Phone: 843-399-2204, ext. 663415


Degrees and Certifications:

M.Ed. in School Counseling

Mrs. Laurie G Thomas

My name is Laurie Thomas.  I have been serving students at Waterway Elementary School since the year 2015, as school counselor.  I love this career and enjoy working with students, as well as engaging their parents to be actively involved at school. For the school year 2020/2021, I will be serving students in grades 1, 3, and 5.

The idea that I would be an educator had been realized long before I ever became a school counselor, as my commitment to the educational system is evident in my past and current experiences.  In fact, I was a Teacher Cadet while a student at North Myrtle Beach High, where I graduated many years ago. After graduating from high school, I started college at the University of South Carolina in Columbia majoring in elementary education.  Life happened, I experienced some family issues and as a result, I quit college.

I later returned to college at Coastal Carolina University as a non-traditional student and earned a Bachelor Degree in Psychology.  After that, I continued my education at Liberty University and earned a Master Degree in School Counseling.

The opportunity for me to return to my hometown and serve my community in the capacity of an elementary school counselor helped me to realize my passion to serve young people.  I believe all students need and deserve a solid educational foundation as well as a dependable support system within school to grow into responsible and successful adults. I work to empower students to challenge themselves to meet their fullest potential and maximize their success.  By taking a holistic approach to each child’s development, I realize each has his/her own strengths and weaknesses.  Ultimately, it is my goal to ensure I am helping all students to meet their academic, career, and social/emotional needs.

In my personal life, I am happily married and have one beautiful daughter.  When I am not working, I enjoy reading, fishing, traveling and Gamecock football.

For the 2020/2021 school year at Waterway Elementary School, I will be serving students in Grades 1, 3, and 5.

Please visit my Bitmoji Classroom to learn more about me.



Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. LaDonna Gist

My name is LaDonna Gist and I am happy to be a new member of the Waterway Elementary School family! I have been a school counselor for 11.5 years-9 years as an elementary counselor then 2.5 years as a high school counselor. While I loved the students and schools where I served, I was not happy being away from the elementary level. I decided to return to the elementary level as it best fits me.

I have a  Bachelor of Science in Social Work (1994) along with a  Master of Education in School Counseling ( 2008). My education has been invaluable to me but the most valuable lessons have come from the students, parents, faculties and communities I’ve served.

It is my desire to be an asset to the Waterway family. I hope to be a support, provide guidance and diligently serve our students advocating for their best interests. School counseling is a work of passion that I do not take lightly.  

I am a native of Manning, SC where the majority of my family still lives. My daughter and I are currently residing in Conway, SC. I am the youngest of four.


For the 2020/2021 school year at Waterway Elementary School, I will be serving students in Grades CD, K, 2, and 4.