Melissa is Principal at Philip Simmons Elementary STEAM School in Berkeley County. She is a native South Carolinian and has lived in Charleston since 1997. She has Master’s degrees in Elementary Education and Educational Administration from the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina, respectively. She also earned a Ph. D. in Teaching and Learning from the University of South Carolina. She has taught in Berkeley and Dorchester counties and served as the Math Coordinator in Berkeley County for three years. Melissa enjoys sharing her love of STEAM education, makerspace, and mathematics education. Melissa is passionate about her work with teachers and students.
Assistant Principal LaToya King has been an educator for the past 20 years. She received her BS degree in Elementary Education from Winthrop University and her Master’s degree in Leadership and Supervision from The Citadel. She began her teaching career in Greenville County and taught first, third, fourth, and fifth grades. In 2007, she returned home to Berkeley County and taught third and fourth grades. Ms. King has been a leader outside the classroom as well as a Title I Facilitator, Curriculum Coach, Administrative Assistant, and an Assistant Principal. In the fall of 2016, she joined the administrative team to open Philip Simmons Elementary “STEAM” School. Ms. King loves teaching and leading others in the district in which she grew up. Her greatest joy is knowing that her three children are now receiving an education in the same district.
Mrs. Taylor was born and raised in a small town in upstate South Carolina. She graduated from College of Charleston in 2004 with a BS in Elementary Education and has taught for 14 years. Before coming to Philip Simmons Elementary, she taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades in Charleston County School District. She also served as a Teacher Coach, Interventionist, and Reading Recovery Teacher. She has been married for 13 years and has two children, Mary Jane and Simon. Mary Jane is a 5th grader at PSM and Simon is in Kindergarten at PSE. She loves being a member of the PSE family and feels so fortunate to be serving the students and families of the community in which she lives!
Head Bookkeeper/Administrative Assistant
Rhoda-Grace Rillorta joined Philip Simmons Elementary as the Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper in January 2018. She manages the school office and maintains the school’s financial records. Prior to joining Philip Simmons Elementary School, Rhoda served as the Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Retention at Carolinas College of Health Sciences in Charlotte, NC. She has served in various roles in Higher Education for the past 20 years. Rhoda holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Charleston Southern University and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management and Counseling from Webster University. Rhoda’s family relocated back to Mount Pleasant, SC in June 2017. She is married and has a 10-year old daughter. Outside of Philip Simmons Elementary, she enjoys various traveling adventures with her family, friends and three dogs.
I am originally from the Washington, DC area. I graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in Business Administration. Prior to working at Philip Simmons Elementary, I was a U.S. Congressional intern, an executive assistant at a global law firm and worked for a DC lobbyist specializing in defense, maritime and merchant fisheries. I was also employed with Wells Fargo in Charleston and Los Angeles. My most recent work (and one of my favorite jobs!) was preschool teacher to two and four year olds. I have three wonderful sons - two of which attend here at PSE. In my spare time, I love to exercise, read, spend time with my family, be active in our church community and eat dark chocolate! I am so excited to be a part of the PSE family and look forward to a wonderful year! Go Ironhorses!
Front Desk Secretary
Ms. Cindy was raised in Bonneau, SC and went to Macedonia High School. She has worked for both for Charleston and Berkeley County School distircts. She has been married for 33 years, has two children and two perfectly wonderful grandchildren.
This summer Mrs. Davis celebrated her 25th year as a Registered Nurse. Prior to joining us at PSE, Mrs. Davis worked at The Ohio University Medical Center. She relocated to her beloved retirement state two years ago with her husband Brett and their daughter Isabel. The Davis’s also have four adult children. Zac is an assistant editor and resides in NYC. Ally is an Elementary Teacher and resides in NYC. Adrianja is an Elementary teacher and resides in Fort Collins, CO and Caleb is in his senior year at THE Ohio State University.