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Inspired: Dr. Marsha Jackson Drake & Dr. Nakia Towns

Women Celebrating Women

The word inspire is defined as the act of filling someone with the urge or ability to do something, and here in Chattanooga, we have no shortage of incredible women who motivate those around them day in and day out. Whether they intentionally set out to be a role model or random acts of kindness are simply in their DNA, these women are making the world a better place. Read on to learn more about the individuals who encourage others to be the best version of themselves, told by those they inspired most.

Photography by Rich Smith


inspired: Dr. Marsha Jackson Drake

inspiration: Dr. Nakia Towns

Dr. Towns stepped up to serve as interim superintendent of Hamilton County Schools and continues to put the needs of Hamilton County students before her own. She is currently navigating our school district through the pandemic with fearless leadership, clear lines of communication, inclusivity, and a listening ear to the voices of stakeholders, all while allowing her caring spirit to shine through in every decision that she makes. She is a powerful leader in our school district and isn’t apprehensive about getting into the arena, rolling up her sleeves, burning the midnight oil, and solving difficult tasks that benefit the students. She knows the importance of seeing each child as an individual and providing them with the tools that they need to experience success in school and beyond. Dr. Towns inspires me to give more than I thought I could give, never accept “no,” and open doors of opportunity so that all students of Hamilton County Schools thrive.


“She is a powerful leader in our school district and isn’t apprehensive about … rolling up her sleeves … and solving difficult tasks.”

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