Board of Directors

The Board is committed to helping University School of the Lowcountry to grow and flourish and be successful over the long term. As stated by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), “The board is the guardian of the school’s mission. It is the board’s responsibility to ensure that the mission is relevant and vital to the community it serves and to monitor the success of the school in fulfilling its mission.”

Governing Board


Lisa Hand, M.D.

Lisa first became involved with the University School of the Lowcountry as a parent of a student.  Her daughter Sarah graduated from USL in 2011, and both of her daughters have been mentors for the students.  When she is not focused on her role as mother, Lisa is a psychiatrist.  After serving as Director of MUSC’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division and the Director of the Child Psychiatry Fellowship Training Program, Lisa began a private practice in Mount Pleasant.  She resides in Mount Pleasant with her husband, daughters and numerous pets.


Robert R. Donato, Esq.

Robert is a resident of Mt. Pleasant, SC and has been involved with the University School of the Lowcountry since its inception. He currently serves as Interim Executive Director of the MUSC Foundation for Research Development. Prior to joining the MUSC FRD, he was a practicing attorney with over 25 years of experience. He has served as in-house counsel to a New York based venture capital firm and in private practice advising clients on issues involving public and private venture funding as well as mergers and acquisitions and is a certified mediator. He is also a contributor to the FastTrac entrepreneurial program curriculum developed by the Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City and a certified Administrator and Facilitator of the FastTrac entrepreneurial development program. Robert and his wife, Pamela, live in Mt. Pleasant.

 board pic - l mills

Leigh B. Mills
Leigh has been involved with USL since its founding in February of 2007, and she is in her second tour of duty on the Board. She graduated in 2003 from Clemson University with a BS in Accounting and is currently working as the Controller at Thesys Technologies. In her childhood, she swam for the Snee Farm Swim Team for 12 years and then assisted Jason in coaching for an additional 4 years. Currently, Leigh resides in Mt. Pleasant with her husband and three sons.


Roger Smith

Roger Smith is an attorney and educational consultant who recently retired after twenty-five years working in and for independent schools across the country as teacher, coach, college counselor, department head, academic adviser, and search consultant.  Among the schools where Roger worked are Hill School (PA), Choate Rosemary Hall (CT), Webb School of California, Menlo School (CA), The Ross School (NY), and Savannah Country Day School.  A native Charlestonian who spent his teenage years in Mount Pleasant, Roger graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard University (BA), Middlebury College (MA), and the University of Texas (JD).  Roger divides his time between Sullivan’s Island and Flat Rock, NC.  When not volunteering at USL,  Roger enjoys reading, hiking, bicycling, sailing, tennis, and traveling on land or sea.


Becky Wright

Becky Wright is a 18 year East of the Cooper resident. Prior to this she lived in London, England and Greenwich, Connecticut. She was educated in Ithaca, New York, majoring in communications, and subsequently worked in the computer graphics field for several investment banking houses in New York and London. Currently, she works at the O’Quinn school in Mt Pleasant teaching Kindergarten. Becky is an active volunteer for Snee Farm Swim Team, Wando High School, and University School of the Lowcountry. She also takes care of her mother at Franke at Seaside. Becky and her husband, Peter, live with their two sons, Daniel and Nicholas, on the Isle of Palms.

The Board of Visitors is comprised of “friends of the school.” It is an advisory (non-governing) body, and its members provide support and guidance to University School. The group is richly diverse, and USL benefits greatly from each member’s unique insight and the group’s collective wisdom.

J. Scott Ballenger
Antitrust and Competition / Appellate Law
Latham & Watkins
Washington, D.C.

Arylette Brown
Industrial Psychologist
Wells Fargo
Charlotte, NC

John L. Eady, M.D.
Chief of Orthopedics
Dorn VA Hospital
Columbia, SC

Ward J. Ghory, Ed.D. 
Head of School, The Harley School
(former Head of School, University School of Milwaukee)
Rochester, NY

Nichole Green, Ph.D.
Research and Program Specialist
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Washington, D.C.

Robert C. (Tres) Heffron III
Software Architect
Bainbridge Island, WA

Russell Horres , Ph.D.
African-American Historical Alliance
National Park Service volunteer
Mount Pleasant, SC

Rachel Kronick Rothbart 
Assistant Director, Career Services, Gould School of Law
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

Cindy Weir
Director of Admissions
The Independence School
Newark, DE

Joseph Wiendl, CFA CPA
Laminar Advisors
Tampa Bay, FL