Courtney Wheeler, Principal

Mrs. Wheeler is a native Virginian who was raised in a family of public-school educators in Washington County. The value of receiving an education and the importance of listening, communicating and understanding the feelings of others were instilled in her from a very young age.

Mrs. Wheeler received her B.A. degree from the University of Virginia-Wise in 2007. While attending, she played collegiate volleyball for two years and four years on a regional championship and national qualifying softball team. She completed the qualifications for teacher licensure and embarked on her career to make a difference in students’ educational, emotional and social well-being.

Mrs. Wheeler began her teaching career as a 6th grade math teacher at Chancellor Middle School in Spotsylvania Public Schools. Upon completing her 8th year, she was employed by Fredericksburg City Schools and taught 6th and 7th grade math at Walker-Grant Middle School. During this time, she completed a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Mrs. Wheeler began her responsibilities and career as an administrator with an appointment of assistant principal at Lafayette Elementary School in 2017. In 2018 she was appointed assistant principal at Hugh Mercer Elementary School. During this time, she gained valuable experience, knowledge and understanding of the educational process for K-5 student learners. In 2019, she was appointed the principal of Lafayette Elementary School. 

Mrs. Wheeler’s educational experiences have afforded her the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of educators to meet the common goal of increasing student achievement and well-being. Her educational philosophy is based on her uncompromising belief that all students can learn, given a positive learning environment, strong and knowledgeable leadership, a committed and focused educational team, and an encouraging community and a supportive family.

Pam Diggs, Assistant Principal


Mrs. Pamela Diggs has been an Assistant Principal at Lafayette Elementary School since 2018.

"Prior to coming to Lafayette, I served as Assistant Principal at James Monroe High School for four years. My teaching background includes teaching all levels of high school social studies. My favorite course to teach was Modern World History, because I love the content, but I also loved teaching sophomores. They were my favorite group! I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Mary Washington College, and I later earned my Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University. Lafayette has an outstanding school community, and I am fortunate to be a part of it.

It is my goal to foster a learning environment where students are able to develop academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. Along with faculty and staff, I will continue to partner with our families and community to support our students in their efforts to reach their personal goals. Please feel free to call or email me to discuss any concerns you might have throughout the year.

In closing, I look forward to working with all of our students and parents this year. Being a part of the Lafayette family is indeed a privilege, and I look forward to serving our students and families."

Stephen Ventura, Assistant Principal


"Greetings Lafayette Family!

I am Steve Ventura, one of your two Assistant Principals here at Lafayette. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the students and families of Lafayette. I have an undergraduate degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Kent State University, and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Mary Washington. Throughout my eleven years in education I have deeply enjoyed working closely with students helping them to reach their potential to become the very best version of themselves.  My beautiful wife and I have a young son named Levi and a bulldog named Willie. As we embark upon the school year I look forward to continuing to foster positive relationships with the staff, students, and families of LES!"