A native Nashvillian—Barbara F. Gray is a product of the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s and of the struggle for social change in America. She grew up off Music Row in South Nashville and was educated in Nashville’s segregated public schools. She received a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University, where she graduated cum laude. She also attended George Peabody College for Teachers and earned a master’s degree from Tennessee State University.

A Phi Delta Kappa, International member, Ms. Gray’s 30-plus years as an educator in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools commenced in 1970 at Hillsboro High School—the year before the desegregation of Metro-Nashville Public Schools. Among her colleagues, Barbara was recognized as Hillsboro Teacher of the Year and as First Runner Up for Metro-Nashville High School Teacher of the Year. Because her students nominated her, she was also listed in several academic publications as an exemplary educator.

Further, Barbara’s career in education positioned her to serve as peer assistance leader (PAL) to over 700 first-year Metro teachers, literacy coach to MNPS English II teachers, certified literacy specialist for End-of-Course English II testing, Teach Tennessee mentor, adjunct graduate professor at Belmont University and English instructor at Inroads, Inc.

In her second career, Barbara worked on staff at Mount Zion Baptist Church, where she coordinated several ministries and edited ministry publications. Barbara recently noted as the Mount Zion 2020 “Hidden Figure” Honoree in Education. Now retired, she is currently a member of the Greater Nashville Association of Black School Educators, the Metro-Nashville Retired Teachers Association and several church ministries.

Ms. Gray is the proud mother of two daughters, Cassandra A. Gray and Courtney A. Gray.