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  • Writer's pictureLucky Knott

Dr. Beegle to be Tullahoma Schools Guest Speaker at Convocation

Tullahoma City Schools will kick off the 2024-2025 school year with Convocation in the Tullahoma High School auditorium on Wednesday, July 24, and special guest speaker Dr. Donna Beegle will headline the event.


“The beginning of a new school year is always special, and honestly, it’s my favorite time of year. I always enjoy welcoming all of our faculty and staff back as we begin the new school year. I’m excited about our keynote speaker, Dr. Donna Beegle. Her story is powerful, impactful, and truly inspiring. She has requested that all in attendance bring their notetaking supplies. I cannot wait for everybody to hear her message.”

Beegle grew up in generational, migrant-labor poverty and was essentially homeless for the first 26 years of her life. She is the only member of her family who has not been incarcerated. At 15, Beegle left school to get married and start a family. But, at 25, she found herself with two children, no husband, little education, few marketable job skills, and no access to affordable housing.


With the help of Community Action and mentors, Beegle received stable housing and attained her GED. Ten years later, she received her doctorate in educational leadership. She focused her studies and research on understanding poverty impacts and solutions for assisting children and adults in moving out and staying out of crisis poverty. All these experiences provide Beegle with an authentic voice to speak, write, and train nationwide to break the iron cage of poverty.


She brings to Tullahoma an educator’s insider perspective combined with 34 years of working in communities in all 50 states to improve outcomes for our neighbors living in poverty. Beegle is the President of Communication Across Barriers – a consulting firm dedicated to building poverty-informed communities armed with tools to break barriers. She has designed models and curricula to directly impact people currently in poverty and professionals who want to make a difference for children and adults living in poverty. Beegle also founded the Opportunity Community movement, which provides the structure and foundation for communities to work together in new ways to break poverty barriers.


Beegle’s story and work have been featured on PBS, CNN and several other nationwide publications. She has also authored four books and training curriculum sets, including “See Poverty… Be the Difference,” “An Action Approach for Education Students in Poverty,” “Breaking Poverty Barriers to Equal Justice,” and “If Not Me, Then Who? Empowering Our Neighbors.” 


She has won numerous awards, including Speaker of the Year for the New Mexico Bar Foundation, Woman of Influence for the Portland Business Association, Oregon Ethics in Business award, the Telly Award for her poverty-informed work on the Opportunity Knock$ series that helps families get out of poverty and she was selected as a Woodrow Wilson Princeton Fellow. Additionally, she has two classrooms named in her honor at Portland State University.


The 2024-25 TCS Convocation will begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24, in the Tullahoma High School auditorium. All in attendance should bring notetaking supplies.

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