Spend just a few minutes talking with Dr. Sarah Tanner-Anderson, and it’s hard not to catch some of the positivity that she radiates. She’s enthusiastic about the future, about educating citizen leaders and about her alma mater.

“If there’s one thing people can say about me, it is that I love Longwood,” Tanner-Anderson said, adding that her optimism is rooted in her strong belief that every person has value.

She genuinely cares about Longwood’s students, her colleagues and the future of education. She is passionate about preparing and educating K-12 administrators, with women’s educational leadership development an area of special focus.

“Longwood’s focus on growing citizen leaders, from the time I was an undergraduate, is something that continues to fuel my fire,” she said.

Tanner-Anderson, or “Dr. T-A,” as she is affectionately known by her students, taught English at the middle- and high-school levels while earning her doctorate. She then worked her way up the leadership ladder, becoming an assistant principal and then principal. She joined Longwood’s faculty in 2017 to refresh and revive the educational leadership master’s program, which is thriving.

In addition to serving as a graduate program director, she is chair of the university’s Education Policy Committee, president-elect of Women Education Leaders of Virginia (WELV) and a member of the Amelia County School Board.

The Spirited Contributor Award honors an alum who is a current or retired Longwood faculty or staff member for going above and beyond their job duties to selflessly serve the university.

“I know Nancy Shelton, and she is a model of grace and professionalism,” Tanner-Anderson said. “To receive an honor that is named for someone who is such the embodiment of a citizen leader, it meant so much more.”

Do you know an alumna like Sarah? Nominate them for an Alumni Award today!

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