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Meet Our Principals

Phone: (706) 694-3471

Email: paula.wheeler@wcsga.net

Paula Wheeler

Principal

I am honored and excited to be your new principal at Varnell Elementary School.  My passion is to continue to lead and serve the students and staff at Varnell Elementary.  As a child, my education began at Varnell Elementary, then North Whitfield Middle School and graduated from Northwest High School in 1995.  My college career began at Dalton State College.  I then transferred to the University of North Georgia graduating with my Bachelor of Science Degree in Interrelated Special Education.  My Masters Degree from Central Michigan University is in Curriculum and Instruction and my Educational Specialist Degree is from Lincoln Memorial University.  This is my 23rd year in Whitfield County Schools.  After six years as an itinerant  special education teacher I became a special education teacher at Westside Elementary for nine years.  For the past seven years I have served as the Assistant Principal at Varnell Elementary.

My husband, Kevin, and I have been married for 22 years and have two beautiful children.  Our daughter Savannah is a sophomore  at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega studying to be a nurse and our son Dawson is a junior at Northwest High School.  My passions are spending time with my family,watching my son play football and fish, baking and cooking, working outside in my flower beds and garden,working on our Christmas tree farm, walking the beach with my mom and daughter and relaxing in the mountains. I am SO excited for this school year and making lots of wonderful new memories as a VARNELL COLT!

Phone: 706-694-3471

Email: brad.hayes@wcsga.net

Brad Hayes

Assistant Principal

I am honored and excited to be your new assistant principal at Varnell Elementary School.  As a five-year-old child, my education began at Trion City Schools and after 12 years, I graduated from Trion High School in 1986.  My college career began at Floyd Junior College, where I majored in History and Political Science before transferring to West Georgia College in Carrollton, Georgia where I graduated with my Bachelor of Science Degree in Middle & Secondary Education in 1993. My teaching concentration was Social Sciences (6-12). I earned my Masters Degree from Berry College in Early Childhood Education in 1998, and my School Administration and Leadership certification from Jacksonville State University in 2000. I completed my educational degrees in 2001 with my Educational Specialist Degree from Berry College. 

The 2023-2024 school year is my 29th year in education and my 11th year in Whitfield County. I worked 10 years in the classroom as a high school social studies teacher (7 years) and a middle school Special Education teacher (3 years). I have worked 19 years in administration, which included seven years at the high school level, three years at the middle school level, and nine years at the elementary school level. I am blessed to serve as assistant principal at Varnell Elementary School. 

My wife, Judy, and I have been married 29 years and have two wonderful children.  Our oldest son Luke earned a teaching degree at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia where he studied high school social studies. Luke is married to the former Randi Harbuck of Cobb County, Georgia. Luke teaches history and coaches football at Hillgrove High School. They have been married three years, and live in Powder Springs, Georgia.  Our youngest son Jake earned his degree at Kennesaw State University. Jake is a certified nutritional coach and personal trainer in Marietta, Georgia. 

My hobbies are spending time with my family, researching my family history, collecting baseball and football cards, photography, traveling, and supporting the Georgia Bulldogs. Judy is a second-grade teacher in Walker County, and we reside in Chattooga County on our family farm. It is great to be a VARNELL COLT!