AHPS Instructional Leadership - Press Release

LOW MOOR — An instructional leadership team has been named for Alleghany Highlands Public Schools, which will be created on July 1, 2022, when Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center merge into one school division. 


The instructional leadership team, approved on April 12, 2022, by the Alleghany County School Board and the Covington City School Board, will include Dwayne Ross, Director of Secondary Instruction; Sherman Callahan, Director of Elementary Instruction; Dr. Shannon Fuhrman, Director of Technology and Accountability, and Dr. Jason Conaway, Director of Special Education.


Ross, Callahan, and Conaway have been carrying out the same roles for Alleghany County Public Schools. Fuhrman will move into her new role with the joint school division after serving as director of instruction and technology for Covington City Schools.


The instructional directors in the joint school divisions will be supported in their leadership by principals, superintendents, and supervisors, but they will have key roles in ensuring effective teaching and learning.


"We are so excited to have a more robust opportunity to serve the children of the Alleghany Highlands through instructional leadership, and we are fortunate that these existing members of the ACPS and CCPS team have complementary skills.  Instructional planning will feature prominently in the academic year ahead, and this is a team who can work hard to support our students, teachers, and parents,” said Kim Halterman, superintendent of Alleghany County Public Schools.


“The recently appointed instructional team has been working diligently this school year with plans for the new division with teams of instructional staff with many curriculum planning meetings.  Hours have been spent working to bring innovation to the curriculum. They will have more detailed plans to finalize in the 2022-2023 school year. Each director brings years of experience to this exciting upcoming school year that will pay dividends to all stakeholders in our community,” said Superintendent of Covington City Public Schools Melinda Snead-Johnson.


Ross has been director of secondary instruction for Alleghany County Public Schools since January 2021.


He graduated from Alleghany High School in 1988 and attended Virginia Military Institute in Lexington on an athletic scholarship.  Ross received a bachelor’s degree in history from VMI in 1992. He also holds a master’s degree in administration and supervision pre-kindergarten through 12th grade from James Madison University in Harrisonburg. He received his master’s degree in 2002.


After graduating from VMI in 1992, Ross returned to Alleghany County and taught GED Prep and Literacy Passport at Alleghany High School for one year before he was named director of Alternative Education.  He assumed that role in August 1993. He was named an assistant principal at Alleghany High School in June 2002. In October 2014, Ross was named AHS principal and he served in that capacity until he was appointed as Director of Secondary Education.


Callahan has served as Director of Elementary Instruction for Alleghany County Public Schools since 2019.


From October 2020 to March 2021, he was acting superintendent for the school division.


Callahan received a bachelor of science degree in education from Virginia Tech in 1995. He later earned a master’s of education in administration and leadership/policy from Virginia Tech in 2002.


Callahan was a teacher at Boiling Spring, Callaghan, and Falling Spring elementary schools for six years prior to serving as assistant principal at Clifton Middle School for seven years. He served as principal at Sharon Elementary for 10 years before accepting the position of Director of Elementary Instruction in 2019. Callahan is married to Lindsey Ward Callahan and they have a 9-month-old daughter, Blake Allison. 

Conaway has served as Director of Special Education for Alleghany County Public Schools since July 2021.

Before joining ACPS, Conaway was a West Virginia Department of Education coordinator in the Office of Federal Programs. His duties included state-wide oversight for programs serving students with autism, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) indicators, mental health services, and behavior modification. 

Conaway received a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a specialization in multi-categorical special education from Fairmont State University, a master's degree in elementary education from Marshall University, a master's degree in special education from Concord University, and an educational specialist degree in school psychology from Marshall University. In 2019 he completed his doctorate in educational leadership from Liberty University. 

In his 19 years in education, Conaway has taught special education, served as a middle school administrator, worked as a school psychologist, and was also an interim special education director. Conaway has ties to Alleghany County because his mother-in-law taught special education for 27 years in elementary schools around Alleghany County.

Fuhrman has been employed by Covington City Schools for 26 years.

She has held several positions for the school division, starting as a teacher at Covington High School. At CHS, she taught math, computer science, and SAT math preparation.


She also served as junior class sponsor and coached varsity volleyball, varsity track and JV softball.


After being promoted to administration, Fuhrman was an assistant principal at CHS, while also serving as athletic director and division math specialist.

After serving a short time as interim principal at Jeter-Watson Intermediate School, Fuhrman was named principal at Covington High School. She was later transferred to the central office to serve as the division’s Director of Instruction and Director of Technology.


Fuhrman received her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of Virginia.


She is married to Rick Fuhrman. Rick retired after a long career with Covington City Schools. He served as a teacher, coach and a guidance counselor before moving to administration. He was serving as principal at CHS when he retired.  


Under the consolidation plan, the two school boards and the central offices will merge on July 1 and create Alleghany Highlands Public Schools. County and city students will be merged into a single student body of approximately 2,700 students at the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year.