Elite Learning Staff and Instructors

Dawn Stafford is the Executive Director for SVETN. Prior to 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 instructor for Elite Learning for the past ten years. She also teaches Personal Finance and Introduction to Business courses for Elite Learning. 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. She also received certification as a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer. This is a program designed to evaluate and improve the quality of online courses.


Adam Tolbert serves as the Educational Technologist for SVETN on a part-time basis. Additionally, he has taught Personal Finance (FIN-107) for Elite Learning since Fall 2009. Adam works full-time at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon. Adam is a 2008 graduate of Liberty University with a Master of Science in Management degree, a 2006 graduate of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government, and a 2003 graduate of Northwood High School. He has been a student in many online and dual enrollment courses throughout his educational career. Adam was recently honored as a recipient of a “40 Under Forty” award from The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia in 2017.


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 twenty-eight 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 nine 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.


Joey Shipley is an instructor of Honors English 9, Honors English 10, English 11, SAT/ACT Prep, and 20th Century History at Twin Springs High School where he also coaches the scholastic bowl. He is a graduate of East Tennessee State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English as well as a Master of Arts degree in History. Mr. Shipley continued his doctoral studies in history at the University of Kentucky, where he received ABD status. Mr. Shipley is a designer and online facilitator and instruction of professional development workshops for educators, and he teaches various evening courses at the National College of Business & Technology in Bristol.


David S. Burns has a B.S. in Theatre and an M.S. in English from Radford University, where he also worked for two years under a graduate teaching fellowship. Since 2004, he has been an instructor at Northwood High School in Saltville, Virginia.  During that time, he has taught English 9-12, Dual Credit English, Theatre, and Advanced Composition. In addition to teaching, Mr. Burns coaches forensics and directs the school’s theatre program.  He also teaches Play Analysis for the Virginia Governor’s School program at Virginia Highlands Community College.  In 2014, Mr. Burns completed the Applying Quality Matters Rubric training. He also received certification as a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer. This is a program designed to evaluate and improve the quality of online courses. 


Kyle Scanlan is an Assistant Professor in History and Political Science at Mountain Empire Community College. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Northeast State Community College. He has taught History of Western Civilization, United State History, Civil War and Reconstruction, American History through Film, United States History Since 1945, American Government, Survey of American Politics, Introduction to the Humanities, Survey of American Culture, Survey of Western Culture, Survey of 20th Century Culture, and Survey of Horror. He has a B.A. in History/Political Science and American Studies and English from King University, an M.A. in History from East Tennessee State University, and 18 graduate hours in Political Science from Virginia Tech. While not teaching, Kyle enjoys time with his wife Alison and son Hank, along with reading, exercise, and fantasy football.


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. 


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 Masters 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. In his free time, Mr. Powers enjoys playing video games, reading science fiction, going to amusement parks, Dinosaurs, and helping Lorna King with many of her extracurricular duties, like film, theatre, and forensics.


Ms. 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 Foundations.