#MNPSVoices: Tisa Beard, Senior Grants Accountant
It was 21 years ago that Tisa Beard was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that attacks tissues and organs. But instead of allowing the disease to be the main focus of her life, Beard chose to stand firm in her faith and focus on her family and those she can support.
A 14-year veteran of Metro Nashville Public Schools, she has placed her energy into serving in the business office as the senior grants accountant for the district. Among Beard’s daily duties include managing federal and state grants awarded to MNPS by entering budgets, correcting account errors with journal entries, and monitoring reimbursements through daily automated clearing house (ACH) wires.
“I cope by praying daily and taking it one day at a time,” Beard said.
Beard was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee and it was instilled in her from a young age to always make good decisions beginning with smart educational choices. In the fall of 1989, she made the decision to attend Tennessee State University in Nashville, where she graduated with a degree in Accounting. She continued her education, graduating with a master’s degree in 2010 from the University of Phoenix.
“I was always taught to work hard, do a great job at whatever I do, study hard and make wise decisions,” Beard said.
While Beard focused on making good professional decisions, she had personal aspirations as well. She served as a Girl Scouts of America leader with her church’s troop for 20 years before hanging up her badges.
“I have always had a spirit to help others and give back to my community,” Beard said. “It was a difficult decision because it has always been rewarding to work with these young ladies.”
In addition to giving back through the Girls Scouts, Beard focuses her attention on spending time with her teenage son, her husband of almost 18 years and giving back through her church and sorority, Delta Sigma Theta.
She also started a lupus support group two years ago to help educate and support ‘Lupus Warriors’ and their families. The group meets once a month and she prepares topics that help them cope or remedy some of their problems.
“Lupus can bring on so many other complications by attacking your major organs and it can also be debilitating,” Beard said. “Unfortunately, Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that does not warrant a cure, but you can still live a long and productive life.
“Helping others who feel like me is the most rewarding part of this experience,” said Beard, who has future plans to write a book about how she has persevered in the face of her diagnosis.