Nancy E. Fish | Executive Director

After growing up on Hilton Head, Nancy returned to the island after graduating from Dartmouth and obtaining her Montessori training she started her career here with Sea Pines Montessori, Hilton Head Preparatory School and The Island Recreation Center. She is excited to return home again. Nancy looks forward to bringing her experience and knowledge to the Sandbox at an exciting time in its growth. Nancy holds a master’s degree in education from Lesley College with a specialty degree in Conflict resolution and Peaceable Schools. She has spent her life in the field of Early Childhood Education administration, most recently as Head of School of a Montessori school in Newton, Ma. With her Montessori training, Nancy is a strong advocate for hands on learning for all children. She sees The Sandbox as a needed learning resource for our community’s children and families.

Nancy has four children and resides here on the island with her two daughters. She enjoys spending time with her childhood friends and family, relaxing on the beach, and running.


Eric Nelson | Tanger 2 Manager

Eric was born and raised in Deep River, CT. He received a B.A. in History and Classics from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.,  his M.A. in Archeology from The University of Liverpool in the U.K. and an additional M.A. in Judaic Studies from Brandies University in Waltham, MA. For seven years he worked as an educator at The Museum of Science (MOS) in Boston, MA. His primary function there was the development and implementation of hands-on activities for school-age children. During his time at the museum, he designed programs for a variety of STEAM and cultural exhibits including The Science Behind Pixar exhibit. His educational philosophy includes a well-balanced STEAM approach with the use of hands-on inquiry-based learning and Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). As a member of The Sandbox, Eric is dedicated to putting his experience in informal education to work for the community.

Eric lives in Bluffton with his wife.  He enjoys antiquing, gardening, video games, and cooking.


Kimberly Cavanagh | Education Program Coordinator

Kimberly, a Fulbright scholar, holds a Phd in Cultural Anthropology, an MA in Cultural Anthropology, and a Graduate Certificate in Visual Anthropology from the University of South Carolina. She also holds two undergraduate degrees from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada in Anthropology and Classical Archaeology. She was recently awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award in Social Sciences by University of South Carolina Education Foundation in recognition of her pedagogical approaches.

Her interest in educational programming spans nearly fifteen years. During her first undergraduate degree, she completed an 18-month internship with the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec, where she developed and implemented a variety of educational programs, including the “Mysteries of Egypt” and “Black History Month”, along with programs that complimented the permanent children’s exhibits housed at the museum. More recently she has worked with middle school aged children, developing and teaching a course titled ‘Adventures in Anthropology and Archaeology” with the University of South Carolina’s Pre-University Programs. Her students learned about scientific observation through Gold Fish crackers and explored ideas of gender through Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.

Kimberly lives in Bluffton with her husband and daughter. In addition to her position at The Sandbox, Kimberly is an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort. Whether working with kindergarteners or university level students, she strives to incorporate integrative learning into all the activities she presents.

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