Dannelle F. Walker, Esq. is an education lawyer and policy-maker. She currently serves as General Counsel for the Tennessee State Board of Education where she advises the State Board on all legal matters, represents the Board in teacher license revocation, suspension, and denial proceedings, and manages all aspects of the charter school appeals process. Prior to joining the State Board staff, Ms. Walker served as District Policy Advisor for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.
Among her many professional accomplishments, Ms. Walker was instrumental in establishing the first Bullying Task Force within Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools to address the persistent issues around the school system’s response to bullying; she co-authored legislation that made it easier for foster care children in Tennessee to access quality education; she has promulgated rules making it more difficult for sexual predators to teach in any Tennessee classroom; and she is undertaking efforts to reform attendance guidelines to reduce truancy across the state. She has dedicated her career to working toward quality educational outcomes for all kids. This dedication has led her to becoming a trusted legal mind on education law in Tennessee and contributing to the discussion on issues surrounding law and education in the nation.
A frequent speaker on education law and policy topics, Ms. Walker has given lectures and presentations before the Education Law Association, Lawyers’ Association for Women, Tennessee School Boards Association, and the Lipscomb University College of Education.
Ms. Walker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she was a Dean’s Scholar and President of the Cynthia Nance Chapter of the Black Law Students Association. She is also a 2006 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies. She is licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Tennessee and holds memberships in the Tennessee Bar Association, Napier-Looby Bar Association, Education Law Association, National Council of School Board Attorneys, and the Marion Griffin Chapter of the Lawyers’ Association for Women.
A native Nashvillian, Ms. Walker is active in many organizations throughout her community, serving as President-Elect of the Napier-Looby Bar Association, Education Liaison for the Social and Political Action Ministry at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and former Troop Leader for Girl Scouts of West End Middle School. In 2011, Ms. Walker was featured in The Tennessean‘s “Next Up”, a section highlighting the contributions of leaders under 35 in Middle Tennessee. In 2012, she was selected by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as one of Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30. In 2013, she was named one of the Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40 by the National Bar Association and IMPACT and won the Nashville Emerging Leader Award in Education given by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville.
Ms. Walker lives by this quote from Henry David Thoreau, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Life the live you’ve imagined.”
DISCLAIMER: The thoughts and opinions expressed on this site are the thoughts and opinions of Dannelle F. Walker and not in any way affiliated with her employer or of any other organization with which she is affiliated.