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Dr. Alicia Conerly

Instructional Specialist

Mississippi’s Marion County School District


Alicia Conerly, Ed.D., is president-elect of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). She began serving her one-year term on June 1, 2023. She recently served as principal of Monticello Elementary School in Monticello, Mississippi. She joined the school’s staff in 2018 as assistant principal and is the school’s first African American administrator. Now she also serves in the capacity of Instructional Specialist for Mississippi’s Marion County School District.

Conerly has taught elementary, middle school, and high school from 2008 to 2016. When she decided to pursue a leadership role, she made the transition by serving as a science curriculum specialist and instructional coach from 2016 to 2018 for the Hazlehurst City School District in Hazlehurst, Mississippi.

Conerly’s extensive educational background includes earning a Bachelor of Science degree in cytotechnology from University of Mississippi Medical Center; a Master of Education in the Art of Teaching from William Carey University; a Specialist of Educational Leadership degree from Arkansas State University; and STEM Certification from Mississippi College. She recently defended her dissertation and has obtained her Doctorate in Educational Leadership degree from William Carey University. In addition, she is certified as a Career Level Administrator and holds teaching certifications in Elementary Education (4–6), Biology (7–12), and General Sciences (7–12).

Among the many leadership and service positions she has held are on the Mississippi Department of Education Accountability Task Force, the NSTA Governance Revision Task Force, the NSTA Conference Advisory Board Committee, the NSTA Rural Science Advisory Board Committee, the NSTA Strategic Planning Committee, and the NSTA Budget Oversight Committee. She was a grant reviewer for the American Institutes for Research (AIR) Equity Initiative, was a National Board Certified Teachers Standards Convening Representative, and served as NSTA Multicultural/Equity in Science Education Division Director. In addition, Conerly has successfully written grants for thousands of dollars in funding, including a 2022 Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) $20,000 K–8 STEM Initiative Enhancement Project Grant and a 2019 MDE $150,000 Literacy Grant. 

A frequent speaker and workshop presenter, Conerly was Belmont University’s Guest Speaker on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI); North Carolina Science Leadership Association’s Keynote Presenter on DEI; the Mississippi Making Connections Conference’s presenter on DEI; and NSTA’s Engage21 Keynote Speaker and Conference Presenter on DEI.

Her numerous awards and honors include a 2015 Shell Urban Science Educator Award, a 2016 Shell Science Lab Challenge Grand-Prize Award; and a 2017 Mississippi Science Teachers Association Outstanding Informal Science Educator Award. She has been chosen as a 2018, 2020, and 2022 School Choice Leadership recipient; as the 2020 District Administrator of the Year for Mississippi’s Lawrence County School District; as a 2021 Mississippi Third Congressional District Administrator of the Year finalist; and as the 2022 Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Administrator of the Year.

Conerly is married to Jeffre Conerly, Sr., and they have three young men: Ray, Manny, and Jeffre Jr. She enjoys church, family, writing, and listening to Gospel music.


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