Dr. Bren Elliott is the former state turnaround superintendent at the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE). In this role, she oversaw the statewide Achievement School District, supporting priority schools that had been identified as the most in need of improvement.

Before TDOE, Elliott served as the chief of school improvement and supports for District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Prior to that, she was the district’s chief of equity, the first person to hold the position. As chief of school improvement, Elliott led efforts to see that the district met goals outlined in its strategic plan. She also oversaw a team that worked to dramatically increase excellent schools and ensure students—particularly vulnerable students—are in school, are engaged in rigorous learning, and have a joyful educational experience.

Previously, Elliott was assistant superintendent for student support services at Wake County Public School System, the largest district in North Carolina, and executive director of student services and character development at Guilford County Schools, also in North Carolina. In addition, she held several positions with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, including teacher; assistant principal; principal; area director; and high-priority schools’ advocate.

Elliott grew up poor on a small farm in North Carolina and sees herself as a testament to the difference that a great education can make for one’s quality of life and impact on the world. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership from High Point University; a master’s in curriculum and instruction from Tennessee State University; and a bachelor’s from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where she was a Distinguished Military Graduate. Elliott is a former officer in the United States Army and completed 10 years of military service.