Team Member

Breanna Sommers

Message Breanna Sommers

Breanna Sommers

Tennessee P-12 Policy Analyst

As the P-12 policy analyst for the Education Trust in Tennessee, Breanna analyzes education policy, data, and research to advance student-centered and equity-driven policy to and through Tennessee. 

Before joining Education Trust, she worked with the Tennessee State Board of Education and North Carolina Transformation project on policy research. Additionally, she has worked with elected officials and nonprofits on education policy analysis and program evaluation. Breanna began her career as a founding middle school civics teacher and department chair. 

She earned her undergraduate degree from Rhodes College in Memphis, studying urban education policy. Currently, Breanna is also a master’s in public policy candidate specializing in K-12 Education Policy at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.

Favorite Sports Team
The Memphis Grizzlies because I love a good underdog story, their social media is always on point, and I’m passionate about all things Tennessee. 

Proudest Moment
Graduating from college, my father’s lifelong goal for me. 

What are people most surprised to learn about you?
I live in a 19th-century school building. It adds a new layer of meaning to one of my favorite quotes by Rita Pierson that says, “I have spent my entire life either at the schoolhouse, on the way to the schoolhouse, or talking about what happens in the schoolhouse.”

What drew you to education?
Like every good story in education, my journey in education policy began with a great teacher. My 11th-grade English teacher assigned Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol, which highlights school funding inequities. As I progressed through high school, I went from wondering how I could make my family proud and achieve the ‘American Dream’ to grappling with how I could advance educational equity, and I haven’t looked back since. My sixteen-year-old self had no idea that she would have the opportunity to analyze policy, data, and research on school funding in my role at Education Trust in Tennessee.