In an interview led by Eclat Global Founder & CEO, Mariana Ortiz de Zarate, Vanessa talked about the challenges of 2020, the benefits of committing to education and self-improvement plans, as well as the underlying motivations that drive Vanessa to excel everyday.
Vanessa Peterson, M.Ed, PMP is NWEA’s Vice President: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility and Human Resources.
Mrs. Peterson is married and resides in Georgia, with her husband. She is a Georgia peach by relocation but a true Memphis Belle. She is the first Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, (DEIA) and Human Resources at NWEA. She obtained a BA in Political Science from the University of Memphis, a Masters’ of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Phoenix, and is pursuing her doctoral degree in Education with a focus in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. She is also a certified Project Manager Professional and received certification in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University. Previously, as a Youth Director, middle school teacher, teacher leader, district administrator, Program Manager, Vanessa has over 20 years of experience in education. Nine of those years have been dedicated to the equitable delivery, implementation and management of K-12 assessment work and services. She has been with NWEA for over 5 years.
Now, serving as the first Vice President of DEIA and HR in the organization’s history, Vanessa leads the organization-wide efforts into NWEA becoming more Diverse, Equitable, Inclusive, and Accessible (DEIA) by prioritizing DEIA through internal and external organizational actions and commitments. She is committed to leveling the playing field for all in education, which is one of our most noble and empowering civil rights as individuals. The majority of her DEIA work centers on experiential learning, understanding impact vs. intention and beginning with self on the journey to understanding. Her beliefs, passion, and commitment to education and DEIA work are embodied by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”