Beaufort Today -

Lovell named Bridges Prep’s operational officer

Bridges Preparatory School has hired Caroline Lovell as its first chief operational officer to help lead the state charter school as it grows in size and academic offerings.

Since 2004, Lovell has served as director of finance and human resources at United Way of the Lowcountry. She has been involved at Bridges Prep since it started in 2013 and most recently served on the board of directors before resigning in February.

“There were 25 applicants for the position, but none of them brought the depth and breadth of experience that Caroline brings to Bridges,” head of school Nick Ithomitis said. “She understands the challenges we have faced, the obstacles still in our path, and she brings a skill set to help us achieve success.”

Bridges Prep was chartered in mid-2012 and opened at near capacity in August 2013. For the 2017-18 school year, it will expand to 10th grade and in two years will be a full-service K-12 state charter school.

The school will be consolidating its current three campuses onto one site in Port Royal in the next 18 months. The new K-12 facility is being financed by a federal loan.

“I’m thrilled at the opportunity and humbled at being selected,” Lovell said. “Fortunately I am ready to start work on day one because I’ve been involved in a lot of the work to get us where we are today.”

When she starts in mid-April, Lovell’s duties will include human resources, development and fundraising, financial oversight and ensuring the school continues to operate efficiently and effectively.

“We were sad to lose her from the board, but it’s truly a bonus and a blessing to have her join our staff with all of her expertise,” board of directors chair Dee Matthews said.

Lovell has a bachelor’s degree in institutional administration with a minor in business administration from Georgia Southern University. She is certified by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Human Resource Certification Institute.

As a state charter school, Bridges Prep is open to all students in the Lowcountry without tuition.