Tia Morris is a New Jersey native. After spending some time in the Irvington, NJ public school system, Tia Morris began her formal teaching career in Harlem in 1998 when she joined Teach For America. In 2002, she left the New York City school system for Newark, New Jersey to help start a KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) middle school, TEAM Academy. As a founding teacher, her language arts classes rose nearly 50 points to the 73rd percentile. A Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award winner, Tia designed the curriculum for Liberation Arts, a class based in social justice that develops critical thinking, speaking, and writing skills. This class is currently used throughout KIPP schools across the US. Now with four campuses, TEAM has grown into a network of college preparatory schools that seeks to help raise the quality of education for all Newark children. With a fifth school opening in 2012, TEAM Charter Schools is now the largest charter organization in New Jersey. As an Executive Committee member, Tia has played a key role in the organization’s strategic growth. In her nine years at TEAM, Tia has been a classroom teacher, Grade Level Chair, High School Placement Coordinator, Director of TEAM through College and Director of Community Engagement. She now serves as the Chief Community Officer and sits on the TEAM Charter Schools Executive Committee. Tia completed her undergraduate studies at Seton Hall University, and holds Masters degrees from, both, The Bank Street Graduate School of Education and Columbia University’s Teachers College. Tia joined the Urban Education Leadership Program with hopes to have a significant impact on urban education. She is particularly interested in exploring how strategic partnerships between families, schools, and community stakeholders can positively influence parental engagement and student outcomes.