Deputy Superintendent/Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Cherie Whitehurst, Deputy Superintendent for Bedford County PublicDr. Cherie Whitehurst Schools, has served as a school administrator for twenty years. She began working at the district office in 2009 as the Assistant Superintendent overseeing all schools and centers, supervising principals, and serving as the Discipline Hearing Officer. Her role as Deputy Superintendent, which began in 2014, grew to include her working as the Chief Academic Officer also supervising instruction and special education. 

Dr. Whitehurst has had the opportunity to work as a school administrator in all three zones in Bedford County. She served as the principal of Liberty High School, her alma mater, from 2006 to 2009, and Staunton River High School, from 2000 to 2006. Prior to becoming a principal, she served as an assistant principal at Jefferson Forest High School and Staunton River Middle School. 

Dr. Whitehurst has also taught at Staunton River Middle School and Forest Middle School. While serving as a middle school teacher, Dr. Whitehurst had the opportunity to coach girls' basketball and cheerleading for Forest Middle School. In 1995, Dr. Whitehurst was named the Bedford County Teacher of the Year, the Bedford County Middle School Teacher of the Year, and the Staunton River Middle School Teacher of the Year. 

Dr. Whitehurst has taught courses on Supervision of Instruction and Educational Leadership at Liberty University and on Effective Instructional Strategies at Lynchburg College. For seven years, she served as a visiting faculty member for the Virginia Tech Recently Appointed Administrators Institute teaching on Safety and Crisis Management in our Schools. During Dr. Whitehurst’s tenure as a principal, she also served as vice-president and secretary for the Virginia High School League’s Seminole District. 

Dr. Whitehurst earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from James Madison University in Elementary Education and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Lynchburg College. She holds a Doctor of Education from Virginia Tech in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. In fulfillment for the degree of Doctor of Education, she completed a dissertation entitled A Case Study of the Patterns of Practice Used to Provide Access to the General Curriculum for Secondary Students with Disabilities. Dr. Whitehurst is also a Lifetime Certified Trainer for Dr. Ruby Payne’s work, A Framework for Understanding Poverty. In 2016, Dr. Whitehurst was awarded the J. Edward Petty Outstanding Graduate Alumni award by Lynchburg College's School of Education, Leadership Studies, and Counseling. 

Dr. Whitehurst has lived in Bedford County, Virginia all her life with the exception of living in Rockingham County, Virginia for nine years. She is married to David Whitehurst, attorney and pastor. They have two daughters, both of whom are graduates of Liberty High School. Alison holds a Doctorate of Pharmacy Degree and works as a Pharmacist Specialist for Neurology and Pain Management at a Veterans Hospital. Anne holds a degree in Accounting and is a CPA whose job is Director of Finance and Treasurer for a local government.  

Dr. Whitehurst leads with a "team" philosophy believing that innovation and excellence come when school leaders work collaboratively with teachers, students, and parents to create a learning community that inspires respect, curiosity, exploration, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, individualization, and team work. She has chosen strong and experienced directors who share her philosophy. The Academic Leadership Team Directors include: Mr. Tim Overstreet, Director of Instruction; Dr. Susan Mele, Director of Elementary & Fine Arts Programs; Dr. Tony Francis, Director of Secondary & CTE Programs; and Mrs. Sara Staton, Director of Special Services. 
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