Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who pledged to make public education a top priority in office, on Thursday named a local chamber of commerce official as her point person on education.

Laura Ashley Moore
Laura Ashley Moore

Laura Ashley Moore has been vice president of policy since 2014 for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and previously worked for the State Collaborative on Reforming Education on special projects and as director of innovation.

She begins working as a liaison for the city’s new mayor on Dec. 14, as Barry and Nashville’s school board seek to jumpstart the search for a new director for Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Moore’s job will be to strengthen the relationship between public schools and the mayor’s office, as well as working with Nashville’s nonprofit and educational institutions “to promote policies that will spur innovation and support our parents and teachers,” according to a news release.

“Having great public schools is essential to the success of Nashville,” said Barry, who has identified the recruitment of new schools director as her first education goal as mayor.

Moore holds a master’s degree in public policy in education from Vanderbilt University and graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. She cited education equity, expanded pre-kindergarten and building teacher support among her focuses to “ensure that all children in Nashville have access to a world-class education.”