Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance Announces Inaugural Fellowship Recipients

NASHVILLE (May 5, 2020)– The Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance (TECA) has selected 12 educators across Tennessee to participate in its inaugural fellowship, designed to provide proven educators with opportunity to develop their leadership potential.

TECA is a statewide nonprofit committed to amplifying the voices and expanding the options for leadership for educators of color in Tennessee. Recently, TECA launched the Tennessee Educators of Color Fellowship, a leadership opportunity that will developconnect and elevate Middle Tennessee teachers  of color in the areas of policy, advocacy and leadership skills in order to improve outcomes for students in Tennessee.  The fellowship is one way the organization fulfills and supports its mission.

“Each of these dynamic educators has already proven they’re dedicated to the field of education and to bolstering the outcomes for all students,” said Diarese George, Ed.D, who serves as the Executive Director for TECA, and is also its founder. “The purpose of our fellowship is to take those dedicated educators and help put them in a position to lead and also encourage their retention in the profession. One of our primary goals is to ensure more educators of color have a shared, elevated voice and a stronger presence. We’re absolutely confident that each of these fellows will become visionary leaders who help guide our children and our state to levels not achieved previously.”

The fellows are as follows:

Jacqueline Bing, Metro-Nashville Public Schools, special education teacher providing inclusive and small group instruction to lower elementary students

Priscilla Conerly, Franklin Special School District, an eighth grade English and Language Arts teacher.

Tequila Cornelious, an Instructional Literacy Coach, Franklin Special School District.

Lyzette Garza, Metro-Nashville Public Schools, a social justice educator who works with students, families, and school leaders to raise awareness around issues of equity and inclusion

Dania Henry, Metro-Nashville Public Schools, an instructional lead, second-grade teacher, and Diversity Coordinator.

Halima Labi, Metro-Nashville Public Schools, a freshman English Language Arts teacher.

Victoria McAlman, Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, a third grade English Language Arts teacher and multi-classroom leader.

Daven Oglesby, Metro-Nashville Public Schools, an elementary exceptional education teacher.

Darlene Perry, Metro-Nashville Public Schools, a certified English as a Second Language instructor as well as a fourth-grade math and English Language Arts educator.

Sarah Robinson, Nashville-Davidson County (Independent School), social studies teacher.

Leticia Skae-Jackson, Maury County Public Schools, an English Language Arts teacher..

Taylor Kirk, Nashville-Davidson County (Independent School) an English Language Arts teacher.

“We are so proud of each of these educators already, and we can’t wait to see how they leverage this fellowship opportunity to improve equity and outcomes in their schools and their communities,” George said.

René Dillard will be coordinating programming for the fellowship, drawing from her background in teaching, education policy, and research, to cater a unique experience for fellows. Ms. Dillard also works full time as Manager, Early Literacy for United Way of Greater Nashville, where she facilitates collective impact work for the Blueprint for Early Childhood Success initiative. The Blueprint aims to double third grade literacy by 2025.

In addition to launching the fellowship, TECA is also gearing up to host the following virtual opportunities in May:

S.O.S – State of the State Conversation

4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 13


The conversation will feature education leaders of color from the three divisions of the state. It will focus on moving forward from COVID-19, addressing the challenges that our most vulnerable students and communities face, and reimagining what education should look like for Tennessee in the future. Learn more and sign up at

Districts Are Still Hiring: Resume Development & Interview Preparation Workshop

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Friday, May 15


This workshop will be geared toward recent college graduates and existing educators looking to gain employment at a new school. The virtual event will focus on resume development, interview preparation, and etiquette for virtual interviews. Learn more and sign up at

Wine Down Virtual Happy Hour: Addressing Mental Health and Self-Care

5:30 p.m.  to 7 p.m.

Thursday, May 21


This event will focus on addressing mental health challenges among educators, the importance of self-care, and strategies to practice good mental health and self-care. Learn more and sign up at

Learn more about TECA and the fellowship here. You may access headshots for each educator here. Please let me know if you need any additional information.

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