Katie Cour brings to the Nashville Public Education Foundation over 20 years of experience in the education, political and nonprofit sectors. A lifelong Nashvillian, Katie is driven by the idea that Nashville should be a great city for every child and family, and that the entire community is responsible for ensuring that all kids have an engaging, rigorous and joyful school experience.
Previously, she was the executive director of Talent Strategy for MNPS, where she developed and implemented strategies for the recruitment, selection, evaluation and retention of great teachers and school leaders.
Prior to joining MNPS, Katie was a senior consultant with Education First, a national education policy consulting firm, and also served as a senior analyst and assistant director at the Office of Education Accountability for the Tennessee Comptroller. She has worked for a variety of education nonprofits, including Reading Is Fundamental, Inc., Close Up Foundation, Achieve, Inc., and the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. In 2016, Katie founded Cour Consulting, which provided strategic advice and support to education agencies, national education organizations and education nonprofits.
When not thinking about education, Katie loves to go hear live music with her husband Dave, talk about world religions with her daughter Romy, or learn the intricacies of hockey from her son Henry.
Originally from Seattle, Washington, Colleen attended the University of Southern California, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in music. She found a passion in music education, which led her to move to Nashville after graduating for Teach For America. She taught sixth-grade math and social studies for two years before leaving the classroom to complete her Master of Leadership and Public Service degree at Lipscomb University. There she became involved in education policy and the nonprofit world, and began working on the programming team at the Nashville Public Education Foundation.
Colleen enjoys the thought-partnership that comes with a small team of passionate and creative people. She enjoys work that pushes her to think strategically and see how each small detail contributes to the big picture. She loves helping others take their big ideas through the phases of ideation, design, implementation, and continuous improvement.
She and her boyfriend Doug welcomed their baby boy Kurt in April 2023. They also have a rambunctious miniature pinscher mix named Ella. In her free time, Colleen enjoys watching TV, rooting for Seahawks and USC football, shopping at Nashville's Porter Flea markets, and going on walks with her family.
Melinda Judd serves as the vice president of Development at the Nashville Public Education Foundation. With more than 20 years of nonprofit experience, she works to expand the Foundation’s efforts to increase private–public partnerships in support of public school excellence.
Prior to joining NPEF, she was the director of Corporate Engagement at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, where she managed relationships and fundraising with existing and potential donors. She also served as the director of Member Relations and area advisory council liaison for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Melinda lives in Hendersonville with her husband, Scott, a Metro Nashville firefighter, EMT and engineer, along with their two children, Hannah Grace and Zach.
As a public school parent herself, she is passionate about the goals and mission of NPEF. She is excited to use her years of nonprofit experience to create a giving community around the Foundation that will foster growth for Nashville public schools.
Originally from Cuba, Jennifer was raised in Miami, Florida, in a vibrant immigrant community. After graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Jennifer taught English Language Arts and Reading to 6th and 7th-grade students for three years. During this time, Jennifer also supported local education nonprofits by leading social-emotional and college advising workshops. Although teaching virtually during the pandemic was an extraordinary challenge, it highlighted deeply rooted inequalities that ultimately led her to seek a master’s degree in education policy at Peabody College.
Currently, Jennifer is a second-year M.P.P. student. She brings a wide range of experience from various education-related fields, including EdTech and education policy and advocacy. She enjoys the strategic nature of nonprofit work and hopes to support future work through data-driven decision-making and quality research, specifically in areas pertaining to early literacy, teacher policy, principal pipelines, and grant management. Jennifer strongly believes in community building and organizing and its incredible potential for improving the lives of citizens.
In her free time, Jennifer enjoys sculpting with clay, painting, exploring Nashville with friends, and spending time with her six-year-old cat, Freya.
Tashaye Woods was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. She graduated cum laude with her Bachelor of Arts degree from Fisk University and completed her Master of Public Administration degree from Tennessee State University.
Tashaye has spent most of her career in higher education at Fisk University where her primary role was to galvanize students through their experiences outside the classroom to be career-ready professionals of the 21st century. She joined the Nashville Public Education Foundation team to use her skills talents to broaden her impact on education. As a public servant, she was attracted to NPEF’s intentional policy and programming aimed at providing an equitable education for K-12 students. Tashaye has deep connections to public education through her personal experience as a public school graduate and being surrounded by family who are educators. Tashaye is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She is also the current president of the Skyline Raconteurs, a Toastmasters International Club.
Tashaye enjoys spending her time with her husband, an MNPS graduate, Jeremy Woods Sr. and their toddler son Jeremy Woods Jr. Tashaye loves cooking, traveling (especially to see family), learning about homeopathic healing, and finding innovative ways to teach her son new and exciting concepts and skills.