Meet the Fellows
Danielle C. Gregory, M.ED., a native of Newark, NJ, is a proud graduate of the nation’s oldest privately owned HBCU, Wilberforce University. She has a B.A. in Mass Media Communications. She earned her Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Middle Tennessee State University in 2022. Danielle started her teaching career in Newark Public Schools, the state of NJ’s largest urban school district. After 10 years of serving the school district she grew up in, Danielle and her family migrated to Tennessee. She now teaches 3rd grade at Cason Lane Academy in the Murfreesboro City Schools district where she continues to be a wildcard in education educating her students to enter the world to be game changers. She currently shares her life in Murfreesboro with her husband Jacobi and their puppyson Brickz.
Tovasha Myree is currently in her 12th year of education. She believes, teaching has opened up many doors for her. She has been in her current role, as a Student Support Coordinator, for Byrns Darden Elementary School, for the past three years. In this role, she works with children who have behavior issues and focuses on Positive Behavior support for the school as a whole. Prior to this position, she taught 5th grade ELA , Social Studies and 3rd grade Math and Science, for Kenwood Elementary School for a total of seven years. Before she entered the Montgomery County School District, she taught SPED for grades 6th -12th at Oak Plains Academy, which is a long-term mental health facility.
Sarah Rucker is a daughter, wife, mother, educator and coach. She has been married twenty years and has two children; one who finished their first year at Haverford college while playing collegiate volleyball and another child that attends Hume-Fogg academic magnet school. Sarah graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Foreign Language education and pursued her masters at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in cultural foundations of education & community engagement. For over twenty years, she has taught in urban education from Milwaukee, WI to Nashville, TN. She is a Spanish teacher with experience educating students from the first grade to the twelfth grade. She has recently taught upper level courses such as AP Spanish and IB Spanish at an urban high school for ten years in MNPS as well as Spanish II standard course. She will change directions in the fall to teaching in a suburban environment; she has recently been hired as Spanish teacher and volleyball coach at a prominent school in Williamson county. Sarah will continue to advance and amplify marginalized communities at her new school community. She has developed and facilitated many workshops and trainings centered around mindfulness, coaching, SEL, implicit bias and restorative practices.
Amethyst Carter was born in Brunswick, Ga in 1968. Amethyst is the first daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gibbons. Amethyst was the first person in her family, on mom and dad side, to graduate from a 4 year institution. She attended Middle Tennessee State University at 17 years old. She graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. In 2001 Amethyst earned a Masters Degree in Education, Special Eduction. Amethyst most recently obtained an Educational Specialist Masters in Administration/Supervision in May of 2021. She has four children. The majority of her teaching career has been in middle Tennessee schools. She has taught in Rutherford County schools, Sumner County Schools and Davidson County Schools. Amethyst's classroom experience is Special Education is with Self-contained(behavior), resource, and inclusion. Amethyst is currently teaching at Republic High Charter School in an inclusion setting in Geometry. Amethyst is seeking a leadership position because she is burned out and overwhelmed with public and private education. She is ready to take her professional career to the next level. Amethyst hopes to flip houses for low income families and transition services(school to work) for young adults with disabilities. A fun fact about Amethyst, she cuts her own grass with a push lawnmower for exercise and she has taught in India.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” - Malcolm X
Kia Hassell was born and raised in Lebanon, TN.
She graduated with her Bachelor's of Science from Tennessee State University in Criminal Justice and Psychology and earned her Master’s of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in School Counseling from the University of Louisville.
She is a fully licensed and certified K-12 Professional School Counselor and has been serving in this role for the past five years.
A fun fact about her is she loves traveling, going to concerts, and Harry Potter movies.
1985 Bachelor of Science, Mississippi Valley State University, MS
1990 Squadron Officers School (Leadership Course), Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
1996 Master of Science, Governors State University, University Park, IL
1999 Air Command and Staff College, (correspondence)
2003 Squadron Commanders’ Course, San Antonio, TX
2006 Aerospace Instructor School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
1. August1985 - December 1990; Chief, Computer Security, Washington, DC
2. December 1990 – June 1993; Chief, Communications; Chanute Air Force Base, IL
3. June 1993 - April 1997; Chief, Mobility Support, Scott Air Force Base, IL
4. April 1997 - June 2001; Director of Operations, Keesler Air Force Base, (Biloxi, MS)
5. June 2001- July 2003; Director, Office Automation, Pentagon, Arlington, VA
6. July 2003- July 2005; Commander, AF Recruiting, Nashville, TN
Lauren Githua was born in Baltimore, MD in 1989. She is the daughter and granddaughter of educators so she naturally found her way into the classroom. However, if you ask her, she can not pinpoint the moment she decided to pursue education. In fact, throughout her high school career she was convinced she would be a dance and Spanish major so that she could travel the world dancing and work as an interpreter. She graduated from Towson University in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. While in Maryland she worked in Prince George’s County and Anne Arundel County teaching pre-k, third and second grade. During this time, she also started an event planning agency with a long time friend. Together they curated events both large and small and earned the respect of event planners and clients in the DMV area.
Toya Kadeba is originally for Memphis TN. She graduated from Austin Peay State University with her undergraduate and Masters Degrees. She has studied abroad in Ireland while in graduate school. She has just completed her sixteenth year in the classroom, and currently exploring other educational options outside of the classroom. She is an educator in Rutherford County at the largest elementary school in the county. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband of eleven years and her two daughters.
Joni Wells is a proud daughter and mother to an amazing son. She’s a graduate of Tennessee State University. Joni holds a Master’s in Administration and Supervision and a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. She has taught in Metro Nashville Public Schools for over twenty years serving children in grades pre-kindergarten to second grade. She has served as a district trainer for curriculum. In 2019, she presented in two sessions for the NAEYC Annual Conference, a gathering of early childhood educators from around the globe to connect, collaborate, and learn together. When Joni’s not working with children and families, she enjoys bargaining shopping and digital couponing.