NEXT School Board of Directors
NEXT School Board Meetings are open to the public. Board Meetings are typically held via Zoom call on the 3rd Monday of each month from 5:30–7:30pm.
Meeting time, location and agenda will be published at least 72 hours in advance of each Board Meeting. Please refer to NEXT High School's public calendar (click here) for specific Board Meeting dates, times, and additional information.
NEXT School Board Meeting agendas and minutes are public record, accessible at the link above.
Minutes are taken by the Board Secretary (or appointee in the Secretary's absence). They are then reviewed, approved, and uploaded to the public meeting minutes folder (linked above).
NEXT School Board Members
Cate Tyson, Chairperson
I am the Strategy, Workflow, Analysis and Training Specialist at ScanSource. Involvement in my community is of the upmost importance to me. When not volunteering I am busy wife and a mother of two. I enjoy coaching soccer and serve as the Vice President of the ScanSource Charitable Foundation.
Empowering young people while delivering a solid education is crucial to our future. What better way to prepare young people for life after school and shaping positive community contributors?
I believe in investing in our youth, which is why I believe in the mission of the NEXT School. We need to offer our youth more than just the traditional education and NHS is changing the game by "preparing young people for life (after school)." My 20+ years’ experience in the business environment plus my passion for education options, and preparing Upstate youth for the "NEXT" steps will help me bring unique ideas for positive growth and improvement.
Katie Kern, Vice-Chairperson
Board Committee(s): Personnel Committee (Chair), Academic Strategy and Vision (Chair), ED Finalist Selection Committee
I am a data-driven executive with a strong track record of results in marketing, development, and performance management among businesses, nonprofits, and educational organizations. My experience has culminated in an ability to provide organizations with a multilayered approach to fundraising, quality initiatives, project management, program evaluation, sales, professional development, grants writing and management. I have spent my entire career in K-12 education and children's mental health organizations.
I am honored and humble to apply my skills and education to serve on the board of NEXT High School. I believe that my work experiences and partnership with other dedicated board and staff members will contribute to the mission, staff and futures of the student’s at NEXT High School. I began my career as an educator working as a teacher and technology specialist for Richmond and Columbia County Schools in Augusta, GA. Those experiences provided me an opportunity to learn and implement best practices in the teaching of children, adults, and integrating technology into the classroom. I later worked with school districts across the southeast as consultant and sales executive in technology integration, data analytics and Total Quality Management with for-profits, non-profits, and independent assignments.
I served on the board and numerous committees of a 176-year-old non-profit, Maryhurst, an organization that takes care of traumatized children effected by abuse and neglect. There I worked with staff and board members to provide more data-centered reporting using scorecards. I later resigned from the board to join the staff as VP of Development and Communications. During this tenure, the team met fundraising goals each year, managed grants funding and administration, added an associate board, re-branded, and created marketing and communications for the celebration of Maryhurst’s 175th year anniversary.
Roy Jones, Treasurer
Board Committees: Finance and Facilities Committee (Chair), Governance Committee
I serve as the Chief Financial Officer of MidCountry Financial Corp., a holding company that owns two businesses that provide consumer finance services. I am married and have lived in Greenville since 2004. I have a Bachelors degree in Accounting from the University of North Florida and a Master of Accounting from the University of Florida. My son, Connor Jones, is a student at NEXT High School.
I have extensive experience as a finance professional in leadership positions. My finance experience also extends to the financial services industry, where I have spent the bulk of my career. I previously served on the Board of a non-profit entity, Blue Tent, Inc., which provided services for children affected by abuse and neglect. I also served on the Finance Committee of Greenville Tech Charter High School during the 2017/2018 school year. I plan to serve on the Board of The NEXT School as a way to contribute to the school my son attends and believe I will have a positive impact on the Board through assistance with financial planning and providing analysis and input to decisions that will impact The NEXT School in the coming years.
Kelly Lester, Secretary
Board Committees: Community Outreach Committee
I am a married mother of two amazing sons, aged 16 and 7. My husband Geoff and I have been married for 18 years and resided in Greenville, South Carolina throughout our marriage. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Communications from ETSU, however, after graduation, I made my way into the sales profession 20 years ago and am thriving at Abbvie, as a Commercial Field Sales Specialty Representative, specializing in disruptive endocrine diseases. Throughout my sales career, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of fellow professionals and on teams, with common goals, mission statements and a passion for exceeding expectations. We are currently in an opportunistic environment, to allow our Peers to flourish and showcase their unique skills and must be proactive in capitalizing on their passions. The members of the School Board are the foundation of this and it would be an honor to contribute my abilities and resources to prepare our young people for their own lives by sparking interest, driving inquiry and empowering impact - in and out of school.
The NEXT School has made the most sense for our child, out of the Greenville County Schools we have experience with or toured. This school has given my son a positive outlook on education, new ideas for his own future, the ability to flourish and new friends to last a lifetime. We are grateful to be here and will continue to encourage others to consider the NEXT School their home.
As a current parent of a student at NEXT High School during the current unprecedented times, I continue to be in awe of the impressive way NEXT is providing our students with a smaller class learning environment, but amplifying the education value by offering independent Project Based Learning—while putting their safety at the forefront. There is nothing more important than a student being able to turn what they learn in a classroom, into practical, career opportunities and real-life successes. As an entrepreneur, as well as my own business manager in a tenured sales career, I offer the School Board the ability to help identify challenges and opportunities and a laser focused approach to assisting in developing solutions to meet the school’s short term and long term goals.
I believe NEXT to be innovative in their Mission, working diligently to prepare our children for their next steps after graduation, and I will work to contribute to the present and future of my son and the young adults of the NEXT School.
Dr. Alexander Garvey, Board Member
Board Committees: Governance Committee (Chair), Finance and Facilities Committee
I joined Bon Secours St. Francis in March of 2016 as Senior Vice President, of Mission Services. I was born in Cork, Ireland, at a Bon Secours sister hospital. I hold an undergraduate degree in Honors Psychology, a graduate degree in Practical Theology from Barry Dominican University in Miami, FL, and a PhD in Healthcare Ethics from Duquesne University, Pittsburg, PA. As part of my Executive responsibilities, I oversee the Health Systems Mission services including, Spiritual Care, Healthy Communities, Affordable Housing Initiative, and the ProjectSEARCH program. I sits on local and national boards including the Hispanic Alliance, Piedmont Health Foundation, and Open Arms Hospice, to name a few.
Throughout my career I have been involved in formation or educational design in one platform or another. My history includes creating, designing and presented Graduate Ethics educational programs for Physician residents, and adult education program including continuing work with the Center of Ministry Leadership. In the last several years one of my focuses has been on access, for children on a disability spectrum, to enter programs which will assist them in seeking permanent employment such as ProjectSeach. Education has been a passion of mine and I understand how academics function in the reality of tight fiscal consideration and scrutiny. My son currently attends NEXT High School.
Marcus McMorris, Board Member
Board Committee: Governance Committee
I am from Newberry, South Carolina and I grew up in a household with a 7th grade teacher as a mother. I earned a scholarship to attend Furman University and have since lived in Greenville County. While at Furman I learned the value of team as a collegiate football player.
As a graduate of Furman University, I began my career at Greenville Hospital System as a Project Coordinator and currently work for Hubbell Lighting as a Supply Chain Project Manager. I am currently finishing my MBA with Clemson University and expecting to graduate in Fall 2021. While at GHS I worked for the spouse of a NEXT School employee.
I look forward to using my education and experience in business operations to serve on the NEXT School board. I value education and the future of the youth.
Rhett Brown, Board Member
Board Committees: Personnel Committee, Community Outreach Committee
Having grown up in Greenville, I have navigated the Greenville County School system twice now - as a student, and also with my son, who is a graduating Senior at NEXT. For a brief 5 year stint, I left Greenville to attend the College of Charleston where I received my BA in Art History & Art Management (essentially how to run a non-profit).
I have served as the Secretary & currently, President of P4 (NEXT's Parent Teacher Organization) for the past 2 years and managed the school store. My "real" job has been as a REALTOR for the past 25 or so years, but I serve on several Boards & Committees at the local & State levels, which are my "passion projects," including VP of the North Main Community Association, Secretary/Treasurer of Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS, Director of South Carolina Association of REALTORS, Cancer Survivors Park Alliance & MRE United Way office campaign coordinator. Teamwork & a unified vision are key to successful leadership, as well as a high level of professionalism.
My son is not the typical teenager who enjoys high school sports, as an athlete or a spectator. He is bright with an entrepreneurial spirit, which we recognized in middle school & realized he would need something different than what the "traditional" high school offers. After touring NEXT, he (and we) knew, immediately, it was a fit.
Being on campus as much as I have, I so appreciate the rapport amongst Peers & Pros, as well as the respect shown for one another (the majority of the time). My goal is to be a proponent of positive growth in every aspect of both NEXT & Eagle Ridge. The opportunity to serve both schools, the educators/staff and the up & coming young adults of our community is both humbling & exciting - I am proud to be part of this group of professionals working to serve & enhance both schools to be the best they can be.
Russ Arvidson, Board Member
Board Committees: Community Outreach Committee (Chair), ED Finalist Selection Committee
I believe in serving our community. I believe by serving we are modeling good behaviors for our children. Additionally, my professional skills (Sales, Marketing, Meeting Facilitation & Project Management) should fit well with the needs & wants of the NEXT High School.
In the past, I served on the board of the Arthritis Foundation as well as the Mitchell School of Math & Science. My son is a student at NEXT High School.
Shaun McCallum, Board Member
Board Committees: ED Finalist Selection Committee, Academic Strategy and Vision Committee, Finance and Facilities Committee
I am a working artist and educator with over a decade of experience in a variety of educational settings including K-12, Primary, Adult Ed, College/University, and Museum/Gallery learning environments. I'm currently a professor at Tri-County Technical College, and am actively engaged in multiple public art projects and collaborations in upstate South Carolina. I received my BS in Graphic Communications from Clemson University, my MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and my secondary education certification through High Tech High's Graduate School of Education. I was born in Greenville, and grew up in the area, but have worked all across the US from Pittsburgh to San Diego. I have a vested interest in the growth and development of high quality educational opportunities in my home town, and moved back here five years ago to ensure that they are available.
As a former small business owner (Straw Hat Press in Atlanta, Georgia), former employee at The NEXT School, and a former employee at High Tech High (one of the NEXT School's Inspirations) I can bring a unique set of perspectives on the project based learning approach that this school has been developing since its inception. I will draw on my experience coordinating workshops for public engagement, guest lectures at museums and universities, direct classroom experience, and the hiring and management of instructors in multiple settings to help drive practical outcomes within the parameters set by the state while developing systems to push above and beyond them. My direct experience as an instructor at the NEXT School for over 4 years will also provide insight into the day to day functions of the educational environment that will greatly benefit the board's ability to make the most effective decisions for the school's growth.