Roanoke County Public Schools names new assistant principals, principals, performing arts supervisor, and director of equity and engagement

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — On Thursday, Roanoke County Public Schools announced the selection of three new assistant principals, two new principals, one new supervisor of performing arts, and the first director of equity and engagement for the district, effective this July.

“We are very fortunate to have so many outstanding leaders in our district and I’m pleased we are welcoming two new leaders to our school district,” said Dr. Ken Nicely, superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools, in one of several statements released by the school division on Thursday, April 22.

These announcements about the newly-appointed school leaders listed below comes after the Roanoke County School Board meeting on Thursday evening:

Assistant Principal for Glenvar High School

According to Roanoke County Public Schools, Tyler Brown — the current dean of students and athletic director at Glenvar High School — has been named as the new assistant principal for Glenvar High. 

Brown first joined the school district in 2012 as a teacher at Northside High School, but then he became a teacher at Glenvar High in 2017and was named the school’s dean of students in 2019. 

Earlier this year, school officials say Brown took over the role of athletic director after the passing of Richard McElwee. 

Brown holds a bachelor’s degree from Ferrum College, a master’s degree in teaching from Mary Baldwin University, and a certification in school administration from James Madison University.

Assistant Principal for Glenvar Elementary School and Fort Lewis Elementary School

After 19 years teaching at elementary schools in Norfolk, Roanoke City, and Botetourt County, Nina Rushing will join Roanoke County Public Schools as the new assistant principal at Glenvar Elementary School and Fort Lewis Elementary School, according to school officials.

Rushing has a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Wilmington, an elementary teacher licensure from Old Dominion University, a master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia, and a certification in educational leadership from James Madison University.

Assistant Principal for W.E. Cundiff Elementary School

The school district says Conner Hill has been named the new assistant principal at W.E. Cundiff Elementary School, coming to Roanoke County Public Schools with eight years of teaching experience — mostly at the elementary school level — in Botetourt County.

Hill holds a bachelor’s degree from Roanoke College, as well as a master’s degree in educational leadership from Virginia Tech.

Principal for Glenvar Middle School

Amy Duff was named the new principal for Glenvar Middle School. (Photo: Courtesy Roanoke County Public Schools)

The Roanoke County School Board selected Amy Duff as the new principal at Glenvar Middle School, replacing Josh Whitlow as he takes on the position of principal at Hidden Valley High School. 

Duff, who currently serves as the assistant principal at Glenvar Middle, first joined Roanoke County Public Schools in 2004 as a teacher at Northside High School. She was then named the coordinator of English in 2006, assistant principal at William Byrd High School in 2007, assistant principal at William Byrd Middle School in 2010, and assistant principal at Glenvar High School in 2018.

Duff holds a bachelor’s degree from Radford University, a master’s of arts in liberal studies degree (concentration in English) from Hollins University, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Radford University.

“Amy has shown exceptional administrative leadership at various levels for fifteen years and I’m pleased she is becoming a principal at Glenvar Middle School,” said Dr. Nicely. “I’m confident she will be a great principal to continue the tradition of excellence at Glenvar Middle.”

Principal for Hidden Valley High School

Josh Whitlow was named the new principal for Hidden Valley High School. (Photo: Courtesy Roanoke County Public Schools)

The current principal at Glenvar Middle School, Josh Whitlow, will return to Hidden Valley High School as the school’s new principal, replacing Lori Wimbush, who has been named the director of equity and engagement for Roanoke County Public Schools.

Prior to his time as principal at Glenvar Middle, Whitlow served as an assistant principal at Hidden Valley High from 2003 to 2017.  Before that, Whitlow was the band director at Glenvar High School.

Whitlow has a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, both from Virginia Tech.

“Josh has been an excellent principal at Glenvar Middle and I’m confident he will be an excellent principal at Hidden Valley High School,” said Dr. Nicely.  “Josh will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to Hidden Valley, and will continue building on the strong programs in place,” Dr. Nicely said.

Supervisor of Performing Arts for Roanoke County Public Schools

During their recent meeting, the Roanoke County School Board also named Rick Elliott as the new supervisor of performing arts.

Elliott retired last year after a long career as the band director at Hidden Valley Middle School, but then he came back in an interim capacity as the supervisor of performing arts this year and will officially come out of retirement to serve in a more permanent role.

Director of Equity and Engagement for Roanoke County Public Schools

Lori Wimbush was named the director of equity and engagement for Roanoke County Public Schools. (Photo: Courtesy Roanoke County Public Schools)

The members of the Roanoke County School Board named Lori Wimbush as the director of equity and engagement, which is a new position created as part of the district’s ongoing effort to cultivate an inclusive learning culture and respectful climate in Roanoke County’s public schools. 

According to Roanoke County Public Schools, Wimbush has been serving as the co-chairperson of the district’s equity committee for the past year and has been working achieve the division’s goals and objectives related to diversity and equity, such as ensuring equitable access to high quality learning and programs for all students.

“Now, more than ever, we must work to champion a ‘changing hearts and minds’ approach that engages stakeholders in dialogue that raises awareness and results in productive, meaningful and equitable outcomes for all students and staff,” said Dr. Nicely.

Wimbush first joined Roanoke County Public Schools as the assistant principal at Northside Middle School in 2004, was named principal at Northside Middle in 2006, and was named the principal of Hidden Valley High School in 2016. Prior to joining Roanoke County, Wimbush worked as a teacher in both Henry County and Roanoke City.

Wimbush holds a bachelor’s degree from Radford University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from Radford University, and an Educational Specialist’s degree from Liberty University.  On top of that, school officials say she is is currently working on her doctorate from Radford University.

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