T. Nakia Towns

Chief Operating Officer

Accelerate - The National Collaborative for Accelerated Learning

Dr. T. Nakia Towns is the Chief Operating Officer at Accelerate – The National Collaborative for Accelerated Learning. Towns was previously the Deputy Superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), serving over 180,000 students in Georgia’s largest district, which is also the 11th largest in the country. Before her appointment in GCPS, Towns served as interim and deputy superintendent at Hamilton County Schools (HCS) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, driving continuous improvement across all departments and leading HCS to become the fastest improving district in Tennessee. Prior to joining Hamilton County, Towns was Assistant Commissioner. Division of Data and Research, at the Tennessee Department of Education. During her time at the department, she helped set the strategic direction for PreK-12 educational policy, as coauthor of the state’s highly regarded plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Towns transitioned to education leadership at Knox County Schools where she rose to Chief Accountability Officer, responsible for evaluating and growing the district’s overall educational return on investment. Towns holds a B.S. in biomedical engineering from Duke University and an M.B.A. from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. She also earned an M.Ed. in educational leadership from The Broad Center for Education Management (now affiliated with the Yale University School of Management) and a doctorate of education in K-12 leadership and policy from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.