Stephanie joined the Great Schools Partnership in July 2013 to develop and implement the Community Schools strategy in Knox County Schools. Since that time, the initiative has expanded from three pilot sites to sixteen Community Schools located in Knoxville’s most challenged neighborhoods. Additionally, Stephanie’s responsibilities expanded to include oversight for several other programs that support Great Schools’ mission to make Knox County Schools the best public schools in the South. Stephanie served as the interim president for 14 months while her predecessor, Buzz Thomas, served as the interim superintendent for Knox County Schools. She was appointed as president of Great Schools Partnership in April 2018.
For the past 20 years, Stephanie has dedicated herself to building strong, healthy and educated communities in Knoxville and across East Tennessee. Her career began in public health, with a focus on community engagement and strategic planning to promote healthy eating, active living and health equity. Through her tenure at the East Tennessee Regional Health Office and at the Knox County Health Department, Stephanie built a reputation as a leader both locally and nationally, chairing boards ranging from Knoxville’s Food Policy Council to the National Association of County and City Health Officials MAPP Workgroup.
In 2017, Stephanie was elected to serve Knoxville’s District One – South Knoxville and Fort Sanders – for a term of four years on city council. As one of four women elected in this history-making vote, Stephanie supports continuing the positive momentum underway in Knoxville to ensure strong neighborhoods, healthy investment and value for diversity.
Stephanie has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from the University of New Hampshire and two master’s degrees in public health and nutrition from the University of Tennessee. She also serves as a Major in the United States Army Reserve and is the Executive Officer for a Medical Support Unit in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Stephanie strives to create balance in her life by practicing yoga, and enjoys hiking, biking and active travel with her partner Mark and their three dogs, Suttree, Chester and Sprout.