CIS-VA welcomes Willie H. Gillus, Jr. as Director of Embedded Operations. Willie joins us from CIS of North Carolina where he has served as director of community partnerships and, most recently, director of embedded operations. Willie will drive CIS-VA’s presence in the Southside region of the Commonwealth, which will launch with partnerships with Greensville County Public Schools and Danville Public Schools in the 2023-24 school year.

Willie is a native of Greensville County, Virginia. He received a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology and exercise science from Norfolk State University, where he was a record-setting quarterback for the football team. Immediately after college, he took his football skills to both the NFL and Canadian Football League before embarking on a twenty-year career in coaching at the high school and collegiate levels.

Willie’s coaching career ignited a passion for youth development and educational leadership and inspired him to earn a master’s degree in urban education and group counseling from Norfolk State University. As a qualified mental health professional, he has worked at the individual, school and community level to serve young people and empower their success.

At Communities In Schools of North Carolina, Willie actively engaged community leaders, businesses and organizations in the work of CIS to drive growth and sustainability in Northeast North Carolina. This experience, combined with Willie’s personal passion and commitment to the Southside region of Virginia, is certain to be a tremendous asset to the CIS-VA state office and network and its goal of impacting more students throughout the Commonwealth.