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Karen Mott
Executive Director

Karen Mott received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Michigan State University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan.  Karen practiced clinical social work for 10 years before moving into the field of education as a preschool teacher and an assistant teacher in Richland 2. Karen is married to her husband, David, and has two children – Sarah and Andrew. She is excited to be at Camp Discovery where children explore nature and learn about how the environment.

Amy Ellisor came to Camp Discovery from the Division of Education at Columbia College where she was Director of the Teaching Fellows and Teacher Cadet Programs and was Professor of Science Strategies for Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle Level Teacher Candidates. Amy has taught numerous science methods, human growth and development, children’s literature and educational technology courses.  As well, Amy was selected as a Richland School District Two Honor Roll Teacher and Bookman Road Elementary’s first Teacher of the Year.  She served as an administrator in Richland School District Two and as a Teacher Specialist for the SC Department of Education and is a Dwight D. Eisenhower Award recipient for her work with professional development in science education. She was a featured author in T.H.E. Journal for her work in customized learning, and she serves on the School Improvement Council at Windsor Elementary and has held leadership positions on the School Improvement Council and PTO Executive Board at Bookman Road Elementary.  Amy is a GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) certified educator and a NASA MEI Faculty Advisor.


Amy earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies and an M.Ed. from the University of South Carolina where she received the Mary J. Heimberger Memorial Scholarship. She is married to her husband, Casey Ellisor, with two children - Lucy and Deon. 

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Amy Ellisor


Outreach Coordinator


Heather Phelps

Program Facilitator 

Mary Beth Estes

Development and Fundraising Specialist 

Heather Phelps received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Wofford College in 1999.  She received her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of South Carolina before becoming licensed as an Independent Social Worker - Clinical Practice.  Heather is married to Jason Phelps and has two children, Ava and Will.  Both children have been attendees of Camp Discovery's Earth Keepers summer camp for many years. Heather has worked at the South Carolina Network of Children's Advocacy Centers and has spent many years providing therapy to children and their families.  She is now looking forward to serving children and the community at Camp Discovery.

Mary Beth Estes has two daughters that attend Cardinal Newman. She and her husband have lived in Columbia for over 20 years. She is a certified Early Childhood and Elementary School Teacher. She taught in Richland Two for the last several years and is taking some time away from the classroom to focus on her family. However her love for science and particular interest in wildlife conservation led her to Camp Discovery. She is excited to continue interacting with students and families through her work at Camp Discovery.

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