The P-12 and Higher Education Policy Councils at The Education Trust in Tennessee are comprised of civil rights, education, research, public policy, business, and community leaders who have a demonstrated commitment to educational equity in our state. Council members act as ambassadors, advocates, and allies to help expand and deepen the influence of the organization by providing access to new alliances and critical thought-partnership on a range of issues impacting the public education system in Tennessee. The councils advise The Education Trust in Tennessee with a bold policy agenda that illuminates the magnitude of the achievement gap in education, challenges the status quo on behalf of children, and empowers our diverse Tennessee communities.

P-12 Policy Council

Duretti Ahmad, Student Member

Duretti Ahmad, Student Member

Vanderbilt University

Duretti Ahmad is a rising second-year student at Vanderbilt University majoring in Medicine, Health, & Society, and minoring in…

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Brooke Allen

Brooke Allen

Founding Director
Diverse Learners Cooperative

Brooke is the founding director of Diverse Learners Cooperative. She leads the DLC’s efforts to connect teachers and leaders…

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Christopher Candelaria

Christopher Candelaria

Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Education
Vanderbilt University

Christopher Candelaria is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Education at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. His research interests…

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Trey Cunningham, Student Member

Trey Cunningham, Student Member

Haywood High School
Brownsville

Trey S. Cunningham is a Senior at Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tennessee where he is very active in…

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Indira Dammu, Chair

Indira Dammu, Chair

Senior Analyst
Bellwether Education Partners

Indira Dammu is a Senior Analyst at Bellwether Education Partners. In this role, she works with a variety of…

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Diarese George

Diarese George

Founder & Executive Director
Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance

Dr. Diarese George is the founder and executive director of the Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance, an organization focused…

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Molly Hegwood

Molly Hegwood

Executive Director of English Learners
Metro Nashville Public Schools

Molly Hegwood is the Executive Director of English Learners for Metro Nashville Public Schools. The district is currently home…

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Erin O’Hara

Erin O’Hara

Executive Director
Tennessee Education Research Alliance

As Executive Director of the Tennessee Education Research Alliance, Erin sets strategic direction for the research partnership and guides…

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Om Patel, Student Member

Om Patel, Student Member

Mt. Juliet High School

Om is a sophomore in high school with a passion for conceptual learning and robotics. He believes that the…

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Samantha Perez

Samantha Perez

Vice President of Education Initiatives
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

Samantha Perez is the Vice President of Education Initiatives with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. She leads the…

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Nate Schwartz

Nate Schwartz

Annenberg Institute for School Reform
Brown University

Nate is a professor of practice at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. He leads Annenberg's…

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Peter Tang

Peter Tang

Director of Research
SCORE

Peter is the Director of Research at Tennessee SCORE, identifying and studying new and emerging trends that could advance…

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Higher Education Policy Council

Alyssa Aloyo

Alyssa Aloyo

Program Coordinator
Vanderbilt University Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence

Alyssa Aloyo is a proud Jersey-grown Puerto Rican who has been a Nashville resident for close to eight years.…

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Christopher Ruiz Banos, Student Member

Christopher Ruiz Banos, Student Member

Cumberland University

 Christopher Ruiz Banos is a student at Cumberland University majoring in mathematics and is the first in his family…

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Jared Bigham

Jared Bigham

Senior Advisor on Workforce & Rural Initiatives
Tennessee Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Jared Bigham currently serves as the Senior Advisor on Workforce & Rural Initiatives for the Tennessee Chamber of…

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Laura Delgado

Laura Delgado

Director
Pionero Scholars Program, Lipscomb University

Laura Delgado, a Cuban-American from Houston, Texas, moved to Nashville to pursue her education at Vanderbilt University. She is…

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Candy Johnson

Candy Johnson

Senior Advisor
Chattanooga Mayor's Office

Candy Johnson currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee where she acts as a member…

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Stacy Lightfoot

Stacy Lightfoot

Vice President, College and Career Success
Public Education Foundation, Chattanooga

As PEF’s Vice President of College & Success Initiatives, Stacy has used her skills and expertise in non-profit work…

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Jennifer Novo

Jennifer Novo

Executive Director
FUTURO, Inc.

Jennifer Novo is the Executive Director of FUTURO, Inc, a college-success professional development organization in Middle-Tennessee. Jennifer has over…

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Hailee B. Roye, Student Member

Hailee B. Roye, Student Member

Tennessee State University

Hailee B. Roye is a rising Senior and Early Childhood Education Major at Tennessee State University. Originally from Pittsburgh,…

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Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Vice President of Talent Development
Nashville Chamber of Commerce

Laura Ward is the Vice President of Talent Development at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce where she is…

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Russ Wigginton

Russ Wigginton

Chief Postsecondary Impact Officer
SCORE

Russ drives postsecondary work at SCORE, drawing on his deep expertise in higher education to build and maintain relationships…

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