC, and has been a resident of Berkeley County for over 20 years.   She is married to Stewart Smith Sr., Executive Board Trustee for ILA-1422a.  Mrs. Smith is a “boy mom” to three amazing sons, and is proud to be a parent of a sixth grader at Mevers School of Excellence.  Simplicia has worked in the Real Estate Management field for 15+ years, as an advocate for affordable housing in the tri-county area.  In addition to this, she works part-time as a Church Administrator, and is also a musician and Director for the youth choir at her home church.  She is currently Treasurer and active member for Charleston Atlantic Presbyterian Women, working with various communities.  She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and is no stranger to service to humanity.

Mrs. Smith has a knowledge base with a background in Education and Music.  She firmly believes that all children have a talent to succeed, creativity, and many great things to contribute in the classroom and society.   She is very excited to be on this journey with the other board members and is very optimistic about plans for our future in education.



Brandi VanGorder is currently an instructor for Berkeley County Adult Education and is an active board member for the South Carolina Association for Adult and Continuing Education. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and is certified to teach ELA (grades 6-12). She has also earned her Read to Succeed, Gifted and Talented, and AP English Language and Composition endorsements. For nine years prior to working in adult education, she enjoyed working as an ELA teacher at the secondary level. Brandi believes that education is “the great equalizer” and is key to providing individuals and their families opportunities to succeed. Through education, she believes that we can continue to build a strong, cohesive community.

Brandi and her husband, Nathan Kovacs, have two beautiful children Grayson and Lilian Kovacs. Both children are currently enrolled at Berkeley Preparatory Academy. Their family enjoys spending time together outdoors. In their off-time, you can find them camping, hiking, or enjoying a day at the beach or pool.

Brandi is honored to be a part of the growth and development of our schools and our community.



Dr. Tamara Jeffries-Jackson, a native of Gaffney, South Carolina, has over twenty-eight years of experience in higher education and has served in various capacities. As Vice President for Student Affairs, she provides leadership and direction to the following areas critical to the student experience: Student Life and Leadership; Judicial Affairs; Residence Life and Housing; Intramural Sports; Counseling and Self Development; Health Services; Career Placement and Planning and University Police. Under her leadership, these units work in tandem to coordinate and implement programs, activities, and services to maximize student learning and development.

She developed a personal commitment to the academic and professional growth and development of students when she began her role in higher education as a project director of a capacity building grant. She later started a career in research and assessment while serving as Research and Planning Administrator in the Office of Institutional Research. Prior to accepting her present position, she served as Interim Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.

Dr. Jeffries-Jackson received her BA in Communications from Howard University, Washington, DC; her MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, South Carolina; and her Ph.D. in Counselor Education, from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

She is the proud mother of Jade and Donavon.


Phone: (803) 250-5717

Email: [email protected]

Office Address: 3105 Five Chop Road, Orangeburg, SC 29115

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