staff members pose together outside

We are thankful for our dedicated staff members here at Boys Home. In their many different roles, staff members work with our young men day in and day out to ensure their success.


Donnie Wheatley, Executive Director

Donnie E. Wheatley

Executive Director

Beginning his tenure as executive director in 1985, Mr. Donnie Wheatley has led Boys Home of Virginia with vision and heart for more than 30 years. In his time as executive director, Mr. Wheatley oversaw two major capital campaigns. Under his direction, student and staff housing was renovated, the Wheatley Center for Intake and Evaluation was built, and the infrastructure for on-campus education and the applied trades were put in place.

Mr. Wheatley is the first executive director to be a former resident, having lived at Boys Home throughout his high school years. Upon leaving Boys Home, he went on to earn a degree in electrical engineering from the Virginia Military Institute, an MBA from Valdosta State College, and he spent three years in the Marine Corps. He returned to the Covington area in 1982 to work for Westvaco, and shortly thereafter was approached about the executive director position.

Mr. Wheatley’s passion for Boys Home is evident to all. Speaking of his time at Boys Home, he says, “It’s not about doing a job. It’s about living a life.”


Chad Whitmer

Associate Director of Program

Originally from the Harrisonburg area, Chad Whitmer was a resident of Boys Home from 1999 through high school graduation in 2004. After graduation, he enlisted in the army reserves while working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an MBA from Liberty University. Wanting to give back to the organization that had given him so much, Mr. Whitmer returned to Boys Home as an employee in 2008, working first as a houseparent, then becoming director of admissions, and finally moving into his current role as Associate Director of Program. While working at Boys Home, Mr. Whitmer also earned a master’s degree in divinity from Rawlings Divinity School at Liberty University. He is married to Laura Whitmer and has three children, Savannah, David, and Sarah.

Throughout all his experience at Boys Home, Mr. Whitmer is most thankful for the opportunity to get to know all the incredible young men we serve.


Robert Trice, one of Boys Home's key staff members

Robert “Bobby” Trice

Director of Support Services

A Boys Home resident from 1985 -1993, Mr. Bobby Trice is now the Director of Support Services. Prior to returning to Boys Home as one of its key staff members, Mr. Trice was in the active duty Army beginning in 1997 as a combat medic and served two combat tours of duty. During his time in the Army, he was inducted into the Army medical department’s prestigious Order of Military Medical Merit (O2M3). He went on to retire from the Army as a Master Sergeant after 20 years of service. In 2019, Mr. Trice was awarded the Purple Heart for his service in Afghanistan.

While he was with the Army, Mr. Trice earned a BS in health science, a degree as an LPN, and a certification as a master resilience trainer from University of Pennsylvania. Bobby is married and has a son and daughter. His son followed in his father’s footsteps joining the Army Reserves while he attends college.


Teresa Johnson, Director of Education

Teresa B. Johnson

Director of Education

A lifetime resident of Clifton Forge, Ms. Teresa Johnson has been an educator for more than thirty-five years. Ms. Johnson earned her bachelor’s degree from Hampton University, her MS from Radford University, and she is currently a doctoral candidate at Virginia Tech. She began her teaching career with the Alleghany County Public School system. In her time there, she taught elementary school, middle school, and worked as an administrator. In 2016, Ms. Johnson retired from the Alleghany County Public Schools and joined the Boys Home staff as a remediation teacher. Soon, she was promoted to director of education, where she manages all aspects of the Boys Home School.


Elaine Brelsford, Development Manager

Elaine Brelsford

Development Manager

Ms. Elaine Brelsford is the development manager for Boys Home of Virginia. Originally from the Shenandoah Valley, she has a bachelor’s degree in English and religion and a master’s degree in pastoral counseling and psychology. Most of her career experience has been in non-profits and in the social service sector. Past positions have included positions in adoptions, mental health services for adoptees and their families, foster care, and family preservation. Prior to joining the Boys Home community, she worked as executive book editor and then as executive director of for the American Quilter’s Society in Paducah, KY. Today, she lives in Covington, VA with her husband, Gregg, and has three grown children.


Anne Grizzle


Ms. Anne Grizzle is an author, spiritual director, family therapist and retreat leader who hosts weekly chapel sessions and discipleship meetings for Boys Home students and staff members. Ms. Grizzle has extensive experience in ministry and family therapy, receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology and social relations from Harvard College, her master’s degree in health and mental health from Columbia University, and a post master’s certificate in advanced clinical social work and family therapy from Hunter College of New York. In addition to her educational achievements, Ms. Grizzle serves on the boards of several nonprofits. In her spare time, Ms. Grizzle hosts retreats at the Bellfry at Broadview Ranch, the retreat home of the Grizzle family.