Distinguished Citizens Awards

The Hilton Head Preparatory School’s Distinguished Citizens Awards (DCA) honors distinguished citizens and members of the Prep community for their leadership and commitment to Hilton Head Preparatory School and the greater Hilton Head Island community.
Candidates for the DCA shall be former Hilton Head Preparatory School, May River Academy, or Sea Pines Academy students, former or present board members, former or present faculty/staff members, former or present coaches, parents, past parents, community leaders, and other individuals who have met the requirements found below. In order to be considered for an award, a detailed statement describing how the nominee has contributed to Prep’s outstanding tradition of educational, artistic, and/or athletic excellence must be submitted to Prep’s Development Office at Hilton Head Preparatory School, Attn: Leslie Hart, 8 Fox Grape Road, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, 29928.

Nominees for Prep’s DCA shall be selected based upon the following criteria:

Leader/Friend of Prep: A committed leader of the Prep Community such as a former or present board member who has served to advance the ideals, mission, vision, and traditions of Prep and has greatly contributed to the school in a philanthropic manner while advancing Prep’s mission.

Parent Volunteer: A dedicated parent of a current student (or of an alumnus/alumna) who has been involved with many school committees or activities and who has significantly contributed to the quality of the Prep community. This recipient is a person who has been a loyal and devoted supporter (and/or volunteer) of Prep activities.

Alumni: A committed Hilton Head Preparatory School alumnus/alumna leader who has made significant contributions to Hilton Head Prep and/or the greater society while attending Prep and continuing post-graduation. The nominee must be a graduate of at least ten (10) years.

Educator: A nominee must be either a former or present coach, administrator, and faculty or staff member who has distinguished himself or herself by demonstrating exceptional leadership, commitment, character, and achievement during his or her tenure at Prep and has significantly contributed to the quality of education and/or athletics at Prep.

For more information please feel free to contact Margot Brown, Director of Development and Finance, at 843-715-8506 or Leslie Hart, Director of the Annual Fund & Special Events, at 843-715-8536.

Announcing Our 2025 Honorees

Pam Jones was chosen to receive the Leader/Friend of Prep Award for her dedication promoting the ideals, mission, vision, and traditions of Prep while also greatly contributing to the school in a philanthropic manner while advancing Prep’s mission.

Alicia Daly was chosen to receive the Parent Volunteer Award as a dedicated parent and former member of Prep's Parents Association, Festival of Trees, and Jubilee committees. Dawn has significantly contributed to the quality of the Prep community as a loyal and devoted supporter of Prep activities.

Former faculty member, Marilyn Calore, was chosen to receive the Educator Award by demonstrating exceptional leadership, commitment, character, and achievement during her tenure at Prep. She has significantly contributed to the quality of education at Prep inspiring hundreds of students.

Rob Hattler '91 was chosen to receive the Alumni Award as a committed alumnus who has made significant contributions to Hilton Head Prep and the greater society while attending Prep and continuing post-graduation.

Past & Present DCA Honorees

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  • Prep's 2017 Distinguished Citizens Awards Honorees

    2017 Parent Volunteer Award - Dennis Puckey

    Dennis has been involved as a volunteer in just about every facet of Hilton Head Prep. From the time his children enrolled at Prep, Dennis jumped in with both feet which means he has been volunteering at Prep for over 13 years. Dennis has been the President of the Parents Association for five years and he has chaired Jubilee seven times - and had his hand in many more – including the most successful Jubilee in recent memory, the Silver Spur Rodeo. He led the movement to bring back the Festival of Trees after a long absence and helped create the Back to School Bash. He was Booster Club secretary, on the Tradition of Excellence Capital Campaign Fundraising Committee, on the Headmaster Search Committee, on the 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee, on the Coastal Clean Water Festival Committee, and runs the concession stand for the Arts Guild. He is the first person people call when they need food for an event, a rental house for a teacher, a driver for a field trip, welcoming new parents, manning an event table, and drumming up support for Prep in every way imaginable. Dennis’ love for Prep and enthusiasm for helping the school community is immeasurable.
    2017 Alumni Award - Andrew Hazel ‘06

    A lifer at Hilton Head Prep, Andrew credits much of his success to his foundation provided during those 12 years. The lessons he learned in the classroom and as a four-year letterman on the Tennis and Cross Country teams not only instilled a love of Prep in his life, but taught him the importance of giving back to the community. Andrew is a co-owner of Cranford & Sons LLC and Swampfire LLC and is the manager of the national touring act, Cranford Hollow. When he moved back to Hilton Head Island after studying engineering at Maryville College, Andrew began giving back to Hilton Head Prep. He was a member of the Hilton Head Prep Alumni Association Board, became involved in many Prep activities, and wears a Prep logo on his shirt proudly around the Island. He and the members of Cranford Hollow have donated a free concert to the Jubilee auction six times, played at the Back to School Bash, and played along with students at the Prep Strings Concert. He is involved in many non-profit organizations on the Island including NAMI, Friends of Caroline Hospice, Hilton Head Humane Association, and The Island Rec Center. Most recently, he helped raise money for Hurricane Matthew disaster relief.

    2017 Alumni Award - Eric Reid ‘06

    Eric joined the Hilton Head Prep family in 2002 as a freshman when his family moved to the island from the Detroit area. He played on the varsity football and golf teams, and in addition to playing the violin with Ms. Klimoff’s music ensembles, played in the extracurricular Hilton Head Island Youth Orchestra.

    After graduating from Prep in 2006 he attended Auburn University where he majored in history, a subject that had always interested him, but one he had developed an even greater love for through his Prep education. After pursuing musical interests in college which included touring the southeast with the Weston Burt Band, Eric returned to the Island permanently in the summer of 2011 and began playing his violin at acoustic dinner shows with singer and guitarist John Cranford. By September of that year, Cranford Hollow had become a full-time project. Now, five years later, the band has played over a thousand shows in 25 states all across the country. Eric and his follow band members have donated a free concert to Prep’s Jubilee six times, played at the Back to School Bash and alongside students at Prep strings concerts. Eric and Cranford Hollow have supported many island community events, most recently playing concerts to raise money for Hurricane Matthew disaster relief.

    2017 Athletics Award - Bailey M. Puntereri ‘97

    The winner of the Headmaster’s Award during his senior year at Hilton Head Prep, Bailey excelled in the classroom and on the athletic field. He was the student council president, on the honor council, president of four different clubs, and captain of the boys varsity football, basketball, and soccer teams. He was named SCISA All State for football and soccer as well as both sports “Player of the Year” his senior year. After Prep, Bailey graduated from the University of Virginia, where he walked on to the football team as tailback his first year. He then started in real estate at The Greenbrier Sporting Club in West Virginia, moving to New York with Colliers International. In 2007, he was recruited by the private equity firm Blackstone, moving him and his wife, Maria, to London, UK, where they lived for seven years, and where their children, Rosie and Ford, were born. While in London, Bailey picked-up the sport of cricket, and, by happenstance, played in the prestigious Eaton vs. Harrow “First XIs” alumni all-star Cricket Match, where he was honored with the “Man of the Match” award. He and his family returned to New York in 2015, where Bailey became a Director with the Park Hill Group of PJT Partners, the investment advisory group that was spun out of Blackstone. He currently lives in Greenwich, CT, where his wife teaches at, and children attend, Greenwich Country Day School. Bailey is a member of Prep’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

    2017 Athletics Award - Hadley Puntereri Miller ‘00

    Hadley was a stellar student and athlete during her years as Prep. She won multiple academic awards including the Charles A. Scarminach award, the school’s highest award. She was student council president, on the honor council, co-editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, a Wendy’s High School Heisman State Finalist, and captain of the varsity girls tennis, basketball, and soccer teams. She was all-state and all-conference in soccer and basketball and was region “Player of the Year” her junior and senior year in soccer where she led the soccer team to three state championships and two runners-up in the six years she played soccer. Her basketball team also won three state championships during her tenure. After graduating from the University of Virginia, where she coached a girls youth soccer team, Hadley moved to Atlanta to work with Turner Entertainment as the Digital Media Project Manager for the Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. She played competitive tennis with ALTA, and received certification as a Pilates instructor. She moved to New York in 2012, working at MTV as Operations Manager of their Digital Platforms group, as well as teaching Pilates at Equinox. In 2013, she began at Christie’s, Inc., the international art auction firm, and is currently Vice President, Head of Digital Product Development. She lives in Scarsdale, NY, with her husband Doug. Hadley is a member of Prep’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

    2017 Athletics Award - Cooper Puntereri Collier ‘02

    Cooper was the recipient of many accolades as a student athlete at Hilton Head Prep. She received the Charles A. Scarminach Award, the school’s highest award, was the chairman of the honor council, student council president, a member of the women’s a cappella chorus, a Wendy’s High School Heisman State Finalist, and captain of the girls varsity tennis, basketball, and soccer teams. During her tenure at Hilton Head Prep, she led her teams to a total of seven state championships and three runners-up. After Prep, Cooper went to the University of Virginia, where she coached a youth soccer team, and was a featured soloist with “The Virginia Belles,” an a cappella singing group. Upon graduation in 2006, she remained in Charlottesville working as Merchandising and Marketing Coordinator for Caspari, Inc., before moving to San Francisco in 2009 to work for the Pottery Barn Product Development Division of Williams-Sonoma. After taking Graphic Design at the University of California, Berkeley, she worked with the Harland Clarke Company to help develop a new paper goods division. Cooper moved to Charleston, SC, in 2014, and started the eponymous Collier Rose Ink company, a producer of luxury fabric, wallpaper and home accessories, as well as continuing to play competitive tennis. She and her husband Nate, Culinary Brand Manager at the French cookware company, Le Creuset, have two daughters, Lilly and Eloise. Cooper is a member of Prep’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

    2017 Educator Award - Richard A. Basirico

    Rich began his Prep career as Athletic Director and Head Basketball and Baseball Coach at May River Academy in 1979. Since that time, Rich has distinguished himself by demonstrating exceptional leadership, commitment, character, and achievement and has significantly contributed to the quality of education and athletics at Prep. After the merger of May River Academy and Sea Pines Academy, Rich continued as Head Basketball Coach and Athletic Director at the newly formed Hilton Head Prep. Over the years he has been asked to step into many administrative positions and served as the Director of Student Activities, Head of the Middle School, and Head of the Upper School before accepting the job of Athletic Director once again in 2011. As Head Varsity Basketball Coach for 26 years, Rich took his team to 14 Conference Championships and five State Championships and was named SCISA Coach of the Year 12 times. He was inducted into the Hilton Head Prep Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. But more importantly, Rich molded young men with his lesson on sportsmanship, integrity, and hard work. Rich is the parent of three Hilton Head Prep lifers, grandfather of three, and has been married to Karen for 44 years.

    2017 Leader/Friend of Prep Award - Charles A. Scarminach

    Chuck’s love for Hilton Head Prep began even before his children attended the school. As a member of the Board of Trustees for 13 years – and Chairman for 10 years – Chuck was instrumental in advancing the ideals, mission, vision, and traditions of Prep. Chuck negotiated the merger of Sea Pines Academy and May River Academy in 1985 and also negotiated the sale of the May River Campus to provide much needed debt funding for Hilton Head Prep. He presided over the school during a series of economic downturns which resulted in significant financial stress for the school and worked with the board to create fundraising programs which kept the school from closing. He has assisted with transactions with CSA, helped rebuild the baseball field and program and continues to support Prep in many ways. He served on the Prep Athletic Hall of Fame committee for more than 10 years and continues to advise Prep on legal matters. You will still see him on the sidelines of a Prep football game. A practicing attorney on the island since 1973, Chuck was a pioneer who helped shape modern-day Hilton Head Island and with it Hilton Head Prep. He understands this community better than anyone, especially why a strong private school is important. Chuck is the parent of five lifers and had a child at Prep for 27 consecutive years.
  • Prep's 2018 Distinguished Citizens Awards Honorees

    2018 Parent Volunteer Award - Mrs. Carol Schembra

    Carol’s passion for volunteerism began early at Hilton Head Prep. She was fortunate to have the opportunity to help any way she could in lending a helping hand, making a small impact working with parents and students, and instilling the importance of giving back. Having been raised in a volunteer family, she continued her journey and involvement in volunteer opportunities at Prep. Surrounding herself with incredible, like-minded parents who were so giving of their time, enthusiasm and of course motivation, they set out on a 12-year mission to be ready

    when the call came through and be prepared to go when asked to do a project. They may have taken “getting involved” to a new level during those years. Beginning with the “Just Stay No” program in Prep’s Lower School with an amazing parent group of volunteers, Carol and her very dear friends also co-chaired the Festival of Trees for several years at the Hyatt Hotel. She became Co-Coordinator, Middle School Network; President, Parent’s Association; Ex-Officio, Parent’s Association Board of Trustees; Secretary, Board of Trustees; several Board committees including Building and Grounds, Expansion to Bluffton, Marketing Committee, Preferred Dress Code and Head of School Search. The most rewarding volunteer effort was setting a tone with the students in helping to make a difference in this world while coordinating the Relay for Life/American Cancer Society for Hilton Head Prep and the All-Schools Committee throughout the Island. Selflessly, this gave her the opportunity to work with her son Christopher, who today continues his passion to give back to his community helping a cause….one person at a time, and for that she is grateful. She has been married to her husband Phil for nearly 40 years and Christopher, who resides in New York City is a lifer and graduate of the Class of 2006. We truly have a gem in Hilton Head Prep having a positive impact on our students, challenging their minds and providing them with the opportunity to “be the best they can be”.

    2018 Alumni Awards - Mr. Charles Fraser ’77 (Posthumously) and Mrs. Linda S. Fraser ’77
    Charlie and Linda both graduated from Sea Pines Academy in 1977. They went on to graduate from the University of South Carolina School of Business and moved back to Hilton Head Island and married after graduation. Charlie worked in real estate while Linda had several successful retail stores in Charleston and Hilton

    Head Island. After the birth of their two children, Charles Elliott ‘05 and Carolyn Carson ‘08, Linda sold her store and joined her father in the investment business. She is currently a Vice President, Investment Advisor with Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. Both Charlie and Linda were members of the Alumni Association Board where Linda remains a member today. Both Elliott and Carson are lifers at Hilton Head Prep where Linda and Charlie were active volunteers and supporters when their children were students. Linda was a room mother and helped run the Heritage booth and both worked on the planning committee for the Jim Ferree Golf Outing for many years. As members of the successful “Tradition of Excellence” capital campaign committee that raised money for the Joseph B. Fraser, Jr. Field House (named for Charlie’s father) they were able to leave their mark on the future of Hilton Head Prep. Sadly Charlie passed away in March of 2016. The bell tower in the breezeway of Hilton Head Prep is named in Charlie’s honor. Linda continues to be an advocate and supporter for Prep alumni, students, faculty, and staff.
    2018 Athletics Award - Mr. Franklin P. Hodge III, ’87

    Perry started his journey through Hilton Head Prep in kindergarten at May River Academy and was part of the second graduating class from Hilton Head Prep in 1987. While at Prep, Perry excelled in three sports. He was an All-State Medalist in golf, an All-State Punter and Quarterback in Football and All-State in Basketball. During Perry’s senior year, he was captain of the basketball and football teams, winner of the Golden Helmet Award and President of his class. Perry was selected to play for South Carolina in the South Carolina v. Georgia games in both football and basketball. He is a member of Hilton Head Prep’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Perry attended Villanova University on a full athletic scholarship and played four years of football before graduating in 1991. Later, Perry received his MBA from Columbia University. Perry spent 18 years as an institutional sales trader on Wall Street but recently transitioned to a career in textiles, leading business development for the Aviation division at Ultrafabrics. He also is the former Warden at Church of the Epiphany in NYC and on the Board of Trustees for the Church of the Epiphany Day School. Perry spends his time away from work enjoying life on Lake Mahopac with his wife Janna and his two children, PJ and Ryan.

    2018 Educator Award - Kathryn Ramseur-Riley

    Kathryn vividly remembers her interview with Sea Pines Academy’s headmaster in 1984. He was determined to hire someone with an MFA. Hers was only three days old. Soon this new hire had the good fortune of being surrounded by a talented group of colleagues who took her under their wings. Within two years of joining the faculty, Kathryn and beloved Prep icon Sue West established Prep’s Honor Code system. Kathryn has served as an Honor Council Faculty advisor ever since. She says that “observing the wisdom and compassion with which students counsel their peers is the most rewarding part of working with the Honor Council.” Kathryn’s work with students in and out of the classroom has sustained and inspired her. She helps kids realize not only their potential to improve, but also to create. Kathryn intensely believes that everyone can make art, and generations of students can attest that “Art Mama” taught them to embrace their inner artist. Kathryn and colleague Freddie Carson have spent decades building a safe haven for kids to confidently take risks in their artistic endeavors. They have launched countless young artists who grew into professionals. And while those alumni make their mark, Prep’s art students continue to dominate local and state competitions. In 1988 Kathryn established the Advanced Placement drawing program, and soon became the department chair. Kathryn was honored to be named Prep’s Inaugural Master Teacher in 2000. Then in 2013, the popular AP photography program began under her direction.

    As a professional artist, Kathryn’s work features pastel portraits and whimsical drawings that remind us to take life less seriously. She is also a prolific photographer. Kathryn is married to Michael Riley and they are the parents of 4-legged fur babies Brooks and Charlotte-Ruby.

    2018 Arts Award - Ms. Meredith C. Inglesby ’93

    Meredith entered Sea Pines Academy in 1st grade and graduated from Hilton Head Prep in 1993. A vivacious, active child, Meredith began to settle down and thrive at Hilton Head Prep, after much patient guidance from teachers and her parents, Bill and Ellery Inglesby. She was very active in philanthropic clubs, like ZONTA and athletics. She joined the Varsity volleyball team in 8th grade and became Captain her Junior year. She was also Captain of the softball team and had a short stint as a cheerleader.

    Through high school, her artistic nature began to take precedence over athletics and she was persuaded to perform in school musicals. She played roles in Grease, Guys and Dolls, and Fame, among others. She began to balance academics, athletics, and performing in local Hilton Head productions, such as, Fiddler on the Roof. Prep faculty, including fellow honoree, Kathryn Ramseur-Riley and the late Sue West, encouraged her to pursue performing arts at the university level. She attended Rollins College, graduating with a BFA in Art History, and a Minor in Theatre. After moving to New York City in 1998, and much “dues paid” pursuing acting, she found success on Broadway. Meredith has performed in a total of four Disney Theatrical productions, both on Broadway, and in National Tours. She was a member of the original Broadway cast of The Little Mermaid, and made her Broadway debut as the French Maid, turned feather duster, Babette, in Beauty and the Beast. Prior to Broadway, she toured with Disney’s On the Record, which was a rousing revue of some of Disney’s greatest songs ever written, and can be heard on the original soundtrack. She has toured America and Canada with Melissa Gilbert in Little House on the Prairie the Musical, and in Newsies, with her husband, Steve Blanchard and daughter, Wren. On film and TV, Meredith appeared in Newsies: The Broadway Musical, and Law and Order. She is currently playing Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, Off Broadway. Meredith looks forward to supporting and guiding the next generation of artists. She continues to grow as an artist and is deeply grateful for how Hilton Head Prep molded and supported her talents and pursuits.

    2018 Leader/Friend of Prep Award - Mr. James N. Richardson, Jr. and Mrs. Leslie Richardson

    Leslie and James N. (JR) Richardson, Jr. are the proud parents of three Hilton Head Prep graduates. James (26) works in New York with Paulson & Company and will attend UNC’s Keenan Flagler MBA school in the fall, Collins (24) a graduate of Sewanee, University of the South received his Masters in Real Estate Development from Clemson, and Forest (21) graduates from Wake Forest University in May and will attend WFU Masters in Business Analytics program in the fall. Leslie and JR are both passionate supporters of Hilton Head Prep and are appreciative of the education their children received which has prepared them to excel in their lives. JR served on the Board at Prep for 19 years, achieving the title Chairman Emeritus while overseeing construction on the Joseph B. Fraser, Jr. Field House. During this same period, Leslie was highly active in Prep’s Parents’ Association, served as room mother for numerous years, volunteered as Varsity Cheerleading Coach for five years and was an ever-energetic fundraiser for the school. JR Richardson is Chairman and CEO of the Richardson Group whose holdings include Coligny Plaza, Windmill Harbour Company, the South Carolina Yacht Club, Windmill Harbour Real Estate, Local Pie and FISH. His singular impact on our area is evident in two of his beautiful developments, Westbury Park and Windmill Harbour, home to the South Carolina Yacht Club. One of the Founders of CoastalStates Bank, he has served on the institution’s Board of Directors since 2004. This is all in addition to his numerous philanthropic ventures, serving on the boards of a multitude of nonprofits dedicated to enhancing the quality of life on Hilton Head Island and beyond. From serving as Chairman of the Hilton Head Island Community Foundation to ensuring world-class healthcare as a member of Medical University of South Carolina Foundation Board to elevating our region’s artistic profile as a board member for Spoleto USA, he has made it his mission to give back.
    Leslie Barry Richardson moved to Hilton Head Island in April 1989 and has proven to be an invaluable asset and cheerleader to the community through her tireless volunteerism and spirit. When she’s not overseeing a special project or helping market family business ventures, you’ll find her giving her time freely to a host of nonprofits, including the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and Coastal Discovery Museum Board of Directors, the Greater Island Council, Circle to Circle, the Hilton Head Island Entry Project, the St. Luke’s Foundation, the Regional Board for Y.P.O. Gold and more. For her service, she’s been recognized with everything from a “Volunteer of the Decade” award from the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina to “Zonta Woman of the Year” in 2016.
  • Prep's 2019 Distinguished Citizens Awards Honorees

    2019 Parent Volunteer Award – Mr. and Mrs. Maynard Barker

    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-makerBeyond Molasses CreekThe Inheritance of BeautySaving CicadasA 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.
  • Prep's 2020 Distinguished Citizens Awards Honorees

    2020 Parent Volunteer Award - Mr. Gary Joyner

    Gary Joyner is the parent of Mackenzie Joyner, ’20. He was a National Account Executive for the chemical distribution company, Brenntag, before retiring in 2012. Gary serves on the Board of Directors for the Primary Ciliary Disorder (PCD) Foundation, where he holds the title of Chairman Emeritus. This is a cause he holds near to his heart as his daughter, Mackenzie, has this rare lung condition. Gary has been very active as a parent volunteer over the nine years that Mackenzie has been a student. Among the roles Gary has been involved with are spending several years as the scorekeeper for the Girls’ Junior High and Girls’ Varsity Basketball teams. He was involved with Prep’s Parents Association for two (2) years, serving as Treasurer for a year, Board of the Booster Club for three years where he was President for 2 years, and served for five (5) years as the Chair or Co-Chair of Hilton Head Prep’s concession booth at the RBC Heritage golf tournament. Gary has also served on the Hilton Head Prep Board of Trustees since 2015, currently serving as Secretary of the Board and Chairman of the Board’s Marketing committee. Gary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina. Gary says his most important accomplishments are being Mackenzie’s dad and husband to his beautiful wife, Kathy.

    2020 Alumni Award - Dr. Brett Cargill '87

    Dr. Brett Cargill, Hilton Head Prep Class of 1987, was born in Winchester, Indiana in 1968 and moved to Hilton Head Island in 1981. Brett is a member of Hilton Head Prep’s second graduating class after the merger of May River and Sea Pines Academies. Brett attended all three schools at one time or another over his secondary school career. Brett played six sports while a student – football, basketball, golf, baseball, track and soccer – always pitching in when the school needed him. He was a member of the National Honor Society, the weight-lifting club, student council and the lifetime sports club. He was also the student body president during his senior year. After Prep, Dr. Cargill received his BS in Biology from the University of South Carolina and then attended the University of South Carolina School of Medicine where he received his medical degree. Dr. Cargill completed his residency in emergency medicine at Palmetto Richland Hospital and is currently a Board Certified Emergency Physician and served as Chief of Staff at Hilton Head Hospital from 2017 to 2018. Brett is married to Monica Davis and has three children, Michael, Hanna and Davis who is in the 6th grade at Hilton Head Prep.

    2020 Educator Award - Mrs. Tina Webb-Browning

    Tina Webb-Browning graduated from Grove City College in Pennsylvania, in 1982 with a B.S. in Chemistry. She moved from her home in Richfield, Ohio, to Hilton Head Island, SC, and began teaching. In 1998 joined the Prep Faculty as a chemistry and physics teacher and served as Science Department Chair. In addition to teaching chemistry and physics, Mrs. Webb-Browning has worked with Prep’s Admissions and Intensive English Programs. She has served as faculty advisor to Prep’s Honor Council and Rocketry Team. She has also facilitated Prep’s involvement with the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Junior Leadership Program. Tina enjoys managing the scoreboard for Prep’s volleyball games and keeping the clock during basketball season. She has also served the College Board as an Advanced Placement Chemistry reader. Tina continues to work as a room supervisor for SAT and ACT Testing. Tina has also completed coursework to allow her to teach Advanced Placement & International Diploma Programs in Baccalaureate Chemistry and Physics. Tina and her husband Chuck are members of the St. Andrew By-The-Sea United Methodist Church – Bluffton Campus where Tina is a member of the Scholarship Committee. Tina’s love for science extends well beyond the walls of Prep. She was a founding member of the Sea Island Regional Science Fair and remained active on their board through 2018. She also served on the South Carolina Junior Academy of Science Board. In addition, Tina has enjoyed a long history with the International Science and Engineering Fair. Tina began taking students to this competition in 1986 and served as chair of the Advisory Council. Most recently, Mrs. Webb-Browning was appointed co-chair of the Display and Safety Committee, and she continues to manage and oversee the display and safety rules associated with exhibition of over 1,800 student projects from 80 countries throughout the world. She has served on the executive committee since 2011. Tina is proud to serve as Head of Upper School for Hilton Head Prep. Tina is the wife of Prep’s Chef Chuck Browning, mom to Chelsey Webb, ’07 and Joe Webb, ’09 and Mimi T to Sidney, 5, and Anthony, 3.

    2020 Leader/Friend of Prep Award - Ms. Lindsay Bunting

    During the past decade, Lindsay Bunting has been committed to enriching the lives of Lower School students by leading with a giving heart. Lindsay showed an unwavering selflessness in 2010 when she helped develop Lower School’s Nancy Bunting ‘05 Enrichment Experience program and was instrumental in funding the program through donations raised through her annual Nancy Bunting Sunrise Beach Walk. Together with the educational specialists at Coastal Discovery Museum this program gives students in JK-5th grade the opportunity to explore, discover and learn through several excursions each school year. These experiences are designed for students to build upon their understanding of our community’s history, culture, and diverse ecosystems year after year. Lower school students have enthusiastically developed an appreciation and sense of responsibility for protecting our environment. Lindsay has also been instrumental in the development of Lower School’s Rotary Early Act Club. She has been a valued Rotary Advisor since the program’s inaugural year in 2013. Club members participate in service learning projects which benefit not only Prep but local and global communities. Lindsay has also established a Nancy Bunting Scholarship for eligible Prep students. Lindsay has been a Hilton Head Island resident since 1987 and a Realtor with Sea Pines Real Estate for over 30 years. She is parent to two Prep Lifers, Nancy ’05 and Charlie ’13.
  • Prep's 2021 Distinguished Citizens Awards Honorees

    2021 Parent Volunteer Award - Joni Rosser
    The Rosser family joined the Hilton Head Prep community in 1993 when they enrolled their daughter, Carly '05, in the first grade. From the beginning, Joni Rosser became involved by volunteering in many aspects of school life. In 1997 they enrolled their son, Dylan '09, and her commitment only increased. After being room mom, team mom, and volunteering at Jubilee and Festival of Trees she was the obvious choice for the position of President of the Parents Association where she led an enthusiastic and hard working group of parents for two years.  Joni joined the Hilton Head Preparatory School Board of Trustees in 2001 and served for seven years.  She was the head of the Trustees Committee and led two headmaster searches. She continues to support Hilton Head Prep by attending events and being a local advocate for the school. Joni is very proud of the fact that she led the effort to name the school's annual student art purchase award in the name of long time Prep faculty member Frederica Carson.
    Joni is originally from Baltimore, MD and graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She moved to Hilton Head Island in 1977 and is the owner of The Back Door in Sea Pines Center. She is married to local architect, Terry Rosser, and is the mother of two Hilton Head Prep lifers, Carly Rosser Moore '05 and Dylan Rosser '09.

    2021 Alumni Award - Tom Cornelia '77
    Tom was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1959.  His parents Bill, Lois, and three siblings vacationed on Hilton Head Island from 1966 through 1971, at which time the family moved permanently to Sea Pines.   As the youngest child, Tom enrolled in the 7th grade at Sea Pines Academy.  The school offered K-8 before expanding into the building in use today.  
    Tom met Debbie Eakin in the 10th grade.  Following graduation, Debbie earned a degree in Economics at Hollins College.  Married in 1987, they have three children; Spencer, Hannah and Griffin.
    Golf became his primary sport and he enjoyed a competitive environment fueled by SPA Coach Brig. General John Dobson and his great teammates.  The team won back-to-back SC Independent School State Championships.  Along with teammates Drew Butler and John Spelman, Tom is a member of the Hilton Head Prep Athletic Hall of Fame.   Tom, Drew, and John all earned athletic scholarships to the University of Texas, South Florida, and North Carolina respectively.
    Tom lettered four years at University of Texas and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Finance.  Upon graduation, Tom was a golf professional on HHI earning the status of Class A-1 in the PGA of America.  As an amateur, he was the 1979 Carolinas Amateur Champion.
    In 1986, Tom moved to Atlanta and began a career in the financial service industry as a representative for Cigna Financial Services.  In 1994, Tom transferred to Trust Company Bank as an investment officer.  In 2006, Tom and Debbie moved to Lake Oconee where Tom joined a satellite office of Morgan Stanley where he remains today as a Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager.  Tom is a Certified Financial Planner.  
    Tom is a 15 year Rotarian, a past President and two-time Club Rotarian of the Year and a member of the Lake Oconee Community Church.

    2021 Educator Award - Ann Petrie
    Ann Petrie headed south with her family to Hilton Head Island in 1982 from Ohio.  She joined the faculty at May River Academy, teaching first grade.  The merge between May River Academy and Sea Pines Academy brought her to Hilton Head Prep as a first grade teacher.  During this time she also worked as a part time consultant for Open Court Publishing Company doing teacher training.  In 1994 she temporarily left Prep for six years to take a first grade position at Saint Michael’s Independent School in Stuart, Florida.  In 2000 she returned to Hilton Head Prep.  Ann attributes her love of teaching and her longevity in the profession to always having a good support system of teaching partners, administrators, staff personnel, and of course the students.  Ann has two children, Lance ‘90 and Michelle, who attended Hilton Head Prep.  She will always consider Prep her second family.

    2021 Leader/Friend of Prep Award - Eric Wojcikiewicz & Jamie Berndt
    Jamie Berndt and Eric Wojcikiewicz moved to Hilton Head Island from the Chicago area in 2011 and enrolled their two youngest children, Marisa '14 and Keira '18, at Hilton Head Prep.  Seen immediately as strong supporters in all aspects of the school, they were asked to Chair the Coastal Clean Water Festival sponsored by Hilton Head Prep in 2012. Fervent supporters of the arts and athletics, Jamie was elected President of the Arts Guild in 2012 and served until 2017. At the same time Eric was elected the President of the Booster Club in 2012 and served for six years. In 2013 Eric joined the Hilton Head Preparatory School Board of Trustees where he has served on all board committees, as Chair of the Marketing Committee and as Board Chair for the last six years. Their generosity and vision for Prep has influenced all aspects of the school for the better.
    Jamie earned her B.A. in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987 and her M.A. in Arts & Liberal Studies from North Central College in 1998.  Jamie spent years volunteering for school, church, and community organizations, and has worked as a teacher of pre-college and college-level writing classes, and for the last nine years as a yoga instructor.  In addition to Jamie’s work with the Hilton Head Prep Arts Guild, she has served on the board of Historic Mitchellville Freedom Park since 2016.
    Eric graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988 with a BA in Physics and Mathematics. He worked for 23 years as a trader in Chicago before moving to Hilton Head Island. He co-founded DBS Partners LP and traded on the CBOT, CME and CBOE. He is also co-founder of Medstrat, a software company serving the orthopedics industry. Eric has served on the Investment Advisory Board of Resource Land Holdings LLC. He is currently a member of the Stewardship Circle of the UUSC, and through this organization became involved in building rural schools in Haiti.
    In 2003, Eric and Jamie were among the co-founders of the Daniel M. Kerrane Jr. Foundation, which provided full-cost scholarships for Chicago Public School graduates to attend community college. This initiative grew over the years, becoming The Illinois Education Foundation, and then One Million Degrees. They have always been active in civic life, and believe each must do their utmost to make communities fair, safe, and just for all community members.
    Eric loves to sail (Jamie likes it well enough), and they look forward to getting back to travel. Their greatest pride and joy is their four children, Ian, Ali, Marisa ’14, Keira ’18, daughter-in-law, Mary, and grandpets Fiona, Talia, Pringle, Kell, Cyri, Bagel, and Lada.

  • Prep's 2022 Distinguished Citizens Awards Honorees

  • Prep's 2023 Distinguished Citizens Awards Honorees

  • Prep's 2024 Distinguished Citizens Awards Honorees

    Anne Middleton was chosen to receive the Leader/Friend of Prep Award for her dedication promoting the ideals, mission, vision, and traditions of Prep while also greatly contributing to the school in a philanthropic manner while advancing Prep’s mission.

    Dawn Johnson was chosen to receive the Parent Volunteer Award as a dedicated parent and former member of Prep's Parents Association, Festival of Trees, and Jubilee committees. Dawn has significantly contributed to the quality of the Prep community as a loyal and devoted supporter of Prep activities.

    Prep faculty member, Jennifer Cody Murphy, was chosen to receive the Educator Award by demonstrating exceptional leadership, commitment, character, and achievement during her tenure at Prep. She has significantly contributed to the quality of education at Prep inspiring hundreds of students.

    Catherine Scarminach Lewallen '95 was chosen to receive the Alumni Award as a committed alumnus who has made significant contributions to Hilton Head Prep and the greater society while attending Prep and continuing post-graduation.