Meet the TAG Executive Board
Co-President - Tara Strang, Hamilton County Schools
Co-President - Lorri Whitney, Hamilton County Schools
Co-President Elect - Anne Rucker
Teaching is a second career for Anne Rucker. She originally trained to be a lawyer and practiced briefly in Memphis before moving to Nashville where she taught paralegals. Anne graduate from Mississippi State University with a degree in political science and then University of Memphis where she earned a juris doctorate (J.D.). She obtained her license to teach from Aquinas College and her masters from Arkansas State University. Anne taught elementary school for 9 years in Williamson County before moving to gifted education as a gifted teacher in middle school and now at the high school level.
Co-President Elect - Kathleen Herbert
Kathleen Herbert resides in the Nashville area and has been a gifted education teacher in Williamson County Schools since 2000. She is also a consultant for Borenson and Associates, the developer of Hands-On Equations and Fractions Sense. Her prior experience includes work as an adjunct professor at University of South Carolina, Spartanburg, Title I and Chapter I reading and math teacher, and a classroom teacher in grades 4,5, and 6. She is married with two adult sons.
Past President - Dr. Tommie Yelvington, Shelby County Schools
Past President - Maryellen Eaves, Shelby County Schools
Maryellen Eaves is a National Board Certified Teacher in the gifted education program in Shelby County Schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College and a master’s degree from Mississippi State University, both in elementary education. When not engaged in professional activities, Mrs. Eaves enjoys reading and spending time with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs.
Vice President, East - Lindsey Glass, Hamilton County Schools
Lindsey Glass has been an educator for 14 years; the last 9 years as a teacher of the gifted in Memphis City/Shelby County and Hamilton County Schools. Her passion for gifted education and teaching began when she was a second grade student in the Memphis City Schools CLUE program. In 2016 she was awarded the Jo Patterson Distinguished Service Award. Lindsey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Tennessee Technological University and graduated in 2014 with a Master’s Degree in Special Education – Gifted, Talented, and Creative from Arkansas State University. She currently lives in the Chattanooga area with her husband.
Vice President, Middle - Denise Zigler, Metro-Nashville Public Schools
Denise Ann Zigler has been a teacher of gifted and talented students for 18+ years and has 25+ years altogether in the field of educational instruction. She has taught at NASA-SEMAA and at Tennessee State University. She has taught as far away as the last frontier of Alaska, to the plains of Texas, the desert of Arizona, inner-city schools in Ohio and now she is teaching in Nashville, TN, serving gifted and talented students. Over the past two years she helped create the gifted Practicum at Middle Tennessee State University. She aspired to be the first teacher in space, and then through flowing tears, she watched the space shuttle Challenger. She never lost the dream, and shares that love for exploration with her students through NASA curriculum and with her peers, helping them to implement NASA curriculum into their classrooms. Denise received her Master’s in Education, Administration and Supervision from Middle Tennessee State University, August, 2012. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Wayland Baptist College, June, 1978. Her family includes her husband, three sons and a grandson and granddaughter.
Vice President, West - Blair Trotz, Shelby County Schools
Blair Trotz has been teaching for over 25 years. She teaches CLUE (gifted education) at Grahamwood Elementary in Shelby County Schools in Memphis, TN. In 2015 she was awarded TAG "Teacher of the Year" and "Teacher of the Year" for the Spark Awards, sponsored by the Memphis Rotary Club. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and cooking.
Secretary - Dr. Kristy Mall, Murfreesboro City Schools
Dr. Mall is a teacher in a school for gifted and high achievers and teaches during the summers in Vanderbilt's Programs for Talented Youth. She is the SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) liaison for the state, and serves on the publications committee for the National Association for Gifted Children in addition to her work on the board. She presents nationwide at conferences about gifted and twice-exceptional students, and was recently selected to help work as part of the Community of Practice on the IDEA definition and rights of twice-exceptional children. She is the mother of a gifted daughter and a son that is twice-exceptional (gifted and high functioning autism) and loves advocating for and working with gifted children and their families.
Treasurer - Dr. Megan Parker Peters, Lipscomb University
Dr. Peters has served as a school psychologist in public schools and as a specialty psychologist at Vanderbilt University, assessing and consulting with families of intellectually gifted and twice-exceptional learners. Dr. Peters has worked with families and schools from across the country who were seeking expertise in the areas of appropriately evaluating and serving gifted learners. Currently, Dr. Peters is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Teacher Education and Assessment at Lipscomb University. She is a licensed psychologist and licensed school psychologist who has earned the designation as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Dr. Peters specializes in researching and assessing gifted and twice-exceptional learners. Dr. Peters has published numerous articles related to the social emotional needs of gifted learners. She also serves on the editorial board of the National Association for Gifted Children’s publication, Teaching for High Potential.
Newsletter Editor - Kelly Davis, Hamilton County Schools
Kelly Davis is a teacher of gifted and talented students at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences and STEM School Chattanooga in Tennessee. She has been working with gifted and talented students since 2006 and has taught at inner-city schools, magnet programs, and across all grades levels. She has served on the board of the Tennessee Association for the Gifted for the past two years as Newsletter Editor and has contracted with ETS to write test items for the Gifted Praxis exam. Kelly Davis is passionate about gifted education and helping high-ability learners reach their potential. She supports countless extracurricular activities--many well outside of her comfort zone--and will be the first to tell you that she has learned as much from gifted students as they have learned from her. She holds a B.A. in English from Southern Adventist University and an M.A. in English from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Parent Liason - Alli Finney
Alli Finney is a former first grade teacher with a long-time passion for gifted education. When her son was born in 2004, she began the full-time job of finding creative outlets suitable for his busy mind. A resident of Williamson County, Alli joined and later Co-Chaired the WCSlink support group for parents of gifted students while also serving as a PTO President. Along with her husband and son, Alli enjoys traveling and learning about different places, people, and cultures.