Keely Potter

Senior Program Specialist

Keely Potter is a senior program specialist who primarily supports schools in Tennessee. Prior to joining NIET in 2019, Keely served as the director of teacher effectiveness at the Tennessee Department of Education and led work in pre-K coaching initiatives.

Keely is a National Board Certified Teacher with 22 combined years in urban, rural, and suburban districts as a master teacher, literacy coach, reading specialist, reading consultant, and classroom teacher in grades 1-8. Throughout her years in public schools, Keely worked extensively in supporting a culture of inquiry through professional learning communities. She co-authored ASCD's Total Literacy Techniques and consulted on ASCD's Total Participation Techniques.

Keely is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in education from Tennessee State University. She earned a master's degree in reading and language arts from Millersville University in Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Middle Tennessee State University.

 Keely  Potter

Why are you passionate about working at NIET?

Working at NIET is inspiring and motivating because the work is grounded in what matters most – empowering district leaders and teachers to reflect, learn, and grow as educators so that the students they impact not only grow as learners, but also love learning. Each reflective and collaborative experience partnering with leaders and teachers has the opportunity to positively impact the learning community and culture within a school or district so that students believe in the power of learning.

What was your favorite subject in school and why?

Literature and writing classes never actually felt like classes to me. Instead, the times I spent in reading and writing were little pockets of escape. Reading classes allowed me the time to either lose myself in the adventures of characters or in learning about new topics, while writing allowed me the chance to live in my own thoughts and aspirations. As an educator, I have seen the power that a love of reading and writing can have on student motivation and success.

What do you do in your free time?

I have become obsessed with books on tape and podcasts to fill my time when driving or working around the house. When I have free time there is nothing better than a day full of antiquing or thrift shopping, especially in small shops off the beaten path.