Gary Bailey, AIA
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.
Pat Ross, CEO of the Bailey Education Group, has served as a public educator in Mississippi for more than 20 years. Pat’s education experience includes teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, Superintendent, Deputy State Superintendent, and Education Policy Advisor to Governor Phil Bryant. Mr. Ross currently oversees all operations for the Bailey Education Group and is specifically focused on providing leadership development academies, retreats, and one-on-one coaching sessions with school leaders in Mississippi.
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.
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.
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.
Andy Parker, Ph.D.
Owner, Vice President of Operations & Support, Interim Louisiana State Director
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.
Cassie Williams Felder
Administrative & Marketing Associate
Cassie Williams Felder is the administrative and marketing associate 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 helps to onboard our new coaches, assists our leadership team with administrative duties, and she works to create the best marketing portfolio possible for Bailey Education Group so that we may successfully reach, partner with and meet the needs of those districts who need our services most.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.