Bernice joined IEL as the partnerships manager for the Coalition for Community Schools in 2016. Prior, she was a senior associate at the Data Quality Campaign, where she aided in the alignment of local, state, and federal policy recommendations, providing education leaders with information to support students and families. She analyzed emerging policies and practices, convened national thought leaders, and worked with partner organizations to aid local and district leaders in using evidence to improve student outcomes. Her previous experience includes service as the program director of the Memphis Talent Dividend and Graduate Memphis, two action initiatives of Leadership Memphis. While there, she managed a community collaborative with over 80 partners to execute city-wide education initiatives.
Bernice began her career in Washington, D.C. as a Capital City Fellow. She completed rotations with D.C.'s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, Department of Housing and Community Development, Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and Office of the State Superintendent of Education. In 2010, Bernice accepted a position as an administrative budget manager and grant coordinator of the City of Saginaw, Mich, where she managed the city’s performance management program and CitiStat initiative and managed budget functions for four departments: Fiscal Services, Technical Services, Public Works, and Economic Development. In 2012, Bernice was selected as a White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities Fellow. In this capacity, she worked as an advisor to the mayor of Memphis and city administrator focused on evaluating government operations and helping build a performance management system consisting of key performance indicators, ChoiceStat, and a digital data warehouse.
Born and raised in Georgia, Bernice earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University in psychology with a minor in political science. She earned a master’s in public administration with a concentration on local government management from the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs. She has served on the Georgia Supreme Court Committee on Justice for Children (2007–08) and Georgia’s Children and Youth Coordinating Council (2005–08). Bernice is also 2016 graduate of the Institute for Educational Leadership’s D.C. Education Policy Fellowship Program.