Meet our Beaufort Principals: North of the Broad

The Island News has taken the time to contact all of our principals… North of the Broad, that is!  Here’s what they would like you to know:

Jennifer Morillo, Principal

Beaufort Elementary School


I am entering my third year as Principal of Beaufort Elementary.  I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in Elementary Education and my master’s degree in Elementary Administration from Charleston Southern University.  I am certified and highly qualified as an elementary teacher, middle school mathematics teacher, elementary principal and elementary supervisor.  I began my teaching career as a middle school mathematics teacher.  I then served five years as the Assistant Principal of Lady’s Island Middle School.  I am the proud parent of two children.  My husband and I have lived in Beaufort County for eleven years now.

I believe all students can learn, given a positive, safe and orderly learning environment that is committed to meeting students’ needs.  I believe a school’s core instructional mission is not simply to ensure that students are taught but to ensure that they learn.

I feel fortunate to be part of a school culture focused on student learning, a commitment to high expectation, and strong community. It is my intention to carry on these important traditions and practices as we work together to provide a high quality educational experience for all of our students.


Constance Goodwine-Lewis, Principal

Broad River Elementary School


Mrs. Goodwine-Lewis is a graduate of the Beaufort County Schools and has been a Beaufort County Educator since 2000, first as a teacher and then administrator at Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts and Broad River Elementary.  She was named Principal of Broad River in 2009.


Goodwine-Lewis received her BA in Elementary Education and Masters of Education in Special Education from Clemson University and her Masters of Education in Elementary Supervision from Charleston Southern University.  Her teaching experience includes positions at Shanklin, St. Helena, and Coosa Elementary Schools as well as the assistant principalships.


Goodwine-Lewis’ has been involved in the  W.E. C.A.R.E. initiative for at-risk African-American males; advised the Student Council at the Hilton Head Island School of the Creative Arts; and has been a facilitator for Schools That Learn.   She is a member of Who’s Who Among Professional Women; Association for Supervision Curriculum and Development(ASCD): and National Association for Elementary School Principals.



Jo Shirley, Principal

Port Royal Elementary


Mrs. Jo Shirley joined the Port Royal Elementary School team as Principal in 2009.  Prior to Port Royal she was a teacher and Assistant Principal at Killian Elementary School and Bridge Creek Elementary School in Columbia.  During her tenure as Assistant Principal, her schools were Red Carpet Award Recpients for 2004-2007 and 2008-2011.


Ms. Rosati received her BA in Psychology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing, a Master of Arts degree in Teaching, and Master of Education in Administration, all from the University of South Carolina.


Anita Lynn Nelson, Principal

Whale Branch Elementary School


Ms. Nelson is starting her first year as Principal of Whale Branch Elementary School, but she is no stranger to the Beaufort County School District.   Ms. Nelson served as Assistant Principal at Shell Point Elementary School in Beaufort for four years and, prior to joining the administrative team at Shell Point, she was the Assistant Principal for a year at St. Helena Elementary School and a classroom instructor at St. Helena for 13 years teaching 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades.

Ms. Nelson received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina, her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Cambridge University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and her Masters Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of South Carolina.


Mona Lise Dickson, Principal

Lady’s Island Middle School

Ms. Mona Lise Dickson begins her new assignment this year as principal of Lady’s Island Middle School. Ms. Dickson has been a leading educator with the Beaufort County Schools for many years. She served as Assistant Principal of Beaufort High School and for the past 3 years as Principal of Whale Branch Middle School, the first middle school in Beaufort County to serve fifth through eighth grades.  Ms. Dickson led implementation of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum.  Under her leadership, Whale Branch Middle School has been repeatedly recognized for its achievements and improved report card ratings.

Mrs. Dickson received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics from Rollins College and a Master’s in Education Administration from Cambridge University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Matthew Hunt, Principal

Whale Branch Middle School


Mr. Matthew D. Hunt was named Principal of Whale Branch Middle School this summer and brings to Whale Branch eight years of experience in the Beaufort County Schools.  Mr. Hunt began as a music teacher at Okatie Elementary School and, for the last three years, has served as the Assistant Principal at Whale Branch Middle School.

Mr. Hunt received his Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Michigan-Flint and completed graduate studies at Wayne State University in Detroit.  He received his Masters of Education at Armstrong Atlantic University and his Masters of Education, K-8 School Administration from the University of South Carolina.

Edmond B Burnes, Principal

Battery Creek High School


Battery Creek High School Philosophy


Effectively educating students by offering a diverse and culturally rich curriculum tailored to meet the needs and ability level of each student has been adopted as the mission of Battery Creek High School (BCHS).  To do so, we feel as though it is necessary to provide an engaging, relevant, and rigorous curriculum in a safe and orderly environment to ensure that each student will achieve his or her intellectual and creative potential and graduate with a clear path of action to become a productive citizen.  We believe that our first priority is to provide all students an opportunity to learn so each student can become an independent life-long learner and that each student has a right to services and resources, must learn to make appropriate decisions, and must take an active part in his/her learning.  Teachers, staff, administrators, students, parents, and community members share the responsibility of supporting the learning environment.  It is also our belief that high expectations for student achievement and ongoing evaluation of programs and curriculum lead to continuous improvement.  Since students learn in different ways, students must be exposed to a variety of instructional approaches and must be allowed to demonstrate achievement through a variety of assessments.  Additionally, we strongly believe that cultural diversity promotes individual growth and positive self-concepts, and students must learn to be responsible for their words and actions if they are to become productive citizens.



Edmond Burnes


Mr. Burnes began his teaching career as a math and science teacher at Lower Richland High School.  In 1981, he joined the faculty of Beaufort High School as a mathematics instructor and taught there until 1996 when he was named interim assistant principal.  The interim status changed in 1997 and he served as AP of Beaufort High School until 2002.  In July, 2002, Mr. Burnes was named Principal of Jasper County High School, but came back to Beaufort County in 2005 when he has chosen as Principal of Battery Creek High School.  Mr. Burnes received his Bachelor of Science in Math with a minor in Business Administration from Baptist College at Charleston.  He received his M.A.T. in Mathematics and M. ED. in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina.


Mark Mansell, Principal

Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary School


Belief Statement:

We believe:
That all students will be provided a high quality, equitable curriculum based on the South Carolina Standards.
That all students will have a safe learning environment in which to flourish and to allow students to develop into well-rounded citizens.
That all students will have the benefit of both long-term and short-term goals provided by our school and Beaufort County School District.
That all students will grow academically as a result of the ongoing staff development provided by the school system and outside resources.
That all students will have access to an open line of communication to interact effectively among parents, staff and community.

Mission Statement:

Our mission is to empower students to positively contribute to society.
1. Implement an inquiry-based instructional model and design lesson plans focused on the power standards, effective practices and performance tasks as required by the BCSD.
2. Maintain the school-wide student assessment program; use data for decision making and action regarding student placement and instruction.
3. Focus on the acquisition of technological skills in order to monitor and instruct students.
4. Focus on planning, goal setting and collaborating in a positive manner with team colleagues and peers throughout the school community.
5. Focus on school-wide teaming initiatives for the purpose of promoting school and district effectiveness in student achievement initiatives

Mr. Mansell joined the Beaufort County Schools in 1990 as Assistant Principal of Broad River Elementary School following seven years as a classroom teacher in public and private schools in the Lowcountry and abroad.  In 2005 he became Principal of Whale Branch Elementary School and in 2009 was named Principal of Shanklin Elementary School.  Mr. Mansell received his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Westminster College in Pennsylvania and his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina.


Donald Gruel, Principal

Mossy Oaks Elementary School


We will provide a challenging, engaging, and safe school connecting each child to a successful future.


The goal of Mossy Oaks Elementary School and of every teacher, administrator, and staff member is to provide all students with a rigorous education essential to success in our local and global communities.  Our goal is to provide a world-class education that challenges our students to expand their horizons; to extend themselves; and to explore their abilities, talents, and opportunities.

Our curriculum is built around state and national standards that specify in detail the knowledge, information, and skills our students are being taught within each subject area and through each stage of academic and personal development.  Progress of each student will be assessed regularly to ensure that the standards are being mastered and talents fully explored.  The task of our teachers is to guide each student toward mastery of these challenging standards within a wide range of meaningful classroom experiences.

From the foundation set at Mossy Oaks Elementary, we expect each child to be able to move into the middle school environment with a proficiency in academic skills, a positive self-concept, and the ability to function as a responsible citizen in a democratic society.



Mossy Oaks Elementary School has been “home” to Don Gruel since he began teaching in 1988.  He taught second and third grade from 1988 until 1996 before being named Assistant Principal.  He became Principal of Mossy Oaks in July, 2001.  Teaching is a family affair for the Gruels.  His wife, Mary Lou, is a teacher at Port Royal Elementary, and his daughter, Gabrielle, teaches at Beaufort Elementary.  Mr. Gruel received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of South Carolina Aiken, and his Master’s of Education from the University of South Carolina.





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