A Charter School for Children With Reading Differences

History & Mission

The Gates School, a public charter school serving grades 1-5, opened their doors in August 2021 after years of planning by dedicated parents and community members. The goal was to bring an educational institution specifically designed for dyslexic learners to the Lowcountry. Orton-Gillingham instruction and a multi-sensory educational model is instituted throughout the classrooms providing the pathway for the success of our students.

Gates School aims to unlock the potential of each student through the use of innovative teaching approaches while adhering to all state curriculum and standards. Additionally, Gates aspires to serve as a regional model that is a beacon to educators and parents as to what can be accomplished through dedication, service, and a supportive educational foundation.

Meet Our Faculty & Staff


Allison Little

2nd Grade

Angie Odachowski

Speech Therapist

Anne Weston Walker

Curriculum Director

 Ashley Brooks

Executive Director

Betsy Ward

1st Grade

Brandy Carlton

5th Grade

Caroline Grove

3rd Grade

Gillain Maro 

School Counselor

Heather Nelson

Speech Therapist

Janice Nichols

Director Of Operations

Kaitlyn Flake

SPED Coordinator

Kira Savage

PE Reading Teacher

Kristin Varn

Occupational Therapist

Maura Twohig

4th Grade

McKenna Ford

3rd Grade
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Rachel Jones

Office Manager
1_0001_Rachel Beene- 4th grade-0001

Rachel Beene

4th Grade
1_0003_Rebecca Wise- 5th grade-0001

Rebecca Wise

5th Grade
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Summer Brown


Meet Our Planning Committee

To contact: board@gatesschool.org


Alison Hynd, Ph.D.

Alison is a pediatric neuropsychologist who worked with children with language and communication disorders. Alison is an associate with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.


Ashley Goverman

Ashley Goverman has a background in Business Administration as well as Human Resources and ran a photography business for several years. For the past five years, she has volunteered her time at her childrens’ school in many capacities, but especially focusing on a program to alleviate food insecurity for students. Ashley is also the proud parent of a dyslexic learner.

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Brig Gen (Ret) Wayne A. Wright

Wayne has a master’s degree in International Relations from Troy State University and a master’s certificate in Higher Education Leadership from the Citadel. His desire to help children succeed and realize their potential to contribute to society fuels his enthusiasm for The Gates School. As a 34-year Veteran of the United States Air Force, he held various leadership and command positions before retiring as a Brigadier General.

Eric Benson

Eric Bentson

Eric Bentson has 20+ years of experience across various positions at Bank of New York, Fidelity National, and Wells Fargo. Currently a Vice President of Enterprise Functions at Wells responsible for handling and oversight of institutional securities and foreign exchange.

He lives in Mount Pleasant with his wife (Lisa) and three daughters (Kaia, Kelsey, and Madison). Kaia will be attending Gates School in the 5th grade

He is thrilled to be able to serve the Gates School as Treasurer bringing his financial background, experience, and expertise to the team!


George Hynd, Ed.D.

George has spent nearly 40 years dedicated to higher education at institutions across the country. Positions include professor, education dean, sr. vice provost, provost, and executive vice president. He also served as the school president of Oakland University.

Patricia Kay

Patty Kay

Patty Kay is a retired Charleston County Public School teacher with 28 years experience. She received her B.A. in Business Administration from the College of Charleston in 1980 and her MAT in Early Childhood Education from the College of Charleston in 1993. Patty has 2 grown children - a son and a daughter and 5 grandchildren with one on the way. Her grandson attends Gates Charter School.


Robert Harrahill

Rob is a nonprofit educational sector consultant specializing in dyslexic and language-based schools. He has worked with over 200 schools for planning, governance, and fundraising.


Stephanie Sams, M.A.

Stephanie Sams has a master’s degree in clinical counseling from The Citadel. She is an Associate with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. Stephanie is a private OG tutor and the parent of a dyslexic learner.


Trey Zimmerman

Trey Zimmerman is a founding partner and President of Ai Insurance Services. For over 15 years, Trey has also been a Real Estate Broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic. Prior to entering the private sector, Trey worked for The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in The Office of Public Affairs. Trey is a graduate of The College of Charleston with a Bachelor’s Degree in Corporate Communications. Trey is also a veteran who served worldwide in The United States Air Force. Trey is an avid outdoorsman and he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons.