UPDATE: Reeves steps down as Ashe schools chief, Johnson takes over in interim
Last modified: Dec. 5
Ashe Schools Superintendent Travis Reeves is going home.
Reeves announced his resignation, which is tentatively set for Dec. 31, on Nov.24, to become the superintendent of the Surry County School System.
Donnie Johnson, who served as superintendent for Ashe Schools from 1999 until 2009, has agreed to serve as interim superintendent for the remainder of the school year, according to the school system.
Reeves said the decision to leave Ashe County was “bittersweet.”
“I have truly enjoyed living and working in Ashe County,” said Reeves in a statement. “My family and I have made many friends and created meaningful relationships. I will miss Ashe County and will always carry the pride that is demonstrated here in my heart. The decision to resign from Ashe County and join Surry County is based on moving my family closer to grandparents and immediate family who live and work in Surry County.”
Reeves had previously worked in Mount Airy City Schools for 11 years and has lived in Surry County for six.
He launched his career in education in Surry County.
“I worked there right out of college and have met and got to know a lot of people,” said Reeves. “My family has worked for Surry County all of their life. My wife is from Surry County. In a lot of ways, this is a homecoming for my family.”
On his decision to take the new position, Reeves said it is “a great fit personally and professionally. Surry County is an innovative school system that is very progressive. They are doing a lot of the same things that we already do in Ashe.”
Reeves said his contract with the Ashe County school system, which originally came into effect in 2009, has been extended twice with the latest extension in 2015.
The board of education has accepted is resignation and there will be no penalty for leaving before his contract is set to expire.
According to school system officials, Reeves annual state salary is $111,312 with a yearly local supplement of $10,000.
The school system has noted the strides students, faculty and staff have made during his tenure.
According to a release, the school system has seen an increase in student achievement scores, an increase in the high school graduation rate, as well as decrease in the dropout rate since Reeves came aboard in 2009.
Reeves also oversaw the implementation of a new strategic plan and transition to a new curriculum.
Reeves is a native of Alleghany County. Prior to coming to Ashe County, he was a principal of East Guilford High School.
He replaced then-retiring superintendant, Donnie Johnson.
The decision to name Reeves superintendent was met with some opposition during a May 2009 special board meeting.
Former board members A.B. Weaver and Dorothy Witherspoon voted for former Ashe Middle School teacher Bobby Ashley, a vote that eventually failed 2-3.
Along with other stops, Reeves was also principal of Jones Intermediate School in Mount Airy.
“We appreciate the dedication, hard work and leadership shown by Reeves,” said school board chair Charles King. “He has led the school system through a tough economic time which required difficult decisions to be made. Throughout this time, he has guided us in making choices that were best for the students of Ashe County.”