Community Celebration: Operations Specialist Kendra Yates’ Charleston Favorites

Story by cnmAdmin2030 / October 24, 2019

Kendra Yates is the Operations Specialist for Meeting Street Elementary @ Brentwood. A self proclaimed “army brat,” Kendra was born in Germany and moved around a lot growing up, but calls Sumter, South Carolina home. She made the move to Charleston two years ago for a job opportunity and to attend graduate school at Charleston Southern University. You can check out her favorite local spots below!

1. Favorite workplace outside of the workplace?
My backyard. I love to sit out on my patio on my swing looking over the lake, with a little neo-soul music playing. The ambience makes it easier to work and I normally get a lot done in this setting.

2. Favorite community event?
I love to go to The Commodore, a vintage jazz club on Meeting Street that started in the early 80’s as a “Touch of Class.” The Commodore offers live music from different bands 5 nights a week. This very unique location is a hidden treasure in Charleston that many should take advantage of. The band that I enjoy the most is the Black Diamond Band, who performs on Tuesdays!

3. Favorite thing to do on a weekend?
Exploring historical sites in and around the Charleston area. There is so much to see in Charleston, so there is always something new to find in the area.

4. Go-to Restaurant?
I have two favorite go-to restaurants so it is a little hard to choose. The first is Nigel’s Good Food! Nigel’s is a southern soul food restaurant with a focus on some of the Gullah Geechie recipes that are popular in the culture of the Gullah Geechie here in Charleston. The second restaurant is Water’s Edge. Water’s Edge is located on the scenic Shem Creek, bringing “Downtown Dining” to the Mt. Pleasant area.

5. Best Brunch spot?
My favorite brunch spot is Ink N Ivy located on King Street in Downtown Charleston. The food is great and the atmosphere is always amazing.

6. Favorite local sports team/sporting event?
Charleston Southern University Men’s & Women’s Basketball and Track teams. I attended graduate school at Charleston Southern and now conduct study hall for the student athletes there. In the past year, I have began appreciating and supporting these teams. They truly are amazing young adults and great athletes! Everyone should definitely come out and support the CSU Buccaneers.

7. Favorite way to get outside?
I love water and anything that consists of being around water, I want to be apart of. I love going to the pier to sit and take in the views or going to The Battery to watch the dolphins and the ships.

8. Where’s the best place to kick back and read a book in the area?
Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. I often go to this park to decompress, read, relax, and even have a picnic.

9. What’s the first thing you recommend to anyone visiting the area to do?
I would recommend they do two things. First, go by the Mother Emmanuel Church to pay your respects to the lives that were lost during the shooting, which was meant to bring upon so much hatred and division, but instead brought so many people together. Then, they should go on a boat cruise to view the beauty that lies in and around Charleston. Together these two events show someone visiting the many different sides of Charleston, including the diversity and history, new and old, that lies within the city.

10.Anything else about Charleston that you’d like to share?
Charleston is an onion filled with tons of history, culture, and experiences that can only happen here. Take the time to look into everything that the city has to offer, not just the nice and pretty things, but everything that makes Charleston one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. Dig deep into the history of Charleston and all that still lies here today.


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About Meeting Street Schools

Meeting Street Schools (MSS) is an innovative non-profit where schools, families, and the community collaborate to create environments where all children can achieve their full potential. With a network of schools across South Carolina, including MSA-Charleston (Charleston, SC), MSA-Spartanburg (Spartanburg, SC), MS-Brentwood (North Charleston, SC), MS-Burns (North Charleston, SC), and MS-Jasper & Beaufort (Jasper, SC), we are committed to providing students with the rigorous education they deserve.

Founded on the principle that every child deserves an excellent education regardless of their socio-economic background, Meeting Street Schools has been a beacon of hope and a testament to what's possible in education. Our schools are driven by a strong focus on student achievement, evidence-based instruction, and relentless support of our students and their families.

While united by our shared mission, each MSS campus, is unique in its character, tapping into the local spirit of the communities they serve. Explore each of our schools and discover how they're creating a brighter future for students in South Carolina.

News & NotesFrom Clemson University to Master Teacher and Player Coach: Emily Godwin

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Our Schools

MSA – CharlestonDowntown Charleston, SC - Independent School - Since 2008 - 364 Students

Nestled in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, MSA Charleston is more than just a school—it’s a hub for innovative learning and community engagement. As part of the Meeting Street Schools network, MSA Charleston embodies a commitment to excellence through its rigorous academic programs, inclusive culture, and focus on developing the whole child. With a curriculum that emphasizes both academic and personal growth, MSA Charleston prepares students to be curious learners and active citizens of their community.

MSA – SpartanburgDowntown Spartanburg, SC - Public School - Since 2012 - 323 Students

MSA Spartanburg stands as a pillar of educational innovation in the Spartanburg community. The school’s dedicated educators and supportive learning environment ensure that each child receives a high-quality, personalized education with exceptional faculty and teachers. MSA Spartanburg is distinguished by its emphasis on community partnership, fostering relationships that extend beyond the classroom to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and success.

MS – BrentwoodNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2014 - 694 Students

MS Brentwood is a place where education meets opportunity. Serving the Brentwood area, this school is a testament to the transformative power of education. With a student-centered approach that celebrates diversity and encourages excellence, MS Brentwood is dedicated to equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. MS Brentwood also serves as a hub for the Brentwood community to access educational and wellness services. The school’s commitment to innovation, coupled with a warm, welcoming environment, makes it a standout in the MSS network.

MS – BurnsNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2018 - 478 Students

Located in a community rich with history and culture, MS Burns is renowned for its dynamic educational approach that intertwines traditional learning with modern teaching techniques. The school’s focus on experiential learning ensures that students at MS Burns are not only recipients of knowledge but also active participants in their educational journey. MS Burns exists to spark an educational revolution for the students and families in the Dorchester-Waylyn Neighborhood in North Charleston. With a commitment to creating a supportive and challenging academic environment, MS Burns is forging a new path in public education.

MS – Jasper & BeaufortJasper County, SC - Public Charter School - Fall 2023 -

MS Jasper represents the Meeting Street Schools’ dedication to community-based education with a global perspective. The school provides a nurturing environment where students are encouraged to explore their potential and cultivate a love for learning. With its diverse programs such as Eureka Math, and Wit and Wisdom, MS Jasper puts a major emphasis on character development, specialized learning and equips students to become thoughtful, engaged members of society, reflecting the MSS ethos of empowerment through education.


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“Meeting Street Academy is my family. They taught me that I am valuable. I am an asset to the world…They asked me, ‘What is your dream?’ I had never been asked that before. The MSS community gives me the strength to pursue my dreams.”

— Kadelyn SteedStudent

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“MSA is a family. Once you’re in, you’re in. They said they would follow our kids from K-3 to college and they actually lived up to what they said they would do. Not only did MSA challenge my daughter academically but it also exposed her to new things that she probably wouldn’t have been exposed to at our previous neighborhood school. Our journey at MSA was exciting and rewarding. They actually walk the walk.”

— Tyeka GrantParent

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“We come into work everyday truly believing that our students are capable of achieving anything that is put in front of them. Here at MSS, students are provided the opportunity to achieve success through the facilitation of well-educated teachers, resources, and a responsive classroom school environment.”

— NikToshia GilesTeacher