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Rise Up: Checking in with our Alumni

Posted Date: 02/06/2024

We’re taking a look back at some of the amazing students who have walked our halls and sharing where they are now!



As we likely have some budding artists at LCS now, we hope Kaitlin telling her own story will be a source of inspiration and one picture of what a path to a career in the arts could look like. Kaitlin said,

“I studied textile design at NC State and my senior project was to develop a cohesive textile collection utilizing all the skills I learned in my four years; Jacquard Weaving, Digital Printing my designs onto fabrics, Photoshop/different design programs, etc. I chose to develop a Home Textile collection called The Lost Girl which was created first and foremost using my painting skills! One of my jacquard woven designs became the main marketing image for the ENTIRE senior fashion and textile design show!! Such an honor!

After working at an art gallery for four years in downtown Charleston post college graduation, I became a full time oil painter! I am the proud business owner of Kaitlin’s Whimsy-Whimsical Art for the Dreamer! I have a home studio and spend my time doing commissions, developing my own artwork, and selling at markets weekly. I participate in local markets like the Sea Island Farmers Market and also set up at Kiawah over the summer for a weekly oyster roast event. Each year I create hand painted ornament collections that sell out every time! I have local customers who come to shop with me often as well as a strong customer base from Instagram that approach me for commission work. I am blessed to be doing exactly what I love to do and my aim is to use this gift the Lord gave me to spread his light and love. My work is deeply inspired by my faith, my love for the marsh in Charleston, and fairy tales!

I can’t thank my AP English teacher, Taylor Helms and my Art teacher Raymond Hutchinson enough for giving me critical lessons and tools to be exactly where I am now. Taylor helms made me fall in love with books, writing, things unseen, and great music. Critical things if you’re going to be a great artist! Wuthering Heights became one of my all time favorite books and she challenged me in ways I needed! Mr. Hutchinson taught me everything I know about art. He guided me through my first oil painting and I immediately fell in love with the process. He also taught us how important it is to get outside for inspiration. We covered so many different things in art class that when we came to oil painting I knew it was exactly what I was meant to do. It felt like home. So a huge thank you to these two amazing teachers!! I also met some friends along the way that developed the “whimsy” inside me like my friend Leah, and she also showed me the BEST music! The way that she normalized loving fairy tales at an older age also felt like home to me. Thank you LCS!!”






Alexis graduated in 2016 from LCS. She attended Western Carolina University. During her time at WCU she was a Chancellor’s Ambassador, Senator for SGA, Elections Chair for SGA, C.O.R.E. Council Member for SGA, EnTOURage member for WCU, Volunteer Service Chair for the LatinX Appreciation Student Organization, Cat Camp Counselor, President of Mujeres Con un Propósito, and continues to be an Hermana of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. Alexis earned the Lily Award at WCU, Volunteer of the Year for the Southeastern LatinX Student Conference, Senior Senator of the Year for SGA, and C.O.R.E. Council Member of the Year for SGA. She graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish. Alexis also has minors in Special Education and Leadership.

Alexis was accepted to WCU for graduate school. During her time in graduate school she served as a Graduate Ambassador for the Graduate Office, EnTOURage Graduate Coordinator for WCU, and Southeast Regional Academic Advisor for her sorority overseeing all of the chapters in TN, FL, and NC. She was also accepted into WCU’s Project INTERACT Program where she has a certificate in further experience working on an interprofessional team serving children with autism and moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. She also assisted with research conducting studies to see the influence of language development that bilingual siblings have on each other.

Currently, Alexis works for Lincoln County Schools as a Speech-Language Pathologist, working primarily with preschoolers, middle schoolers, and assisting with team-based assessments for incoming bilingual preschoolers. Recently Alexis received her Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule 2nd Edition (ADOS-2) Certification to assess and diagnose autism with an interprofessional team. She is the only bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist serving for Lincoln County Schools. Aside from her job, she serves as the Chapter Advisor for her sorority’s chapter at WCU, she is also her sorority’s representative for the WCU Greek Alumni Council, and serves as a Mentor for the WCU Senior Leadership Class.

Looking back, Alexis can see how her time at LCS prepared her for where she is now.  One point of emphasis has been the sense of responsibility she developed while with us. Being able to manage being involved with extracurriculars and being a good student was something that she learned early on at LCS since joining clubs and sports in middle school. Alexis looks forward to a career od service. During her time at LCS she was involved in several Student Life programs, and taught by LCS and her mother that the right thing to do is always give back. Her passion is giving back and she’s honored to be able to give back and help the students in her community that have a speech/language need especially for the Spanish speaking community to bridge the gap.




Jordan graduated from Gaston College in 2020 with an Associate's Degree in Science, then graduated from North Carolina State University in the fall of 2022 with a Bachelor's in Animal Science.

During his time at NC State he worked as a research assistant for multiple poultry research studies with publications in the effects of amino acid levels during rearing on Cobb 500 slow-feathering broiler breeds as well as the impacts of air velocity treatments under summer conditions.

Jordan has served as a volunteer at the NCSU Dairy Farm where he helped milk cows. What started as a service opportunity became the place he discovered his love for working with livestock.

Also during his time in college, Jordan worked as a "PackChat Representative", or student ambassador, speaking with prospective students and their families about the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Animal Science Programs.

Since graduating in December, Jordan has been working full time as a veterinary technician at Tryon Equine Hospital in Columbus, NC while applying to Veterinary programs.

In looking back on his time at Lincoln Charter, Jordan can see that his transferring in and joining us in the 10th grade really pushed him out of his comfort zone, to his great benefit. Going beyond the familiar led to some of his success at NC State.  Jordan said, "Never in a million years would I ever have thought that I would work in poultry research, but taking risks like that and just putting myself out there is the reason I am where I am today. Forcing myself out of my comfort zone and making myself do things I normally wouldn't want to do is directly responsible for every bit of success that I have in my life right now. You never know how much something insignificant [can] mean until you're living your dream looking back on how you got there."






Allayna graduated from Lincoln Charter School Class of 2020. Below is her story in her own words:

"When I graduated, I took a break and worked at an assisted living facility in Gastonia and left from there to become a one-on-one for adults with disabilities in Lincolnton. In between working these two jobs, I found out I was pregnant and needed to come up with a plan, so I decided to attend Gaston College of Dallas. I have chosen to go into the field of law because I would like to become a Family Lawyer. My first year at Gaston, I wanted to get involved around campus and found out about their Work Study Program to earn some money working on campus. I got the position to be a Personal Assistant to the Athletic Director where I attended meetings, answered phone calls, typed letters and sent emails, assisted him at basketball games, and even attended the Radio Station sessions every Thursday afternoon.


I went on maternity leave and while at home I received a call from Fred Hatley the Clerk of Court for the Lincoln County Courthouse. He gave me a temporary position in the Civil Department as a Deputy Clerk. My experience in the courthouse was awesome - I loved it! I was putting new cases in, microfilming, assisting in court, running files in and out of the courtrooms, helping the public, etc. This temporary position helped me receive other opportunities, and I gained knowledge and hands-on experience on the law side of things. My temporary position ended and a couple of months later, I was given a position in a law firm in Gaston County and a position in the courthouse for Gaston County, I went with the courthouse for Gaston County, and it was another temporary position but after the first 5 weeks I was hired full time working as a cashier and Criminal Deputy Clerk. Overall, from both courthouses I gained Civil, Cashiering, and Criminal experience. Out of all of my positions in the courthouse I will say the Criminal was my home because of everyone I worked with; we were all close, they were my family. I got familiar with multiple attorneys around the area, judges,  District Attorneys, and some amazing police officers. While working for the courthouse in Gaston County I received another position offering higher pay and better benefits and chose it.


Now I currently work for the Town of Maiden in their Town Hall I am a Customer Service/ Accountant Technician in the Utility and Finance Department. When residents of Maiden come to pay their utility bills, register for sports, move into the Town of Maiden, do rentals with us, I am responsible for taking in all the payments. I am still learning my way into this job but so far, I know I can do it and I will enjoy working for the Town of Maiden.


Lincoln Charter taught me how to not give up on what I want in life. All the essential things I learned in high school have been applied to my life such as Dave Ramsey methods for saving and spending my money, I have applied these methods to my life, and it has been very important now that I have a son. Motivational Mondays from Mr. Smith’s class rubbed off on me as I was leaning towards a few of those during some hard times in my jobs. English Class from Dr. Calloway were much needed as it is very essential to my career and all the jobs I have worked at."



A Proulx


After Graduating LCS in 2015, Alexandra attended Methodist University and graduated with 2 Bachelors of Science degrees: Justice Studies and Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity. She also earned honors from the Honors Program, the Sigma Alpha Pi Honor Society, and the Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society. 

Afterward, she interned with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Digital Forensic Examiner from May-August 2018. She has since earned a Master of Science degree in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation is working on her Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice.

Alexandra currently works at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Digital Forensic Examiner and recently attended the TechnoSecurity conference hosted at Wilmington, NC.

Looking back, Alex can see how the LCS Community Expectations prepared her for her current role:

"My love for service is what has carried me from high school to today." Her experience serving her LCS community has translated to serving the country. Alex said, "The big picture is that we each have a role to fulfill successfully in order for us to be effective as a whole and serve to protect the homeland at our best.  A sense of empathy is almost required for this role because it takes a lot for people to continuously come in and work on ongoing, sensitive issues. So to understand that the person next to you at work is going through the same process as you reminds you that you’re not alone and neither are they."



Kenny Lowe


After graduating LCS in 2015, Kenneth attended Campbell University. There, he triple-majored in History, Spanish and Homeland Security, was a Brother of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, and a member of the History Club and Homeland Security Club.

Now, we are lucky to have him back as a 7th Grade Social Studies teacher at our Lincolnton Campus!

Kenneth says, "I see connections between my Lincoln Charter Experience and where I am now pretty much daily, as my life is still a Lincoln Charter Experience!" He loves "being able to not only teach students about content that [he is] passionate about but also to mentor them and help them realize their potential."




After graduating LCHS in 2012, Matt Doyle attended Appalachian State University. During his four years there, he found a passion for fitness and recreational sports, of which App had plenty to offer. He taught group fitness classes and also worked at the weight rooms on campus during his time there.

Matt said, "Despite the weather being colder than I would have hoped, I could not imaging having gone to another school. I loved App State!" He went on to graduate with a double major in economics & marketing with a minor in finance.

After graduation, Matt started his career in a sales role at a mortgage & real estate coaching company where they helped loan officers & real estate agents structure their business, improve processes, and ultimately increase their revenue.

He was there just under 4 years and was their top producer and youngest Team Lead in company history (which was over 20 years at that time).

Matt said, "Although I learned a lot, I decided to leave that position and jump in head-first to the mortgage industry. For the last 3 years, I have been helping clients refinance and/or purchase their new homes. While it has had its ups and downs, I have loved every minute of it. I was actually invited to speak on stage this past January at our annual company retreat... in front of over 600 people about what I’m doing to improve the home-buying experience for my clients! I have also become a national mortgage coach assisting other loan officers improve their business as well."





After graduation from LCS, Andrew attended Western Carolina University, earning his Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. By his senior year, he graduated Summa Cum Laude and earned the Senior of the Year Award for the class of 2018.

He has spent time in Nome, Alaska, interning with Summercise, a summer camp program where he worked with local youth in efforts to prevent diabetes and learn about the Alaska Native culture, including outdoor activities and traditional foods. (Pictured here in Alaska) 

Following that, he earned his Masters of Health Science and then completed a yearlong Dietetic Internship in Cherokee NC.

Andrew said, "Focusing on Native Health and fighting health disparities has become a focus of mine. I recently got a job at the Cherokee Indian Hospital in Cherokee NC as a clinical dietitian!
I’m thankful for my time at LCS and often think back to chemistry class with Mrs. Fortkort who made learning fun, and was able to tell us how it applied to real life."






After graduation from LCS, Tori attended Pfeiffer University as a double major in Business Management and Leadership and Accounting. She participated in the Honors learning community where she conducted research and presented at regional and national honors conferences. She was a division II athlete, playing soccer, a 2-year captain, and was awarded All-Conference and All-State honors. She had the opportunity to compete in Phi Beta Lambda, the college extension of Future Business Leaders of America, where she competed in regional, state, and national competitions. She won a national title in Economic Decision Making as well as a national third place for Parliamentary procedure.

More recently, Tori returned to school online, while working full time and earned her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati – go Bearcats!

Tori is currently responsible for the financial reporting for billions of dollars in her role at Nationwide Insurance in Columbus, Ohio, a Fortune 100 company. She works in the Accounting and Finance Solutions area, focused on Reinsurance, a highly complex Alternative Ventures space which has become one of the fastest-growing and most-profitable areas of the Property and Casualty business at Nationwide.

We asked Tori what connections she can see, in retrospect, between her Lincoln Charter Experience and where she is now. She responded:

One of the biggest connections I have seen is what it means to get involved. In both my college and professional life, I have seen the importance of being involved beyond just your normal responsibilities. While at Lincoln Charter I was involved with many activities outside of the classroom and when I carried that forward into my college experience, it really helped me build great connections and gain valuable skills. In my professional experience, I have also found that it has helped me build deeper connections with colleagues and network in ways that have actually led to my current role at Nationwide! Having the opportunities to get involved at LCS outside of the classroom laid an excellent foundation for knowing how to get involved and find great opportunities for the rest of my life!

We’re proud of you Tori, and looking forward to the amazing things that are still to come for you!






First up is Megan Minaudo from the Class of 2019! Megan graduated with a BS in Public Health and minors in Biology and Health Management Services from College of Charleston while doing Army ROTC at the Citadel. She was commissioned into the Army as a second lieutenant Quartermaster and will be going to officer training in October. Last August, she completed training at Air Assault school.

We are so proud of how Megan has continued to exemplify our community expectation of Service long after leaving our campus.