Tennessee Education Association

Great Public Schools for All Students



Leaders are teachers and education support professionals who work in schools every day. They represent the interests of the members who elect them. They also represent the interests of the children we teach. At least one Association Representative is elected by members in every school in Tennessee. Members also elect local, state and national officers, as well as delegates to both the TEA and NEA Representative Assemblies. These delegates are charged with setting association policies, annual budgets, action priorities and electing state and national officers. Would you like to make a difference in your local Association? Contact TEA President Barbara Gray to find out how.


TEA President Barbara Gray

Barbara Gray is an assistant principal at Arlington Middle School. She has been in the education profession and serving Shelby County Schools since 1972. She earned a Bacherlor of Science in chemistry from Lemoyne-Owen College and went on to earn a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, and her Administration and Supervision license from the University of Memphis.


Gray has been an active member of the Shelby County, Tennessee and National Education Associations for many years. She has held leadership positions on a variety of committees to help provide guidance to these associations. Some of the committees include, but are not limited to, Member Benefits, Educator Benefits, Minority Affairs, Constitution & Bylaws, Administrator Task Force, Credentials, and Internal Organization Needs. 


In addition, she is a Sunday school teacher at Millington Church of Christ and is an active participant in many community organizations. Gray has three children and three grandchildren.



TEA Vice President Beth Brown
Beth Brown is an English teacher at Grundy County High School. She has been in the education profession and serving Grundy County Schools since 2001. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Middle Tennessee State University and earned a Masters Degree in Education Leadership from Carson Newman University.

Brown has been an active member of the Grundy County, Tennessee and National Education Associations throughout her career. She has served her local association in a variety of leadership positions, including president, chief negotiator, grievance chairperson, membership chairperson, and collaborative conferencing chairperson. At the state level, Brown has served on various committees, including the Executive, Budget, and Educator Advocacy Committees, as well as the IPD Commission and the Dues Task Force.


TEA Executive Director Carolyn Crowder

Carolyn Crowder became executive director of the Tennessee Education Association in November 2013.


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.  In this latter role, she helped set NEA policy and travelled the country providing support to NEA members and affiliates.


Crowder began her career in education as a vocal music and elementary teacher in Oklahoma City and Mustang, Okla.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, OK, and her master’s degree in education from the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmund.


As TEA executive director, Crowder provides leadership to a staff of 54 who work in TEA headquarters in Nashville and in UniServ districts across the state.  She also serves as secretary-treasurer of TEA and publisher of teach, TEA’s publication for members.