School Director and Board of Directors

Ruth Chambers-Turner, Ph.D. director, The Palmetto Excel Center 

Ruth Chambers-Turner, Ph.D. is the founding director of The Palmetto Excel Center a free public charter high school in North Charleston, S.C. The school educates adults 21 and older who want to earn high school diplomas, industry-recognized certifications, and/or dual enrollment credit.

Dr. Chambers-Turner joined the Palmetto Excel Center from after serving as the director of the Goodwill Excel Center (GEC) in Washington, D.C. During her time there, she held the positions as a STEM teacher on the GEC founding team, lead instructor and assistant principal, and director when the school expanded to two schools. 

Dr. Chambers-Turner earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry, her master’s degree in microbiology and immunology, and her doctorate in education. Her doctoral research focused on tutoring and teaching strategies that promote the construction of knowledge, as well as adult learning theory. She applies her research and her personal experience in the areas of the challenges and motivations of adult learners to coaching her team to empower adults to achieve their goal of graduation. 

Dr. Chamber-Turner’s professional mission is to 1) promote a student-first culture that emphasizes the importance of student-staff partnerships, 2) facilitate the interdependence between school departments (teams) with the overall goal of diminishing student barriers, 3) to ensure that a relevant and rigorous curriculum is cognitively accessible to all students, and 3) provide avenues to educational and career opportunities to students who earnestly wish to change their futures but need the support of a non-traditional learning environment to be successful.

Lee Deas, Chair
Obviouslee Marketing

Amy Mims, Vice Chair
Special Education Specialist
Greenville County Schools

Michael Saboe, Former Chair
Retired, Dean Charleston Culinary School
Trident Technical College

Chris Harvey, Treasurer
Corporate Operations Manager
Charlestowne Hotels

Herbert Drayton, III

Kelley Jarrett
Head of Sales Enablement

Frances C. Welch
Dean, School of Education, College of Charleston

Brian Itzkowitz
President & CEO
Palmetto Goodwill

Kellye R. Whitaker
Program Manager, SmartUp North Charleston
Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Erica Wright
Legislative and Public Policy Advocate
Municipal Association of SC