John Stockwell



From 1994 through 2011, Dr. Stockwell served as chancellor of the University of South Carolina Upstate located in Spartanburg County; following service in other higher education positions in California, Indiana, New York, and Wisconsin. He has served in numerous volunteer civic capacities in the County including the founding board chair of the Spartanburg Chapter of the Urban League of the Upstate; board member and chair of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the Children’s Services Alliances, and the College Hub; and is currently Chair of the Spartanburg County Foundation Board of Trustees. Appointed by Representative Rita Allison, John serves on the SC Education Oversight Committee.

In 2017, Dr. Stockwell was awarded the Bill Henningsgaard award, the highest recognition presented to change leaders working in the StriveTogether Network.This article provides insight into Dr. Stockwell’s impact and legacy across Spartanburg.


Beth Thompson

Director of Collective Impact/Data Manager


Beth serves as the Director Continuous Improvement, a role that allows her to put her expertise as a BMW trained Six Sigma Black Belt to use training partners to apply the process to our collaborative action efforts. Previously Beth served as Executive Director of Union County First Steps and was previously employed with the Upstate Workforce Investment Board, giving her a true understanding of the Cradle-to-Career continuum we work with to improve student success. Beth also has experience in working with other nonprofit organizations in Spartanburg including the Carolina Piedmont Foundation and The Arts Partnership. Beth earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from USC Upstate and is a graduate of the Nonprofit Leadership Training Certificate program the Sisters of Charity Foundation and Columbia College.

Carmen Levitt

Director of Administrative Affairs


Carmen Levitt earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Government from the University of South Carolina. While raising three children, Carmen has found time to balance her active support of public education while working part time in several administrative assistant roles in the government, business, and medical sectors. She has served as the president and treasurer of the PTO, received appointments to School Improvement Councils in several schools, and is a frequent volunteer in the library. Carmen formerly held office administration positions with nationally known technology and real estate companies, served as deputy clerk of court, and managed business affairs and accreditation for a Spartanburg-based prosthetics company.


Ida Thompson

Director of National Network and Program Affairs


Ida leads SAM's engagement with the nationwide StriveTogether network and serves as lead for the PN3 (pre-natal to 3) national action team from Spartanburg. Ida served as Director of the Spartanburg Regional Child Development Program from 1991 to 2009, where she served as Head Teacher of the Infant and Toddler Program from 1976 to 2009. In 2004, Spartanburg Regional renamed the center as the “Ida Thompson Child Development Program” in honor of her work. Ida also served as the director of the Children’s Services Alliance until it merged with College Hub to form SAM. Ida earned her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia Southern University, Masters in Education and Education Specialist Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Converse College. She teaches in the Child Development and Family Studies baccalaureate program at the University of South Carolina Upstate and serves on the board of The Franklin School.

Kim Atchley

Kim Atchley

Director of Communications


Kim earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from USC Upstate and taught middle school science in Aiken and Spartanburg Counties. She became a freelance writer while taking time to raise her family and care for her aging parents. She then became director of marketing and public relations and later executive director for a local nonprofit organization. Joining the SAM team, Kim has returned to her roots in education. She is active volunteer with the Palmetto Council Boy Scouts and has completed Wood Badge, an advanced, national leadership course. Kim is also a graduate of the Spartanburg County Foundation’s 2017 Grassroots Leadership Development Institute.

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Meghan Smith

Director of College/Career Readiness


Meghan serves in a dual appointment with the Greater Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce. She organizes, facilitates, and manages activities of the C/CR Collaborative Action Network (CAN) to identify and implement strategies to support students’ attainment of skills included Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. Meghan earned her Bachelors degree from Samford University and her Masters from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Meghan has had experience dealing with the challenges faced by first generation college students through her work with SC Test Prep, which she co-founded, and through its “Open Doors” program that supported a holistic approach to assisting youth set to become first generation college students. Meghan volunteers with the Spartanburg Hispanic Alliance. This article provides additional insight into Meghan’s multiple leadership roles.

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Mendy Mossbrook

Director, Continuous Improvement Institute


Mendy serves as Director of SAM’s Continuous Improvement (CI) Institute, launched in 2018. The CI Institute trains local educators and agencies supporting children, to embed CI strategies into their operations. Mendy earned both her Bachelors of Science in Engineering and Masters of Business Administration from Clemson University. Mendy was previously employed as Director of Chemical Engineering for Sealed Air Corporation where data driven CI science was integrated across operations. Mendy, a long-time Spartanburg County resident, has also led STEM career outreach programs with the Society of Plastics Engineers.


Savannah Ray

Director of Educational Engagement and Partnerships


Savannah is a dually appointed staff member for SAM and the United Way of the Piedmont as Director of Educational Engagement and Partnerships. She earned her Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia and Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies from Furman University. A native of Spartanburg County, Savannah is leading efforts to broaden active relationships with organizations across the county’s diverse nonprofit, faith, and business sectors, willing to align their actions in support of children across Spartanburg County. Savannah was previously employed with the Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands, leading outreach teams. Savannah also volunteers as a youth mentor.

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Vivian Ann Shaver


Vivian Ann supports SAM’s work through the John T. Wardlaw Institute for Continuous Improvement (CI) to embed CI practices in schools across Spartanburg County. She earned her Bachelors degree from Emory & Henry College and Masters from the University of Tennessee. Throughout her career, Vivian Ann has used Six Sigma CI science in project management for Tyson Foods and Sealed Air Corporation.

She has also served on School Improvement Councils and in PTO organizations, a direct result of the influence of her mother, a 40-year veteran educator, and role as a mother of two elementary age children.In addition to school-based volunteer work, Vivian Ann serves of Director of Congregational Care and Community Outreach at Lyman United Methodist Church.


Glen Carson

Chair, SAM Data Council


Dr. Carson serves as full-time Director of Assessment and Accountability for Spartanburg School District 7. He maintains his long-time relationship with SAM and SAM’s data infrastructure as head of the SAM Data Council.