Mrs. Hallmark is the Founder and Director of Learn Upstate Hybrid Academy and Learning Center. She received her BS from the University of Alabama in International Marketing / Spanish, but she knew even then she would eventually become a teacher. After college, she worked in various corporate environments managing Customer Service, Corporate Training, and Human Resources. She was blessed to stay home with her children in their early years before going back to school to fulfill her dream. She received her Master’s in Teaching from Anderson University, and she taught in various school environments throughout Anderson County.
As a public and private school teacher, she was able to work with diverse groups of students and families, witnessing firsthand their struggles in learning. Eventually, she found her calling in the homeschool environment. With four children, who each learn very differently, Mrs. Hallmark realized something more was needed outside of the normal classroom. She understands that families need an environment where student needs are met on their level. Moreover, an education that is individually tailored for the student in an environment meant to promote success while inspiring confidence. This mission led to private tutoring out of the library, and after only a short time, the founding of LU Hybrid Academy.
The aspect she enjoys most about teaching is the challenge of helping students see success in school where they might not have in the past. She especially enjoys creating new ways to learn and collaborating with her staff to build confidence in learners. Mrs. Hallmark is married to Joey Hallmark and has four children, Gabe(20), Cole(18), Lucy(12) and Nora (12). In her free time, she enjoys gardening, traveling, reading books, and spending time with friends and family.
Mrs. Dunn graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from New Mexico State University. Her experience ranges from private school Kindergarten to 3rd grade public school. She also taught English to students in China via the online platform VIPKid.
Debbie and her husband Kelly, originally from Southern Colorado, moved to Anderson in 2020. They have 2 children, and she was afforded the opportunity to homeschool them for six years.
Andrea is a graduate of Clemson University with Bachelor's degrees in History and Education.
After college, she worked with Anderson District One in several capacities, from Kindergarten to Middle School. She also has experience teaching at Trinity Methodist Preschool in the PreK program. She has been with Learn Upstate since the fall of 2020 where she has taught K - 2nd grade.
Andrea is mom to Finley and Adalynn, and her furry, four-legged Golden, Max. She is a huge Clemson fan, a lover of all things PINK, and cookie dough is her Jam!
She is looking forward to start the 2022-2023 school year at Learn Upstate.
This is Dana McElreath’s first year at LU and she says, “there is no other place I would rather be.”
She has a degree in Elementary Education from Lander University, and she used her degree in several different settings. She's taught in public school, homeschooled her own children, and taught Theater for Co-op classes. Further, she spent six years as the Office Manager at Electric City Playhouse, while also assisting with youth theater. Most importantly for this role, she has been involved in various aspects of theater, both on and offstage, for 20 years.
She is excited to get to know, and work, with her students. “We are going to have a fun year!”
Marcia has an Associates Degree in Business/Marketing, a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Winthrop University, and a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from the College of Charleston. Her Masters Degree had special emphasis toward History, Language Arts, and Gifted Education.
Mrs. Whaley taught in the public school system in Summerville for 30 years. She then "retired", moved to the Upstate, and taught another five years in Greenville, SC. Next, she began working with an equestrian coach at Virginia Tech, and soon after started training horses and teaching horseback lessons.
If she can find spare time, she enjoys working in her yard, experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, restoring her 93 year old home, and designing fiber arts.
Mrs. Henderson is a graduate of Ball State University with Bachelor’s degrees in Elementary and Special Education. She brings with her 18 years of classroom experience, having taught in Illinois, Indiana and South Carolina. Most recently she taught an Upper Elementary classroom for a Montessori school.
Jeanie has been married to her husband Bud for 16 years and they have twins, Greyson and Thomas, who are starting middle school this fall. She loves working in her garden and with all of her plants, reading way past her bedtime, traveling and spending time with her people.
She is looking forward to an exciting year being back in the classroom at Learn Upstate.
Mrs. Coker has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Erskine College and a Masters in Teaching from Clemson University. She has been teaching for 39 years, with 36 of those years spent teaching in Anderson District 5. The last three were spent at New Covenant in Anderson.
Mrs. Coker and her husband Buddy, lifelong residents of Anderson, have been married for 37 years. They have two grown children, Chas and Molly. They have four amazing grandchildren: Jude (6), Clark (4), Kennedy (4) and Mary Allen (2). Mrs. Coker enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren in her spare time.
Viviana was born in Lima, Peru, and she was educated in a British/English School. She also studied Psychology in Lima Peru for four years before I arrived in the United States. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from The University of South Carolina and received a Master's degree in psychology with specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from Kaplan University.
More importantly she comes with many years of hands-on experience. For the past 20 years, she worked with thousands of children over the years providing ABA therapy services, early Intervention services and teaching in a variety of settings and with children of all ages. She worked with many different professionals and families to create and develop individualized learning programs for children with all abilities, addressing each child's specific needs.
Further, she also coached and helped hundreds of families on how to deal with the difficulties of raising children with disabilities. Watching children and families increase their quality of life and helping them reach their full potential is amazing to experience together. After all, to have quality of life and be as independent as possible is what it's all about
Amy Rexrode graduated from Winthrop University with a B.S. in Business Administration (major in Accounting), and from Virginia Tech with a Master’s in Business Administration (major in Human Resources).
She worked for several years as a Human Resource Manager and Corporate Recruiter before feeling led to become a stay-at-home wife and mom. Mrs. Rexrode has always been a teacher at heart. Even in business, her passion was Training & Development, and throughout her life she has taught children, or teens, in a variety of church and community activities. She taught preschool for several years at a local Christian school before deciding to homeschool her two children.
Mrs. Rexrode loves providing an engaging learning environment where children are inspired to explore the world around them. She currently serves as the Learn Upstate Elementary Science teacher.
Mrs. Anspach graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, obtaining her degree in Middle Grades Education with a minor in History. She has 9 years of diverse classroom experience, having taught in the Public, Magnet, and Charter school settings. Her specialty is Project Based Learning and STEM curriculum.
Mrs. Anspach is a military spouse with two children, and her husband Andrew is a Captain in the United States Air Force. The military life has afforded Mrs. Anspach and her family the opportunity to live in several regions of the United States. As a result, she’s taught in North Carolina, South Carolina and Nevada. Furthermore, she loves to travel and loves all things Disney.
Mrs. Anspach is very excited for the upcoming school year and looks forward to working with the Learn Upstate families!!
Ms. Martin is said to have started her teaching career at 10 years old. As the middle child of five, she taught her six year old sister math and science. She then went on to receive her B.A. from Clemson University in Elementary Education and her Masters from Clemson in Learning Disabilities. She completed her formal education at Converse University in Spartanburg, graduating with an Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision.
Ms. Martin has extensive experience in the classroom having taught taught K-5 in Spartanburg for five years and in Anderson for two years. Lastly, she taught at Lakeside Middle School in District 5 teaching 6th-8th for 10 years.
Ms. Martin is a lifelong resident of South Carolina and an avid gardener. Her neighbors say her yard is the prettiest in the neighborhood, and she has been accused of having two green thumbs!
Linda Clipperton teaches middle school Language Arts and high school Spanish for Learn Upstate. Mrs. Clipperton completed her Bachelor’s degree, graduating magna cum laude, in Education, with a minor in English from Bob Jones University in 1988. In 1999, she earned a Spanish certification from Rio Grande Bible and Language Institute as she lived in Argentina for four years.
Mrs. Clipperton taught Spanish I and II, middle school and high school Language Arts, and Resource Math for 3 and a half years at Easley Christian School. She spent another year tutoring various ages in English as a Second Language, Spanish, middle school Math, Literature, and Reading Comprehension for Core Languages.
Linda homeschooled all four of her children and all have gone on to attend college. She particularly enjoys the middle school students as she can watch them grow and mature. During her free time, Linda enjoys singing, playing the piano, learning new words, reading novels, and petting her cat Speckles.
Mr. Schaefer attended the University of Louisville where he was awarded his BS in Chemistry. After, he earned his MA in Management from Central Michigan University. In furthering his education, Mr. Schaefer took continuing education courses at Loyola College Baltimore, George Washington University, College of Charleston, and Southern Illinois University.
He served in the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman and as a Naval Officer. After, his career took him to laboratories at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Smithtown Hospital, and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He has also taught at Porter Gaud School in Charleston, SC, Trident Technical College, City Colleges of Chicago, and Learn Upstate.
Mrs. Amy Hunt is a graduate of USCS, earning her BA in elementary education. She spent the past 18 years teaching in Phoenix, AZ with grades 4 - 8 in a STEM project based classroom.
Mrs. Hunt family includes her "wonderful" husband and 4 "delightful" children. However, the sparkle in her eyes is derived from spending time with her 2 grandchildren, Atticus and Emory.
When Mrs. Hunt is not in the classroom, she can be found tending her chickens, baking bread, working in the garden, or making soap and herbal remedies.
Stephen Tilson graduated from Southern Wesleyan University with a B.S. in Business Administration. He Also graduated from North Georgia Technical College with a two-year degree in Machine Tool Technology.
He worked for several years as a Senior CNC Machinist/Programmer, a Continuous Improvement Specialist, and a Supervisor in the Aerospace Industry. Moreover, Mr. Tilson has served in the ministry for 17 years, and in 2021 became Pastor if a church in Oconee County, SC.
On top of that, he emphatically declares that teaching and instructing young people to be the most gratifying. He loves providing an engaging learning environment where young men and women are inspired to explore the world of mathematics. Mr. Tilson spends his summer break teaching at youth camps with the purpose of preparing young people to make a Godly difference in the world.
Mr. Tilson has been married for 12 years and has 3 children of his own.
Mrs. Sizemore teaches high school English at Learn Upstate.
Mr. Sizemore teaches high school Science at Learn Upstate.
Mr. Byrd completed his undergraduate degree in History at Southern Wesleyan University and just recently graduated with his MA in History from Clemson University.
He is a middle school history teacher and high school geography teacher here at Learn Upstate as well as a college professor at local colleges.
Mr. Byrd has an amazing wife, Kaleigh, and they enjoy spending time with their baby girl Violet. In his spare time, Mr. Byrd loves to play guitar, read about history, and watch college football!
Cristy Buczko teaches middle and high school English Grammar, Writing, and Literature classes. After community college, she was accepted into the Social Work program at the University of Washington. Before the program began, her military husband received unexpected orders to move to Savannah, GA. God always has a plan. Having worked before at a private school leading their summer and after-school programs, she knew God might have another path for her. She had always been a self-proclaimed grammar snob and loved to get kids excited about reading and learning. She began homeschooling her own children and taught Grammar and Writing at a homeschool co-op for 2 years in Georgia and 3 years in South Carolina after her husband retired.
Since then, she has taught ESL to children in China and Hong Kong via online classes and has worked for the past several years as a contracted writer and editor for an SEO company based in Oregon. She has also worked here at Learn Upstate as a regular substitute teacher. She’s excited to work at LU officially and to be back in a real classroom, combining her love and experience of working with children with her love for ELA. Her goal this year is to instill confidence and a love of reading for pleasure in her students with her own classroom library.
Her oldest son will be in college this fall, and she will have 2 children here at Learn Upstate in the 6th and 10th grades. She’s married to a wonderful and supportive husband of almost 20 years. As a family, they love having fun together. They enjoy traveling, visiting theme parks, and playing board games together at home.
Mrs. Bruynell is a graduate of Liberty University with her Bachelor's degree in Journalism/Marketing.
Heather discovered her love of teaching when she worked in her sons’ preschool for 12 years. After working as a long-term substitute in elementary Special Ed for District 5, she became passionate about helping children with reading difficulties. As a result, she is trained in the Orton-Gillingham method through the Orton-Gillingham Academy. Further, she was a Reading Intervention Teacher for three years in a public elementary school.
Though a native of Raleigh, NC, Heather has lived in Anderson for 22 years. Heather and her husband Tim have two sons, one in college and the youngest leaving for college in the fall, three grown daughters, one precious new granddaughter, and a loyal Cairn Terrier, Walker.
"I am so thrilled to be joining the Learn Upstate team!"
Chrissy Cox attended Toccoa Falls College to study Missions. She has worked with children for over 20 years in different capacities including teaching preschool, Co-Director for after school care, and Elementary Aide for the last 6 years.
Chrissy is originally from Florida and has lived in Anderson for 24 years. She is married to Mike and they have 4 children & a son-in-law; Sophia (22) & her husband, Grayson (22), Kellett (19), Mary Eva (13), and Whit (12). They also have several pets, including a cocker spaniel, 2 cats, and a horse.
Chrissy home-schooled her oldest 2 children for several years when they were younger, and she is excited to be back in the homeschooling community with her younger 2 children who will be joining Learn Upstate this year as well.
In her spare time, she loves to read, go to the beach, watch old movies, and shop for antiques.
Renee is a retired Special Education teacher with 29 years of classroom experience.
She graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor's degree in Special Education. She later earned her master's degree in Divergent Learning from Columbia College.
Renee is married to Brad, and they have one son, Eli. They also have a crazy Boston terrier, Blueberry, and a sweet cat, Kitty. Renee loves to read, to the point that Brad and Eli get a little nervous when they see that she's nearing the end of her current book. She also loves spending time outdoors, enjoying God's awesome creation. She especially enjoys her backyard birds.
Renee feels blessed to be part of the Learn Upstate team, and looks forward to seeing how many ways she can help!