Success Stories

Former special education teacher becomes chair of administrative licensure program

Tavia McLeod has been an educator for 17 years, teaching in both rural and urban school systems. She spent years working as a special education teacher, a principal and an adjunct professor.

McLeod recently joined the faculty of Trevecca’s School of Education, which is also one of her alma maters. She earned her Doctor of Education in leadership and professional practice from Trevecca in 2015. She will serve as the chair of Trevecca’s administrative licensure programs, teaching others how to be principals and administrators.

“I’m looking forward to being a major part of the School of Education family and helping lead future leaders,” McLeod said.

McLeod is used to the collegiate classroom setting—she served as an adjunct professor at Trevecca for the past two years.

McLeod most recently served as the assistant principal at East Hickman High School in Hickman County, Tenn. Before that, McLeod served as a special education teacher. She continues to be passionate about teaching children with disabilities as well as making a positive impact on children and families living in communities facing poverty.

McLeod’s Trevecca career began soon after her 2015 graduation with her doctorate.

“The family atmosphere is what attracted me to Trevecca,” McLeod said. “When I first arrived, I think it was the holistic approach to education that [Trevecca takes] that appealed to me—not only educating the mind, but also feeding the spirit.”

McLeod is excited to be back in the classroom, helping to shape a new generation of educators.

“After I became a principal, I missed being in the classroom, and that’s why I accepted an adjunct position here at Trevecca,” she said. “That provided an opportunity for me to grow as a teacher myself while having an impact on future leaders.”

In addition to serving as chair of the administrative licensure programs, McLeod will also be teaching undergraduate special education classes and educational leadership courses. She plans to incorporate guest speakers—current practitioners, such as administrators and educators with real-world classroom experience—in order to help her students gain a deeper understanding of their chosen field.

Dr. Suzie Harris, dean of the School of Education, is excited to welcome McLeod to the faculty.

“Dr. McLeod has also served as an adjunct professor for the School of Education’s advanced programs for the past two years, and, in doing so, has exhibited a model of work ethic, fairness, and servitude,” Harris said. “The School of Education is extremely excited to welcome Dr. Tavia McLeod as she has proven to be a team player, always mission-focused, an excellent communicator and a valuable addition to the School of Education faculty.”

As an educator, McLeod has remained focused on her students and their educational needs. It’s an understanding she hopes to pass down to her students.

“There is one end goal, and that is doing what is best for the student,” she said.

By Kayla Williamson
Media contact: Mandy Crow,, 615-248-1695