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Gary Bailey, AIA

Owner, President

Gary Bailey brings over 40 years of experience in architecture and project management, primarily in the field of education. He has served as the key design professional for over $1.0 billion in major education design projects around the state of Mississippi in the past ten years. His work has earned numerous AIA (Mississippi Chapter) Honor Awards for Design. In recognition of his expertise, Mr. Bailey has been a Guest Speaker at the Mississippi State School of Architecture as well as for government agencies. He has also served as an adjunct professor in the College of Education and Architecture at Mississippi State University for their Ph.D. Program in education leadership.

Gary Bailey
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Pat Ross

Owner, CEO

Pat Ross serves as the Chief Executive Officer and owner of the Bailey Education Group. With an extensive career spanning over three decades in the education sector, Mr. Ross has held diverse roles, including teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, district superintendent, Deputy State Superintendent, and Education Policy Advisor to former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.


During his tenure as Deputy Superintendent in Mississippi, Pat played a pivotal role in shaping and executing education policy reforms. These initiatives have garnered national recognition for the state's notable achievements in student performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Key reform measures encompass the overhaul of the accountability system to assess student performance, the revision of the Mississippi College and Career Ready Standards, and the implementation of the Literacy-Based Promotion Act. This act includes strategic provisions for offering additional resources and support to students facing the risk of falling behind in reading at an early age.


As CEO of the Bailey Education Group, Pat is responsible for all day-to-day operations as well as providing short-term and long-term strategic leadership for the company.

Pat Ross
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Hank Bounds, Ph.D.

Owner, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development

Dr. Hank Bounds, Vice President of Bailey Education Group, is a lifelong educator. Dr. Bounds has devoted his 28-year career to helping change students' lives in the same way education opened doors in his own life. He began as a high school teacher, then rose to principal, superintendent, and state superintendent before becoming Mississippi’s commissioner of higher education in 2009. In that role, he oversaw a complex system of eight public universities. He went on to serve as president of the of the University of Nebraska system from 2015-2019, where he was the administrator for the four campuses in the university system. There Dr. Bounds oversaw a period of record growth and collaboration, including all-time highs in enrollment, graduation rates, student diversity, research expenditures and public-private partnerships. In 2019 Dr. Bounds retired from Nebraska and returned to our area to continue to serve children.

Hank Bounds
Denise Ferrell

Denise Ferrell


Denise is our CFO and a CPA. She has been with the firm since inception. Prior to Bailey Education Group, Denise worked for a couple of large local CPA firms in Birmingham, Alabama. She has a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from William and Mary. Her first three years of college were spent at Auburn University in Visual Design and Textile Design.

Denise Ferrell
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Tanisha Washington

Owner, Vice President of Educational Services

Tanisha Washington is a former elementary and middle school English Language Arts teacher with over 20 years of experience in various areas of education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech/Language Pathology and Elementary Education from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master's degree in Elementary Education from William Carey University. She is currently working on her doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Ms. Washington has served in the capacity of Academic Curriculum Coach, Curriculum Coordinator, Interventionist, School Test Coordinator, LSC Chairperson, among other titles outside the scope of regular classroom educator. Ms. Washington currently serves as Director of Educational Services and Interim Mississippi State Director for Bailey Education Group, LLC. As Director, Ms. Washington oversees all instructional support services at Bailey Education Group.

Tanisha Washington
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Andy Parker, Ph.D.

Owner, Vice President of Operations & Support

Dr. Andy Parker is an energetic, motivational leader and speaker who has been teaching students and leading schools and districts for the past 30 years. He is currently serving as Vice President of Operations and Support and Interim Louisiana State Director at Bailey Education Group. His background in high school English and his passion for leadership and supporting those in leadership roles propelled him to begin writing his book, Building Brilliant Schools: What GREAT Leaders Do Differently, which was published in 2021 and quickly became an international best-seller. His companion workbook, 50 Tools to Build Brilliant Schools will be published June 2022. 

An energizing, humorous, and frank speaker on issues about school leadership and cultural competence, Dr. Andy also coaches leaders in schools and districts across Mississippi and Louisiana to transform school culture and improve student and teacher performance.

Along with lessons he has learned along the way, Andy brings his passion for social justice, his sense of humor and positivity, and his love for people development. He is an avid lover of animals, and he knows that life is too short for bad coffee and cheap wine.

Andy Parker
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Cassie Williams Felder

Director of Marketing

Cassie Williams Felder is the Director of Marketing for Bailey Education Group. She graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She is passionate about education and helping those around her. Cassie works to create the best marketing strategy possible for Bailey Education Group so that we may successfully reach and meet the needs of schools and districts across the nation.

Cassie Felder
Marauo Davis
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Marauo Davis, Ph.D.

Director of Data Analytics and Project Management, ACT Certified Educator

Dr. Marauo Davis is a versatile professional with a passion for all things numbers! Beginning his career as a successful high school math teacher, he nurtured a love for teaching and inspiring young minds to appreciate the beauty of mathematics. Marauo possesses a unique ability to approach projects with a keen eye for detail and a systematic approach to problem-solving. Throughout his teaching tenure, he honed his communication and organizational abilities, which seamlessly translated into his current role as a Director of Data Analytics and Project Management.  Combining his educational background with his project management expertise, he continues to make a profound impact, ensuring seamless collaboration and delivering outstanding results.

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Kelly Earls, Ed.S.

Mississippi State Director

Kelly Earls is a former elementary and middle school teacher as well as a former elementary and middle school principal and brings 24 years experience from serving in a K-12 school setting. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in elementary education and a Specialist degree in Educational Administration. She currently serves as the Mississippi State Director for Bailey Education Group. She also serves as a project manager, instructional specialist, leadership coach, and data coach, working in school districts across the states of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Kelly Earls
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Jamie Williams

Director of Internal Operations and Support

Jamie Wade Williams is the Director if Internal Operations and Support for Bailey Education Group. Prior to working with BEG, she served as the Principal of East Central Upper Elementary, an A rated school, that is part of the Jackson County School District. As the principal, she initiated school wide reform and a data driven approach to instruction, which resulted in a recent 62-point gain on the Mississippi Accountability Rating making East Central Upper an A rated school. She has a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.Ed. in School Leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi, and she is also certified in special education and school psychometry.

Jamie Williams
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Bill Hopkins, Jr.

Alabama State Director

Bill Hopkins has spent his entire 33 year career giving back and serving the people and children of Alabama and Tennessee. He has a passion for leadership and believes all children can become leaders and successful if just given the resources and opportunity.  Mr. Hopkins comes with a very unique and optimistic perspective due to his less than ideal upbringing.  Mr. Hopkins was the National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Superintendent of the year for 2022, member of the Leadership Alabama Class of 28, and Alabama SSA District 8 Superintendent of the year 2018.   Mr. Hopkins has been a teacher, coach, administrator, elected superintendent, appointed superintendent, and community volunteer.  He is married to Shannon for over 30 years, and they have two children, Weston (Erin) and Emma (Harrison).  They have two granddaughters, Emory and Ellie.  

Bill Hopkins

Deneen Jacome

Director of Finance 

Deneen Jacome is the Director of Finance for Bailey Education Group. She maintains a financial relationship with Bailey Education clients working with our Business Managers and Federal Program Directors. With previous experience in IT, beginning in the Broadcast Industry and then moving into the Clinical IT world working for Baptist Memorial Healthcare and serving as a Director in IT Project Management. Deneen has a proven ability to bridge the gap between technically minded resources and the business, while helping all sides move to well specified goals.

Deneen Jacome

Ivy Pfeffer, Ed.D.

Arkansas State Director

Dr. Ivy Pfeffer joins the Bailey Education team as the Arkansas State Director with 28 years of experience as an educator.  After 18 years serving in teaching and administrator positions in K-12 schools, Ivy joined the Arkansas Department of Education.  As an Assistant Commissioner for the state department, Ivy’s primary roles included oversight for teacher and administrator recruitment, preparation, licensing, and support.  She worked with state legislators to codify the Arkansas Teacher Continuum, creating state’s first Career advancement program for lead and master teachers.  She also coordinated the administration of new teacher and principal evaluation systems, created leadership development modules for school leaders, and successfully relaunched the Teach Arkansas campaign to reignite interest and to increase the number of teachers in Arkansas’s educator workforce. For the past seven years, Ivy served as Deputy Commissioner for the Arkansas Department of Education where she worked closely with the Governor’s office and legislators to implement state policy.  In addition, she coordinated a multi-agency effort to develop a teacher residency model to provide a work-based pathway to teacher licensure and oversaw the expansion of career pathways for students through the Career Coach Program and expanded access to Arkansas’ secondary career centers.  She was a department lead for the development of the Arkansas Tutoring Corps program and provided leadership support for the redesign and implementation of state and federal accountability systems.  Ivy also led recovery efforts for Arkansas’s Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Funding and helped redesign the state’s Enhanced Student Achievement categorical funding to improve student outcomes with evidence-based practices.   

Ivy Pfeffer
Dr. Karen Norwood

Karen Norwood, Ed.D.

Director of Human Resources

Dr. Norwood attended Ole Miss where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Counseling

Psychology Degrees. She then attended the University of Southern Mississippi where she graduated with a

Specialist degree and then her Doctoral degree in Educational Administration with an emphasis on the School Superintendency. She also graduated from Harvard University's Principals Academy, the Nissan National Superintendents Academy and the Mississippi School Boards Association Superintendents Leadership Academy. Dr. Norwood is married to Gary Bailey and has 2 daughters, Reagan and Avery. 


Dr. Norwood has served as Superintendent of the Forest Municipal School District since the summer of

2019 as the first female superintendent in the history of the school district.  She moved to Forest from Biloxi Public Schools where she served as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for 13 years and supervised the areas of Accreditation, Accountability, Assessment, Curriculum and all Secondary Programs grades 6-12. Throughout her career, Dr. Norwood has also served as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal and high school principal. Dr. Norwood has been a featured speaker at state, regional and national conferences and is also a published author of 6 counseling programs. Dr. Norwood is retiring from public education with 30 years of service and is joining Bailey Education Group as Director of Human Resources and a leadership consultant. 

Karen Norwood
Golda Sharpe

Golda Sharpe

Louisiana State Director

Golda Sharpe is a passionate and results-driven education leader.  Originally from the Mississippi Delta and now a proud resident of New Orleans, Golda's over 14 year journey in education has been diverse, encompassing roles such as a math teacher, network coach, senior instructional coach, Director of Instructional Support, and Managing Director. Armed with a master's degree in both education and economics, Golda's unique blend of academic expertise and practical experience equips her with a holistic approach to addressing challenges within school networks.

Golda Sharpe's unwavering commitment to education and her innovative approaches continue to shape the future of learning across diverse communities. Her journey from the classroom to leadership roles showcases her dedication to driving positive change and empowering leaders and educators to make a lasting impact on students' lives.

Golda Sharpe
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Gwen King

Director of English Learner Services

Gwen King has a lifelong passion for serving English Learners. The Mississippi native spent her elementary and junior high years in Chile, where she became fluent in Spanish. She has more than 20 years of education experience, beginning her career as a high school Spanish teacher. She also served as the EL Coordinator in the Jones County School District for 14 years. Gwen also served as the EL/Migrant/Immigrant Coordinator at the Mississippi Department of Education. She holds a bachelor's in Spanish, a master's in curriculum and instruction, and an education specialist degree in educational leadership. When she isn't engaged in her work, the Clinton resident can be found keeping up with her busy family, including her three children and her husband, who also is an educator. 

Gwen King
Kim Hall
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Kim Hall

Director of Leadership Content and Development

Kim Hall is an accomplished educator with over thirty years of experience. Kim’s experience as an elementary instructional coach equipped her with knowledge and skills in curriculum development, lesson integration, and data analysis to enhance teaching and learning outcomes leading her school to earn the status of USDE National Blue Ribbon School and National Title I School of Distinction. During her tenure as a high school principal and Assistant Principal of Academic Affairs, she effectively managed fiscal budgets, physical resources, and human capital to create a thriving academic environment conducive to student success in a top-performing high school. During her time in leadership, her school was named among the top high schools in America earning status among Niche Best Public High Schools in Alabama, Great Schools College Success Award, Washington Post America’s Most Challenging High Schools, and U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools in America.  As a Principal Coach at the Alabama State Department of Education and the Bailey Education Group, she has played a key role in nurturing the growth of educational leaders in schools throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Florida. Kim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, Superintendent's Academy certification from the University of Alabama, as well as a Master's Degree and Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership. 


Bailey Education Team
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