Communities thrive when businesses grow. Businesses grow when communities are strong, have broad access to quality public schools, and students are equipped with tools to lead productive lives post-graduation.


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Ezell Consulting targets work with organizations that are working, or want to work, with middle Tennessee organizations and schools to improve education options for students. These select client stories outline our experience and contribution to these organizations. 

Teach for America

Challenge: When Teach For America faced a critical crossroads of leadership, Ezell Consulting helped this exceptional organization bridge the gap. 

Background: For its first four years in Nashville, Teach For America, Nashville’s teaching corps of 200 teachers, had made measurable impact on Nashville public schools, including traditional, magnet, and charter school students and classrooms. Then came a time of transition between both the executive director and the director of development.

Solution: In response, the board took on more intense day-to-day management roles and turned to Ezell Consulting to give critical development support during the transition. Kate Ezell served as interim development director, calling on her community knowledge and connections to maintain existing Teach For America donor relationships, cultivate new donor relationships, and activate the strong board to participate in regional leadership. Ezell Consulting’s work bridged the gap, ensuring that the classroom impact of Teach For America teachers was uninterrupted and supported by essential funds and community resources.




Challenge: When a high potential education startup wanted to reach new clientele and partnerships, they needed to assess the opportunity in Tennessee.

Background: High school students may perform well in all their classes and have an amazing list of extracurriculars, but their performance on the ACT and SAT also has a major impact on their success getting into college. Preparation is key, but not all students have access to quality tutorials and test prep tools to get them ready for test day.

Most private school students begin standardized test prep in 8th or 9th grade, taking multiple preparation tests before the “no stakes” test in the years leading up to the critical 11th and 12th grade tests. But many public school students in Nashville don’t have that kind of access and practice opportunity.

TestRocker, a successful company in the private school realm both domestically and internationally, improves student performance by expanding access to student online tutoring training. It includes online, comprehensive, customized SAT and ACT programs, bolstered by a regimen of practice testing, that were developed by the founder, an expert private tutor with more than 15 years of SAT/ACT tutoring experience. Used as prescribed, TestRocker results in average score increases of 280 points on the SAT and 4 points on the ACT.

Solution: Ezell Consulting worked with TestRocker to research moving its expertise and tools from strictly private school students to Nashville public high school students. LEAD Academy charter schools, with the flexibility to move quickly and test the tool with its students, staged a trial in the summer of 2015. The trial demonstrated the challenges of working in the public high school arena and, for the moment, TestRocker continues its work with traditional client groups, hoping to return to Tennessee public high schools as they grow and develop as a company.


Gray line Tennessee

Challenge: When a transit provider was interested in expanding its charter school transportation business, they turned to Ezell Consulting to explore feasibility.

Background: In Music City, tourism plays a major role in our economy and Gray Line has been serving this sector of our community for more than 40 years. Gray Line wanted to explore how they could expand the use of their fleet of buses and vehicles to serve more of Nashville’s growing charter school network.

Solution: Acting as a six-month complement to Gray Line’s staff and drawing on Ezell Consulting’s familiarity with the MNPS charter school community, Kate Ezell partnered with Gray Line to research this business opportunity. Beginning with an in-depth review of Gray Line’s operations, capabilities, and excess capacity, Ezell Consulting:

  • Analyzed Gray Line’s existing charter school transportation contracts.

  • Researched the regional school transportation industry and best practices nationwide.

  • Introduced Gray Line to new charter school operators to investigate relationship potential.

  • Scheduled client reviews of service delivery on existing Gray Line contracts.


Tenessee Charter school incubator

Challenge: With Tennessee’s receipt of the “Race To The Top” grant in 2010, the election of Governor Jim Haslam, and the leadership of Mayor Karl Dean in Nashville, there was alignment at the federal, state, and local government levels to focus on improving quality public school access for Tennesseans and specifically for Nashville students. 

Background: Part of Mayor Karl Dean’s vision for greater access to quality public schools for Nashville students was the creation of the TN Charter School Incubator (now the TN Charter School Center). To focus on the cultivation of quality public charter school leaders, the Incubator recruited school leaders from across the country and awarded a two-year fellowship (Year 1: study of best K–12 public education practices across the U.S.; Year 2: stipend to support the process of locating school space; recruiting, hiring, training teachers; creating curriculum; recruiting students) to support the founding of what has become four of Nashville’s most successful public schools and most successful charter schools: Valor Collegiate Academies, Nashville Classical, Intrepid College Prep, and Purpose Preparatory Academy.

Solution: Ezell Consulting worked with the Memphis-based executive director to identify, cultivate, and engage significant new Nashville donors in the early days of the Incubator.



Challenge & Background: Ezell Consulting worked with YouScience on its strategic planning and product launch. YouScience was created to improve on existing, more traditional personality and interest “tests.” YouScience technology combines proven science with algorithms to facilitate self-discovery and increased confidence in students’ post-secondary choices. By combining student aptitudes (what students naturally do well) with student interests (what students are interested in doing), YouScience matches students to ideal courses of study and the best-fit personalized career path.

Solution: Originally focused on an upscale consumer market, Ezell Consulting developed product testing in Tennessee public high schools (in partnership with tnAchieves, the partner organization to Governor Haslam’s TNPromise program) as an orientation tool in select private colleges and universities nationwide.