Story by Liesel Schmidt
Photography by Lucas Ryan Chambers
Coming from a military background, Thomasa Ross understands what it takes to successfully complete a mission. And while she may no longer be wearing the uniform, this former Army officer is still engaged in a mission of sorts, working hands-on as a DOD educator currently teaching on Fort Campbell, Kentucky. As an elementary school teacher, hers is the mission of molding young minds to realize their full potential and to encourage them that all things are possible and that dreams can turn into reality. And for Ross, that is what keeps her passionate about unlocking the future for the children in her charge.
“Each day, I have the most wonderful opportunity to make a difference in a child's life—both in and out of the classroom—and to collaborate with caring colleagues and invested stakeholders,” says 42 year-old Ross, who stays active in her own 12 year-old daughter’s education by volunteering at her school. “Each day, I have the privilege to create a safe, loving, and nurturing environment in order to achieve student success and build strong children. I've seen my passion for education come to fruition through my students successfully matriculating to college and volunteering within their communities,” she continues. “Nothing makes my heart warmer than seeing a student succeed.”
An APSU alumni who lived in Clarksville during college but was taken all over the world during the course of her active duty military career, Ross returned to the area in 2011. Much like she is actively invested in her students, she actively invests in her community, believing that only by doing so is she truly able to make a difference. “It's important to me that I do my part in helping Clarksville continue to grow and be a great place to raise a family. It's such a great community, and I'm proud to call it our home,” says Ross, an active board member with a number of community organizations and volunteers as a Girl Scout Troop Leader as well as with the Fort Campbell USO and the Fort Campbell American Red Cross in addition to being an active member of the Military Officer's Association of America, Junior Auxiliary of Clarksville, Junior League of Nashville, and Clarksville Young Professionals.
“Being a member of CYP has allowed me to grow as a leader and learn more about the community. I look forward to the brainstorming sessions, teamwork, professional development speakers, networking, and hearing the ideas of other members,” she says. “I would encourage and recommend other young professionals within the community to make it a priority to join, as it's a nurturing and respectful environment to cultivate professional relationships with other members who have the same professional ambitions.”
It is the mission of Clarksville Young Professionals to create a platform for Young Professionals to build relationships, develop professionally, become politically and philanthropically active and contribute to the economic development and high quality of living in our community. Clarksville Young Professionals is dedicated to the advancement of our community through community service, professional development and networking opportunities for the emerging business and community leaders ages 21-45. For more information, visit www.clarksvillechamber.com