The goal of the VirtualSC School Advisory Board is to obtain direct feedback from School Counselors, Administrators and Teachers in order to improve and evolve the VirtualSC program to best serve the needs of students. Board members provide feedback on registration cycles, program policy and procedure, program flexibility, communication and overall program improvement and vision.
2023 Meeting Schedule
March 22, 2023
June 13, 2023*
October 17, 2023
January 9, 2024
*Face-to-face meeting. Location TBD.
Meet Our School Advisory Board
Howard E. Bissell, Director of Instructional Technology, Lexington County School District One, has served for 20 years in public education, with 9 years of experience in a secondary social studies classroom before being called to lead innovation in technology and instruction at the district level in 2012.
Since then, Bissell has worked to provide access and opportunity for students to engage in virtual learning experiences through a variety of platforms and online learning models. As the district lead and Virtual SC sponsor, Bissell works closely with middle and high schools to support student enrollments, quality learning experiences, final exam scheduling, and reporting for student transcripts. Bissell lead the launch of a Virtual SC Franchise program for Lexington School District One in 2017 which provided the foundation for Lexington One Online Learning Academy (LOOLA) and in Fall 2020 became the centerpiece of the district’s online learning option for over 2,000 high school students at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to supporting online learning opportunities for K-12 students, Bissell provides leadership for the impactful use of technology in the physical classroom by planning and coordinating digital learning implementations. He leads the research and evaluation of digital learning tools and strategies in an effort to adopt and implement innovative teaching and learning practices. Additionally, Bissell leads and mentors a team of 13 digital learning coaches who support professional learning needs across the district.
Bissell holds a B.S.Ed in Integrated Social Studies Education with a minor in political science from Ohio University, an MS in Technology Integration from Walden University, and national certification in online course design from the Online Learning Consortium.
Nikki Steelman is a Student Success Coach at VirtualSC. This is her second year serving as a coach with VirtualSC. She has served in education for over ten years. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education from Clemson University. She has also earned a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Carolina. Before transitioning to VirtualSC, Nikki served as a fourth and second-grade teacher in Greenville County Schools. She has also served as a second-grade teacher and math interventionist in Aiken County Schools. Nikki is passionate about collaborating with colleagues to support students' academic excellence.
Tonisha Vanderhorst is from Columbia, South Carolina. She attended Winthrop University where she received her Bachelor's of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences. She also received a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from University of Phoenix. She has taken additional courses at Strayer University in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. She started teaching Family and Consumer Science at C.A. Johnson High School in Columbia, South Carolina in September of 2015. She taught Foods and Nutrition I, Foods and Nutrition II, Food Science I, and Food Science II. While at C.A. Johnson High School, she was the Odyssey of the Mind Coordinator from 2015-2020. Her class made it to the World's Final four years in a row until the pandemic. Tonisha also was advisor of Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America from 2015-2022. She had the opportunity to be an advisor for a State Officer for two years, and also attended the National FCCLA Leadership Conference in 2022. She left C.A. Johnson in 2022 to begin career at Virtual SC in 2023. Tonisha still mentors and coaches students in Girl's tennis and Cheer at the school.
Brandy Mullennax is the Head of School at Holly Hill Academy. She has been in administration for the past eight years. Previously she served as an educator for twenty years. She is a Guardian Ad Litem for the South Carolina Court System.
Sarah Vann is an Assistant Principal at Lowcountry Leadership Charter School. She has worked in education for ten years, in both K-12 and higher education settings. Prior to transitioning into school administration, Sarah served as a director of school counseling, overseeing middle and high school programs. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Converse College and a Masters Degree in Counselor Education from Clemson University. Studying educational leadership and supervision, she completed additional graduate coursework at The Citadel Graduate College. Sarah's educational background as a professional counselor-educator influences her student-centered educational philosophy. She is committed to developing and sustaining school systems that support high-quality educational experiences. Sarah values partnerships with stakeholders to develop academic opportunities and increase accessibility for students across South Carolina.
William Sumerel, Registrar at Boiling Springs High School in Spartanburg School District Two has served in public education for 27 years. William holds a Master of Education degree in Counselor Education from Clemson University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. He also holds certification as a Global Career Development Facilitator and as a Certified Career Services Provider. William serves as a district ADEPT Evaluator for Spartanburg School District Two. He has been recognized as the South Carolina PTA Outstanding Support Person of the year and a two time award recipient of the Exemplary JAG Model Program while at Chesnee High School. William is a member of the American School Counselor Association, Palmetto State School Counselor Association and Chi Sigma Iota. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family and is active within his church.
Chrys Hill is currently the Director of School Counseling at Laurens High School in Laurens 55. She attended Johnson C. Smith University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts. She also attended Clemson University where she obtained a Master of Education in School Counseling.