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Dr. Tonya Dennis

Dr. Tonya Dennis is the author of The Principal’s List Essential Practices for Administrative Success ( She has served as an educator for over twenty-five years. Dr. Dennis spent twelve of those years as a middle school principal where she served
as a “turn around” administrator to increase student achievement in schools identified as low performing. In each assignment, students made significant gains and sometimes academically exceeded magnet schools.

Additionally, Dr. Dennis is nationally certified by the Center for Teacher Effectiveness as an educational coach, speaker and trainer. This group specializes in providing training in curriculum development, classroom management, and data analysis to name a few. Dr. Dennis provides professional development trainings for teachers, administrative coaching for principals and various educational leaders. The goal is to empower educational leaders with practical solutions to improve the academic achievement of their students.  Dr. Dennis began her educational career as an elementary Math facilitator, where she was trained at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. While serving in this capacity, she maintained academic data, monitored all students’ progress in Math and provided instructional modeling for teachers. She also served as a middle school teacher and assistant principal. Dr. Dennis was honored as Teacher of the Year and by the Tennessee Department of Education as a middle school principal for academic student gains above the state’s averages.

Dr. Dennis has worked with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Nashville Charter Schools, and Hamilton County Charter Schools in Chattanooga, TN. She served as a speaker forTennessee State University’s Department of Elementary of Education. Dr. Dennis was also selected as an expert presenter for Hamilton County Schools on turn around strategies for their lowest performing schools. Educational leaders from various other districts have acquired her book including University Heights-Cleveland Heights in Cleveland Heights, OH for their newly appointed school principals.

Dr. Dennis has taught at the elementary, middle, high and collegial tiers. She served as an Adjunct Professor for the College of Education in Akron, OH and as an Adjunct Professor in the doctoral program at Tennessee State University’s College of Education.

Dr. Dennis graduated from Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN with a Bachelor of Science degree in English. She completed a Master’s degree in Public Administration and her Doctoral degree in Educational Administration from the University of Akron in Akron, OH. Her research explored the relationship between teachers’ attitudes and expectations of their students and the impact on their level of achievement. Dr. Dennis is also a graduate of the Harvard University Leadership Academy for Universal School Design and the Vanderbilt University Principals’ Leadership Academy.

Dr. Dennis is a servant leader and has often been referred to by her colleagues as “a principal’s, principal.” She volunteers as a tutor, enjoys spending time with her family, traveling reading, and empowering educational leaders.

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