Johnna Cheek has been named new principal for South Stokes High School after principal Wayne Duggins stepped down last week.
Cheek will be working between Walnut Cove Elementary and South Stokes through the transition until a new principal is in place at Walnut Cove.
“Like many others, I’m sad that Mr. Duggins is leaving Stokes County, but appreciate his guidance and mentorship. He was instrumental in bringing positive change to South over the past three years and I am grateful that he allowed me to be a part of his administrative team,” Cheek said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity extended by the Board and Dr. Rice to lead the staff at South Stokes as we prepare the future leaders of Stokes County.”
Before being named principal at Walnut Cove Elementary, Cheek served as assistant principal at South Stokes and also served as a school counselor there from 2004 until 2014.
“Having spent over 11 years there as a counselor and then as an assistant principal, in many ways it’s like going home. As a counselor, I was able to work with students individually to address their concerns and connect them with the courses, skills, and extracurricular opportunities that would benefit them as they prepared to join the military, enter the workforce, or attend college.”
Cheek worked closely with administration on developing school-wide plans and master schedules to meet the needs of South’s students.
“Stepping into the assistant principal role allowed me to work more closely with teachers to make sure the skills and knowledge students needed for the future were at the center of instructional practices. The dedicated staff at South Stokes have embraced the literacy and technology initiatives introduced over the past three years and having played a part of the administrative team who planned and implemented these initiatives, I feel confident we can maintain the positive trajectory that South is on,” she said. “The students at South are among the best and brightest in the state and we are fortunate to have a community that both celebrates that fact and offers the encouragement and support needed for our students to excel.”
Cheek was a South Stokes graduate before earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Industrial Relations from UNC-Charlotte, a Masters of Education in Counseling from UNC-Greensboro, Post-Master’s Certification in Advanced School Counseling from UNC-Greensboro, Post-Master’s in School Administration from UNC-Greensboro, and Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from UNC-Greensboro.
“I’ll miss the wonderful students and staff at Walnut Cove Elementary. The excitement that the children bring to school each day is a constant reminder of our responsibility as educators to instill a love of
learning in our students. The staff at Walnut Cove are some of the most dedicated and focused educators I’ve ever worked with and diligently address individual student needs. I sincerely appreciate how the students, staff, and families welcomed me in January and introduced me to the bright, talented young minds of our future Sauras.”
As a small child Cheek could stand outside her front yard and hear the Saura fight song being played on Friday nights.
“I never imagined that I might one day be the principal at South Stokes, but I know there’s nowhere else I’d rather be,” she said.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.