Who's Who of Professional Women


Never happier than she was when she was in the classroom, Amy Connor Byrd is thrilled to have passed on her passion to generations of students. She spent the majority of her career as an English teacher at Culpeper County High in Virginia, where she is best known as the founder and leader of The Phoenix Project. This particular curriculum was designed for kids who wanted to learn beyond the required material. Ms. Byrd’s goal was to create a comprehensive education that showed how intertwined everything taught in school is. It was such a success that she was invited to go on speaking engagements to other schools to share it with them. Although she retired in 2001, she hopes to be remembered for her out-of-the-box thinking and her dedication to her school and community.

Ms. Byrd prepared for her endeavors by earning a Bachelor of Arts in English from Coker College in 1971 and by becoming a certified teacher of English. She then joined prominent professional organizations like Virginia Teachers English and the Virginia Education Association, which allowed her to remain on top of any developments in her field. To further connect with her peers, Ms. Byrd contributed articles to the Virginia Journal of Education. Her efforts earned her a Commendation for Excellence in Teaching from the General Association of Virginia.

Outside of academia, Ms. Byrd really enjoyed photography. She served as a freelance photographer in Virginia for eight years, and was the recipient of the 1st Place Award in Creative Photography from the Virginia Press Association. Some of her other hobbies include reading, creative teaching, and cartooning.

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Debra J. Coffey has excelled as an associate professor of elementary and early childhood education at Kennesaw State University since 2004.


Diana Mejias Fermaint, PhD, was a teacher at Antilles High School in Puerto Rico from 1995 until her retirement in 2021.


Lori Tyler has been the president and owner of Lori Tyler & Associates, a content development company specializing in educational content, since 2000.


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