Joshua L. Adams (FMU 2005)
Josh is employed at Florence County School District 5. He has taught art at Johnsonville Elementary School since 2006, shortly after graduating from Francis Marion University. He also serves as a youth leader for his church and plays in a Christian rock band called Cross Covenant. The group recently released their first album.
Michele Stephens Allen (FMU 2006)
After graduating Summa Cum Laude from FMU, Michele spent several years as a high school teacher for the Lee County School District. In 2009 Michele began working with Dillon County School District 4 as an elementary school art teacher. In 2012 she received a Master’s of Education in Learning Disabilities from Francis Marion University. Michele is now at Theodore Lester Elementary School just a few miles from the FMU campus!
Murriel Calcutt (FMU 1993)
After receiving the South Carolina Art Education Association’s Art Student Award in 1992, she graduated from FMU as an Elementary Education and Art Education major in 1993. Murriel then began teaching art and became department chair at Hannah-Pamplico High School. She was awarded District Teacher of the Year in 2000 and Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year in 2001.
In 2003 she received her Masters in Creative Arts and Learning from Lesley University, and she currently teaches at Wilson High School. She is on the Instructional Materials Advisory Committee for the State Department and presently serves as a board member for the Florence Regional Arts Alliance and the Florence County Museum.
As of 2018, Muriel is an art teacher for Florence School District 1 at Wilson High School.
Scott Collins (FMU 1994)
Scott Collins received the Peggy Love McLaughlin Art Award in 1993.
Scott is the long-time art teacher at Marion High School. He has been the Fine Arts Department Chair for the school since 2000. He was named the Marion High School and Marion County District 1 Teacher of the Year for the 2002-2003 school year. He has also served as the lead teacher for the Horizon Gifted and Talented Visual Arts Program from 1997-2004 for fourth through sixth grades and 2007-present for seventh and eighth grades.
Anna Dean (FMU 2000)
Following graduation from FMU, Anna Dean has been awarded Teacher of the Year first at Grove Elementary in Piedmont, SC, and later at Sterling School /Charles Townes Center in Greenville, SC, where she taught art across nine grade levels. While in Greenville, she also worked as an Arts Integration Facilitator with the SmartArts Program of the Metropolitan Arts Council, and the IDEA program at the Peace Center for Performing Arts.
Anna recently relocated to Fort Mill, SC to pursue her MFA at Winthrop University. Prior to graduate school, she primarily worked as a figurative painter. In her graduate work at Winthrop, Anna has been primarily focused on sculpture and interdisciplinary work. Her current body of work explores the intersection of the sacred and the profane. She is particularly interested in the interconnectedness of order and chaos at the microcosmic and macrocosmic levels.
Kelley Lynn Jones French (FMU 1996)
Kelley French received the Peggy Love McLaughlin Art Award in 1996.
Currently fine arts teacher and department chair at Socastee High School, Kelley was named the Secondary Fine Arts Teacher of the Year by the South Carolina Art Education Association (SCAEA) at the Association’s 2012 conference. French has taught at Socastee High School since 1999 and has been a member of SCAEA for two decades. French was nominated for this award by her SCAEA peers and is the first Horry County Schools teacher to win this award since 1981. SCAEA is a division of the National Art Education Association.
Krystal Leigh Gause Fuentes (FMU 2005)
Krystal has been employed by Florence County School District 2 since shortly after graduation from Francis Marion University, and also continued on to receive a Master’s degree in Technology in Education. She became the art teacher for Lake City High School and currently teaches at Savannah Grove Elementary. She earned a Master’s Degree in Technology in Education from Lesley University.
Kimberly Washburn Groom (FMU 2006)
Kim Groom is currently employed as Curator of Education at the Florence County Museum.
Groom says the (almost) all-FMU lineup at the museum created a quick bond that has helped meld the staff into a team, even though they didn’t all attend school at exactly the same time or embark on exactly the same courses of study. “Working with other graduates gives our office a sense of unity, camaraderie, and common experiences to draw from,” Groom says.
As they came on board, the staff members quickly discovered a common ground through FMU, whether it was being in a class with a fellow staff member, recalling seeing a co-worker’s artwork displayed on campus, reading one’s work in campus publications, or knowing the same professors.
Amber Hekman Harrar (FMU 2012)
While attending FMU, Amber was presented the Outstanding Student Teacher Award by The Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty and the Donna H. Goodman Community Service Award in Art Education by the FMU Department of Fine Arts. She also served as president of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) FMU Student Chapter.
She received the Francis Marion University School of Education’s 2014 Novice Educator Award, which recognizes a successful FMU graduate who demonstrates leadership in education. Additionally, this award recognizes Hekman’s strong sense of pride and loyalty for her alma mater and service to her community through active involvement in civic and/or charitable and service organizations. Amber and Dr. Eunjung Chang were co-presenters on science-art convergent education at the 2014 convention of the South Carolina Art Education Association.
Certified to teach AP 2D/3D Art and Design as well as AP Drawing, Amber has gone on to earn her Master’s in Educational Leadership through Coastal Carolina University.
As an art teacher at Lucy T. Davis Elementary School, Amber won her school’s “Teacher of the Year” award in 2014. She now teaches at South Florence High School.
Marjorie Elaine Henry (FMU 2003)
Marjorie received the 2001-2002 Dr. John W. Baker Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded for outstanding contribution by a junior in art or music. She was first employed by Florence County School District 1 as an art teacher at Henry Timrod Elementary School, and is now teaching at McLaurin Elementary.
Amy Hinson (FMU 2018)
While attending FMU, Amy’s student teaching assignment was at John W. Moore Intermediate in Florence School District One. She was presented the Outstanding Student Teacher Award by The Center of Excellence to Prepare Teachers of Children of Poverty.
Amy has accepted an art teaching position at Southside Middle School in Florence School District One.
Melissa Johnson (FMU 1999)
Melissa is employed by the Florence County School District 1. She has worked for a number of years as an art teacher at Henry L. Sneed Middle School.
She went on to receive the Masters in Education in Technology from Lesley University. Melissa has been involved with different aspects of education including teaching for the Florence School District One Horizons Art Program and mentoring several FMU and Coker interns/student teachers.
Colleen Kennedy (FMU 2015)
Immediately following graduation, Colleen accepted a position teaching grades K-8 at R. E. Davis Elementary School and Mayewood Middle School in Sumter. Since 2016, Colleen has been the art teacher at West Florence High School in Florence School District One, where over the past 3 years she has encouraged and assisted many of her students to pursue art degrees at SCAD, many on full scholarships.
Colleen is perusing an (MFA) Masters in Fine Art/ Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts through a Low Residency Program on a substantial scholarship. She is also building a handmade art business, working in various mediums such as ceramic jewelry, watercolors, and pen and ink.
When not in the studio or classroom, Colleen travels as often as she can, and with her travels, she brings back experiences and techniques to expose her students to influences far beyond her classroom. Most recently, she traveled to India where for the part of the summer she was a guest teacher and taught art in a local school in a rural district of India.
Sean Lafaye (FMU 2003, 2006)
During his second year of teaching at Wallace Gregg Elementary School, Sean Lafaye received their Teacher of the Year award.
Sean went on to complete his Master of Education degree from Francis Marion in 2006. He is currently employed by Bookman Road Elementary in Richland District Two, where he again received the Teacher of the Year award for 2013-14. He has also taught at the Columbia Museum of Art.
Sean recently received National Board Certification and has served as a board member of the South Carolina Art Education Association where he was the elementary level coordinator.
Jessica Lombardi (FMU 2010)
Jessica received the 2008-2009 Dr. John W. Baker Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded for outstanding contribution by a junior in art or music.
She completed her master’s degree in art education at the University of Texas, Austin. Her thesis: “Power to the Pupil!: One School’s Bridging of Construction, Curriculum, and Caring,” a case study of the Griffin School, a private art school.
Following a stint as general manager of Dogwood Rock Rose in Austin, Texas, Jessica went to work as a teacher in the Austin Achieve charter public schools program.
Jill Lynch (FMU 2010)
Jill works in the Williamsburg County S.C. School District where she is employed at Kenneth Gardner Elementary School teaching art to third though fifth grades.
Harriet McMillan (FMU 2015)
Harriet has accepted a position teaching Art at Wilson High School in Florence, South Carolina.
Lyn O’Donnell (FMU 2002)
Lyn received a BFA from Coastal Carolina University with a concentration in the Visual Arts. After receiving her teaching certificate from Francis Marion University in 2002 she began teaching Visual Arts in Darlington County. In 2007 Lyn completed her master’s degree from Columbia College. After teaching elementary school for 5 years, she now teaches at Mayo High School for Math, Science, and Technology and at Darlington County Intervention School.
Elizabeth Raye Odom (FMU 2014)
Elizabeth earned a Bachelor of Science degree in art education from Francis Marion in 2014. While at Francis Marion her studies focused on creative writing and fine art. After graduation she started teaching fine art at South Florence high school where she taught all levels of secondary visual art, including AP Studio Art.
In fall 2019, she enrolled in Florida State University, where she is studying for a Master of Science degree in Art Therapy and Counseling.
Elizabeth has exhibited work at the Art Trail Gallery (Florence, SC), Jones Carter Gallery (Lake City, SC), The Curtis R. Harley Gallery at The University of South Carolina Upstate (Spartanburg, SC), The Artfields Gallery (Lake City, SC), and the former Railroad Junction Art Gallery in Florence. Most recently, she exhibited work in the Artfields 2018 competition.
Her poetry was published in South Carolina’s Best Emerging Poets, an anthology by Z Publishing House (2018). Elizabeth’s work has been featured in She Magazine (p. 62) and VIP Magazine. For more information on her current works visit www.elizabethraye.com.
Andrew Russel Stout (FMU 2003, 2007)
Andrew is the current executive director of the Florence Museum of Art, Science, and History. Under Andrew’s leadership, the museum has undertaken major renovation of art exhibition space, which has included the indefinite loan of the Francis A. Lord Civil War collection, the donation of textiles from various global cultures by Andries and Linda Van Dam, and the acquisition of a landscape oil painting by Florence native, William H. Johnson. He was director during planning and construction of the new 11.7 million dollar building in downtown Florence. The new museum is 28,000 square feet with 11,000 square feet of exhibition space.
After completing a summer internship at the museum, while an undergraduate at FMU, Stout joined the museum’s then two-man staff as curator of education. He handled many of the roles now filled by FMU graduates he has brought onto his staff. “As new positions developed, I knew the skills that they required, and I knew fellow FMU alumni have the education and skills necessary for the museum to succeed.”
Prior to being named the executive director of the museum, Stout taught art at Johnsonville Elementary School.
Heather Elizabeth McKissick Ward (FMU 2006)
Heather was employed by Florence County School District 1 upon graduating from Francis Marion University. For ten years, she was the visual arts teacher for Southside Middle School where she was selected as the 2013-14 Teacher of the Year. In 2017 Heather accepted a position at the Montessori School of Florence as an art teacher.
Jessie Welch (FMU 2010)
Jessie received the 2010 award as outstanding graduating senior in art. He is currently an art teacher in Clarendon School District Three and manages the Clarendon Three Arts Guild. He was previously employed at Brockington Elementary, Johnson Middle, and Timmonsville High Schools of Florence School District Four.
In 2014, Florence School District Four honored Mr. Welch as Teacher of the Year for Johnson Middle School. In 2018, Clarendon School District Three honored him as Teacher of the Year for Walker Gamble Elementary.