Savannah Classical Academy Foundation Announces Terri O’Neil as New Executive Director

Staff Report

Monday, August 31st, 2020

Today, the Board of Directors of The Savannah Classical Academy Foundation announces that Terri O’Neil will be serving as the organization’s first Executive Director. Founded in 2015, the Foundation’s goal is to support the academic endeavors of Savannah Classical Academy (SCA), a locally approved tuition-free public charter school. 

SCA, located at 705 East Anderson Street, opened in 2013 to serve Savannah and Chatham County. Offering a classical education model in an all-encompassing supportive structure, the classical program focuses on vigorous curriculum, character development, modern language, art, and civic responsibility with an emphasis on eight virtues; Compassion, Perseverance, Courage, Respect, Responsibility, Diligence temperance, and Integrity. The school’s student enrollment is just over 400 students from Kindergarten to twelfth grade. SCA is led by Executive Director, Barry Lollis, who assumed leadership of this nonprofit K-12 charter school in 2016.

Lollis comments,” We are very thankful for all the support the Foundation has given to our school and students over the years. I am very excited about the Foundation board creating this new position.” 

Terri O’Neil has served on the SCA’s Board of Directors since 2016. Additionally, she served as Development Director and then Executive Director of Savannah Philharmonic until June 2020, one of SCA’s premier educational partners. Prior to joining Savannah Philharmonic, Ms. O’Neil was the Development Director for Historic Savannah Foundation, another collaborative partner with the school. She has deep roots in the community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Rotary Club of Savannah, the Caretta Research Project, as well as Savannah Philharmonic. With more than 30 years of community development and team-building experience in the Savannah area, Terri O’Neil will continue to serve in support of uplifting and inspiring Savannah’s youth. In this newly created position, Terri O’Neil will lead strategic initiatives and report to the Foundation’s board.

“We are fortunate to have Terri as our Foundation’s Executive Director,” said Ted J. Kleisner, Chairman of The Savannah Classical Foundation board. “She is a proven talent, knows Savannah and most importantly, understands SCA, as a member of its governing board and, as a volunteer at the school. Terri will greatly assist us in the advancement and the implementation of the foundation’s strategic plan.”

Savannah Classical Academy’s mission is to provide every child with a classical and academically-rigorous education while instilling a commitment to civic virtue and moral character.

SCA is a K-12 charter school that is open to all students residing in Chatham County and retains a charter that allows it to operate autonomously under a board of community members and parents. To learn more about SCA, visit