Meet Our Board
Michael is a 19-year veteran of Verizon Wireless and has held various management positions within the organization during his tenure with the company. Mike holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a minor in HR Management from Strayer University, and is currently pursuing his MBA. Mike is actively involved with the community, serving on the City of Mauldin Tree commission. He is also currently serving as President of the SC State School Improvement Council - Columbia, SC; President of the School Board of Odyssey Online Learning located in Columbia; Board of Directors of the James Monroe Mission House located in Fountain Inn, SC and is the Outreach Director of Holy Cross Episcopal Church located in Simpsonville, SC. Mike is a past member of the board of directors of the Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina. In his limited spare time when he’s not advocating for excellence in education, Mike enjoys traveling and spending time with his family and granddaughter, Victoria.
Cindy is a lawyer by training and a teacher by genetics, Cindy Coker is the Public Services Director for the S.C. Bar. Ms. Coker is a 1988 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. She also received her A.A. from Emmanuel College (1979) and her B.A. from Francis Marion College (1982). Prior to attending law school, Cindy was a middle school social studies teacher. She taught at Florence-Darlington Technical College, where she was the Outstanding Faculty Member of 1991, and the University of South Carolina, College of Criminal Justice. She first joined the Bar staff in 1992 as the Law Related Education Director and became the Public Services Director in 2001. She briefly left the Bar to serve as in-house counsel for a local corporation before returning to the Bar in March 2009, resuming the role of Public Services Director in June 2009.
The combination of training in education and the law give her a unique perspective on education that she brings to the Board. She is a passionate advocate for children and supportive of learning environments that foster a child’s ability to succeed. She is also an avid Gamecock fan and the world’s greatest aunt.
Kent has been in the insurance industry for 26 years as an adjuster, supervisor, and most recently as an auditor. He has worked in multiple states with a myriad of people and organizations, including policyholders, employees, general contractors, consultants, attorneys, accountants, etc. He has developed interpersonal skills by dealing with individuals and groups from both cooperative and adversarial perspectives. Kent is a parent of an Odyssey Online Learning student and is very familiar with the needs of families that may seek an alternative to “traditional” school. He feels like a virtual environment has worked for his family and he would like to help others find similar success at Odyssey Online Learning.
Cynthia is a veteran teacher as well as a teacher trainer/evaluator. She has thirty years of classroom experience: she has spent an additional ten years working with teachers as a district teacher evaluator and independent consultant for professional development on instructional practices. She has worked in districts all over South Carolina as well as served as an adjunct at the University of South Carolina and Furman University. She has a BS in Elementary Education and Sociology as well as M.Ed. from Clemson University.
James is a retired educator with over 28 years of experience in public education and 10 years in business with Pearson. Originally from Greenville, he is a product of the Greenville school system and he taught in the school system for over 21 years. Now living in Forest Acres, where he moved to serve as the state social studies coordinator at the SC Department of Education until his retirement. Since retirement, James continued to work in the field of education representing Pearson in our state; he served as Pearson's sales representative and then as their humanities specialist. In both positions, he continued to provide professional development for the educators of our state. He has served as a teacher consultant for the SC Geographic Alliance, president of the SC Council for the Social Studies, coordinator of the SC Geographic Bee, coordinator of the Gilder Lehrman SC Teacher of the Year, board member for the SC Council on the Holocaust, board member for the SC Humanities Council, and currently serves on the board for the SC Reading Association. He continues to be active in numerous organizations and is an enthusiastic supporter of the charter school movement. James has his BA and MA from Furman University, plus a Master's plus 30. Also he worked on additional degrees at USC.
We have current vacancies available on our board. The gift of time and talent by the many volunteers to our board is immeasurable, and we are very appreciative of those who are interested in applying for vacancies.
Resumes can be directed via email to Mike Guarino.