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Our Team

We are better together!

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Jason Bryant, PhD
Director of Truman Pierce Institute

Dr. Jason C. Bryant is an Associate Clinical Professor at Auburn University where he began in January 2016 and is currently serving as the director of Truman Pierce Institute within the College of Education at Auburn. Dr. Bryant has seventeen years of K-12 experience as a former science teacher, assistant principal, and principal at both the middle and high school level in Alabama. He is a past president and board member for the Southern Regional Council on Educational Administration (SRCEA) and serves on the executive board as past president of the Alabama Association of Professors of Educational Leadership (AAPEL). His dissertation is titled “Student Perspectives of Supporting and Hindering Factors in School Integration and the Role of Racial Identity in the Process” which he received in Administration of Elementary and Secondary Education from Auburn University.

Sandy Resa, M.Ed.
Project Director

Sandy Resa is the Project Director for the Alabama Afterschool Quality Standards Project, an agreement between Alabama Department of Human Resources and the Truman Pierce Institute within Auburn University’s College of Education. As a retired Alabama middle school principal and teacher, she utilizes over 30 years of experience to share evidence-based practices that can be replicated to enhance the educational experiences for our children. Sandy develops and executes national, state, and local professional development influenced by the experiences she gained leading staff through strategic planning, organizing and analyzing data to improve school programs, and building relationships with stakeholders as well as her vast duties and responsibilities as an administrator and an educator. Sandy strongly believes a positive culture creates an environment to allow success and is an Emotional Poverty Certified Trainer.  Sandy is a graduate of Auburn University earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Elementary Education and a Principal Professional Certificate. She is a member of the Alabama Community Education Association, an affiliate of the National Afterschool Association. As an active member of her community, she serves as a member on the Southern Disability Board of Directors, is a member of the Chi Omega Sorority, a member of Auburn United Methodist Church, and has participated in Leadership Lee County.

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Michelle Denney, M.Ed.
Professional Development Manager

Michelle Denney joined the Truman Pierce Institute after 24 rewarding years in the classroom teaching preschoolers for five years, fifth graders for four years, and middle school math and science students for fifteen years. During that time, she served in various leadership roles at both the school and district levels including curriculum advisor and developer, mentor teacher, and Process Champion for Capturing Kids’ Hearts, a comprehensive social emotional learning program focused on improving school culture. In her current role as the professional development manager for the Alabama Afterschool Quality Standards Project, she promotes continuous quality improvement for Alabama’s afterschool and childcare programs and supports educators around the state by developing and presenting interactive professional development sessions that focus on a variety of topics, including social and emotional learning, increasing student engagement, and integrating STEM. She earned a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Auburn University and a master's degree in Elementary Education from the University of Montevallo. 

Erika Rucker, MPA
21st CCLC Coordinator

Erika Rucker is the 21st CCLC Coordinator for Truman Pierce Institute (TPI), a past President of Alabama Community Education Association (ACEA), and a Board Member for the National Afterschool Association (NAA). Erika began her role at TPI in 2020 after working within 21st CCLC for 11 years. She also began the Alabama Afterschool Task Force, holding bi-weekly Zoom calls to help afterschool professionals survive the pandemic's effects on Afterschool. 

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