With more than a decade of experience working for and with public schools, Patrice Watson believes all students regardless of background should experience a positive school culture rooted in strong leadership and rigorous and relevant instruction.
Most recently, Patrice served as executive director of college and career pathways at the Tennessee Department of Education, where she led work-based learning initiatives, early postsecondary opportunities, student readiness and pathways, and school counseling services. Patrice joined the department in 2013 and under her leadership, early postsecondary enrollment doubled statewide.
To achieve those results, Patrice created the Early Postsecondary Opportunity Potential Project to help close the gaps between historically disadvantaged and underserved students and their more advantaged peers when it came to college readiness. The project helped identify and enroll high-potential students in more rigorous coursework who may not have enrolled on their own. She also worked to develop one of the only statewide dual credit programs in the country, growing from a few pilot classes to full development of nearly a dozen courses.
Prior to her position at the department, she worked as an educational consultant for Pearson Education, and spent several years as an elementary education teacher.
Patrice earned a bachelor’s degree from Fisk University and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Tennessee State University. She treats every encounter as a learning opportunity and seeks to live by her favorite Mahatma Gandhi quote: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Outside of work, Patrice enjoys spending time with family, traveling and cycling.