Skip to Content
February 24, 2015

Tennessee State Board of Education Members Biographical Summaries



The State Board of Education is composed of nine members—one from each of Tennessee's congressional districts, plus a student member. Dr. Sara Heyburn serves as Executive Director of the Board. All members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the General Assembly. Board members serve a five-year term; the student member serves a one-year term. The Interim Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Russ Deaton, is an ex- officio, nonvoting member.













Mr. B. Fielding Rolston, Chairman
Represents: 1st Congressional District


Resides: Kingsport, TN


Education: B.S., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, M.B.A., American University
Occupation: Retired; Former Vice-President, Human Resources and Communications, Eastman Chemical Company.
Appointed 1996; Reappointed 2013; current term: 2013-2018


Mike Edwards

Mr. Mike Edwards
Represents: 2nd Congressional District

Resides: Knoxville, TN


Education: Bachelor of Science in Political Science, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Occupation: President and CEO, Knoxville Chamber
Appointed: June 24, 2011, current term: 2011 - 2016


Allison Chancey
Ms. Allison Chancey
Represents: 3rd Congressional District


Resides: Cleveland, TN


Education: M.S., Lincoln Memorial University, B.S. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Occupation: Teacher, Bradley County Schools
Appointed 2013; current term: 2013-2018


Mr. Lonnie Roberts

Represents: 4th Congressional District

Columbia, TN


Education: Bachelor of Science, Major in Business Administration and a minor in Economics, Jacksonville State University
Occupation: CEO TRH Health Plans
Appointed: June 24, 2011; current term: 2011-2016


Ms. Carolyn Pearre, Vice Chair

Represents: 5th Congressional District


Resides: Nashville, TN


Education: B.S., M.S., University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Occupation: Retired educator; Former Executive Director Tech Prep Programs, Tennessee Board of Regents
Appointed April 2002; Reappointed 2011; current term: 2011-2016



Lillian Hartgrove
Ms. Lillian Hartgrove
6th Congressional District

Resides: Cookeville, TN


Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Mississippi State University for Women
Occupation: Workforce Development and Education Vice President for the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and the Highlands Economic Partnership
Appointed 2014; current term: 2014-2019


Wendy Tucker
Ms. Wendy Tucker

7th Congressional District


Resides: Nashville, TN

Education: B.A. Newcomb College of Tulane University, J.D., Tulane Law School
Occupation: Attorney
2014; current term: 2014-2019


Mr. Cato Johnson
Mr. Cato Johnson
Represents: 8th Congressional District

Resides: Memphis, TN


Education: B.S. Education and M.S. Education, Memphis State University (now The Univeristy of Memphis)
Occupation: Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Appointed 2014; current term: 2014-2019



Mr. William E. Troutt

Represents: 9th Congressional District


Resides: Memphis, TN


Education: B.A. Religion and Philosophy, Union University; M.A. Higher Education, University of Louisville; PhD. Higher Education, Vanderbilt University

Occupation: President, Rhodes College
Appointed 2014; current term: 2014-2019



Student Member - Vacant


Mr. Russ Deaton

Executive Director
Tennessee Higher Education Commission

Ex-officio, non voting member
Contact: Parkway Towers, Suite 1900, 404 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville, TN 37243


Education: B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University