The Barker family has lived on Hilton Head Island for 54 years and have been proud supporters of Hilton Head Prep since its founding. The Barker family has four Hilton Head Prep graduates - three children and one grandchild.
As a 10 year member of the Board of Trustees for both Sea Pines Academy and May River Academy, Maynard was instrumental in the merger of both schools forming what is now Hilton Head Prep. Maynard has served as President of the Booster Club and has coached middle school football. In addition, Marianne was one of the founders of the Jubilee Celebration and has served as its Chair.
The Barkers have donated countless numbers of football and basketball uniforms and equipment as well as the portrait of George Washington that graces the school's library. Their most important and lasting contribution, however, was their involvement in the hiring of Rich Basirico as the Athletic Director at May River Academy which became Hilton Head Prep after the merger with Sea Pines Academy where Rich stayed on as Head Boys Basketball Coach and Athletic Director and has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of Prep students.2019 Alumni Award – Dr. Michael W. Bassett ‘92
During his four years as a student at Hilton Head Prep, Michael Bassett ‘92 was editor of the literary journal and president of the Literature Club. He won the Door Knocker Award for leadership and seizing opportunities. He was a member of the varsity football and varsity tennis teams. He served as president of the weightlifting and fitness club and was co-founder of the Lift America events that raised thousands of dollars for the Special Olympics. He went on to earn a B.A. in Philosophy from Wofford College, an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College, and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Dr. Bassett has been teaching Upper School English at Hilton Head Prep since 2012 where he directs Prep’s Capstone Program. Dr. Bassett is the author of four poetry books and a children's book. He is the winner of the Joan Johnson Poetry Prize and his writing has been nominated for a Pushcart and an American Poetry Award. He was recognized by the Rotary Club as Upper School Teacher of the Year in 2016. He is a three-time consecutive winner of the Georgia Troup County Start Teacher of the Year (2002-2003) and recipient of the Florida Soaring Eagle Award for teaching and community service excellence in 2009. He does fundraising and volunteer work for St. Baldrick's Foundation and A Spring of Hope.2019 Athletics Award – Mr. Nicholas U. Murphy II ‘98
Nicholas “Nick” Murphy is currently an Assistant United States Attorney in the Major Crimes Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. There, he represents the United States in criminal matters involving gangs, violent crime and firearms trafficking. Prior to that, Nick joined the Department of Justice via the Honor’s Program where he served as a trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division for almost 8 years in the Criminal and Educational Opportunities Sections. Nick began his legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Petrese B. Tucker in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
At Penn Law, Nick held senior and associate editor positions with Law Review and the Journal of Law & Social Change. Nick was also president of the Black Law Students Association and was active in several student pro bono projects focused on human rights. Prior to law school, Nick attended Dartmouth College where he earned his undergraduate degree in Government. Nick also played on Dartmouth’s basketball team as a freshman and sophomore and Dartmouth’s football team as a sophomore, junior and senior.
Nick grew up at Hilton Head Prep as a lifer (grades 1-12) and was active in a variety of activities, including football, basketball and soccer where he definitely scored more points, touchdowns and goals than his younger siblings combined. Nick is a proud member of Prep’s first post-May River academy state championship football team. Nick also enjoyed serving on student council and participating in a number of clubs. Nick is a member of the Hilton Head Prep Athletic Hall of Fame.
2019 Athletics Award – Ms. Jaunell Murphy ‘00
Jaunell was a member of the class of 2000 at Hilton Head Prep and graduated as a lifer spending 12 years at Prep. She played soccer, basketball and volleyball throughout her career. Her basketball career started in local rec leagues, but she graced the courts of HHP from 6th-12th grade, starting varsity minutes as an 8th grader. She lettered in varsity basketball for 4 years where she was a double threat in scoring and rebounds. Under the expert guidance of Dr. Sulek, combining her junior and senior year stats, she scored 454 points, 404 rebounds, 31 blocks, and 54 steals and was a contributing member of the 1999-2000 State Championship team.
Jaunell’s love of volleyball started in 6th grade and continues, even though her playing years ended her sophomore year of college. She lettered in varsity volleyball for four years at Prep being named all-tournament player in 1998 and making the all-tournament team in 1999. She also received the outstanding team contribution award her senior year under Coach Stern. She hung up her knee pads after lettering at Loyola University in New Orleans from where she graduated in 2004.
While a student at HHP, Jaunell’s interests were not limited to the courts and fields, she also was involved in many clubs including Chorus, Literary Club/Newspaper, Zonta, and FCA. She was the recipient of the English award her junior year, she was the 1999-2000 SCISA Literary Meet Extemporaneous Speaking 1st place winner, and a recipient of 2000 Zonta scholarship.
From 2008-2011, Jaunell worked in the Development Office at Hilton Head Prep and coached the girls JV volleyball and basketball teams. She left Prep to go to Law School in Charlotte and then finished at Loyola College of Law in 2013.
She currently lives in Reno, NV overseeing all BHHC’s Nevada indemnity claims as a Claims Professional 3. She is a member of The Second Baptist Church of Reno, where she has already become part of the leadership team from her work with launching and facilitating the bi-weekly C.R.E.W., Christians, Ready, Equipped, and Willing, a young adults group focused on 18-39 years-old ministry. She recently became a first-time homeowner and a mother to a six-week-old puppy, M’Baku.
2019 Athletics Award – Mr. Niles U. Murphy ‘06
Niles is the youngest and best looking Murphy sibling and a lifer graduate of the class of 2006. While at Prep, Niles played four years of varsity basketball and football and three years of varsity baseball. Niles was also a member of a number of clubs and student council. Niles was All-State and All-Region in Football in 2004 and 2005 and holds school records in longest kickoff return, best average kickoff return and most defensive touchdowns. He was inducted into the Hilton Head Prep Athletic Hall of Fame in September 2018. He strongly contests his older brother Nick’s claims regarding scoring more points and touchdowns. Niles received a football scholarship to Dartmouth College where he was also a member of the indoor track team. Additionally, Niles served as social chair of his fraternity and joined a number of clubs. He currently lives in Washington DC and is an account director at Leading Authorities, a talent and creative agency. In this role he helps clients address marketing, communications and PR challenges.
2019 Educator Award – Ms. Peg Hamilton
It is hard to believe that this school year marks the 30th year of Peg being an official member of Prep’s faculty and staff. Peg and her family -- late husband Perry and their two sons Blake ‘98 and Britt ‘00 -- moved to the Island in July of 1986. Blake was enrolled in first grade at Prep and Britt became a student in Sea Pines Montessori’s Green Room.
From the start, Peg liked being involved at Prep. She was a volunteer on the marketing committee, served as room mother and room mother coordinator for the lower school, and Great Books teacher and coordinator along with being a “sub” in many grades. Once officially hired in April of 1989, Peg continued her duties as Director of Alumni Affairs and Special Events, enjoying bringing on campus Sea Pines Academy, May River Academy, and Prep alumni. She especially enjoyed coordinating Grandparents Day as her sons got to welcome Peg’s parents on campus, both of whom were especially supportive of the school.
Over the past 30 years, Peg has taught English in the upper school grades as well as serving as the College Counselor for ten years and working with the students as yearbook advisor for 14 years. She has also taught life skills and public speaking in the middle school grades. Peg has always enjoyed being part of Prep’s drama productions and she has danced and sung on various stages around the island, a holdover from her childhood love of performing. In addition, Peg has written the “backstory” of many productions both for Prep and for the island drama community. She also enjoys contributing to Prep’s “Perspectives” magazine.
Peg holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English/Stylistics from Cleveland State University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing/Poetry from Vermont College and is a published poet. She has taught English Composition and Writing at Cleveland State and Lakeland Community College (both in Ohio) as well as at TCL and USCB. Peg has also served the College Board as an Advanced Placement reader in both AP Literature and AP Language since the early nineties and for four years was named the Assistant Chief Reader for AP Language.
Of all her many and varied Prep duties and experiences, all of which she enjoys, she loves welcoming students at carpool every morning, something she has done since 1989.
2019 Arts Award – Mrs. Nicole Seitz ‘90
Nicole Seitz ‘90 is the author of seven celebrated novels -- The Cage-maker, Beyond Molasses Creek, The Inheritance of Beauty, Saving Cicadas, A Hundred Years of Happiness, Trouble the Water, and The Spirit of Sweetgrass. She is the co-editor of Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy with Pat Conroy Literary Center Executive Director, Jonathan Haupt. A visual artist as well, Nicole recently exhibited her 68 sketches of authors in Our Prince of Scribes at the PCLC in Beaufort. Nicole also edited a flood relief anthology, When You Pass Through Waters: Words of Hope and Healing from Your Favorite Authors that included writings from Hilton Head Prep teacher Dr. Michael Bassett ‘92 and his father, former Prep teacher, Dr. Fred Bassett.
Nicole moved to Hilton Head Island in 1975 and graduated as salutatorian from Hilton Head Prep in 1990. Entering Sea Pines Academy in the sixth grade, Nicole remembers voting for the colors and mascot of the new school created by a merger with May River Academy, Hilton Head Prep. She, of course, voted for the Dolphins! Nicole describes her time at Prep as a safe place to dream and excel supported by talented and dedicated faculty. Some memorable highlights were: listening to the B-52s in AP Art with the queen of cool, Mrs. Kathryn Ramseur; visiting the beaches and tagging fruit flies in biology with the legendary Mrs. Sue West; learning to "focus, Nicole, focus" while reading Shakespeare with Dr. Fred Bassett; participating in Model UN and math competitions; serving as student body vice-president and captain of the volleyball team; and relaxing with her friends in the senior "lounge."
Nicole holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.F.A. in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design. Nicole got her start in writing and illustration as a freelancer for The Island Packet and The Bluffton Packet and since then has published numerous non-fiction essays and articles for newspapers and magazines. As well, she's illustrated the covers and interiors of several of her books. As a speaker since 2008, she has presented to a multitude of groups, clubs, and festivals, gave the baccalaureate speech for the College of Charleston and recently delivered the commencement speech at Hilton Head Prep's graduation. Nicole lives with her husband Brian and two teen aged children in Mount Pleasant, SC, where she works in communications and teaches visual art.
2019 Leader/Friend of Prep Award – Mr. James MacLeod
Mr. MacLeod is the Non-Executive Chairman of CoastalSouth, Inc. and previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of CoastalSouth and as the President and Chief Operating Officer of CoastalStates Bank. Mr. MacLeod serves on the Board of Directors of CoastalSouth, Inc., CoastalStates Bank, and CoastalStates Mortgage, Inc. Before joining CoastalSouth, Mr. MacLeod worked for Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation for 22 years, where he served as Executive Vice President in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mr. MacLeod is Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sykes Enterprises, Inc. (SYKE) Mr. MacLeod is a trustee of the Allianz GI Funds and is Chairman of the Performance Committee. Mr. MacLeod is a trustee of The University of Tampa, where he serves as Vice Chairman of the Board, is on the Executive Committee, and is Chairman of the Development Committee. Mr. MacLeod is a Trustee of the MUSC Foundation - Chair of the Finance Committee and Member of the Executive Committee.
Jim became involved at Hilton Head Prep in 2005 when board member, Joni Rosser, approached him about joining the Board. As a product of private secondary education and a local business person, he agreed and rose through the chairs to become Board Chairman in 2008. These were challenging years for Prep as the island felt the effects of the financial crisis and he will be forever grateful to his fellow trustees, teachers, parents and most importantly Peter Cooper, who Jim had the opportunity to hire twice as Head Master. The island deserves a school like Hilton Head Prep and the role it plays in making Hilton Head a great place for families to work and live. His grandson, Spencer, is a member of Prep’s class of 2021. In addition to Prep, Jim is involved as Vice Chair of the Board at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, the Mitchellville Project, and the Heritage Library.
Mr. MacLeod holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Tampa, a Masters in City Planning from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Master’s of Science in Real Estate and Urban Affairs from Georgia State University.