- By Lauren Hanna
- Alumni, News, Uncategorized
One of the most valuable resources at Boys Home is the staff. The Boys Home mission comes full circle when men who were residents in their youth return to “pay it forward” for the boys who live here now. Only they can uniquely relate to the challenges and struggles the students face.
Administratively, the most well-known of the group is Executive Director Donnie Wheatley. Mr. Wheatley has led the way through capital campaigns, the creation of Boys Home School and the applied trades program and has become the resident expert on Boys Home’s history. It’s a big responsibility, but he always has time to say hello or share a piece of advice with the boys. Chad Whitmer, associate director of program, builds relationships with each boy and helps them develop leadership skills. On many weekends, he can be found leading a group of students through mountain passes on camping trips and teaching them life skills. Bobby Trice serves as director of support services and joined the staff in 2017 when he retired from the Army as a Master Sergeant after 20 years of service. Although Bobby’s full-time job keeps him busy seeing that the campus infrastructure is running smoothly, he makes it a point to know the students and spends time with them. He is also willing to come to your area and share his story about how Boys Home has made a difference in his life.
Danny Cale is the facility maintenance manager. Danny is a skilled organizer with his team and applies that same efficiency when teaching his home wiring class to students. Check out the December 20 post to the News section of the boyshomeofva.org website to see how this hands-on class causes students to begin to think like business owners. Rick Turner came to Boys Home after selling a successful heating and air-conditioning business. He teaches those same skills to students, also keeping busy with maintenance projects on campus. It’s also possible to catch Rick in a snappy Santa Claus outfit at the Boys Home Christmas Tree Farm!
None of Boys Home’s programming would be possible without houseparents. After graduation from college, Donnie Costigan and Milliyon Fesseha found their way back to Boys Home to share their experience and wisdom. Their influence for good in the lives of the boys is inspiring. David Powers also returned to Boys Home and worked on the farm. He has recently accepted a position in law enforcement, and we wish him all the best in that new endeavor.
Lastly, Mike Nunnally became the Hilltopper’s basketball coach in 2018. A retired teacher and coach, he now impacts both players and spectators with his professionalism, work ethic, fairness, and general good humor. He excels at not only building basketball skills but at building character in team members.
The presence of these men on campus demonstrates the success of the mission of Boys Home. They bring depth and a breadth of experience that is invaluable as we offer today’s students a second chance at success.
Left to right first row: Donnie Wheatley, Bobby Trice, Milliyon Fesseha
Second row: David Powers, Rick Turner
Third row: Mike Nunnally, Chad Whitmer, Danny Cale, Donnie Costigan