As a child, she had a reading problem. “I found learning to read difficult.” Now, Jill Speering is recognized as an expert in the field of reading and writing, her research has been published in local, state and national journals, and she just so happens to be the District 3 representative for the Metro Nashville Board of Education.

Luckily for Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), Speering chose to become a public servant after a stellar 35-year career as an educator.

Speering served as a teacher, researcher and trainer of teachers during her tenure with Metro Schools. In 2005, she was named Middle Tennessee Exemplary Educator of the Year. She taught hundreds of children to read in kindergarten and first grades.

As Metro Schools commits to literacy as its’ top academic priority,’ it is individuals like Jill Speering, current vice chair of the Board, who understands firsthand how important this issue is to student success.

Speering has dedicated her career to reading and literacy efforts and its power to change the lives of students and help them reach their greatest potential. Among the many positives she can point to in her time as an educator, she said of one of her greatest joys was helping one of her first graders, at the time, graduate from Reading Recovery after only 50 hours of instruction to grade level reading.

“In May, I attended his high school graduation, and when he invited me to participate in photos, he leaned over and whispered, ‘It’s because of you that I’m here today.’”

Speering was first elected to the Board of Education in 2012. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Tennessee State University.