Renee Byrd McCaslin
Renee grew up just outside of Columbia, South Carolina and moved to the low county to attend the College of Charleston where she received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. She went on to finish her Master of Education, specializing in divergent learning from Columbia College, with an endorsement for gifted and talented learning.
Renee began her career as a classroom teacher, teaching 1st and 5th grades in public and private schools. She transitioned from the classroom to work with the Accelerated School Project, based out of the University of Connecticut. While with the Project, she managed professional development, facilitated the national faculty, and administered a federal grant involving the implementation of data based decision making.
Renee’s path then took her back to her alma mater to the Center for Partnerships to Improve Education at the College of Charleston. During her time with the Center, she directed a middle-grades accelerated program for overage students. She had the privilege of fine tuning a "school within a school model” while working in partnership with local school districts to provide professional development and adjunct course work for teachers and leaders.
Upon discovering that her son was a dyslexic learner, Renee was shocked by the lack of resources, knowledge, and identification for these students. After doing her own research on best practices in dyslexia intervention, she began her training in the Orton-Gillingham Approach and is now an Associate with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. Throughout her career, Renee has been blessed with many incredible opportunities but she is most excited about tying all of her professional and personal experiences together to bring educators, experts, and families together to impact our community.
Lindsey Propes Ballenger
A native of South Carolina, Lindsey moved to Mount Pleasant after graduating from Clemson University. Her career began with the Christian Family Y in Downtown Charleston as the Assistant Director of Programs and Aquatics. She was asked to move into the position of Acting Executive Director to work with the board of directors to coordinate the closing of the 100 year old YWCA as they merged with The Greater Charleston YMCA. This dynamic experience allowed her to grow in organizational leadership and development and following the merger, Lindsey went to work for the College of Charleston Foundation in Institutional Advancement. In 2008, following her heart to International Missions, she became the Director of Development of Water Mission, a nonprofit clean water charity that builds sustainable clean water solutions in developing countries and disaster relief areas.
As her family continued to grow, so did the small business she and her husband Matt started in 2007, while both working full time. In 2010, Lindsey left nonprofit fundraising to spend more time with her three young daughters and to focus more time and energy into The Charleston Shucker Company. Over the last eight years, The Charleston Shucker Company has continued to grow and been featured in Southern Living Magazine and Top Chef on Bravo.
No organizational or administrative challenge has come close to that of advocating for a child with dyslexia in the state she loves. Lindsey has been involved with Decoding Dyslexia – South Carolina, a network of parent-led grassroots organizations concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia within the public education systems. Seeing the difference that Orton-Gillingham has made in her children’s lives, she has become passionate about early identification and making this research-based intervention more readily available in Charleston. She is an Associate with the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.