• Education at Coker College
  • Education at Coker College
  • Education at Coker College
  • Education at Coker College
  • Education at Coker College
  • Education at Coker College
  • Education at Coker College
  • Education at Coker College
  • Education at Coker College
  • Education at Coker College
Education Faculty & Staff

Below you will find brief biographical sketches and pictures of each of the people in our office.

If you want to contact one of these individuals, you may click on the name at the beginning of their biographical sketch to go to an e-mail function, or feel free to call the phone number listed.

Dr. Susan D. Henderson

Associate Professor of Education

Director of the Wiggins School of Education and Director of Teacher Education
(843) 383-8264

After receiving her B.A. degree from Davidson College, Dr. Susan D. Henderson earned her PK-8 teaching credentials from Coker College. While teaching, she earned her M.Ed. in Reading Instruction and her Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education from Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. During her studies at Georgia State University, she spent a semester in Cambridge, England, studying at Homerton College. While abroad she conducted research in area schools exploring literacy practices in elementary education. She also enjoyed being a member of the women's eight rowing team and the coxswain for the men's eight team.

Dr. Henderson has been a classroom teacher in grades 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8 and enjoys bringing those years of experience into her college classes. As an Associate Professor of Education, Dr. Henderson teaches EDU 208, 211, 308, 309, and facilitates the student teaching seminar. In addition, Dr. Henderson enjoys serving as the counselor of Alpha Gamma Psi, Coker College's chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education.

Dr. Henderson is a member of the Literacy Reseach Association (LRA), the International Reading Association (IRA), the South Carolina State Council of the IRA (SCIRA), and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). She also serves on the South Carolina Education Deans' Alliance, the Board of Directors for the Pee Dee Education Consortium, and the Board of Directors for the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA). She and her husband, Kyle Henderson, have two children with whom they enjoy travelling and reading.


Dr. Karen Carpenter

Assistant Professor of Education
(843) 383-8130

Dr. Carpenter earned her Ph. D. in Literacy Studies from the University of Nevada-Reno in 2010, her M.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Nevada-Reno in 1992, and her B.S. in Special Education from Eastern Michigan University in 1983.

She currently teaches in teacher education, but during her career as a public school teacher at a rural school in Jackpot, Nevada, she taught Special Education K-12, Title 1 K-8, first grade, and third grade. She was also a Literacy Specialist, Literacy Tutorial Coordinator, and an Instructional Coach for Elko County School District.

Dr. Carpenter teaches Reading Methods I, Reading Methods II, Language Arts and supervises student teachers. Her research and scholarship involves two primary areas: 1) literacy development and instruction with an emphasis on orthographic development and 2) vocabulary development.

She is a member of the Literacy Research Association (LRA), the International Reading Association (IRA), the South Carolina Council of the IRA, (SCIRA), and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Dr. Carpenter enjoys spending time with her two grown children, reading, swimming, traveling, and watching sports.


Ms. Amanda Goyeneche

Director, Education Internship Programs
(843) 383-8137

Mvc-005s.jpg (23753 bytes)Ms. Goyeneche earned her B.A. in elementary education from Coker College and her M.Ed. in educational media and technology from Boston University. She has enjoyed various capacities in the field of education. She has been a teacher and coach with Darlington County Schools in South Carolina and Cambridge Public Schools in Massachusetts. She has also worked with Boston Children's Museum and Hill House Community Outreach Center in Massachusetts. Ms. Goyeneche remains a freelance writer with Apangea Learning, Inc. and a certified teacher in South Carolina.

In her role as Director of Education Internship Programs, she coordinates all field experiences and clinical practice for students in all of our education programs. This also entails overseeing the placement of students for the Student Teaching semester and working with districts across the state to enhance the Teacher Education Program. Ms. Goyeneche also maintains records of our education graduates through alumni surveys and correspondence.

Ms. Goyeneche is a member of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). She remains a resource in the School of Education for the evolving field of technology education.

Ms. Goyeneche enjoys traveling, watching movies, and outdoor activities.


Dr. Ryan Higgins

Assistant Professor of Education
(843) 383-8103

Dr. Higgins earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Louisville in 2013, her M.Ed. in Secondary Education at Xavier University, and her B.S. in Elementary Education with a Mathematics Endorsement from Indiana University Southeast. She is also a certified secondary Montessori educator.

She has taught in multiple grades and all subjects but most recently taught 6th through 12th grade in Southern Indiana. Dr. Higgins assisted with conducting research while also assisting with professional development for science teachers in Kentucky.

Dr. Higgins has presented in several state and national conferences including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Her presentations have included topics of authentic assessment, inquiry lessons in mathematics, promoting talk in the mathematics classroom, and the use of Socratic methods in mathematics. She is a member of NCTM, the Association for Mathematics Teacher Educators, the Association for Science Teacher Educators, and the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Higgins has been invited to review books and conference submissions for NCTM as well as papers and conference submissions for AERA. She is also a co-chair of a committee in the classroom management special interest group for AERA. She was recently invited to facilitate mathematics literacy professional development in a grant funded program in for a large urban school district in Kentucky.

Dr. Higgins enjoys playing Barbie and My Little Pony with her 4 year old daughter, watching her 8 year old daughter “acting”, dancing and singing and going to movies with her husband who is a mathematics teacher at Darlington High School. She and her family enjoy any chance to travel and have been to multiple countries and all over the U.S.


Dr. Darlene Maxwell

Professor of Education
(843) 383-8133

Dr. Maxwell earned her Ed. D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Arizona in 1996, her M. Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Boston University in 1989, and her B. S. in Elementary Education from Presbyterian College in 1973. She is also a certified Montessori Primary/Elementary Classroom Director.

She has taught preschool through sixth grade at various times in Washington , Georgia , South Carolina , Pennsylvania , Missouri , and Germany . In Georgia and South Carolina , she taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Dr. Maxwell teaches early childhood curriculum and methods classes, child growth and development, and educational psychology.

She has published research in the area of children's play and presented at local, national, and international conferences on the importance of play in a child's life. She is a board member of the International Association for the Child's Right to Play in the United States / American Association for the Child's Right to Play, a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Montessori Educational Programs International, and the South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children.

Dr. Maxwell enjoys “playing” at home in her garden, in the kitchen baking, and with her puppy, Nola. She and her husband, a retired career military officer, continue to enjoy traveling with their daughter and son-in-law, and are very pleased to have joined the ranks of "grandparenthood!"

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Assistant Professor of Education
(843) 383-8134

Dr. Sandra (Sandy) McCloy earned a PhD in Educational Psychology and Research from the University of South Carolina. She also has a master's in Rehabilitation Counseling from USC's School of Medicine and a bachelor's in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Prior to becoming an assistant professor, Dr. McCloy worked with students with autism and other disabilities, their families, school districts, and individual teachers on assessment, planning, and curriculum modifications for behavioral, social, and communication issues, in both the school and home environment.

Dr. McCloy's teaching responsibilities at Coker College are primarily EDU 405 (Classroom Pragmatics: Assessment and Management), EDU 385 (Psychology of Teaching and Learning in the Classroom), and EDU 200 and 201 (Human Growth and Development). Dr. McCloy is the James P. Comer School Development Program liaison with PULSE, a comprehensive scholastic excellence program, which brings together Coker College, Yale University's Child Development Center, the SC Governor's School for Science and Mathematics, and the Darlington County School District, to improve the academic outcomes and personal development of students.

Dr. McCloy's research interests, publications, and presentations are related to bullying, social problem solving, self-regulation of learning, teacher misconceptions, and child development in the classroom. She is a member of AERA (American Educational Research Association), divisions of Learning and Instruction; Social Context in Education; and Research, Evaluation, & Assessment in Schools. She also is a member and president-elect of SCATE (SC Association of Teacher Educators). Dr. McCloy is a reviewer for the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education .

Dr. McCloy enjoys boating and traveling with her husband and daughter in her spare time.


Dr. Sara Odom

Professor of Education
(843) 383-8132

Mvc-007s.jpg (27281 bytes)Dr. Odom earned her B.A. in Elementary Education at the Baptist College of Charleston and holds the distinction of being the first person to complete the teacher education program at that institution. In 1979 she earned her Master's in Elementary Education from Francis Marion College. In 1989 she furthered her studies in education by taking 30 hours of graduate work in reading at the University of South Carolina. In 1993 she earned her Ed.D. from NOVA University.

Dr. Odom is a veteran public school teacher of over twenty-seven years. She has taught grades K - 8 in state schools of Connecticut, Virginia, Florida, and South Carolina. In 1993 she was recognized as Darlington County School District's Teacher of the Year.

In 1994 Dr. Odom received an invitation to participate in the United States Children's Literature and Language Arts Delegation. The delegation visited schools all over China and met with Chinese educators to discuss the educational offerings of both countries.

In 2004 Dr. Odom received an invitation to participate in the Reading and Literacy Delegation to South Africa. The delegation visited schools in selected areas of South Africa and discussed literacy issues relative to both the United States and South Africa.

She says to tell you she is a young grandmother of eleven who enjoys writing music, poetry, and children's books.

Dr. Odom published her first children's book, Gram's Switch , in the fall of 2008.  Dr. Odom and Dr. Henderson have co-authored Becoming a Teacher in South Carolina, a comprehensive guidebook for prospective teachers, which is in publication now.


Mrs. Tamara Hoefer

Wiggins School of Education Coordinator
(843) 383-8131

Mrs. Hoefer has been with the Coker College since March of 2012. She earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from Clemson University.

As the School of Education Coordinator, Mrs. Hoefer assists incoming freshmen and transfer students with course planning and registration, maintains accurate personal and assessment data on all students, reports data to the School faculty and staff as well as to state and national organizations, manages the operations of the School of Education, maintains the website and Facebook page, and assists the Director with other functions of the School.

In her spare time, Mrs. Hoefer enjoys reading and spending time with her family. She is married to Rick Hoefer, and they have two children, Jessica and Joseph.


Dr. John E. Williams

Assistant Professor of Education
(843) 383-8399

Dr. John E. Williams earned a Ph.D. in elementary education with a cognate in education administration from the University of South Carolina in 1981. He earned his M.Ed. in early childhood education from the University of South Carolina in 1974 and he earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pfeiffer University in 1970.

Dr. Williams has taught and supervised early childhood programs. He was an elementary school principal, and he has held the positions of district transportation supervisor, personnel director, assistant superintendent, and superintendent of education.

Dr. Williams is certified by the South Carolina State Department of Education in the areas of early childhood education, elementary education, government, middle school social studies, elementary principal, secondary principal and superintendent.

Dr. Williams has been certified as a trained assessor through ADEPT, NASSP, and NCATE and has served on numerous teacher, administrator, and program evaluation teams.

Dr. Williams has been an adjunct instructor for Coker College and Winthrop University teaching undergraduate as well as graduate teacher education and administration courses.

Dr. Williams was selected as the South Carolina Superintendent of the Year by the Career and Technology Education Division of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators. He has served as an Area Commissioner of Northeastern Technical College, has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pee Dee Education Center, served on the governing Boards of the Chesterfield County First Steps Program, and Chesterfield County Coordinating Council.

Dr. Williams is a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church, former Chairman of the PPRC, and a part-time Sunday School teacher.

Dr. Williams is a former Mayor of Chesterfield, S.C., member of the National Eagle Scout Association, Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary Clubs International, Past Master of the Chesterfield Masonic Lodge, and an Amateur (ham) Radio Operator.

Dr. Williams enjoys spending time with his wife, Betty, and sons John Ellison III and James Chesley, his step-children AraLeigh, Heather, and Quentin, and with four step-grandchildren Emma, Ellie, Ethan, and Grant. He also enjoys working in his yard.


Faculty Emeriti

Dr. Richard Culyer

Professor Emeritus of Education

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Richard Culyer earned his B. S. in Elementary Education and M.A. in Reading from Appalachian State University and his Ph.D. in Reading from Florida State University . Before coming to Coker College, he taught elementary and middle school (being named Young Man of the Year in that city), organized and directed the first summer reading program in his school district, directed the developmental and remedial reading program at Appalachian for 1700 students annually, and served as Assistant Director of Right to Read for the State of Florida. With his wife, Dr. Gail B. Culyer, he developed a comprehensive research-based, mastery teaching program in reading that was highlighted as one of 17 effective reading programs featured in What Works in the Elementary School , a publication of the National Staff Development Council and the National Education Association. For 35 years, he has served as a part-time consultant specializing in setting up school- and district-wide reading programs in Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida and, for the state of South Carolina, wrote a five-year plan to increase reading achievement in one impaired school district. His successful efforts, especially with at-risk populations, have been heavily documented by research. His biography is included in Who's Who in America .

He was one of the founders of the North Carolina Reading Council, served as its third president, and served in other positions, including State Coordinator, founder of The Tar Heel Reading Journal, and editor for 10 years of the Conference Proceedings . He served as president of two local reading councils in North Carolina and on six different committees for the International Reading Association.

In 25 years at Coker, Dr. Culyer taught 23 different courses in three departments, reflecting some of his nine areas of certification. He received an award from the South Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Golden Apple Award by TV Channel 13. He has made over 2000 presentations in the United States and Canada . His co-authored books focus on adult education, introduction to education, and reading. Dr. Culyer has extensive publications for children and educators in various aspects of the curriculum and has published in a dozen different journals. He writes a weekly parent information column for the Lee County Observer . He serves or has served as a peer reviewer for six national publications and is a life member of the National Council of Teachers of English, Phi Delta Kappa, Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (formerly College Reading Association), and the National Education Association. He and his wife reside in Hartsville.


Dr. Edward S. Ebert

Professor Emeritus of Education

Edward S. Ebert


Edward S. Ebert, II is a Professor Emeritus of Education at Coker College in Hartsville , South Carolina . With a degree in Psychological Foundations of Education, he taught courses in educational psychology, elementary science methods, child development, classroom management, assessment, and creative problem solving. He has written a dozen books, including elementary science methods, creative thinking and science teaching, introduction to education, and classroom pragmatics: management and assessment. Dr. Ebert has given numerous presentations nationally and internationally, and has taught science education and educational psychology for a semester at Shanghai International Studies University , Shanghai , P.R. China.

Dr. Ebert was the 2007 recipient of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Teacher of Excellence Award. He delivered the keynote address at Coker College 's Centennial Convocation in August, 2008, challenging the audience to consider and define the American culture

.Dr. Ebert now resides in Wellfleet , Massachusetts , where he continues to write and publish books within the field of Education in addition to pursuing other academic, civic, and creative interests.


Dr. Joseph H. Rubinstein

Professor Emeritus of Education

Joe Rubinstein

Dr. Rubinstein was raised in New York City and graduated from Yeshiva Rabbi Jacob Joseph and from Stuyvesant High School. He received B.A., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biology from New York University (NYU), finishing his studies in 1969. While at NYU he held positions of Graduate Student, Teaching Fellow, Lecturer, Assistant Professor of Biology and Associate Research Scientist.

Although his education and early publications were in the natural sciences, his interest in elementary education was sparked by his participation in the late 1960's in a National Science Foundation funded experimental science curriculum development project, the Conceptually Oriented Program in Elementary Science (COPES). He also became interested in the related problems of teacher education, and in 1971 he completed a post-doctoral fellowship at New York University that allowed him to spend one year in the New York City public schools, working closely with elementary school teachers and helping them to implement science programs in their classrooms.

In 1972 he joined the Open Court Publishing Company and served as Director of their Mathematics and Science Curriculum Development Center for its first seven years. In that capacity, he directed a nationwide field-testing program for Real Math, an elementary and middle school mathematics curriculum. He is one of four co-authors of this program. Real Math was completed in 1983, was revised several times and remained in wide use until 1998, when the program was sold to the SRA Division of McGraw-Hill, revised, and published as SRA Math Explorations and Applications. The latest revision was published in 2009 as SRA Real Math. Dr. Rubinstein is also one of three co-authors of Real Science, an elementary school science program published in 1999 by the SRA Division of McGraw-Hill.

Dr. Rubinstein is active in state and national organizations and is a frequent speaker at conferences throughout the nation.  He is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Science Teachers association, The Society of Sigma Xi, The New York Academy of Sciences, and Kappa Delta Pi.

Dr. Rubinstein is a veteran, having served in the United States Army for three years.

He joined the Coker College faculty in 1984, and was responsible for coursework in methods of teaching mathematics and for the first course required of education majors, Introduction to Education. He also taught a course on the Holocaust every two years. He was chairperson of the education department for 15 years.

Dr. Rubinstein is married to the former Heike Buechler, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.