Meet Our Team

What sets Elite Learning apart in southwestern Virginia is our team of teachers, all of whom are current or former educators in local school divisions. This unique aspect ensures a special level of communication and understanding between teachers and students, as they share not only professional expertise but also a deep connection to the region.  Meet our teachers…

Dawn Stafford is the Executive Director for SVETN. Before taking this role in January 2012, she served as the Elite Learning Program Administrator for over four years. Mrs. Stafford has also been the Business Law, Principles of Business and Marketing, and Economics & Personal Finance instructor for Elite Learning for many years. She taught Business and Information Technology courses for twelve years at Northwood High School before joining SVETN full-time in 2007. Mrs. Stafford received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with 6-12 Certification from Virginia Intermont College. In 2004 she graduated from Virginia Tech with a Master of Arts degree in Career and Technical Education. She also received the distinguished honor of National Board-Certified Teacher in 2008. As well as these academic accomplishments, Mrs. Stafford received her Educational Specialist degree from Virginia Tech in 2009 with a major in Education Leadership and Policy Studies. Mrs. Stafford continued her doctoral studies in Career and Technical Education at Virginia Tech, where she received ABD status. In 2014, she completed the Applying Quality Matters Rubric training, which is a program designed to evaluate and improve the quality of online courses. She also received certification as a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer. CoursesBusiness Law, Economics & Personal Finance, and Principles of Business & Marketing.

Donna Reynolds is the administrative assistant for SVETN. Donna is a graduate of Virginia Highlands Community College with an Associate’s degree in Accounting. Donna has worked in the accounting industry for thirty years and oversees all financial functions of SVETN. She is responsible for maintaining the SVETN website and social media outlets. She has been employed with SVETN for the past eleven years. Donna is a member of the American Society of Administrative Professionals, The Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals, and The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.

Dr. Crystal Hurd is a researcher, poet, and certified book nerd. She has degrees in English Literature from the University of Tennessee and East Tennessee State University, a doctorate in Educational Leadership from ETSU, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. She currently teaches dual enrollment courses, ENG 112, Creative Writing, and British Literature at her alma mater Virginia High School, where she also coaches forensics. In addition to several articles in SEVENSehnsucht, and Christian History Magazine, she is the author of Thirty Days with C. S. Lewis: A Women’s Devotional and The Leadership of C. S. Lewis: Ten Traits to Encourage Change and Growth. Crystal serves as the Reviews Editor for Sehnsucht: The C. S. Lewis Journal. In 2020, she won the Clyde Kilby Research Grant from The Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College for her upcoming title: Bookish, Clever People, a work that explores the artistic and spiritual influence of C. S. Lewis’s extended family. She currently teaches in the Romantic Theology and Faith and Writing programs at Northwind Theological Seminary. Courses: Public Speaking and Creative Writing.

Jonathan Powers is a graduate of Emory and Henry College where he earned his Bachelor of Sciences degree in Mathematics Education. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, he taught Geometry and Trigonometry for Wythe County Public School for nearly a decade before continuing his education at Radford University where he obtained a Master of Science degree in Mathematics Education. He currently teaches dual enrollment Precalculus I/II, dual enrollment Applied Calculus I, dual enrollment Statistics I, Trigonometry and Advanced Mathematics, and Algebra 1 for Wythe County Public Schools. Mr. Powers has taught Elite Learning courses for the past four years.  Courses: Algebra I, Algebra II, Probability & Statistics, Math Analysis/Pre-Calculus, and Calculus.

Dr. Terry W. Mullins is a graduate of James Madison University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies Education. He received his Master of Science degree in History from Radford University and completed his Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction at Virginia Tech. He has also completed Advanced Placement training for the United States Government at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Mullins also completed the Applying Quality Matters Rubric training, which is designed to evaluate and improve the quality of online courses.

Dr. Mullins taught history and government for 30 years in Bland County and Tazewell County. In 2007, he began teaching as a Professor of Education at Concord University. Dr. Mullins is also a founding member and former president of the Tazewell County Historical Society, a former member of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center Board of Trustees in Abingdon, Virginia, a representative on the Virginia Council for the Social Studies, a member of the Board of Directors of the Melungeon Heritage Association, and a member and vice chair of the Tazewell County Tourism Committee. He is also an elected member of the Tazewell, Virginia Town Council, where he now serves as Vice Mayor.  In addition, Mullins has published several articles and has presented programs related to education, teacher education programs, the Melungeon people, cultural diversity, Virginia history, coalfield history, and Tazewell County history to a wide variety of audiences and organizations. In addition to the Pisgah UMC history, Two Centuries of Faith, Dr. Mullins has authored or co-authored several additional books including Bishop, VA-WV, a Coalfield Community and its School; Images of America: Tazewell County; Images of America: Tazewell, Virginia; Images of America, Burke’s Garden; Images of America, Jewell Ridge; Images of America, Bluefield, Virginia; Hidden Histories of Tazewell County, Virginia; Melungeons Out of the Dungeon and the Cove at Maiden Spring, Tannersville in Freestone Valley, Cedar Bluff, Historic Mill Town on the Clinch, Big Creek High School, 1931-2010 and Ramey, a Southwest Virginia Success Story. Course:  Virginia and United States History

Megan A. Mitten has a B.A. in Music Education with a minor in Fine Art, and an M.Ed. in Education from Emory & Henry College, where she served as a Bonner Scholar & Head Resident Advisor. She has used her skills to teach elementary art, secondary band, and secondary chorus. Ms. Mitten currently teaches chorus, musical theater, and general music at Holston High School and Damascus Middle School in Damascus, VA. In addition to teaching, Ms. Mitten enjoys performing with her community & church choirs, and making art with her family and pets. In 2019, Ms. Mitten traveled to Costa Rica where she had the opportunity to teach ESL classes. Ms. Mitten looks forward to sharing her love of music with her students this year!  Courses:  Music History & Literature and Music Theory.

Theresa R. Mitten has a B.A. in Art (PK-12) and an M.Ed. in Education from Emory & Henry College, where she served as a Bonner Scholar and Supplemental Instructor. Since 2020, she has been an instructor at Wallace Middle School in Bristol, Virginia.  During that time, she has taught Art 6, Art 7, and Art 8, as well as after school art enrichment. In addition to teaching, Miss Mitten sponsors an art club and cultivates student work for gallery showings.  In 2018 and 2020, Miss Mitten traveled to Italy to study the masterworks of the Renaissance. She is beyond excited to share her artistic background and connect with new students. Courses:  Art History

Kaitlin Cowley obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography as well as a Master’s degree in Education from Emory & Henry College in 2021. She has been teaching science at Holston High School since January 2022. During that time, Mrs. Cowley has taught Earth Science I, Earth Science II (Astronomy), Environmental Science, and Biology through Project Based Learning techniques. She is also a sponsor for the school’s Science Club. In her free time, Mrs. Cowley loves traveling, hiking, stargazing, swimming, and catching up on the latest Netflix shows.  Courses:  Earth Science and Environmental Science

Christine Mitten has a B.S. in Education from Duquesne University, with certifications in English, Biology, Pre-K to 6, and Art; and an MCOL. in Community and Organizational Leadership from Emory & Henry College. Since 1991, she has been an instructor of students from Pre-K through 12th Grade, most recently teaching English at Holston High School in Damascus, VA. In addition to teaching, Ms. Mitten coaches the Scholastic Bowl team, sponsors a creative arts club, co-directs theater, and performs community service by providing read-alouds and activities for children in the community.  Ms. Mitten is the proud mother of 2 daughters, also teachers, and is excited about the opportunity to share her knowledge with the students of Elite Learning. Course: Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow

Karen Diamond is a graduate of Radford University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. She received her Master of Science degrees in Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Leadership from Radford University.   She is licensed to teach Elementary, Middle School Mathematics, and Business Education. Ms. Diamond is currently an ITRT with Wythe County Public schools and has been in this position for the past 5 years.  Prior to becoming an ITRT, she taught Computer Science for Pre-K to 8th Grade and Technology and Mathematics to middle school students.  Course:  Computer Science Foundations and Computer Science Principles.

Lorna King is a graduate of Radford University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Middle School Education. Even though she found teaching middle school rewarding, Lorna continued her education at Morehead State University where she obtained a Master of Arts degree in English. She currently teaches dual enrollment English, drama, journalism, and film for Wythe County Public Schools. Mrs. King enjoys theatre and can often be seen performing in productions at Wytheville Community College or as a part of the Holston River Performing Arts Company in Marion. Currently, she serves on the Virginia High School League film advisory committee, a group dedicated to inspiring young filmmakers. She has a passion for literature, writing, performing, and film and encourages her students to use those avenues for self-expression. When not teaching or performing, Ms. King is actively involved in her children’s academic and extracurricular pursuits.  Course: SAT ACT Prep (English) and Debate.