Cheek named as new Walnut Cove principal

By Nicholas Elmes -


Johnna Cheek has been named as the new principal for Walnut Cove Elementary effective Jan 1, 2016. Principal James Kirkpatrick will be retiring as principal on Jan 1, 2016 after having served as principal at Walnut Cove for 11 years; a total of 13 in the county.

Cheek is currently the assistant principal at South Stokes High School, a position she has held since 2014. Other roles Cheek has held with the district include the 2015 summer reading program principal at London Elementary. Prior to that she served as school counselor at South Stokes High School from 2004-2014 and also at King Elementary from 1994-2004 and King Intermediate from 1994-95.

“I certainly believe Cheek will do an outstanding job as the new principal of Walnut Cove Elementary,” said Superintendent Ronnie Mendenhall. “Cheek has served Stokes County Schools for 20 years with tremendous dedication and commitment. Our school system wishes her the very best in this new endeavor.”

Cheek said she was honored to be named for the position.

“As a product of Stokes County Schools I could not be happier for the opportunity to work with the staff, families, and students in my home community,” she said. “Walnut Cove is a hidden gem in our community and they have been fortunate to have Mr. Kirkpatrick serve as their principal for the past several years. The school has experienced much growth under his leadership and I hope to help maintain high expectations and positive student outcomes.”

Cheek also credits Principal Wayne Duggins at South Stokes for giving her great leadership experiences while serving as assistant principal.

“Cheek has served Stokes County Schools for twenty years with tremendous dedication and commitment,” said Mendenhall. “Our school system wishes her the very best in her new endeavor.”

Cheek earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Industrial Relations from UNC-CH; Masters of Education in Counseling from UNC-G; Post-Master’s Certification in Advanced School Counseling from UNC-G; Post-Master’s in School Administration from UNC-G; and Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from UNC-G. She is currently completing her doctoral studies in educational leadership at UNC-G.

Cheek has many accomplishments while she has been a part of the district including leading professional development. She authored and administered the NC Dropout Prevention Grant and request for additional funding for South Stokes High School’s dropout prevention program from 2008-2011 which totaled $94,000.

Cheek’s community involvement includes Hope Kitchen and Youth Ministry volunteer with First Baptist in Walnut Cove. She has also been active in Relay for Life and worked in the past with Stokes County Stop Child Abuse Now Program serving on the Board of Directors.

She and husband, Brad have two children: Andy, a student at Stokes Early College High School and Anna Kate, a student at South Stokes High.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.


By Nicholas Elmes

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