Tennessee Education Association

Great Public Schools for All Students



April 7, 2020 || NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Education Association Executive Director Carolyn Crowder is retiring from the association. 

“Carolyn spent her career serving students and educators nationwide prior to joining TEA as executive director nearly seven years ago,” said TEA President Beth Brown. “She came on board during a rebuilding time for the association and has been instrumental in leading TEA to year-after-year membership growth during her tenure. Her leadership will be greatly missed by our members and our staff.”

Crowder came to Tennessee from Denver, where she served four years as executive director of the combined Denver Classroom Teachers Association, Denver Association of Education Office Professionals and DCTA-Retired. She previously served as president of the Oklahoma Education Association and as a member of the executive committee of the National Education Association. Crowder began her career in education as a vocal music and elementary teacher in Oklahoma.

“Over the past year, I have found several reasons to embrace the idea of retirement,” Crowder said. “I remember at my first staff meeting, a staff member asked me if I was here to ‘save’ TEA. TEA didn’t need saving. We just needed to roll up our sleeves, learn to fight for our cause a little differently and put our faith in building a member-led organizing culture. It is rewarding to reflect and see so clearly what we’ve been able to accomplish together.”

The TEA Board of Directors has tapped Assistant Executive Director Terrance Gibson to serve as interim executive director until Crowder’s replacement is hired later this year.


The Tennessee Education Association is the state’s largest professional organization representing tens of thousands of elementary and secondary teachers, school administrators, education support professionals, higher education faculty, and students preparing to become teachers.

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