Erin O’Hara Block is the proud mom of two Metro Nashville Public Schools students – Lucille (12) and Miles (10) – who attend J.T. Moore Middle School. Erin served as a founding member of the Waverly Belmont Elementary Parent Teacher Organization where her daughter Lucille was in the first class of kindergarteners. Erin has served as a reading buddy, a tutor, and a member of the school improvement team at her children’s schools and other schools in Nashville. Erin and her husband Patrick have lived in the 12 South and Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhoods of Nashville for 18 years.
Erin has spent more than two decades working in education policy and research on issues including early learning, afterschool programs, college access, educator preparation, professional learning, school turnaround, and school leadership. Erin will bring this powerful combination of personal and professional perspectives to the school board. No other candidate for MNPS District 8 School Board representative can offer this breadth and depth of experience.
Most recently, Erin served as Executive Director for the Tennessee Education Research Alliance, a nationally recognized research-practice partnership between the Tennessee Department of Education and Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Under Erin’s leadership TERA’s research helped to inform several state initiatives including school leadership networks, revisions to the state’s school improvement strategies, and prioritizing diversity in Tennessee’s workforce. Erin also led the Tennessee Educator Survey – the state’s only annual survey of all Tennessee educators – for more than ten years, actively working to ensure that teachers’ voices are an important part of the policy conversation at the state and district level.
Erin spent close to a decade working with the state of Tennessee at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, as an education policy advisor to Governor Phil Bredesen, and as an Assistant Commissioner at the Tennessee Department of Education. She’s also served as an adjunct faculty member at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University teaching grants and administration. Erin has a Master of Public Policy from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in American government and African and African American studies from the University of Virginia.