Tracey Nance Pendley is a fourth grade teacher and instructional mentor at Burgess-Peterson Academy in Atlanta Public Schools. Pendley earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and religion from Furman University in 2006, where she directed an afterschool program in three underserved neighborhoods. Pendley graduated from the University of Chicago's Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP) in 2009 with a Master’s in Teaching, and taught third grade at a Chicago Public Turnaround School for three years before returning to her native Atlanta.
Pendley is a 2018 Teach On Project winner and teacher leader within her building. She used the TOP award to establish her school’s 4-H Club with the aim of celebrating students not often recognized and funding camp scholarships. Pendley was named the 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year in May 2019, giving her the opportunity to travel the state to share her practice and represent Georgia’s incredible students and teachers. In addition to this honor, Pendley’s most rewarding achievements include 10 years of mentoring student teachers, advocating for students through community partnerships, and witnessing students unlock their limitless potential. Student ownership of learning, forging relationships, and loving one's mistakes are at the heart of her philosophy, and are just a few of the ways that Pendley “brings the magic” to her classroom. Passionate as both teacher and student, Pendley enjoys learning from fellow educators and increasing awareness of both educational equity and the magnitude of teachers’ impact.
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