Tiana Stephenson’s grandmother cultivated a love of learning in her, and when her grandmother passed, Tiana’s life changed dramatically. It was at school that Tiana found the consistency that she needed, and felt seen, heard, and valued. Drawing from her own experiences, Tiana is passionate about creating a space that allows scholars to see the potential in themselves, while finding their voices and uplifting their community. Tiana holds a strong belief that education has the potential to change the trajectory of a scholar’s life while empowering them to face the challenges of this world.
Through the BES Community Co-Design Fellowship, Tiana will propose a school that prioritizes a holistic approach to education with an emphasis on restorative practices as a foundation for a strong school culture that promotes independence, problem-solving, self-monitoring, and collaboration. Teachers at Tiana’s proposed school will balance direct instruction and discovery-based learning to develop these skills in their scholars. To create a positive student culture, her team will actively work against the narrative that highly punitive and exclusionary disciplinary practices effectively address student behavior.
Prior to joining the BES Fellowship, Tiana was a special education coordinator for SESI Schools in Fulton County, GA, where she oversaw special education services and compliance for three schools. Previously, she served as special education teacher leader for KIPP Metro Atlanta. Prior to relocating to Georgia, Tiana worked for Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia, PA for six years as a special education teacher, case manager, content team leader, and grade team leader. Tiana received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Norfolk State University, holds a master’s of multicultural education degree from Eastern University, and a special education certification from the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds instructional certification in English 6-12, ESOL Endorsement, Gifted In-Field, and Special Education K-12. Tiana is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Gwynedd Mercy University.