County schools promote two to central office

By Jeff Linville - [email protected]




DOBSON — Surry County Schools is promoting two school officials to the central office to replace retiring personnel.

The county Board of Education announced this week that Brenda Whitaker, federal programs director, is retiring, effective June 30.

In December 2015, Jennifer Scott retired as elementary education director, and Jan Varney, a retired principal, served as interim for the position. Varney can now return to her retirement as the position is filled.

Taking Whitaker’s position in July is LuAnne Llewellyn, current assistant principal at Flat Rock Elementary School.

DeAnne Danley, current principal of White Plains Elementary School, takes over as elementary education director for Scott and Varney.

Whitaker served in the county school system for 34 years, beginning her career as a teaching assistant at Copeland Elementary.

She spent 13 years as a classroom teacher at Pilot Elementary and Shoals Elementary where she taught first, second, third, and fifth grades. From 1997 to 2007, she was an instructional specialist for the district. During those 10 years, Whitaker worked at Cedar Ridge, Dobson, Flat Rock, Shoals and White Plains. In the fall of 2007, Whitaker became director of federal programs.

In that post, Whitaker provided focus and direction for the Title I, ESL, and Migrant programs, school officials said. “She was instrumental in planning the utilization of funds available to the schools through the various federal programs,” the schools said. She made routine visits to schools to provide input, give feedback, and collaborate with school personnel on projects and programs requiring federal monies. She also assumed responsibility for coordinating and writing documents submitted to the state department of education or other designated agencies as required by law.

“Brenda Whitaker provided leadership and direction in federal programs to ensure that the district offered the best possible educational programs and services,” said Dr. Travis Reeves, superintendent.

“Her strengths are many but keeping up to date with changing laws and guidelines, preparing budgets, and completing efficient evaluations are some of her greatest areas of excellence.”

Upon retiring, Whitaker plans to spend more time with her son and daughter-in-law, Hank and Tracie Whitaker, and her two grandsons, Tyler and Clay.

LuAnne Llewellyn graduated from North Forsyth and received her Bachelors of Arts from Wake Forest University in the early 1980s, where she majored in anthropology and minored in political science. She added licensure in elementary education from Lees-McRae College, and received her master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Phoenix. Llewellyn recently received her certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

She has worked as a paralegal, flight attendant and an elementary educator in kindergarten and fifth grades. Llewellyn is bilingual and previously worked at the Museum of Man at Wake Forest University, writing grant applications and developing educational exhibits.

She has worked at Flat Rock Elementary since 2001.

Danley graduated from North Surry in 1996. In 2000, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Lees-McRae College graduating Summa Cum Laude. During her time at Lees-McRae, she received both the Prospective Teacher’s Scholarship and the NCAE’s Mary Morrow/Edna Richards Scholarship.

Danley received a Master of Arts in Reading Education from Appalachian State University in 2004 and completed the school administration add-on license in 2012. She is enrolled in Gardner-Webb University’s Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program.

Over her 16-year career in Surry County Schools, she has been a classroom teacher at Copeland and White Plains where she taught first and second grades.

In 2010, she started as assistant principal at Dobson Elementary where she remained for three years. In the fall of 2013, Danley became the principal at White Plains. During her time as principal, White Plains Elementary exceeded growth three consecutive years on state testing and received the Piedmont Triad Education Consortium Signature School award.

“During my tenure with Surry County Schools,” said Danley, “I believe I have gained the knowledge and skills to prepare me for this new journey. I truly count it an honor to be a part of such a dynamic leadership team. I look forward to serving the district in this capacity.”

Danley is married to Paul Danley and they have two children, Will, a sixth-grader at Gentry Middle School and Mae, a first-grader at White Plains.




By Jeff Linville

[email protected]

Reach Jeff at 415-4692.

Reach Jeff at 415-4692.

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