South Stokes Principal Johnna Cheek has been named Stokes County Principal of the Year, a recognition voted upon by administrators in the district. The award was announced at a Leadership Conference of School Administrators held at Chestnut Grove Middle in King.
Stokes Superintendent Dr. Brad Rice said Cheek is truly deserving of the accolade.
“Mrs. Cheek is a wonderful administrator who cares deeply about the Saura family and Stokes County Schools. Mrs. Cheek has the unique ability to care about all stakeholders. She is a student advocate, who values parents and the community, while supporting her staff. While helping South Stokes achieve amazing results, she has also served as a resource to the other schools in Stokes County,” he said.
Cheek is a 1989 graduate of South Stokes and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Industrial Relations from UNC-Chapel Hill. She received her Master’s in Education in Counseling from UNC-Greensboro along with a Post-Masters Certificate in Advanced Counseling, Post-Masters Certificate in School Administration and Specialist in Education degree in Educational Leadership from UNC-Greensboro.
Cheek’s career in education spans 23 years. She’s served as a school counselor, assistant principal, a principal at Walnut Cove Elementary and the principal of South Stokes since 2016.
When announcing this year’s recipient of the award, Rice said Cheek was one of the first leaders in the district to actively lead and embrace digital learning. South Stokes was also recognized by the state for their academic growth.
“I was very surprised to receive this award,” she said. “We have so many strong leaders in our district who have mentored me and provided assistance in my leadership journey. It is a true honor to have been selected by my peers as principal of the year.”
Cheek said South Stokes is a special place to work because of the people.
“We have great students, families, and community members who support our school. Our staff is comprised of some of the most dedicated employees anywhere and they have created the family atmosphere you find at South by building positive relationships with students. They challenge me to continually grow and learn and it is truly a pleasure to serve alongside them.”
The principal thanked her family, especially her husband and children, along with mentors who have inspired her to serve in the community where she works.
“I have been blessed to work with outstanding educators both here in Stokes County and across the state and appreciate their guidance, leadership, and friendship through the years.”
Cheek will go on to compete in the regional competition this December. The Wells Fargo Principal of the Year Award was introduced in 1984 to recognize outstanding leadership in North Carolina’s schools and the role of the principal in establishing an environment conducive to the pursuit and achievement of academic excellence. Wells Fargo sponsors the award in conjunction with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.