The seven people who will be a part of the Hamilton County Partnership Network Advisory were announced Wednesday.

The announcement was made by Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen and Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson.

Th advisory board will review the progress of the schools in the Partnership Network, which the state has deemed Priority schools. Those schools, which are all part of the Opportunity Zone, are Woodmore Elementary, Orchard Knob Elementary, Orchard Knob Middle, Dalewood Middle and Brainerd High.

The board will make recommendations to the school system and Network leadership to support the growth and development of students.

Four of the seven members on the board were named by the state. The other three were chosen by the district. Some members of the board have even attended or have had family members attend the schools in the Partnership Network.

The members of the board are:


  • Wayne Brown
  • Ardena Garth
  • Gerald Webb
  • Dakasha Winton


  • Valoria Armstrong
  • Patricia McKoy
  • Dr. Ernest L. Reid, Jr.

The board will have an orientation this summer. Their first public meeting will take place in the fall. A chair of the board will be appointed by Commissioner McQueen from her appointees prior the first public meeting.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work with Commissioner McQueen and our new Partnership Network Advisory Board members as we continue to cast a vision for improvement in Hamilton County,” added Director Johnson. “This is another way we are leading in thoughtful and innovative partnerships on behalf of our students, and the board members will push us even further.”

You can learn more about the board members below:

Wayne Brown

  • Mr. Brown lives in the Woodmore community. His granddaughters attended Woodmore Elementary School and he has been involved in youth leadership programs with the City of Chattanooga, as well as being a member of the Tennessee PTA. He is a 30-year military veteran who retired from the United States Air Force as a chief master sergeant. He received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a bachelor of biblical studies from Andersonville Theological Seminary.

Ardena Garth

  • Ms. Garth is a Hamilton County native who is currently a practicing attorney with her own law practice and the President of Chattanooga Endeavors. She previously served as special child abuse prosecutor and then spent 25 years as a public defender in Chattanooga. She graduated as valedictorian from Ooltewah High School, earned her bachelor’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University, and earned her J.D. at the University of Kansas before coming back to Chattanooga to practice law.

Gerald Webb

  • Mr. Webb is an alumnus of Woodmore Elementary School, Dalewood Middle School, and Brainerd High School. He was formerly a prosecutor in the Hamilton County District Attorney’s office and is now a partner and attorney at Speek, Webb, Turner & Newkirk. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University before earning his J.D. at the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.

Dakasha Winton

  • Ms. Winton is the chief government relations officer at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, also serving as associate general counsel. She is also the first vice chair of the board for the nonprofit Park Center in Nashville, which serves people who have mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. She graduated from Tennessee State University before earning her J.D. from the University of Memphis.  

Valoria Armstrong

  • Ms. Armstrong is president of Tennessee American Water Co. She has a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from Georgia Southern University and masters of science in human resource development from Villanova University. She was the first woman and youngest president elected to lead the local chapter of NAACP, which she did from 2005 to 2012. She also has served as chairwoman of the Chattanooga chapter of the American Cancer Society, and she has been actively involved in the Chattanooga chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellors' Diversity Advisory Council, and the Volkswagen Diversity Council.

Patricia McKoy

  • Ms. McKoy is a retired educator, who served most of her career in the Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE). Ms. McKoy helped to launch the Paideia model at Chattanooga School of Arts and Sciences, the school from which she retired in 2015.  She was part of the Public Education Foundation (PEF)/HCDE Leadership Fellows, Cohort 12. She earned a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. In addition, she was awarded a master’s degree from Tusculum College and education specialist degree from Tennessee Technological University.

Dr. Ernest L. Reid, Jr.

  • Dr. Reid is pastor of Second Missionary Baptist Church in Chattanooga. He is a graduate of Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va., where he obtained a B.A. in economics. Pastor Reid continued his education with graduate work at The Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University, earning a master in divinity and going on to earn a doctorate there. He is also a graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary, earning a master in theology with a concentration in ethics.