Professor Wilkes completed her undergraduate degree in math at Winthrop in 1977, her master’s degree from Converse College in 1994, National Board certification in 2000, and 30 hours above the master’s degree from the University of South Carolina and Converse College. She became a math teacher at Union High School in 1977 and worked in that capacity for 28 years. During that time period, she served as the math department chair for 10 years. In 2005, she became a math teacher specialist for the South Carolina Department of Education and was contracted to work at Jonesville High School and then Sims Jr. High School in Union County. After three years as a teacher specialist, she became the K12 district math specialist for Union County schools. She retired in 2010 after 33 years as a public school educator. She came to Winthrop in 2010, where she works as an adjunct instructor in the math department. She recently was elected to the Union County School Board of Trustees.
Wilkes is a lifelong resident of Union and has been married since 1973. She and her husband have three children and six grandchildren.