Serving our Community.  


Ezell Consulting's services include product development, fundraising, project analysis, design and implementation, and project management. Engagements with Ezell Consulting—with Kate as an individual or building a small team around a project—range from one-time consultations to long-term consulting contracts.

Whether the issue is quality public school access, public school transportation, development and fundraising for nonprofits, or board development, community leaders hire Kate to get initiatives moving forward so that ambitious ideas turn into success stories with impact.


Change happens through people.  


It's not an idea that makes change (though great ones help). It's not money that moves people into action (though funding is critical). And it's not just policy that makes the difference in public education (though advocates in the right places can go a long way). Results happens when people connect, collaborate, and find a way to move forward together. A natural connector and a passionate advocate of how the right teams and players can come together to make change, check out Ezell Consulting's Portfolio + Capabilities to see how Kate's helped her clients break barriers and move their initiatives forward. 


Working with Kate.  


Engagements with Ezell Consulting—with Kate as an individual or building a small team around a project—take different shapes.  Hourly, half-day, day-long engagements facilitate problem review and definition.  Implementation engagements can be day-, week-, month-, or longer term hourly or retainer contracts.


The Poverty Simulation

Kate immediately recognized the essential role of the Poverty Simulation tool in the public education conversation after her experience taking MNPS teachers through a simulation as part of a Chamber of Commerce Report Card Committee orientation. This immersive experience has been highly successful in getting participants to understand t the impact of poverty on families, on students, and on critical  community resources, including education, transportation, and housing.

EC partners with MNPS and other non-profits hosting poverty simulations to make the experience accessible to companies and organizations whose leadership and employees benefit from deeper insight into the realities of Nashville’s poorest citizens.

Read on to explore the feedback of CAPS participants at a recent event focused on teaching Nashville leaders what it is like to be a child living in poverty. What participants are saying: Insights, takeaways, and reflections on a recent Poverty Simulation designed for Metro-Nashville leaders. 

Kate Ezell is a certified Community Action Poverty Simulation™ facilitator (CAPS). This tool, developed by the Missouri Community Action Network, is designed to help sensitize community participants to the realities of poverty.

Interested in hosting an event for employees, volunteers, or organization stakeholders? Contact Kate.



What participants are saying: 

Insights, takeaways, and reflections on a recent Poverty Simulation designed for Metro-Nashville educators

What we learned is that families, who are living in poverty, have a whole lot of grit that a lot of us don’t have. They have bravery, determination and creativity. They’re making ends meet and they do care about their kids.
— Participant
School just seemed like total chaos. We were hungry and it was stressful. The teacher was trying to teach us something but I couldn’t comprehend. I was supposed to do the test, but I just started writing on my test that I was hungry.
— Student role
As the mother of three children who didn’t speak English, the feeling of inadequacy and the inability to comfort and help accommodate my children was really, really stressful. I [felt] a really deep sense of despair based on a set of circumstances.
— Parent role
Towards the end, I forgot about my children. I didn’t even know where my family was; I was just trying to accomplished daily tasks and pay the mortgage. I didn’t even think about them and I just noticed that.
— Parent role
The teacher was doing the things you think the teacher should be doing but we were all so engrossed with the problems that we had that when she would try to infiltrate some fun things for us and it was so distracting and upsetting.
— —Student role
It really came to life what people in poverty have to deal with because you think, sort of naively, that they can focus when they’re in school, but, I couldn’t focus in school because school was, as all of us have said, so chaotic! That was a real, awakening experience for me.
— Participant
Everything was just like, ‘I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what am I supposed to write on my test!?’ I can’t actually imagine how students learn when they’re going through that.
— Student role

Ezell Consulting targets work with organizations which are working, or wanted 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 organize 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 and in Nashville public traditional, public magnet and public charter school students and classrooms.  Then came a time of transition between both the executive director and the director of development.

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. EC’s work  bridged the gap and ensured that the classroom impact of TFA teachers was uninterrupted, supported by essential  funds and community resources.




Challenge: When a high potential education start-up wanted to reach new clientele and partnerships, they needed to asses the opportunity.

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” practice 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.

TestRocker, a successful company in the private school realm both domestically and internationally, aims to helps to level the playing field and expand access to student online tutoring training to improve student performance.   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 over 15 years of SAT/ACT tutoring experience. Average score increases of 280 points on the SAT and 4 points on the ACT.

Ezell Consulting challenged TestRocker to make its expertise and tools available to Nashville public school students, moving out of the private school world, to provide critically needed practice tools to students who’d not had similar opportunities. 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 challenges of working in the public high school arena became apparent to the company. They chose to continue their work in their traditional client groups, with hopes to return to public high schools eventually.   

 Disappointing as was this decision to EC, it was  a successful project for TestRocker, achieving its goal to define the market opportunities for the product in the public high school arena.


Greyline Transportation

Challenge: When a transit provider was interested in learning more about how to serve the need for charter school transportation, they turned to Ezell Consulting to explore feasibility.

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

Acting as a 6-month complement to Grayline’s staff and drawing on EC’s familiarity with the the MNPS charter school community, Kate Ezell partnered with Grayline to review this business opportunity.  Beginning with an in-depth review of Grayline’s operations capabilities and excess capacity, EC analyzed  Grayline’s existing charter school transportation contracts, researched of the school transportation industry and best practices nation-wide, introduced Grayline to new charter school operators to investigate relationship potential, and scheduled client reviews of service delivery on existing Grayline contracts.


TN Charter school incubator

Challenge: When Tennessee schools received funding with the Race to the Top grant, civic leaders needed to assess and move forward to maximize impact. 

Background: Part of Mayor Karl Dean’s vision for access to quality public schools was the creation of the TN Charter School Incubator (now the TN Charter School Center) with focus on the cultivation of quality public charter school leaders.  The TN Charter School Incubator recruited school leaders from across the country and supplied a two-year fellowship ( In year 1:  study of best K-12 public education practices across the US.  In year 2:  stipend to support process of locating school space; recruiting, hiring, training teachers; creating curriculum; recruiting students) to support the founding of four of Nashville’s most successful schools and most successful charter schools:  Valor Collegiate Academies, Nashville Classical, Intrepid College Prep and Purpose Preparatory Academy.  Ezell Consulting worked with the Memphis-located executive director to identify, cultivate and engage significant, new Nashville donors.



Challenge: When big decisions are made at a young age about what path to take in higher education, one start up wanted to find new ways to reach teens during this critical crossroads.

Background: Ezell Consulting worked with YouScience on its strategic planning and product launch.  Originally focused on an upscale high school student market, Ezell Consulting developed product testing in TN public high schools (in partnership with TNAchieves, the partner organization to Governor Haslam’s TNPromise program) and as an orientation tool in select private colleges and universities nationwide.