L. Sha Fanion, EdD

Director, Aspire Teacher Residency Memphis at Alder GSE

Dr. L. Sha Fanion began her career in public education in 2004 as a Special Education Teacher in Atlanta, Georgia, where she taught middle school and elementary students with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency. After serving as a Classroom Teacher, she transitioned to serve as a Special Education Administrator at the regional office level with DeKalb County Schools. In this capacity, she oversaw special education programming in multiple elementary schools, which included focusing on instructional programming, compliance, and providing ongoing professional development to Special Education and General Education Teachers.

In 2012, Dr. Fanion spent time working with the Arkansas Public Policy Panel in Little Rock, Arkansas, through a partnership with the Southern Education Foundation. Through this work, Dr. Fanion was able to work with grassroots organizations and nonprofit groups to develop policy agendas targeting key educational issues in the state of Arkansas. While in Arkansas, Dr. Fanion also served as a Public School Program Advisor with the Arkansas Department of Education. In this role, she managed the implementation of Title I programs in school districts across the state, selected and supported the state’s National Blue Ribbon Schools, and worked with school districts in fiscal distress and under court-mandated desegregation orders to meet their required goals. While at the ADE, Dr. Fanion also served on the Planning Committee for the National Title I Conference in Washington, D.C. Following her time at the Arkansas Department of Education, Dr. Fanion served as District Project Manager for Renaissance Learning in the Helena-West Helena School District. Under her leadership, district and school leaders saw tremendous gains on state assessments in English language arts and math at the elementary and high school levels.

Dr. Fanion is currently the Director of Alder Graduate School of Education’s Teacher Residency in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to transitioning to Alder, Dr. Fanion served for four years as principal of Aspire Hanley II and Aspire Hanley Elementary in her childhood community in Memphis.

Dr. Fanion holds a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Tennessee State University, a Master’s degree in Special Education from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, an Education Specialist degree in Teacher Leadership from Mercer University, and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Clark Atlanta University.