JFWA Faculty Friday Profile: Delaina J. Rhodes


J. Frank White Academy (JFWA) Assistant Principal Delaina J. Rhodes has been at the Academy for 15 years. She teaches U.S. history and American government for the upper school.



BA from the University of Tennessee, History Major/Religious Studies Minor

MEd from LMU in Curriculum & Instruction

EdS from LMU in Instructional Leadership


Career Background:

I worked for three years at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development before completing the Post-Baccalaureate teaching certification at LMU.  One of my professors was Bonnie Buckland, principal of J. Frank White Academy.  She asked me to apply for a position once my license was approved.  I worked an interim position at Halls High School in the spring of 2005 and applied in the summer to JFWA.  I was hired by Sheila Clyburn.  I’ve been at JFWA since August 2005.  My son was not even two years old.  Now, he is a junior at JFWA!  When I was hired, I was the only social studies teacher for grades 7-12. The Academy has grown tremendously! I’ve been a “hybrid” administrator at JFWA since at least 2014.  I began this work as a curriculum coordinator. Since 2018, I’ve been an assistant principal, designated to the Upper School.


Why you love teaching/favorite teachers:

I still love being in a room with my students, sharing my favorite subjects with them.  My favorite teachers were Mrs. Valentine (4th/5th grade) and Mr. Rowan (8th grade).  They were both, not surprisingly, social studies teachers.  Mrs. Valentine told the best stories with a tremendous amount of passion.  I loved listening to her.  Mr. Rowan enforced a strong work ethic in 8th grade U.S. History.  His expectations were high, but his class was fun and informative.  He left an impression on me when he remembered my name on the first day and pronounced it correctly.  It showed that he cared enough to know me. But, I’ve had so many fantastic teachers in my life.


Fun Facts:

-My son is my biggest life accomplishment.  I nearly didn’t get him here and he’s amazing. 

-I’m an oil artist. 

-For years, I raised some pretty fabulous Quarter Horses, mostly for reining. I possess extensive (and completely irrelevant) knowledge of Quarter Horse breeding and some of my former clients still email me for advice on stallions.

-I love doing anything outside.  When I was young, my lackluster immune system often kept me indoors.  So, I enjoy walking, hiking, kayaking, landscaping and growing flowers.

-I love home improvement projects.

-I read frequently—all kinds of things.

-I’m an amateur genealogist.

-I’m proud of my education.  Many of my family members have passed away.  But, they made sure I had access to a higher level of education so that I’d have more choices in life.  

-I’ve published three lesson plans.  I’d publish more, but I think MTSU doesn’t want to give me more money right now.


The J. Frank White Academy is a private, college preparatory day school serving grades K-12, located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University. JFWA is fully accredited and STEM certified by Cognia, which is the first internationally recognized mark of quality for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) schools and programs, signaling the growing emphasis on STEM education by educators, politicians and business leaders around the world. For more information contact JFWA Director of Admissions Bernie Harrington at [email protected] or apply online at JFWA.LMUnet.edu.


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or email at [email protected].

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