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Changes may help division run “smoother and leaner”

Even though Chuck Winkler has served in the role of superintendent since Jan. 1, he officially assumed the job on July 1. As he ushers in the new school year, Winkler announced changes in the School Board Office staff.

Perhaps the biggest change is in the top administrative structure.

Winkler eliminated the positions of assistant superintendent, director of finance and director of student services.

Brenda Gilliam’s title and role has changed. Gilliam was the director of curriculum and instruction. She is now the executive director for instruction and finance.

Don Stribling is now the executive director of student services, operations and human resources, Winkler said.

“As I began my new role, I worked with the administrative team to determine how to best structure the School Board Office staff to best serve the school division,” Winkler said. “I’m looking forward to working closely with and leading the dedicated, caring staff to continue to make a quality difference for the children of Fluvanna.”

Gilliam, who has been with Fluvanna schools for 19 years, will be responsible for the division’s instructional program, career and technical education, gifted education, and finances.
The finance office staff has been restructured and the roles and responsibilities are:

  • Amanda Settle, budget analyst;
  • Lizzy Garrison, accounts payable;
  • Kandy Kovaleski, payroll and accounts payable for cafeteria, extended education, and Piedmont Regional Education Program; and
  • Jamie Stafford, payroll for the division.


Jill Dahl, director of elementary instruction and federal programs, will provide oversight to the K-7 instructional program and management to all of the school division’s federal programs, Gilliam said.

“I am excited about the team we have in place,” Gilliam said. “It will be a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills. We have a strong team of educators in Fluvanna and I continue to be inspired by their dedication and enthusiasm. Over the past several years, we have developed a good partnership with the county and I look forward to continuing our collaboration.”

Winkler agreed that over the years the administration has become a true team with the county. “The budget will always be a challenge, but fortunately we have a great relationship with the Board of Supervisors,” he said.

Last year Stribling was the director of student services. So to that role, he adds the following responsibilities:

  • Human resources: personnel, staffing, interns, and mentors;
  • Student services: homebound, foster care, homeless, and out of county placements;
  • Operations: facilities and transportation;
  • Campus safety and security: crisis management plan, safety audits, and grants;
  • Community agency liaison: Department of Social Services, the sheriff’s office, and county organizations;
  • Health and wellness: food service and nurses;
  • Divisional discipline; and
  • Regional director of Project RETURN: an alternative program grant serving 20 school divisions throughout the state.


Stribling is also in his 19th year with Fluvanna schools. He said he is excited about his new responsibilities.

“When thinking about the upcoming school year, I am looking forward to everything that embodies Fluvanna County Public Schools, but most importantly the interaction and engagement with our students, families, and staff,” he said.

Amy Haislip-Shelley is the division’s licensure specialist, coordinating licensure applications and assisting staff with the licensure renewal process. She is also one of Stribling’s assistants.
Jamie Mathieson, director of testing and accountability, will continue to work with the division’s testing services and the development of state accountability reports, but will also oversee the alternative education program at Abrams Academy.

Winkler said he expects by combining responsibilities the administration will run smoother and leaner.

“I hope that by making these changes, the school division will be able to reduce administrative costs while continuing to provide high-quality support to the division’s stakeholders,” Winkler said.

Some things remain the same.

“The mission and vision is generally the same as the one created by me and [former Superintendent Gena] Keller: ‘Dare to imagine through engaged, inspired learning every day,’” he said. “However, I have added a twist around the term ‘expectations.’ Asking only, ‘What do you expect?’ This brings more clarity to having high expectations for students, self, and others in order to make a quality difference.”